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Electrical – Qualifications for vegetation management and working near powerlines

Contractors pruning vegetation should be appropriately qualified, use the right equipment for the job and be aware of the proximity of powerlines to their area of work.

This Safety Alert follows a fatality in Malvern East on Saturday, 5 February, 2022.

The fatality occurred when a man was trimming back a dead tree in the front of a property.

While the tree was believed to be clear of the powerlines before the incident took place, the man was most likely electrocuted after he made contact with powerlines via a pole.

Only qualified and experienced arborists should be trimming and pruning trees near powerlines.

The minimum qualification for completing electric line clearance work is a Certificate 2 in ESI – Powerline Vegetation Control. Contractors completing work on private properties near powerlines should always consult with the relevant electrical distributor to establish safe methods for completing the necessary work.

The incident is also an important reminder that when using ladders, poles and other equipment near powerlines, people need to be aware of their surroundings.