Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

Working in Heat

Paul Lister - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Weather forecasters are predicting that temperatures will be in excess of 38*C across NSW while the ACT is expected to reach temperatures exceeding 33*C.

All members should be aware of the dangers of heat stress please follow the links below for further information from SafeWork NSW on working in heat.

SAFEWORK NSW HEAT RELATED ILLNESS

SAFEWORK NSW HOT & COLD ENVIRONMENTS

SAFEWORK NSW MANAGING THE WORK ENVIRONMENT CODE OF PRACTICE

ETU members should take appropriate action depending on your individual health and work situation, including but not limited to taking regular breaks, conducting individual (personal) risk assessment and/or ceasing work completely.

Members should exercise extreme care as temperatures rise. If you have any questions about working in heat please contact your workplace delegate or ETU organiser.

In unity,

Dave McKinley - Deputy Secretary

 

Extreme Heat Forcast for NSW

Paul Lister - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Weather forecasters are predicting that parts of NSW and the ACT will experience high temperatures over the coming days.

All members must be aware of the dangers of heat stress and familiarise themselves with the unions working in heat policy (2003), your employer’s heat management policy and the WorkCover code of practice for managing the work environment.

In summary ETU members should observe the following as a minimum but individuals should take appropriate action depending on your individual health and work situation: 

             
TEMPRETURE
DETAILS
0-28C

Continuous work with normal breaks.

28-38C

Minimum 15-minute break per hour worked.

38C+

Mandatory - stop work - do individual (Personal) risk assessment and determine if work is to continue, that work undertaken to be limited to fault and emergency or finalisation of current work (No New Work).

 

Please use these links to access a full copy of the ETU Working in Heat policy (2003)Workcover NSW’s website with details about working in heat and the Bureau of Meteorology for current weather forecasts (click on the map for your local forecast).

Members should exercise extreme care as temperatures rise. If you have any questions please contact your workplace delegate or ETU organiser.

Energex ABB Ring Main Unit Safety Alert

Paul Lister - Thursday, January 07, 2016

Attention of members is drawn to a Safety Alert issued by Energex in relation to ABB Ring Main Unit (RMU).

Click here to view a copy of the safety notice.

The ETU advises that the RMU needs to be used with caution.

Look out for yourself and your work mates

Paul Lister - Friday, June 19, 2015

Are you concerned about a workmate or are you struggling yourself with changes at work? There are many services available that can provide assistance.

Lifeline: www.lifeline.org.au
Sane Australia: www.sane.org
Black Dog Institute: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
Beyond Blue: www.beyondblue.org.au

WorkCover Electrical Safety Information

Paul Lister - Friday, June 12, 2015

WorkCover NSW as the body responsible for workplace safety in NSW have release online videos relating to electrical safety in the workplace. Electricity is a constant hazard in many workplaces and workers who work on or near electricity are at risk of shocks, burns, other serious injuries or even death.

ETU members across NSW should take the time to review WorkCover's electrical safety information which can be viewed on the WorkCover NSW website.

Incident Update: High Voltage Oil Insulated Fuse Switch Units

Paul Lister - Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Further to the ETU Notice issued on 11 February below is an update on the fatal incident that occurred in Western Australia on 3 February involving High Voltage Oil Insulated Fuse Switch Units.

Please read and understand the resolution carried by the NSW ETU State Council relating to this matter and subsequent bans relating to work on this equipment.

Click here for the latest WA EnergySafety media release and link to WA EnergySafety's preliminary findings and Work Orders.

All NSW ETU members should read the above information and be aware of the dangers this equipment may present. It is also important for all NSW ETU members to read and understand the resolution adopted by your state council as outlined below restricting work on oil insulated fuse switch units across NSW and the ACT.

Resolution on the Galleria Shopping centre incident on 3 February 2015 (Morley, WA) that resulted in two fatalities and seriously injured two others.

1. The ETU calls upon all employers and electrical safety regulators to conduct immediate safety audits in all workplaces where high voltage oil insulated fuse switch units are in operation; and

2. The NSW Branch of the ETU implements a live work ban on Long and Crawford / GEC / ALSTOM high voltage oil insulated fuse switch units (eg GF3, T4GF3 etc).

3. The NSW Branch of the ETU implement bans on any operating work (such as checking and/or changing of high voltage fuses in fuse switches of this type of equipment) without the high voltage feeder being de-energised into the fuse switch.

Further information is available below:

We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates for members.

Working in Heat

Paul Lister - Friday, November 21, 2014

Weather forecasters are predicting that parts of NSW and the ACT will experience high temperatures over the coming days.

All members should be aware of the dangers of heat stress and be familiar with the unions working in heat policy (2003), your employer’s heat management policy or the Workcover code of practice for managing the work environment.

