When working outside you must be aware of the potential dangers from electricity.
Working in close proximity to above- or below-ground powerlines is dangerous. Every year workers die or suffer serious injury when safe work practices around electricity have not been applied.
All machinery operators and other people working near powerlines should be aware of their safety obligations under the Electrical Safety Act (2002) (PDF 1mb) and adopt safe working practices in accordance with the Electrical Safety Office, which is part of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.
This page has a number of safety brochures with tips and information for safe working practices around powerlines and other electrical equipment.
If you would like to order copies of the brochures or stickers, complete and submit the brochure and sticker order form and we will send the copies to you.
- Safety switches save lives. A safety switch protects you and your employees against the most frequent cause of electrocution - a shock from electricity passing through the body to the earth.
- How do they work? If a fault occurs in an appliance or wiring, causing current to flow to earth, a safety switch's earth leakage sensor responds to the imbalance and cuts the power. This happens in less than a heartbeat, potentially preventing electrocution.
- Do you have one? Your workplace should have a safety switch. You can check on your switchboard by looking for a 'test' or 'reset' button.
- Is it working? If you have a safety switch installed, it should be tested every three months. Simply press the 'test' button once and the switch should automatically trip - that means it's working. Then you must reset the switch by turning it back 'on'. And remember, if you're unsure, seek advice from a licensed electrical contractor.
Important note: this test will cut your power supply so be aware that you'll need to reset your electrical clocks, etc.
Brochures and factsheets
- Brochure - Look up and live (PDF 490kb)
- Factsheet - Working safely around electricity on sugar cane farms (PDF 197kb)
- Factsheet - Working safely around electricity on cotton farms (PDF 162kb)
- Factsheet - Working safely with electricity and irrigation equipment (PDF 190kb)
- Factsheet - Working safely when operating machinery around electricity (PDF 140kb)
- Factsheet - Working safely with electricity at your worksite (PDF 216kb)
- Factsheet - What to do if contact with powerlines occurs (PDF 1mb)
- Factsheet - Working safely with electricity for construction, demolition and home repairs (PDF 320kb)
- Factsheet - Working safely with electricity around agricultural netting and structures (PDF 2.5mb)
- Factsheet - Working safely around overhead and underground powerlines (PDF 1.2mb)
- Factsheet - Working safely when transporting high loads (PDF 972kb)