Safety around powerlines

If you’re working near power lines, you need to plan ahead.

Without the right precautions, not only do you risk electrocution, but you could damage the power network resulting in outages and potential financial liability. Power and Water manages both overhead and underground powerlines. If you're in construction or working with machinery, you need to know about both.

If the situation is life-threatening, such as a powerline on the ground or another threat to public safety from damaged infrastructure, please contact us immediately on our emergency line 1800 245 090 or call 000.

Look up and live

Above ground powerlines may seem obvious, but when your mind’s on the job, they're easy to miss.

Potentially dangerous situations include painting your house, moving a boat with a mast, trimming trees or pruning mango orchards, operating mobile cranes or machinery near power lines, or using scaffolding.

If you find yourself in any of these situations, the message is simple: look up and live.

It’s your responsibility to ensure all structures and vehicles remain clear of lines at or over your property.

However, we welcome you to seek advice from us before removing vegetation around power lines. If trees are too close, it’s critical you don’t remove them yourself. We run a program to clear vegetation around powerlines on the road reserve. Find out more about our Tree trimming program.

If something does get caught in overhead wires, contact us immediately.

If you find fallen powerlines, keep yourself and others well clear and call Power and Water's emergency number 1800 245 090 or 000.

What are the rules?

You’re not allowed to work within three metres of power lines up to 33,000 volts. For lines 33,000 to 132,000 volts, the distance is five metres.

The only exception to these clearances is if you have Power and Water's written permission to do the work. If you’re in any doubt at all, contact us.

Dial before you dig

If you’re digging, for whatever reason, you need to know what's underneath you. You could hit an electrical cable or a water main, risking your safety or someone else's. You could interrupt power or water services to other people and be financially liable for damages.

You can avoid these problems by making a free online request with Before you Dig Australia to get information about what may be underground outside properties or on easements.

Before You Dig (BYDA) covers Power and Water's electricity, water and sewerage networks. You’ll have the information you need within two working days.

For information on Power and Water’s requirements around development activity, contact us on 1800 245 092. For more information on how the program works:

Visit Dial Before You Dig