Mobile plant working in the vicinity of overhead powerlines


This Alert is in response to an electrical fatality in which 1 plumber died and another received severe electrical burns to a large percentage of his body when the elevating work platform they were working from struck 22,000 volt overhead power lines.


An Electrical hazard may arise where there is the potential for any part of mobile plant to get close to, or touch electrical power lines. Electricity has the ability to arc across gaps. You do not have to actually touch the power lines to be electrocuted.


Serious injury or death will result if any part of mobile plant comes in contact with, or is in the vicinity of, overhead power lines.

Risk controls

  • A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) must be carried out prior to commencing task.
  • Workers, machinery and other plant must be kept a safe distance from powerlines at all times.
  • No Go Zone Rules must be complied with at all times
  • Look up and live
  • Trained electrical spotter may be required.

Special Provisions for operating EWP's near a No Go Zone

  • Notify the power company when planning work.
  • Obtain written permission from the power company.
  • DO NOT commence work until pre-start site/job meeting and a Risk assessment has been completed.

For further information, see WorkSafe publication:

Using Mobile Plant Near Overhead Assets - Guidebook.

C Giblin V2 21/7/2016


Download a copy of this hazard alert, so you can print it and inform your work mates.

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