In summary ETU members should observe the following as a minimum but individuals should take appropriate action depending on your individual health and work situation: 

                
TEMPRETURE
DETAILS
0-28C

Continuous work with normal breaks.

28-38C

Minimum 15-minute break per hour worked.

38C+

Mandatory - stop work - do individual (Personal) risk assessment and determine if work is to continue, that work undertaken to be limited to fault and emergency or finalisation of current work (No New Work).

 

Click on the links provided for a full copy of the ETU Working in Heat (2003) policyWorkcover NSW’s website with details about working in heat and the Bureau of Meteorology for current weather forecasts (click on the map for your local forecast).

Members should exercise extreme care as temperatures rise. If you have any questions please contact your workplace delegate or ETU organiser.

Endeavour Energy Safety Bulletin

Paul Lister - Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Endeavour Energy have issued Safety Bulletins relating to "Ladder Safety Checks" and "Asbestos in Henley Fuses".

All ETU members are advised to read Endeavour Energy's safety bulletins and take the necessary action.

If ETU members working in other transmission and distribution company's hold any concerns these should be raised with your employer through the normal safety reporting processes.

10-14 Safety Bulletin - Ladder Safety Checks

07-14 SEN Asbestos in Henley Fuses

Dispute - Line Workers & Cable Jointers undertaking defined work on customer switchboards

Paul Lister - Friday, June 27, 2014

Line Workers and Cable Jointers members are advised not to perform Ausgrid’s new test procedure for “Testing of connections to low voltage electricity networks” by removing the Neutral & Earth conductor from the Customers Neutral Link as this procedure is in Dispute.

All members are advised to use the existing test procedures to test the polarity and neutral integrity of new services while a Dispute exists. Ausgrid are in breach of the Dispute Procedure by asking employees to use the new test procedures.

Ausgrid’s new test procedure must be performed by a Licensed Electrician and a Safety and Compliance Test in the form of a CCEW provided to the Customer.

Background

Ausgrid is currently rolling out training modules UETTDRRF11A Testing of connections to low voltage electricity networks and Earthing systems.

In August 2013 Ausgrid wrote to the ETU proposing Line Worker and Cable Jointers undertaking defined works on the customer switch boards to ensure the polarity and neutral integrity are correct when testing connections to low voltage networks in accordance with AS4741- Testing of connections to low voltage networks.

The ETU outlined a number of issues why this test could not be performed at the customer switch board by Line Workers & Cable Jointers including-

  1. The tests Ausgrid propose include ‘electrical wiring work’ and ‘electrical installation work’ as defined by the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004 and the Regulations of 2006. Ausgrid conceded this type of work is “electrical wiring work” and would need to be carried out by a Licensed Electrician.
  2. The tests Ausgrid propose requires the removal of the consumers earth and consumers neutral from the consumers neutral link. This electrical installation does not form part of the network. In re instating the consumers earth and consumers neutral to the consumers neutral link there are requirements under the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2006 –Reg 33 to conduct of Safety and Compliance Test on the Consumers Earthing System and Consumers Neutral System. Reg 35 requires the person conducting the test to be qualified.
  3. In re instating the customers Neutral and Earth system, Sub-clause 34(1) (a) of the Regulations requires the test to be documented and provided to the owner of the installation with advice of the tests together with the results of the tests.
  4. AS4742- “Testing of connections to low voltage networks” does not define that these test need to be done in the Customers Switchboard on the customers installation. The tests can be carried out on the Network allowing Line Workers and Cable Jointers to perform them.
  5. The ETU requested that Ausgrid provide the two training modules, UETTDRRF11A Testing of connections to low voltage electricity networks and Earthing Systems and demonstrate that they comply with the National Training Package Standards as required by AS4741-2006 Clause 1.6. Ausgrid proceeded to try and implement the new testing procedure in December 2013 and the ETU placed it in Dispute. Ausgrid has proceeded to roll out training but has failed to clearly communicate to employees that the test procedure is in dispute and should not be used.

If you have any questions please contact Justin Page - 0414 877 301 or Mark Buttigieg - 0417 208 447.

Free Online Asbestos trainging Package

Paul Lister - Monday, June 16, 2014

With the support of WorkCover NSW, the ETU and other industry representatives, have developed a free asbestos e‐learning package for electrical workers providing important information on:

  • What is asbestos
  • The health risks associated with exposure to airborne asbestos
  • Where asbestos containing materials may be found in the electrical industry
  • The safety controls that minimise the risk of asbestos exposure
  • Examples of real life electrical work situations involving asbestos

To complete the online training simply CLICK HERE

 

 


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