Importance of abolishment of electricity supply prior to demolition

SafeWork SA is reminding developers, builders and demolition businesses to ensure permanent disconnection of electricity supply has occurred prior to demolition commencing.

In recent months, SafeWork SA and South Australian Power Networks (SAPN) have attended residential premises, either in the process of being demolished, or have been demolished, with the electrical service line being cut, damaged and left in a dangerous live state, creating a risk to workers and the public.

SafeWork SA and SAPN have discussed this issue to determine what action can be taken to minimise reoccurrence.

Executive Director SafeWork SA, Martyn Campbell said, “I now warn builders and demolition companies that if SafeWork SA becomes aware that a house is being demolished without the electrical service line first being disconnected, SafeWork SA will take enforcement action against the business for failing to identify the hazard and placing workers and the public at risk to their health and safety”.

Work that is carried out on or near energised electrical installations or services is defined as high risk construction work in the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA). To minimise risks to workers and the public the disconnection of power eliminates the risks of electrocution.

SafeWork SA and SAPN will continue to work together to take action against this risk.

New guidance information has been developed on permanent disconnection of electricity supply before commencing demolition.