Ausgrid has recently reviewed the way it operates in and around confined spaces and as a result, a number of improvements are underway in order to ensure the continued safety of its workers.
These improvements include a detailed confined space register (below).
Additionally, Ausgrid has commenced a significant permanent signage program across its network. Third parties will soon see new signage at the point of entry, including bespoke confined space webbing signage inside pit lids. The webbing detaches at two corners to allow safe entry. Kindly advise your workers to ensure the webbing is reattached at all points prior to closing the lid.
Given it will take some time to complete this signage program, workers should not rely on signage or its absence in order to risk assess spaces, but should instead conduct a site risk assessment to ascertain if they are in fact confined spaces and to treat them accordingly.
Ausgrid has anecdotal evidence that third parties may be entering our confined spaces, without conducting a risk assessment and subsequently not undertaking the appropriate risk controls. These actions are placing the safety of workers and members of the public at risk.
Accordingly, Ausgrid is taking this opportunity to remind third parties and their workers of their obligation to comply with the WHS Regulations, the Australian Standard for Confined Spaces and other work health and safety laws at both state and federal levels when accessing Ausgrid’s confined spaces.
Additionally, consistent with their primary function, Ausgrid’s confined spaces typically contain electrical assets with inherent electrical safety and network reliability and security impacts that require consideration and appropriate controls , in addition to any confined space-specific risk assessment and controls.
Should you or workers require any additional information regarding Ausgrid’s confined spaces, do not hesitate to contact Ausgrid on firstname.lastname@example.org.