For the safety of you and your workers, you need to maintain a safe distance from powerlines while you are 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 will 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.
How to request a Safety Advice
You can request a Safety Advice by:
1. Completing our online Safety Advice Request Form
2. Contacting us on 13 12 53 (Monday to Friday, 7am to 5:30pm)
What happens next?
The following steps outline how our Safety Advice process works:
- Request a Safety Advice. Complete an online Safety Advice Request Form if you are working near our electricity network.
- Reviewed within 5 business days. Your request for Safety Advice is received and assessed by us within 5 business days. You may be contacted for further information.
- On-site appointment. We will contact you to arrange an on-site appointment to discuss your specific needs while meeting the Code of Practice and Electricity Entity Requirements of Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines (PDF 1009.7 kb).
- Safety Advice issued. Safety Advice will be issued to you with agreed control measures that follow the Code of Practice - Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines 2010 (Control the Risks, Section 2.3) (relocation, isolation or flags).
Important: Changes to the scope of work
If the scope of work alters from the initial discussions on site with a our representative, you will need to contact your assigned Energex representative as soon as possible. This is to review the new scope of works and required control measures, and in some cases a new Safety Advice may be issued.
Activities that may need Safety Advice
Examples of activities where risk of person, plant or equipment coming near or into contact with overhead powerlines include, but are not limited to:
- Pruning or felling trees or vegetation near overhead powerlines, including the service wire into a building
- Carrying out building work, scaffolding or demolition adjacent to overhead powerlines
- Painting fascia, replacing roofing, guttering or external cladding near service line point of entry to a building
- 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
- Dam construction or levee bank earthworks.
Understanding your regulatory requirements
Any Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) at a workplace must comply with the requirements of Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 Part 5 - Overhead and Underground Electric Lines and Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2010 - Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines to ensure that no person, plant or item of equipment comes within an unsafe distance (exclusion zone) of an overhead powerline.
Compliance with these regulatory requirements is essential to reduce the risk of electric shock and contact with powerlines and other assets which can have deadly consequences.
- Electricity Entity Requirements - Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines (WP1323)
- Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld)
- Electrical Safety Code of Practice - Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines 2010 (COP)
- Electrical Safety Regulations 2013 (Qld)
An exclusion zone is a safety area around an overhead powerline. No part of a worker, operating plant or vehicle should enter an exclusion zone while the overhead powerline is live.
Exclusion zones keep people, operating plant and vehicles a safe distance from live overhead powerlines.
You must keep yourself and anything associated with the work activity out of the exclusion zone (e.g. a safe distance) unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so; and the person conducting a business or undertaking complies with the requirements of Section 68(2) of the Electrical Safety Regulation in relation to:
- conducting a risk assessment
- implementing control measures
- adhering to any requirements of an Electricity Entity responsible for the line.
The exclusion zones are set out in the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) and Electrical Safety Regulations 2013 (Qld). You can also obtain this information in the Electrical Safety Code of Practice - Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines 2010.
For more information on request for Safety Advice, read our Frequently Asked Questions.