Draft Energy Networks Safety Standard

A draft standard on electricity network safety management systems has been released and is open for public comment until June 19.

Standards Australia CEO Colin Blair released the draft standard on May 9 and said it was a continuation of the efforts by state, territory and federal jurisdictions to achieve harmonisation of safety measures across energy networks and across regions.

“Energy networks don’t end at state borders,” Mr Blair said.

“This standard addresses the significant need for harmonisation, which puts downward pressure on energy costs and assists in across border movement of the workforce.”

The objective of the standard is to provide nationally consistent requirements for safety management systems for electricity transmission and distribution networks.

Mr Blair said an important feature of the draft standard relates to the identification and mitigation of risks associated with electricity networks, for instance the management of vegetation in the vicinity of powerlines.

“Managing vegetation around powerlines will assist in avoiding catastrophic bushfires and disruption to energy supply,” Mr Blair said.

Mr Blair said the draft standard supports the safety of the general public and network operator personnel; the protection of property, the environment and network assets; and the continuity of electricity supply.

The committee responsible for developing the draft standard includes industry, regulatory, trade union, training and technical representatives.

The public comment period closes June 19, 2012, with further information available at www.standards.org.au.