Safety Advice FAQs
For the safety of you and your workers, you need to maintain a safe distance from powerlines while you're working; this is what we call an exclusion zone. There are three different zones: 3 meters, 6 meters and 8 meters, depending on the voltage of the powerlines. An exclusion zone of 3 meters applies to most of our network. If work could breach these distances, you will need to contact us as soon as possible before work begins.
By completing a request for Safety Advice, we'll help you to apply the appropriate control measures to eliminate or reduce the electrical safety risks on your site and maintain a safe working environment around our network.
Can I ring up and request Safety Advice over the phone without having to fill out a Safety Advice Request Form?
No, regardless of how the enquiry is made (phone, email, etc), a completed Safety Advice Request Form must be submitted to us.
Do I have to call Energex each time I am submitting a Safety Advice Request Form?
No need to call us. Just submit our online Safety Advice Request Form.
How much will it cost to provide me with Safety Advice?
We don't charge for the Safety Advice, however there may be charges if control measures such as tiger tails or isolation works are needed to meet the conditions of the Safety Advice (e.g. temporary disconnection of low voltage service or provision of safety observer).
I have submitted an online Safety Advice Request Form. Can I still go ahead with the planned work while waiting for the Safety Advice to be issued?
Yes, only if mandatory exclusion zones are maintained and controls are put in place when working in the Safety Observer Zone. Refer to the Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2010 - Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines.
If you can't maintain mandatory exclusion zones and clearances at site, work must not proceed until an inspection is conducted by our representative(s) and Safety Advice is issued.
I don’t have Safety Advice, is it OK to erect scaffolding up close around the low voltage service line so long as we don’t make contact with it?
No. Mandatory exclusion zones and clearances must be maintained before can you proceed with work at a site prior to Safety Advice being issued. Refer to the Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2010 - Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines.
At this premises, I have various companies working near the service line over a period of time (scaffolder, builder, painter, plumber, etc). Can they all be covered by the one Safety Advice?
Yes. The Responsible Person at site must advise all workers of the electrical hazards and required control measures applicable to the Safety Advice.
Can I build a dam or earthworks underneath Energex powerlines?
Excavating, filling and altering of land may be acceptable (e.g. building a dam or earthworks) but full details need to be provided to us for assessment prior to starting work on the dam. Refer to the Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2010 - Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines.
Can I temporarily store equipment etc underneath Energex powerlines?
Yes. Equipment may be stored underneath the powerlines as long as exclusion zones are maintained and the requirements of the Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2010 - Working near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines and Electricity Entity Requirements - Working Around Overhead and Underground Electric Lines (PDF 745.2 kb) are complied with.
Can a customer or worker touch a low voltage service line connecting to the premises?
No. Low voltage service lines are only to be worked on by our employees or approved contractors.
Can I or my electrical contractor, builder, etc put up our own tiger tails on the Energex service line?
No. Low voltage service lines are only to be worked on by our employees or approved contractors. This also includes installation and removal of visual devices.
Can the Energex overhead low voltage service line or underground consumer mains be temporarily isolated to allow permit building work to proceed?
Yes. A service fee may apply for us to perform this work. To make arrangements for the temporary de-energisation, contact us on 13 12 53
Can my electrical contractor temporarily isolate the Energex service line to my premises to permit building work to proceed?
Yes. The electrical contractor must be an Energex Authorised Person.
The authorised electrical contractor can only remove low voltage (LV) service fuse for isolation purposes. The LV service fuse on a pole must only be removed from the ground (no climbing pole). The authorised electrical contractor cannot replace blown or damaged service fuses or equipment.
How close can a structure (shed, house) be built near Energex overhead powerlines?
Distances will vary depending on voltage level of the powerlines. Refer to minimum distances set out in Schedule 4 and 5 of the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013.
If the powerlines are located on an easement across your property, the requirements set out in Electricity Entity Requirements - Working Around Overhead and Underground Electric Lines (PDF 745.2 kb) must be complied with.
Can a swimming pool be installed in a yard beneath an Energex overhead service line or mains?
No. We won't erect or replace an overhead service line over a swimming pool, spa or hazardous area.
What do I need to consider when digging around underground electrical assets (cables, conduits, earth wires)?
Guidelines for Excavation Near Underground Electrical Assets:
- Contact Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) to determine if any underground electrical assets are, or may be, located in the vicinity of where the excavation work is to be performed.
- Determine exact location and depth of each underground electrical asset in vicinity of excavation work by use of cable locator (via external provider); or pot holing cable using Hydro Vac excavation or hand digging methods.
- Avoid using mechanical excavation equipment until the exact location and depth of underground electrical assets are identified by non-mechanical methods to avoid contacting and damaging underground electrical assets.
- Have a documented safe system of work in place to determine the risk and likelihood of contact or damage to the underground electrical assets.
- Ensure that information obtained is considered in planning work and that this information is given to each person who is to do mechanical excavation work at or near the location of underground electrical asset.
Contact us on 13 12 53 if there is a risk of any underground electrical asset being disturbed, unsupported or damaged during excavation.
What are the risks of performing work near exposed live parts without a Safety Advice in situations where a Safety Advice would be required to be issued by Energex?
Risk of injury or death and/or fines from the Electrical Safety Office or Workplace Health and Safety Office.
An Electrical Safety Office (or Workplace Health and Safety) Inspector came to site and stopped us working near the overhead powerlines and instructed us to obtain Safety Advice from Energex. What happens now, can we continue working until the Safety Advice is issued?
No, subject to Electrical Safety Office (or Workplace Health and Safety) directives. You must submit an online Safety Advice Request Form to us to obtain Safety Advice.