Working safely near powerlines
When working in the vicinity of overhead powerlines or underground electricity cables, it's crucial to plan ahead to ensure you maintain a safe distance by avoiding the No Go Zones.
No Go Zones are the areas where you can’t work unless you’ve obtained a No Go Zone Assessment, including supporting documentation. Machinery and equipment (including mobile plant), load lifts and scaffolding also can’t be used in this area.
No Go Zones are there to protect people from severe injury or death. It’s important to note that incidents can occur without physically touching the powerlines – simply getting too close with a metal object can cause electricity to jump.
Before starting work near overhead powerlines or underground cables, submit an application for a No Go Zone Assessment via our myEnergy portal. Our assessment will outline how to carry out work safely, and may include obtaining a permit to work.
Charges may apply for applications that require additional safety precautions, such as the installation of visual warning devices, a registered spotter or an electricity shutdown.
If you’re completing excavation works, please submit a Before You Dig Australia application before starting work and follow all advice received in your application.
If your work specifically involves tree cutting near powerlines, please visit the Vegetation Management webpage for more information.
No Go Zone Assessment process
Step 1. Submit application – within 3 business days, we will review your application and call you to schedule a site visit.
Step 2. Site visit – the site visit will be within 10 business days of the abovementioned phone call.
Step 3. Receive No Go Zone Assessment – you will receive the No Go Zone Assessment within 2 business days after the site visit.
If the assessment identifies that you require an isolation, shutdown, installation of visual warning devices or construction, this will take up to 4-6 weeks.
Please note these timeframes are subject to application volumes and site locations.
Apply for a No Go Zone Assessment
You'll be directed to the myEnergy portal where you can log in to apply for an assessment.
Industry specific advice
There are special provisions for plant and equipment operating near overhead power lines such as cranes, concrete placing booms, excavators, elevated work platforms, tip trucks and load shifters.
Look Up and Live app
Free and simple to use, the Look Up and Live app is a new tool you can use to safely plan work around powerlines in your area.
Plan ahead and check the app for:
- Overhead powerline locations and imagery via an interactive geospatial map
- Safety guidelines and advice, including powerline exclusion zones and permits
- Information on de-energisation of powerlines
- Accessing high load forms
- Before You Dig Australia enquiry details.
Toolkits for industry
Promote the importance of powerline safety within your organisation.
We’ve developed a toolkit (including a poster, social media tile, poster, pamphlet and hoarding) to keep powerline safety front of mind. Please feel free to download and print this material for display in your workplace, or home.
If you'd like a copy of the print-ready hoarding artwork, please email email@example.com.
Documents and resources
No Go Zones factsheet
Minimum safety requirements that are dependent on the distance between overhead powerlines and the work being performed.
No Go Zones for overhead electrical power lines brochure
If the worksite is near overhead electrical power lines, before any work commences, you must follow the relevant No Go Zone safety procedures
No Go Zone scaffolds power lines brochure
If the worksite is near overhead electrical power lines, before erecting scaffolding, you must follow the relevant No Go Zone safety procedures.
No go zones for underground utility services
If the worksite contains underground services, before any work commences, you must follow the relevant No Go Zone safety procedures
Using earthmoving equipment near overhead electrical assets
The handbook provides guidance on managing the risks associated with working near overhead electrical cables.
Using powered mobile plant near overhead assets
This document sets out the No Go Zone rules and provides guidance on applying those rules when operating powered mobile plant near overhead electrical assets.
Powerlines and vegetation management brochure
What you need to know about powerline clearance; who is responsible; why it's important; the rules and Regulations that govern it; and processes in place to ensure safety can be balanced with amenity.