OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 40 Utility Workers – Electrical

Explanation of Rules Referenced from the ECUC, Second Edition

Rule 4-132 Utility employee distances

Subrules 4-132(1) and 4-132(2)

Unless the utility employee is in the continual presence of and under the direction of a qualified utility employee, or the energized parts of the electrical equipment or lines involved are guarded as required by Section 8 of the ECUC, a utility employee must follow the limit of approach distances shown in Table 4-1 of the ECUC.

Table 4-1 Limit of Approach Distances in Millimetres for Utility Employees

Voltage Levels

Utility employees

Nominal voltage
to ground
 
 
kV

Nominal voltage
phase to phase
 
 
kV

Maximum operating
V
phase to phase
 
kV

Limit of approach
to exposed energized
parts
 
mm

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4(1)

0.6 (DC only)

 

 

800

0.3 - 2.4

0.6 - 4.16

4.58

800

8

13.8

15.18

850

14.4

25

27.5

950

19.9

34.5

37.95

1050

 

69, 72

79.2

1350

 

138, 144

158.4

1650

 

230, 260

285

2150

 

500

550

3450

Note: (1) Limit of approach distances in Column 4 have been calculated using IEEE minimum tool distances plus 750 mm safety factor, rounded to the nearest 50 mm.

Subrule 4-132(3) and 4-132(4)

These subrules require that a utility employee working on energized equipment that has not been properly insulated is either trained to do the work i.e. competent, or must maintain the minimum specified approach distance of 800 mm. These subrules apply at operating voltages of less than 750 volts between conductors. Because qualified utility employees are appropriately trained, the 800 mm distance does not apply to them.