Working near underground cables less than 33kV
Find out what to do before your work commences when working near underground electric cables less than 33kV.
What to do before work commences
- Complete a Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) enquiry If your DBYD plans show underground cables with voltage less than 33kV, go to Step 2. If not, refer to our Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines (WP1323) (PDF 745.2 kb).
- Complete your design Complete your works design in accordance with Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines (WP1323) (PDF 745.2 kb). If you require help with your design, we recommend engaging an accredited consultant.
- Asset relocation enquiry If your accredited underground civil service provider (PDF) deems that an underground electric cable requires relocation, please submit an Asset Relocation enquiry via our Electrical Partners Portal – there is a fee for this service.
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 cable. 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 cable backfill below the protective cover strips, bricks or equivalent (typically installed approximately 100mm above cables)
- removal of flowable fill backfill
- excavation beneath the underground cable.
If your proposed work includes any of the above activities, we recommend that an accredited underground civil service provider (PDF) is engaged to carry out work and/or assist with risk assessments and development of work methods.
All works need to consider the Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2020 for Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines.