The Blue Book 2012

The ‘Code of Practice on Electrical Safety for Work on or Near High Voltage Electrical Apparatus’ (the Blue Book) is maintained by the Electrical Safety Committee (ESC) established under Section 8 of the Energy Safe Victoria Act 2005. The objective of the Committee is to review and further develop the Blue Book to facilitate the electrical safety of electrical generation, transmission and distribution systems and high voltage electrical installations. 

The ESC completed the revision of the 2005 Blue Book in 2012 and republished by ESV in 2012.

Below is the summary of significant changes to the Blue Book:

  1. Some definitions of words or phrases were altered to improve clarity.
  2. Arc flash protective clothing has been added as an accepted personal protective equipment.
  3. A requirement for annual review of authorisations has been removed. However, person’s authorisation shall be current for the task being performed.
  4. Removed the ambiguity of earthing requirement when erecting or dismantling overhead conductor.
  5. Changes to Safe Approach Distance – Special.
  6. For the purpose of training electrical operator, a new dot point was inserted into the list of “Persons Authorised to Operate High Voltage Electrical Apparatus”.
  7. Introduced the concept of “equipotential work zone” when earthing overhead conductor.
  8. As not all organisations use a sanction for test, alternative approved procedure is allowed if the approved procedure meet requirements of sections 9.3.2 and 9.3.6 to achieve the same or better safety outcome.
  9. New subsection was inserted in section 12 to set out safety rules for vegetation management work near overhead line by non-electrical workers who are employed or engaged by municipal councils.

Owners and operators of electricity supply network, high voltage electrical installations and complex electrical installations are required to comply with the Blue Book.

ESV recognises that the industry needs time to train and make workers aware of the requirements of the 2012 Blue Book. It has therefore been decided that the Code of Practice on Electrical Safety for Work on or Near High Voltage Electrical Apparatus published in 2005 will be superseded by the 2012 Blue Book on 1 April 2013.

The Blue Book is revised and republished every five years to continue improving safety standards for work on or near high voltage electrical installations and the supply network.

In accordance with the ongoing process to revise the Blue Book, ESV is seeking comments and suggested improvements on the 2012 edition of the Blue Book.

Below are links to ESV webpages where the Blue Book and the suggested improvement form can be downloaded for interested persons to suggest changes to the 2012 Blue Book. All suggestions should be provided in the improvement form format and returned to

To view the 2012 Blue Book CLICK HERE

To comment on the 2012 Blue Book CLICK HERE