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Working near powerlines

Important information for non-electrical workers who work near powerlines.

Working near powerlines for non-electrical workers

Within the electrical distribution network there is a requirement for non-power industry workers to access the space in the vicinity of the overhead electrical distribution company assets, located on power poles.

This includes telecommunication workers who carry out the installation and maintenance of telecommunication and pay TV-type assets.

Required Training

The Electricity Safety (General) Regulations 2019External Link requires these workers to have successfully completed a training course approved by Energy Safe Victoria.

The current training course approved by ESV for telecommunication workers is the national training unit UETTDREL14A “Working safely near live electrical apparatus as a non-electrical worker”.

Training approval statement – telecommunications workers near overhead powerlines

ESV has developed a Telecommunications Training Approval Statement providing more information about the requirements of telecommunications workers to undertake and successfully complete the required course.

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 (General) Regulations 2019External Link 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 (General) Regulations 2019, Regulation 614 (2) (c) specifies the requirements for telecommunication workers undertaking communication installations in the vicinity of overhead electrical lines. The current regulation states:

614 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 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 must 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 websiteExternal Link .

This course may be altered at any time by VESI 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 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.

Date: 08/02/2023 10:53

Controlled document

The currency and accuracy of this document cannot be guaranteed once printed or saved to a storage device. If in doubt, please check the ESV website for the current version.

Reviewed 29 January 2023

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