Electrical Safety Office urges contractors to stop unsafe practices

Our friends at the Electrical Safety Office have just released important information about following the correct process to disconnect electricity supply when carrying out demolition or renovation work:

Interference with the electricity distribution network

Contractors and tradespeople who disconnect electricity supply or bypass the Energex or Ergon Energy supply abolishment processes before they conduct demolition or renovation work are being urged by ESO to stop this unsafe and illegal practice before a serious incident occurs.

In several recent cases, live electrical cables owned and operated by Energex or Ergon Energy have been tampered with and left exposed. In one case, the live powerlines were unlawfully removed from the building and left strapped to a power pole, making the worksite a serious hazard for any unsuspecting worker or member of the public.

To avoid a serious electrical incident or fatality the correct process must be coordinated in advance through the retailer with Energex or Ergon Energy.

If the demolition or renovation work affects an electrical asset that belongs to Energex or Ergon Energy (including the main service line), it must be disconnected and altered by them after a supply abolishment request has been made.

It’s important to coordinate the supply abolishment with Energex or Ergon Energy in advance of the demolition or renovation work to ensure workers onsite are safe from electrical hazards. The request should give plenty of notice to Energex or Ergon Energy before work that affects the electrical installation commences. This is normally at least 21 days before work commences and longer in some remote or regional areas.