Exclusion zones - working safely near powerlines
Working near powerlines can be fatal. Touching them or straying into the exclusion zone around them can result in a serious electric shock.
If you must work near powerlines, you should follow these steps:
- Develop a safe system of work before you start
- Develop a safe system that ensures a safe distance from powerlines is maintained (stay outside the exclusion zone)
- Identify overhead and underground powerlines by consulting maps and/or talking to the property owner and electrical entity. For Ergon Energy and Energex visit lookupandlive.com.au for your free powerline safety plan.
- Conduct a site specific risk assessment – think about:
- the type of plant and equipment/tools used
- site and weather conditions
- type of work being done
- set-up and pack-up procedures.
- Put risk controls in place – the most effective way of controlling the risk is to de-energise the line for the duration of work where there is a risk of contact.
- Keep your workers and contractors informed about electrical safety
- Induct and train your workers and contractors in safe work procedures, emergency procedures, and exclusion zones (Figure 1).
- Carefully plan the tasks to be completed near powerlines and work away from them whenever possible, not underneath them.
- Show your workers the safe distance from a powerline by marking it on the ground.
- Ensure people are aware that powerlines sag or sway in hot or windy weather (Figure 2).
- Avoid going into exclusion zones
- Make powerlines and poles visible. Ask your electrical entity for permission to paint power poles and/or have them install markers or flags on the powerlines.
- Plan your work so tree branches do not fall across powerlines.
- Where possible, use insulated or non-conductive tools and equipment.
- Operators should use a safety observer carrying out work near powerlines.
- Follow the safety advice you obtain from your electrical entity.
|Figure 1: Powerline exclusion zones||Figure 2: Powerlines sag or sway in hot or windy weather|
Industry specific guides for working near powerlines
- Working safely as an arborist near powerlines(PDF, 1360.33 KB)
- Working safely on billboards near powerlines(PDF, 1416.79 KB)
- Working safely near powerlines in the rural industry(PDF, 1461.2 KB)
- Working safely near powerlines in the construction industry(PDF, 552.62 KB)
- Working safely near powerlines(PDF, 785.77 KB)
- Last updated
- 14 February 2020