Electrical lineworkers licensed for the first time in Victoria
More than 2,000 electrical lineworkers have signed up to receive their first lineworker licence under Energy Safe Victoria’s (ESV) new licensing regime which commenced on 1 January 2021.
The new regime is part of a four-year, $2.5 million commitment from the Victorian state government to support workplace safety for lineworkers and is the first of its kind in Victoria. The new licenses replace the existing voluntary registration system, making it consistent with electricians.
“ESV has carried out significant awareness campaigns to ensure all lineworkers are aware of the new licensing requirements,” ESV commission chair Marnie Williams says.
“From 1 January, unlicensed lineworkers must down tools until they have applied and received a licence.”
Lineworkers and cable jointers carry out high-risk work, often facing extreme weather conditions to keep electricity flowing into homes and businesses. To avoid outages on electrical networks, they can work on ‘live’ high voltage assets of up to 500kV. This work can be undertaken at heights or in confined spaces for several hours at a time, sometimes in poor light and hazardous weather conditions.
Despite the risks, Victoria has the lowest number lineworker fatalities nationally, with three deaths in the last 20 years. The new licensing regime will help to keep Victoria the safest state, with the objective of zero fatalities into the future.
Lineworkers will be required to have the minimum qualifications and experience required to work safely on distribution, transmission and traction networks.
ESV will administer and enforce the lineworker licensing regime, with greater regulatory oversight as a result of its new commission structure, which also commenced on 1 January 2021.
The first licences have been presented to lineworkers by the Victorian minister for energy, environment and climate change Lily D’Ambrosio.