Worker safety when cutting trees

Serious incidents have occurred while workers have been carrying out vegetation control work.

These incidents have resulted in:

  • the injury or death of workers;
  • damage to overhead power lines; and
  • disruption to electricity supply.

Requirements for working near live overhead power lines

In December 1996, new requirements were introduced for all workers paid to carry out vegetation control work (cut, trim, prune or fell trees and vegetation) near live overhead power lines (refer to Regulation 316A of the Electricity Act Regulations 1947).

If any vegetation or worker or any tool, equipment or vehicle used by that worker is likely to come within the "danger zone" of live overhead power lines, the worker must:

  • be properly trained; and
  • comply with the electrical safety requirements of the Code of Practice for Vegetation Electrical Safety for Vegetation Control Work Near Live Power Lines, or an alternative code approved by the Director of Energy Safety.

The "danger zone" is:

  • above any power line;
  • closer than 3 metres to power lines of voltages up to 33,000 volts; and
  • closer than 6 metres to power lines of voltages over 33,000 volts.

Trained workers

Properly trained workers are workers who are trained:

  • in electrical linework to the satisfaction of the Director of Energy Safety; or
  • in vegetation control work by a person or training authority approved by the Director of Energy Safety.

Existing training providers

Persons trained in electrical linework by Western Power are deemed to have been trained to the satisfaction of the Director of Energy Safety.

The Tree Guild of WA (Inc) has been approved by the Director of Energy Safety to carry out training in vegetation control work.

For further information contact:

The Tree Guild of WA:
Telephone (08) 9351 5804
Facsimile (08) 9350 5147

New training providers

Other training providers (including those from other states) will be approved provided they demonstrate that:

  • the persons providing the training have knowledge and skills appropriate to the subject matter they are teaching;
  • the training courses cover the range of skills (set out in Section 5 of the code) that are appropriate to the type of candidates attending the course; and
  • facilities appropriate to the content of the training course are provided.

For further information, contact the Principal Engineer Electricity Supply, Building and Energy​, telephone (08) 6251 1900.


Building and Energy
Last updated 19 Jul 2019

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