The purpose of this alert is to remind people of the inherent dangers of cutting electrical conduits that are in service. These conduits may contain multiple circuits.
- Insufficient planning and assessment for the job.
- Failure to identify all contents of the underground PVC conduit being worked on.
- Failure to isolate power to the premises at the main switch.
- PCBUs must develop and implement safe systems of electrical work and ensure that electrical workers are provided with such information, instruction, training and supervision as required to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, their health and safety.
- A safe work method statement should be developed for the job.
- The safe work method statement should consider the need for the use of a safety observer, insulated tools and/or suitable voltage rated insulating gloves.
- The contents of a conductor enclosure should be identified and isolated prior to commencing any disassembly, penetration or installation of additional conductors by reviewing available drawings, visual inspection and verification.
- The visual inspection should involve a thorough examination from the start and `end points of the conduit to work out what services run through it.
- Conductors must be treated as energised and the procedures for working on energised electrical equipment followed until all conductors have been proven de-energised.
- If practicable, find the main switch for the premises and turn off the power. Attach a danger tag or lock the switchboard to ensure the power remains off until the work is completed.
- As a final check, use a voltage proximity tester to indicate the presence of an unidentified energised conductor within the enclosure.
- Test Before You Touch safe work procedure should be followed in all steps of the job.
- Australia Standard AS/NZS4836: 2011 Safe Working on or Near Low-voltage Electrical Installations and Equipment.
- Visit www.safework.nsw.gov.au or phone 13 10 50.