Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007

Overhead lines and underground cables.


93. (1) An employer shall ensure that—

(a) all overhead lines and their supporting structures and underground cables are constructed, installed, connected and maintained in a manner suitable for the work and conditions under which they are to be operated to prevent danger,

(b) where cables to be installed underground are to be enclosed in ducting of any material, other than in concrete ducts or in floor voids or floor slabs, such ducting—

(i) is coloured red,

(ii) has a high resistance to impact, and

(iii) is covered with suitable warning tape embedded in the ground above the duct,

(c) all overhead lines and other current-carrying parts connected to or containing part of overhead lines are arranged so that adequate clearance is provided from the ground or other accessible place to prevent dangerous contact with a person, article substance or any conducting material,

(d) means are provided to prevent danger—

(i) in the event of any live conductor accidentally falling due to breakage or otherwise, and

(ii) from excessive voltage on overhead lines arising from accidental contact with or leakage from any other overhead line or otherwise, and

(e) where excavation work is to be carried out in the proximity of a known or suspected underground cable—

(i) where reasonably practicable, the electrical supply to the underground cable is isolated,

(ii) the position of the underground cable is accurately determined, so far as is reasonably practicable, and

(iii) material immediately surrounding the underground cable is excavated only using an appropriate and safe system of work to prevent danger.

(2) A person in control to any extent of a place of work or any item at that place shall take such action, so far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure that any work activity carried out in the proximity of live overhead lines that would expose persons to any risk to their safety and health is not carried out until—

(a) the supply to the overhead line is isolated,

(b) if such isolation is not practicable, the overhead line is diverted,

(c) if such isolation or diversion is not practicable, adequate

(i) barriers,

(ii) protective measures,

(iii) warnings, or

(iv) other suitable means,

are, in so far as is reasonably practicable, put in place to minimise the risk of contact with the overhead line.

(3) The owner of a new or known underground cable, where practicable, shall determine the position of the cable and record the position on a plan to prevent dangerous contact with any person, article, substance or any conducting material.