Working near underground powerlines 33kV or higher

Find out what to do (before your work commences) when working near underground powerlines 33kV or higher.

What to do before work commences

  1. Complete Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) enquiry If the DBYD plans show underground powerlines with voltage 33kV or higher, go to Step 2. If not, see Working near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines (WP1323) (PDF 813.8 kb).
  2. Request our plans of underground powerlines Complete and submit our online Request for detailed plans form.
  3. Submit preliminary works plans for us to review Complete and submit our online Request for review of preliminary works plans form. All proposals must comply with WP1323 (PDF 813.8 kb). If the preliminary plans are acceptable, no further action is required. If the preliminary plans require further work, go to Step 4.
  4. Submit detailed works plans to us Complete and submit our online Submission of detailed works plans form.

Important information about risks

A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that no person, plant or thing at the workplace comes within an unsafe distance of an underground electric powerline. This includes ensuring that all risks are assessed by your designer or constructor.

Work near energised electrical assets is considered high risk. Specific activities that can increase the risk include but are not limited to:

  • entry into the powerline backfill below the protective cover strips, bricks or equivalent (typically installed approximately 100mm above cables)
  • removal of flowable fill backfill
  • excavation beneath the underground powerline.

If your proposed work includes any of the above activities, we recommend that an Ergon Energy rated Transmission Civil Contractor is engaged to carry out work and/or assist with risk assessments and development of work methods.