Working Near Power Lines

Working near Power lines here in South Australia

Performing work in close proximity to overhead power-lines or underground power cables can be a hazardous operation. Fatalities and injuries occur every year as a result of unsafe work practices when working near overhead power-lines. All machinery operators and other workers conducting work near overhead power-lines should also be aware of their safety obligations and adopt safe work practices

Practice safe work habits

Before work commences a Hazard Assessment must take place. It is an important task to Identify all electrical hazards, assess the risks, establish control measures and review these periodically. Control measures may include, but may not be restricted to:

  • applying appropriate signage at least 8 to 10 metres either  side of power-lines and using visual indicators such as tiger tails fitted to the power-lines
  • Using ground barriers, where appropriate
  • Informing workers of required work practices.
  • Ensure operators are aware of the height of their machinery in both stowed and working positions.
  • Lower all machinery to the transport position when relocating. Work away from power-lines, not towards them.
  • Exclusion zones:  If the work you and your staff are planning has the potential to encroach into power-line exclusion zones, you should contact SA Power Networks for advice on doing the job safely.
  • Contact  SA Power Networks about placing identifiers on power-lines and power poles at your worksite and any further control measures.


The Advice in this fact sheet is of a general nature and does not include any current or pending revisions that are available at Safe-Work-SA and SA Power Networks. This Web-blog is not an exhaustive list of all safety matters that need to be considered. Readers of this blog are urged to find the latest information at the following websites of Power Networks SA and Safe-Work SA.**

** For readers in Other States of Australia or Other countries: Please contact your local/state Electrical Utilities Provider and an Occupational Health and Safety Authority in your locality and/or industry.

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Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide January 2013