Working alongside electricity can be dangerous if the appropriate safety control measures are not applied.
That’s why it is important that statutory safety requirements and safe guidelines are adhered to. Not doing so can result in serious injuries and substantial damage to plant and equipment.
Safety on job sites
There are a number of steps you can take to identify the location of electricity infrastructure on your job sites and to help keep your workers and contractors safe. Here are the key ones:
- Pre-plan your job by consulting with Endeavour Energy. We provide advice to the building industry, councils or any other organisation or individuals working near our overhead or underground network. Place an enquiry by completing a Request for Safety Advice and emailing it to email@example.com
- Verify all Dial Before You Dig plans before starting excavation work. Consider using cable location technologies, potholing and non-destructive digging techniques
- Develop site plans identifying the location of electrical infrastructure and effectively communicate these plans to staff. Keep the plans available
- Designate and mark out travel paths around the site away from overhead powerlines. These can be used for moving ladders or long objects, and operating tip trucks, elevated platforms, drilling or excavating machinery, backhoes etc
- Use visual indicators such as tiger tails, signage, spray paint or bunting to highlight the presence of overhead powerlines, underground cables and electrical infrastructure
- Use range-limiting devices on excavators and cranes to assist in maintaining clearances from powerlines
- Avoid contact with the point of attachment (where the power comes into a building). If you cannot maintain the required clearances, arrange for a power outage by phoning Endeavour Energy on 133 718
- Assign an observer, whose only job is to monitor and ensure safe clearances are maintained between operating machinery and powerlines
- Report any exposed cables and powerlines to Endeavour Energy on 131 003
It is important to remember that tiger tails and covers are not insulators and their presence does not mean you can work closer to powerlines. They simply provide a visual indicator to alert people to the presence of powerlines. Under no circumstances do they make powerlines safe to touch.
More information about safe work practices and safety clearances from overhead powerlines and underground cables is available in the Safe Work Australia and WorkCover NSW Codes of Practice:
- Working in the Vicinity of Overhead and Underground Electric Lines Code of Practice
- Work Near Overhead Powerlines Code of Practice 2006
- Work Near Underground Assets Guide 2007
When digging, please remember:
- Just because there are overhead powerlines doesn’t mean there aren’t underground cables as well
- Cable depths can vary greatly. Don’t assume cable depths are consistent as tree roots, water, soil subsidence and human interaction can all cause changes over time
- Excavation around street lighting, padmount substations (large, usually green boxes) or pillar boxes (small, usually green or cream boxes) must be avoided until guidance has been obtained from the electricity network provider
If you are in doubt about whether you should be working near powerlines, want more information regarding safe clearance distances, or need information on safe digging techniques, contact Endeavour Energy on 133 718 or visit the Dial Before You Dig website: www.1100.com.au
Electrical safety for the Emergency Services
Those working in our Emergency Services are faced with a multitude of hazards on their job sites. One which must be known about, but can often be overlooked, is the risk posed by damaged electrical equipment.
We provide specific advice for these workers here: Advice for Emergency Services workers
Electrical hazard awareness videos
Endeavour Energy has worked with Ausgrid, Essential Energy and Ergon Energy to develop Electrical hazard awareness videos to help keep you safe at work. These important safety tools highlight the hazards of working near overhead powerlines and underground cables and provide guidance on safe practices.
- Watch Electrical Hazard Awareness for Urban Workers
- Watch Electrical Hazard Awareness for Rural Workers
- Watch Electrical Hazard Awareness for the Emergency Services
Endeavour Energy has also developed a range of brochures and other collateral to help keep you safe on the job. Click on the links to download them in PDF format.
- Safety on the Job
- Safety Clearances for Pilots
- Electrical Safety Information for Builders and Construction Workers
- Electrical Safety Information for High Load Vehicles
- Electrical Safety Information for Plumbers
- Danger in the Pipeline
- High load sticker
You can also visit the WorkCover NSW and Safe Work Australia websites to download Codes of Practice that offer practical advice, guidance and preventative strategies to help mitigate and manage workplace risks to health and safety:
Are you qualified to do electrical work?
Please remember, carrying out your own electrical work without proper qualifications is not wise, breaks the law, and could cause serious injury or death. All electrical wiring work, including the connection and technical maintenance of fixed appliances, must be carried out by a licensed electrical contractor.
Naturally, you should always follow the manufacturer's electrical directions for using and maintaining these appliances.
You’ll find more information on electrical dos and don’ts check on the Fair Trading website: Fair Trading electrical safety advice
Information for ASPs and Contractors
Are you an ASP or Contractor who wants to work on the Endeavour Energy network?
All workers who need to work on or near the electricity network, whether they be Endeavour Energy staff, Accredited Service Providers (ASPs) or contractors working for Endeavour Energy, must be authorised for the task that they are performing. If you require further information on how to become authorised please contact the Endeavour Energy Authorisations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To be authorised to work on or near Endeavour Energy’s network, you will need to attend training related to the work you will undertake. You will then need to submit evidence of your qualifications, and training to the Authorisations team, along with certification from your employer that you are competent to carry out the tasks that you will be authorised to perform. Once all of this is received by the authorisations section you will be sent a “Network Access Authorisation Card” showing your authorisation to work on or near the network. You must carry this card whenever you are working on our network.
To be authorised to work on Endeavour Energy’s network, you must be either;
- Directly employed by Endeavour Energy
- Employed by a company under contract to Endeavour Energy to carry out work
- Employed by a company accredited to carry out contestable works under the NSW Accredited Service Provider scheme
If you will be undertaking customer funded contestable works on the network, your employer must be accredited by the NSW Department of Industry under the NSW Accredited Service Provider Scheme.
Information on the ASP accreditation scheme can be found by clicking here.
Electrical Safety Rules
As part of this Authorisation, all workers must receive annual training in the Endeavour Energy Electrical Safety Rules. For more information on the Electrical Safety Rules and how they are applied, please contact the Electrical Safety team at Electrical.Safety@endeavourenergy.com.au.
Or download a copy of the Rules here: Endeavour Energy Electrical Safety Rules.
To request copies of resources please contact Endeavour Energy on 133 718 or by email at email@example.com.