Outages

Live Work Project

 

Ausgrid paused all live work on our network following the tragic death of one of our team in 2019.

We did this so we could review more than 200 Live Work Tasks and implement additional safety controls where necessary. We appointed a dedicated Project Team to complete the Live Work Project, and have returned to live work progressively, in stages. Having completed our review, the Live Work Project will now come to a close.

A full list of allowable Live Work Tasks is available in Appendix A of the Electrical Safety Rules.

We know that the decision to pause live work has had far reaching impacts for our people, business and industry. Our aim was to make live work safer for everyone who works on or near the live network and we are grateful to our customers, the community and our employees for their patience while we have completed this important process.

Project updates

Stage 1 Live Work Tasks

From 20 December 2019, appropriately trained and authorised Ausgrid employees, contractors and Accredited Service Providers (ASPs) were able to perform overhead and extra low voltage (ELV) (0-25Vac and 0-60Vdc) Stage 1 Live Work Tasks with the required critical controls in place.

From 26 March 2020, appropriately trained and authorised Ausgrid employees, contractors and ASPs were able to perform substation and underground Stage 1 Live Work Tasks with the required critical controls in place.

Stage 2 Live Work Tasks

From 29 May 2020, appropriately trained and authorised Ausgrid employees were able to perform the following Stage 2 Live Work Tasks with the required critical controls in place:

  • work on or near ELV (25-50V nominal AC, 60-120V nominal DC) exposed conductors; and
  • connecting a mobile generator to the low voltage (LV) network.

From 9 July 2020, suitably authorised employees, contractors and ASPs were able to perform the following Stage 2 Live Work Tasks:

  1. work on or near ELV (25-50V nominal AC, 60-120V nominal DC) exposed conductors;
  2. connecting a mobile generator to the LV network;
  3. connecting temporary measuring and recording instruments to the low voltage network;
  4. cable pulling into live underground assets;
  5. installing or removing low voltage equipment (fuses, links and spreaders) excluding conductor re-tensioning;
  6. maintaining or repairing low voltage overhead conductors and accessories;
  7. maintaining or repairing low voltage underground conductors and accessories; and
  8. working on isolated high voltage assets above live low voltage (within minimum safe working distances).

Changes to support our customers during COVID-19

On 3 August 2020, we made some important changes to support our customers and employees during COVID-19. We changed the community impact assessment in section 9.5.1 of the Electrical Safety Rules (ESR) to allow us to perform critical work with fewer interruptions and less inconvenience to our customers while they are working and learning from home.

Stage 3 Live Work Tasks

From 25 September 2020, appropriately trained and authorised Ausgrid employees will be able to perform the following Stage 3 Live Work Tasks:

  1. Low Voltage (LV) Arial Bundled Conductor (ABC) pole changeover – where tension extension/sleeving of the conductors is not required;
  2. Cropping a pole;
  3. Erect/remove deenergised/isolated LV Underground/Overhead (UGOH) (with non-exposed screen or armouring) through bare LV mains;
  4. Erect/remove deenergised/isolated HV UGOH (with non-exposed screen or armouring) through bare LV mains;
  5. Make or break isolated LV cable connections to isolated distributor terminals on SAIF LV board in kiosk substation;
  6. Connect/disconnect temporary ‘jumper’ cables in CBD substations – distributor end;
  7. Erect/remove temporary insulation or terminal strip screens for isolated secondary systems within Zone/Sub Transmission Substations (STS); and
  8. Working on 240V dc inter-trip batteries.

The outcome of our risk assessment has led to the decision not to resume live work on a number of tasks at this time. This decision has been made to allow time to monitor our performance on the tasks we are now performing live and the effectiveness of the critical controls we have put in place to keep our people safe. This decision will be reviewed in 12 months and in the interim, tasks which cannot yet be performed live, will continue to be performed de-energised.

Please refer to Appendix A of the Electrical Safety Rules for a full list of allowable Live Work Tasks.