High voltage electrical apparatus electrical safety (The Blue Book)
The Code of Practice on Electrical Safety for Work on or Near High Voltage Electrical Apparatus
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.
Owners and operators of the electricity supply network, high voltage electrical installations and complex electrical installations are required to comply with the Blue Book.
The objective of the ESC 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 2005 Blue Book was revised and republished in 2012.
The Blue Book 2017 (draft)
The first draft for the Code of Practice on Electrical Safety for Work on or Near High Voltage Electrical Apparatus (The Blue Book) has been released for public comment.
The Blue Book is revised and republished every five years to ensure that the safety standards for work on or near high voltage electrical apparatus are fit for purpose, reflect industry best practice and are improved where possible.
Accordingly, the Blue Book 2012 has been revised by the ESC and proposed changes are now incorporated the draft Blue Book 2017.
Click here to review the 2017 draft of The Blue Book.
Below is a summary of proposed changes to the Blue Book from the 2012 edition.
- Definitions of Operating authority and Station were changed to improve clarity.
- The wording of some sections were changed to better reflect the intention, and improve clarity.
- New subsection 3.14 provides guidance on victim’s rescue.
- The principles of section 4 Training and Authorisation now applies to not only high voltage (HV) apparatus, but also low voltage apparatus.
- New paragraph in subsection 4.1 to cover workers under a training program.
- Subsections of section 5 were re-arranged into operational order.
- Subsection 6.1 was rewritten and Figure 2 was replaced with Figures 2A and 2B highlighting SAD – beyond reach concept, and SAD-expected reach concept, respectively.
- New paragraph in subsection 6.2.2 defines Safe approach distance – special
- Safe approach distance (SAD) for 132kV, 220kV and 275kV in Table 5 were slightly increased to be consistent with Australian Standards.
- New subsection 7.2 requires written HV switching instructions, wherever practicable.
- The principles of section 9 Access for work on or near high voltage electrical apparatus was changed to better reflect the intention, and improve clarity.
- Subsections of section 9 were re-arranged to reflect the operational order of work.
- New subsection 184.108.40.206 clarifies that HV live work and work under an Access Authority shall not be performed concurrently on the same structure.
- New subsection 220.127.116.11 reinforces the good working practice to record earths on electrical access permits, or to document them in accordance with organisational procedures.
- New subsection 9.3.2 Planning and Applying for testing of high voltage apparatus.
- Subsection 9.3.4 Persons permitted to sign onto sanctions for testing was changed to better reflect the intention, and improve clarity.
- New paragraph in subsection 9.7.1 Isolation and earthing requires that whenever practicable, isolation points should be tagged.
ESV now invites all stakeholders, interested parties and workers to comment on the 2017 draft of the Blue Book.
How to comment
To provide comments, simply follow the steps below.
- Download the draft Blue Book 2017 and the associated Comment form.
- Complete the form.
- Submit the completed form to Loc Vuong at email@example.com.
If you have any questions about The Blue Book, contact Loc Vuong of the Electricity Safety and Technical Regulation team at ESV by calling 03 9203 9700.
The closing date for submissions of comment is 5.00pm AEDT, Friday 16 June 2017.
The Blue Book 2012
To read The Blue Book 2012, click here.
Below is a summary of significant changes to the Blue Book from the 2005 edition.
- Some definitions of words or phrases were altered to improve clarity.
- Arc flash protective clothing has been added as accepted personal protective equipment.
- A requirement for annual review of authorisations has been removed. However, a person’s authorisation must be current for the task being performed.
- Removed the ambiguity of earthing requirement when erecting or dismantling overhead conductor.
- Changes to Safe Approach Distance – Special.
- 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”.
- Introduced the concept of “equipotential work zone” when earthing overhead conductor.
- As not all organisations use a sanction for test, alternative approved procedure is allowed if the approved procedure meets the requirements of sections 9.3.2 and 9.3.6 to achieve the same or a better safety outcome.
- New subsection was inserted in section 12 regarding safety rules for vegetation management work near overhead lines by non-electrical workers who are employed or engaged by municipal councils.
The Code of Practice on Electrical Safety for Work on or Near High Voltage Electrical Apparatus was superseded by The Blue Book 2012 on 1 April 2013. All industry workers must now comply with the requirements of The Blue Book 2012.