The Electrical safety Regulation 2013 sets out some requirements for those working near electric lines. It prescribes 'exclusion zones' or areas close to lines where people are not allowed to enter. These zones vary depending on whether you're classified as an 'Untrained Person', 'Authorised Person' or 'Instructed Person'.
An Authorised Person (Electrical) is permitted to work closer to the electric lines than an Untrained Person due their knowledge and competencies (refer Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2010 Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines Appendix B Exclusion Zones for Overhead Electric Lines (PDF 725.9 kb)).
What an Authorised Person (Electrical) is allowed to do
An electrical mechanic who holds a current Queensland electrical mechanic licence and is approved as an Authorised Person (Electrical) can remove and replace LV service fuses when a customer's LV service line needs to be isolated to eliminate the exclusion zone around the LV service line, or to work on the customer's mains and/or switchboard.
An Authorised Person (Electrical) is permitted to isolate a customer's LV service line at an underground service pillar or service pole by removing a fuse wedge(s) from a service line, in accordance with electricity industry practices ie, from ground level using appropriate insulated tools, PPE and insulating mats.
In those situations where the service fuse/circuit breaker is not located at the supply end of the LV service, the Authorised Person (Electrical) needs to contact the electricity entity to arrange for safety advice where elimination of exclusion zone around the LV service line is required.
Please note: Any controls used by the Authorised Person (Electrical), to confirm isolation and ensure supply to the customer's installation is not inadvertently re-energised, must comply with sections 14 and 15 of the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013.
What an Authorised Person (Electrical) is not permitted to do
An Authorised Person (Electrical) is not allowed to:
- Replace a blown LV service fuse/s after loss of supply to a customer's installation or to alter the Ergon Energy overhead LV services
- Climb or work aloft on Ergon Energy's poles or assets.
Applying to become an Authorised Person (Electrical)
To become an Authorised Person (Electrical), the employer/self-employed person must first satisfy the Person in Control of the electric line, in this case Ergon Energy, that their applicants possess the required competencies. They must then apply in writing to Ergon Energy for approval.
Please read our Authorised Person (Electrical) Quick Reference Guide (PDF 87.7 kb) for information on how to apply to become an Authorised Person (Electrical).
For guidance on how to draft a letter requesting approval, you can refer to our Sample Letter for Approval Request (PDF 36.3 kb)
Getting safety advice
Where a risk assessment has been conducted and control measures implemented in accordance with requirements of Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2010 - Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines and Electricity Entity Requirements: working near overhead and underground electric lines (PDF 725.9 kb) and has identified that exclusion zones from overhead electric lines cannot be maintained, the person, worker or person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is then required to contact the Electricity Entity and request written Safety Advice. The person, worker or PCBU shall be required to maintain exclusion zones until such times as Ergon Energy has provided written Safety Advice.
Please note: A person, worker or PCBU would not be required to contact Ergon Energy and request written Safety Advice where their risk assessment and implemented control measures ensure that exclusion zones from overhead electric lines will be maintained throughout the performance of work to be undertaken at a particular site.
For more information
For more detailed information please read our Electricity Entity Requirements – Working Near overhead and underground electric lines (PDF 725.9 kb)