Guide to undertaking work near underground services

Manage hazards and risks of working near underground services such as electricity and telecommunications distribution cables, gas and water pipelines.


What it contains

This guidebook has been produced by WorkSafe Victoria and Energy Safe Victoria to provide practical guidance on the principles and requirements for safely undertaking work that involves penetrating or excavating the ground where underground services may exist.

It is intended for employers, employees and any other persons who have responsibilities managing hazards and risks associated with undertaking work near underground services. It can also be used by members of the public to ensure their own safety and the safety of others.

This guidebook details No Go Zones, which are areas surrounding underground services that WorkSafe Victoria and Energy Safe Victoria recommend be applied as best practice to ensure safe working distances that:

  • protect employees, independent contractors and other persons from serious or fatal injuries
  • reduce the risk of damage to underground services and mobile plant
  • avoid service interruptions and failures
  • avoid additional associated costs

While the No Go Zones recommended in this guidebook will assist responsible parties to meet their obligations under the current safety legislation when working near underground services, responsible parties still need to consider their own specific circumstances.