December 6 last year WorkSafe released new guidance on how to safely manage hazards and risks associated with working near electricity and telecommunications cables, gas and water pipelines.
Produced by WorkSafe and Energy Safe Victoria the guidebook provides practical guidance on the principles and requirements for safely penetrating or excavating ground where underground services may exist.
Intended for employers, employees and any other persons who have responsibilities managing hazards, it can also be used by members of the public to ensure their own safety and the safety of others.
This guidebook recommends best practice in treating areas surrounding underground services as 'No Go Zones' to ensure safe working distances that:
- protect employees, independent contractors and other persons from serious or fatal injuries
- reduce the risk of damage to underground services and mobile plant
- avoid service interruptions and failures
- avoid additional associated costs
While the No Go Zones recommended in this guidebook will assist responsible parties to meet their obligations under the current safety legislation when working near underground services, it advises parties still need to consider their own specific circumstances.
Download the guidance here.