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Safety Acts and Regulations

All machinery operators and other persons working near powerlines should be aware of and comply with the Electricity Entity Requirements, Safety Acts and Regulations.

Compliance with the requirements of the Electrical Safety Act 2002, Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 and Code of Practice 2010 Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines is essential to reduce the risk of electric shock and contact with powerlines and other electrical assets.

The Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2010 Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines provides practical advice on ways to manage electrical risk when working near powerlines, including the exclusion zones that apply. An electronic copy of this Code of Practice, as well as the Electrical Safety Act and Regulation is available at the Queensland Government Electrical Safety Office website.

You should obtain a copy and read this material so you fully understand your duties and how to comply with them. We also recommend property owners mark powerlines to increase visibility, read more on our Powerline Markers webpage.

At risk work activities

Examples of work activities where risk of person, plant or equipment coming near or into contact with overhead or underground powerlines include but are not limited to:

  • Operating cranes, tip trucks, cane harvesters, elevated work platforms, fork lifts, grain augers, excavators, irrigators, etc near overhead powerlines
  • Erecting or maintaining advertising signs or billboards near overhead powerlines
  • Carrying out building work, scaffolding or demolition adjacent to overhead powerlines
  • Pruning or felling trees or vegetation near overhead powerlines, including the service wire into a building
  • Painting fascia, replacing roofing, guttering or external cladding near service line point of entry to a building
  • Dam construction or levee bank earthworks.

Examples of work activities that could involve risk of damage to underground cables or earthing systems include but are not limited to:

  • Digging holes, excavating, sawing, trenching, under boring, sinking bore holes, earth works or laying cables, pipes, etc or driving implements into the ground (e.g. star pickets, fence posts) near where underground cables or earthing systems may be located.

Risk assessment and exclusion zones

Before carrying out any work at a workplace where there is a risk of any person, plant or thing encroaching the exclusion zone of overhead powerlines, the person, worker or Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) is required to ensure that the potential hazards are identified. That a risk assessment is conducted and the necessary control measures implemented (including Electricity Entity Requirements: Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines (PDF 725.9 kb)) to minimise electrical safety risks to ensure the safety of all workers and other persons at the workplace.

The Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 and Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2010 Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines detail the Exclusion Zones that must be maintained.

Where a risk assessment has been conducted and required control measures implemented, but it has been identified that exclusion zones from overhead powerlines cannot be maintained, the person, worker or PCBU is then required to contact us and request written Safety Advice. The person, worker or PCBU shall be required to maintain exclusion zones until we have provided written Safety Advice.

A person, worker or PCBU would not be required to contact us and request written Safety Advice where their risk assessment and implemented control measures ensure that exclusion zones from overhead powerlines will be maintained throughout performance of work to be undertaken at a particular site.

Frequently asked questions

Download our Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 69.6 kb)

More information

The following documents are provided by us as guidance/reference material and the person, worker or PCBU retains responsibility for ensuring that they are meeting their duties under the relevant legislation.

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