Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

Workers’ safety must be paramount in power & transport

Peter Moss - Thursday, March 26, 2020

Dear Member


The ETU is working closely with major electricity and transport employers to ensure worker safety is paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic.


As essential services, Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy, Essential EnergyTransgrid and Sydney Trains must keep operatingHowever the companies must re-assess all working procedures to protect employees, particularly through social distancing and the supply and use of appropriate PPE.


The ETU supports upgraded health and safety measures initiated by companies. The union has raised a list of additional controls members should use in their risk assessments.




A maximum of two people per vehicle where social distancing (1.5m) can be achieved, ie one driving, one in the back. Open the windows or select external air on the air conditioner – don't select 'recycle'.


Sufficient supplies of wipes and detergent must be provided so workers can wipe down all vehicle surfaces, at a minimum, at the beginning and end of each shift.


The union calls on companies to reform vehicle policies to facilitate social distancing. This should include:

• Allow employees to take home vehicles, so workers do not have to attend the depot to start and finish work
• End the use of pooled vehicles
• Release unused vehicles




Only one person in the bucket. Where manual handling requires a second person, employees must wear coveralls and P2 masks as a minimum requirement.


Face-to-face meetings


Depot and other meetings should be held using available technology to avoid unnecessary physical interaction. Wherever people are required to meet, strict social distancing must apply.


Contact with the public


Members should apply social distancing in all interactions, including with customers and the public.


Where emergency responders are required to attend a dwelling, the company should contact residents in advance to confirm whether any person is sick, displaying any symptomsof the virus or in quarantine. 


With more people at home, ETU members have reported incidents of abuse from members of the public during power outages. If you are threatened or abused, report the incident and remove yourself from the location.


Risk assessment


Prior to the commencement of work, ensure that your work group has a pre-start job discussion, identifies any site-specific hazards or risks and implements the appropriate controls to mitigate the hazard or risk. If sufficient controls cannot be implemented , STOP work immediately and  PAUSE for safety. Notify your supervisor/manager If the work cannot be done safely.




Employers have a duty to consult with their employees, or their representatives, on health and safety matters before they are implemented.


ETU supporting members


The union continues to provide the full range of members services during the pandemic. Call your organiser for support and advice on any workplace matter, contacts here: http://etunsw.asn.au/corona-virus/full-contact-details-for-etu-nsw-act-organiser-phone-numbers


For other inquiries, please contact the union by email for response and referral etunsw@etunsw.com.au


In unity


Justin Page

Secretary, ETU NSW & ACT


Update: Endeavour Energy drug & alcohol testing dispute

Peter Moss - Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Dear Endeavour Energy members, here is an update of the Drug & Alcohol Testing dispute.
Yesterday afternoon concluded the five-day arbitration hearing at Fair Work where the parties presented their evidence, heard witness statements and advocated their respective positions before His Honour, Deputy President Sams, to consider.
DP Sams has reserved his decision but hasn’t indicated when his decision will be handed down.
Until His Honour hands down his decision the Status Quo remains, that is, the current Alcohol and Other Drugs Procedure stands. Not the Company’s proposed procedure.
In Unity Brad Currey, ETU organiser

Save Essential Energy's jobs

Bruce Fan - Thursday, August 08, 2019

Essential Energy Fact Sheet

Bruce Fan - Thursday, August 08, 2019


Peter Moss - Tuesday, August 06, 2019
ETU Secretary Justin Page and organiser Lawrie Duff are on the road visiting Essential Energy members in north-western NSW – including Quirindi, Coonabarabran, Gunnedah, Manilla and Barbara.

Seven ETU organisers are driving to all corners to meet with Essential members over the company’s plan to axe 682 jobs.

‘We’re talking about saving jobs wherever possible and protecting the interests of members and communities,’ said Justin.

‘Members are fuming at the incompetent and uncaring approach taken by management. The company has failed to communicate and failed to treat workers as human beings.

‘Essential Energy has also failed to consult as required under our EBA. CEO Cleland provided an inadequate response to just one of four letters from the ETU,’ said Justin.

The fight is far from over as the ETU pursues all options to minimise job losses.

‘We are developing genuine cost-saving alternatives to job cuts. We are building support for political action to save these regional jobs. We are providing ongoing support and information to workers,’ said Justin.

‘We will not let Essential management ride roughshod over our loyal regional members’

Help the ETU stop dangerous unlicensed electrical work

Bruce Fan - Monday, August 05, 2019

Help the ETU stop dangerous unlicensed electrical work.

Ausgrid Redundancies Process update

Bruce Fan - Thursday, July 04, 2019

ETU to lodge dispute over Essential Energy redundancy

Bruce Fan - Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Notice to Ausgrid Members

Bruce Fan - Thursday, June 27, 2019


Peter Moss - Wednesday, May 29, 2019