Working near powerlines

Working near powerlines and underground cables can be very dangerous and it is important that safe distances are maintained. If you are undertaking any work you need to know the relevant guidelines to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

Guidelines for working near powerlines apply to work done from ladders and scaffolding or using machinery.

Overhead powerlines

No one may work within the 3m No Go Zone of powerlines, unless they have advised TasNetworks and received written authorisation for the work.

For work in Zone B near our infrastructure, Authorised Persons are:

  • Those who have completed UETTDREL16A Working safely near live electrical apparatus or UETTDREL14A Working Safely Near Live Electrical Apparatus as a Non-Electrical Worker within the last five (5) years, or
  • Workers who, while working in the vicinity of overhead electric lines, are supervised by a person meeting the training requirement above

It is the responsibility of the employer to determine that an employee has appropriate workplace competence, experience and qualifications to act as an Authorised Person. This includes holding, at a minimum, UETTDREL14A/UETTDREL16A.

TasNetworks Training Centre deliver training for UETTDREL14A Working Safely Near Live Electrical Apparatus as a Non-Electrical Worker. If you require this training to become an Authorised Person please contact the Training Centre on 03 6271 6111 or email

Download the UETTDREL14A Working Safely Near Live Electrical Apparatus as a Non-Electrical Worker course overview.

Underground cables

The type of cables that can be found underground include high and low voltage, oil-filled cables, submarine cables, consumer mains, earth and road light switch and pilot wires. The depths that these cables are buried at can vary - generally they are approximately 500mm deep or below, but in some cases cables can be 300-350mm deep.

If you intend to dig more than 300mm you need to call Dial Before You Dig on 1100. You can also visit the Dial Before You Dig website here.

We should be consulted about proposed works on 1300 137 008 if:

  • The Authorised Person is unsure about the risk, or
  • There is a risk that workers, plant or equipment could come within an unsafe distance of electrical infrastructure; enter Zone C (No Go Zone); or the works could interfere with our electrical infrastructure or its support

To find out more about working near powerlines, visit WorkSafe Tasmania, view our guidelines or watch the video Electrical safety: protecting you and your workmates by Safe Work Australia.