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The Blue Book 2017 now published

Tuesday 17 October 2017 11:39am

The 2017 Blue Book has been revised by the Electrical Safety Committee established under section 8 of the Energy Safe Victoria Act 2005.

The Code of Practice on Electrical Safety for Work On or Near High Voltage Electrical Apparatus, (The Blue Book) is revised and republished every five years to ensure 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. The first draft was released in June 2017, open to public comment. Since its last publishing, the 2017 edition has made 18 amendments, excluding typographical and formatting errors. To download the Blue Book 2017, click hereExternal Link . UPDATE: Please note, the latest edition of the Blue Book 2017 has been updated as atMonday, 13th November 2017. If you have downloaded a copy prior to this date - please discard it and refer to the latest version. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Summary of changes

Below is a summary of these changes.
  1. Definitions of ‘Operating authority’ and ‘station’
  2. Wording of some sections changed to better reflect intention and improve clarity.
  3. New subsection 3.14 provides guidance on victim’s rescue.
  4. The principles of section 4 ‘Training and authorisations’ applies to not only high voltage (HV) apparatus, but also low voltage (LV) apparatus.
  5. New paragraph in subsection 4.1 to cover workers under a training program.
  6. Subsections of section 5 rearranged into operational order.
  7. Subsection 6.1 was rewritten and Figure 2 was replaced with Figures 2A and 2B, illustrating SAD – beyond reach concept and SAD –expected reach concept, respectively.
  8. New paragraph on subsection 6.2.2 defines ‘Safe approach distance –special’.
  9. Safe approach distance (SAD) for 132kV, 220kV and 275kV in table 5 were slightly increased to be consistent with Australian Standards.
  10. Two new notes added to Table 5 to better reflect intention and ensure consistency. Refer to section 9.6 for alternative Live work minimum approach distances and requirement for posting a safety observer.
  11. New subsection 7.2 requires written HV switching instructions wherever practicable.
  12. Principles of section 9 ‘Access for work on or near high voltage electrical apparatus’ was changed to better reflect intention and improve clarity.
  13. Subsections of section 9 were re-arranged to reflect the operational order of work.
  14. New subsection clarifies that HV live work and work under an access authority shall not be performed concurrently on the same structure.
  15. New subsection reinforces the good working practice to record earths on electrical access permits, or to document them in accordance with organisational procedures.
  16. New subsection 9.3.2 ‘Planning for testing of high voltage apparatus’ was created as a result of re-arranging section 9.
  17. Subsection 9.3.4 ‘Persons permitted to sign onto sanctions for testing’ was changed to better reflect the intention and improve clarity.
  18. New paragraph in subsection 9.7.1 requires that whenever practicable, isolation points should be tagged. This re-enforces the recognised safe work practice.
To download the summary of the Blue Book changes, click hereExternal Link .

Ongoing changes

As part of the ongoing review, ESV is seeking comments and suggested improvements on the 2017 edition of the Blue Book. To find the ‘Comments on the Blue Book’ form, click hereExternal Link . ESV would like to thank the Electrical Safety Committee members at the time of publication for their dedicated efforts and work into putting The Blue Book together.

Reviewed 18 January 2023

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