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Training approval statement – telecommunications workers near overhead powerlines

Background

Within the electrical distribution network there has been a requirement for non-power industry workers, including certain telecommunication workers for the installation and maintenance of telecommunication and pay TV type assets, to have access to the space in the vicinity of the overhead electrical distribution company assets located on power poles.

Telecommunications workers are currently able to gain access to the electrical distribution network assets through the use of Facility Access Agreements (FAA).

The Electricity Safety (Installations) Regulations 2009 specifies the minimum distances to be maintained for persons and aerial electric lines, as well as the requirements for telecommunications workers to work closer than those specified separation distances.

Requirement

The Electricity Safety (Installations) Regulations 2009, Regulation 318 (2) (c) specifies the requirements for telecommunication workers undertaking communication installations in the vicinity of overhead electrical lines. The current regulation states:

318 Minimum distances between persons and aerial lines

(2) This regulation does not apply to—

(c) a telecommunications worker who holds a current certificate specifying satisfactory completion of a training course in power line awareness, approved by Energy Safe Victoria; or

NOTE: This regulation is NOT applicable to persons who are working for or under the control of a distribution network owner.

ESV’s determination

A Telecommunications Worker must now hold a current a Statement of Attainment in the national training unit UETTDREL14A “Working safely near live electrical apparatus as a non-electrical worker”.

This training shall be delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) who can deliver this unit under their scope of registration.

Where a person has attained the above certificate in another state or territory, the employer shall ensure that gap training in unit UETTDREL14A “Working safely near live electrical apparatus as a non-electrical worker” is delivered to workers by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to ensure that the worker understands the requirements of Victorian Acts, Regulations, Codes of Practice, Safety Rules and Industry Guidelines.

Additional training reference

The appropriate safe approach distances and training requirements for telecommunications workers in Victoria are detailed and defined by the Victorian Electrical Supply Industry (VESI) network operators and published on their webiste, here.

This course may be altered at any time by VEIS STRC however, under no circumstances shall the unit of competency UETTDREL14A “Working safely near live electrical apparatus as a non-electrical worker” not be a part of the course curriculum or its equivalent.

Responsibility

The employer shall ensure that telecommunications workers are suitably trained, assessed as competent and authorised for the work that they are undertaking.

All relevant company authorisations must be reviewed to verify the individual worker’s competence.