Working safe

Working near underground cables

Ausgrid has a large network of underground cables. For safety reasons, it is extremely important that you check for electrical cables and other utility pipes (including gas, water and sewerage) before you start to dig or excavate.

Digger excavating on site

NSW legislation requires people who are planning excavation work to obtain copies of underground electricity cable plans from Before You Dig Australia. The plans must be no more than 30 days old when excavation commences.

The aim of the legislation is to ensure workers can establish the exact location of cables and avoid coming into contact with them or damaging them. It also ensures worker safety and prevents disruption to Ausgrid's electricity network.

Before You Dig Australia (BYDA) is a FREE national referral service supported by Ausgrid and other major service providers that supplies plans of where electricity, water, gas and telecommunications cables and pipes are located so you know whether it is safe to dig.

You can check your dig site by lodging a free enquiry via the Before You Dig Australia website.

Before you start work

  1. Refer to Ausgrid Network Standard NS156 working near or around underground cables for comprehensive information on the issues arising when excavating near underground cables (such as safety hazards from asbestos conduits and organochlorine pesticides). You must comply with the requirements in this standard if you are excavating near our electricity mains.
  2. Check you understand the safety requirements and procedures for excavating around Ausgrid poles.
  3. Read the summary brochure Working near Ausgrid cables for an overview of how to prepare for excavation works near or around electricity cables.
  4. Refer to Reading Ausgrid plans and make sure that workers engaged in excavation works fully understand how to read and interpret the plans.
  5. Read the Important Information for liability and disclaimer information.

How long will it take to receive plans from Ausgrid?

Your BYDA plans should arrive or be ready for collection within three working days. If you require assistance when reading and interpreting your plans, please call Ausgrid  on 02 4951 0899.

Working in confined spaces

Contractors working in an Ausgrid confined space have an 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. Find out more and download a copy of the Ausgrid confined space register.

Working near overhead powerlines

Make sure you have planned your work around the electricity network and checked the clearance requirements for overhead powerlines. Find out more here.

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