Working near electricity
To protect yourself and others against injury, it is important to plan ahead and ensure that all work can be carried out safely. You should take every precaution when working near Western Power network assets and infrastructure.
Remember to always look up, look down and look around and know the location of any Western Power equipment before you start work.
- What should I look out for?
- Your Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) requirements
- Danger Zone
- Getting advice on how to work safely around Western Power’s electricity network
- Request for information about Western Power’s overhead equipment
- Request for information about Western Power’s underground cables
- Request for Tiger Tails
- Request to isolate or de-energise a work site
- Request to remove or relocate Western Power equipment
- overhead powerlines
- underground powerlines
- network poles
- switchgear enclosures
- substation buildings
- pillars (green domes)
Work near energised electrical installations and powerlines, whether underground or overhead, is high risk work. A person in control of the work area must ensure that no person, plant or material enters the “Danger Zone” of an overhead powerline or other electrical network assets.
The “Danger Zone” is set out in Western Australian Occupational Safety and Health Regulation 1996 – Specifically Reg 3.64.
Any information provided to you by Western Power should not be used in isolation and we recommend that you refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996. These documents outline WorkSafe WA requirements for working near electricity.
For queries relating to these requirements, visit www.worksafe.wa.gov.au or contact WorkSafe on 1300 307 877. Breaches should also be reported directly to WorkSafe.
A danger zone is a specific area surrounding live electrical apparatus that ordinary persons, equipment and materials must not enter. The size of the danger zone is determined by the voltage of the electrical apparatus.
Within the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 reg 3.64, a danger zone means anywhere that:
- is within 0.5 metres of a live insulated overhead power line or aerial bundled conductor line of a voltage of not more than 1,000 volts;
- is within 1.0 metre of a live uninsulated overhead power line of a voltage of not more than 1,000 volts;
- is within 3.0 metres of a live overhead power line whether insulated or not, of a voltage exceeding 1,000 volts but not more than 33,000 volts; or
- is within 6.0 metres of a live overhead power line whether insulated or not, of a voltage exceeding 33,000 volts
The Electrical System Safety Rules (ESSR) state minimum approach distances for ordinary persons, vehicles and plant. Refer to Table 4 on page 55 of the ESSR.
To ensure it is safe for you to work near Western Power’s electricity network you should consult the Local Government, the Planning Authority, Architect, Civil, Structural or Electrical Engineer or Project Manager specific to your project. Western Power strongly recommends that you also engage a qualified service provider before you start. To help you, Western Power publishes a list of qualified service providers who can give you professional advice and services to keep you safe.
Western Power does not make any enquiry, and does not offer any warranty about the capacity or competence of the service providers on this list. Publication of the list is not a recommendation or endorsement of services offered.
Western Power can assist your project by providing detailed information of its network assets, voltages and guidelines on safe distances relevant to your nominated project location.
This form is used to request information only on Western Power assets at a specific location; this will assist you in your planned works near electricity.
Complete and submit and we will send you information on the types and voltages of assets that may be affected by work at your location.
Complete a Request for information – Western Power Network Assets (PDF 310 kb)
If you need to dig, it is essential to Dial Before You Dig (freecall 1100) to obtain the location of any underground power cables so you can carry out the work safely.
Always remember to follow the 4Ps:
Plan: Contact Dial Before You Dig on 1100 to obtain a free cable location plan.
Pothole: Carefully dig and locate power cables in your work area. Never assume the placement or depth of underground infrastructure indicated on the DBYB map is current.
Protect: Always erect barriers in risk areas to protect underground power cables. This is the responsibility of the person carrying out the work.
Proceed: Only commence digging once you have planned, potholed and protected.
Complete a Dial Before You Dig enquiry
Once you have received our asset information letter, or if you already know the asset details, and you have determined that you will need tiger tails to be installed as a visual aid over the wires, or your works will be encroaching the danger zone, you will need to complete one or more of the following request forms.
The cost to install and remove covers on one bay of low voltage mains directly adjacent to a work site is based on the following requirements:
- all four wires being covered
- a minimum of one week's notice
- mobilisation of crew and equipment
- administrative costs
- traffic management
Cost is generally between $2800 - $3200 for one week.
An entire bay of mains will require 200 linear meters of Tiger Tails. House service leads require a minimum of five metres.
Allow a minimum of one month notice from receipt of monies paid to schedule into our works program.
Complete a Request for installation of aerial visual covers (Tiger Tails) (PDF 596 kb)
You can extend the period of Tiger Tail supply by notification in writing (i.e. e-mail). Further charges will apply.
Note: Tiger tails are visual indicators only and must not be relied upon for insulation and do not reduce the “Danger Zone”.
To remove or relocate transmission assets contact email@example.com
Should you wish to proceed with your application you may be required to pay a non refundable design fee of $1,500.00 (inclusive of GST), in advance. This covers the work we need to do in preparing a detailed design and firm quote.
- The design fee paid (excluding GST) will be deducted from the total project cost if you proceed to construction.
- GST applies to the design fee, and the firm quotation value.
For more information on formal training please visit - Power Training Services
To view PDF files you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.