South East Water is sharing this important Safety Alert from WorkSafe regarding powerline incidents (see link below) as it is very relevant for the Land Development industry.

In South East Water’s region alone, we have seen several overhead powerline strikes over the past few years. Three Serious Incidents relate to an excavator tracking under powerlines and striking them and one whilst working under powerlines (an underground high voltage power cable strike has also occurred whilst boring).

You are reminded that elimination is the best option under the Hierarchy of Controls (e.g. take down an obsolete powerline first or design out the risk i.e. bore under power line).

Otherwise always have a designated Spotter for each item of plant or equipment operating in the vicinity of overhead electrical lines on any work site, utilising appropriate tools such as a whistle, radio, bunting, warning markers, etc. Remember: “No spotter, no movement”. A Spotters Registration Certificate/Card is valid for a period of three (3) years.  Please see Energy Safe Victoria publication: GeneralRequirementsForSpotters.pdf ( for more information.

Serious Incidents do affect your accreditation so let us work together to avoid them and potentially save lives and injuries.

Please review your processes relating to powerlines and reinforce them with your employees. This is applicable especially for Key Personnel, Contractors – Construction Supervisors and Consultant – Construction Auditors who should be vigilant in this area.