On 5 June 2015 the Electricity Network Assets (Authorised Transactions) Act 2015 came into force, transferring regulation of NSW electricity networks from the Department of Industry to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). The role of the IPART is to oversee compliance with the Electricity Act 1995 for all electricity transmission and distribution system operators to ensure they provide an adequate, reliable and safe supply of electricity of appropriate quality in NSW.

For further information or questions regarding the regulatory framework for the NSW electricity networks please visit the IPART website at: www.ipart.nsw.gov.au external link or email: compliance@ipart.nsw.gov.au.

Ensuring the safety of the public is the highest priority. Electricity networks pose inherent dangers to the public and network workers from the possibility of electrocution and initiation of fires. The network operators must therefore design, install, operate and maintain their electricity networks safely in order to manage the risks.

Customer installations also pose risks to both customers themselves and the general public either directly (e.g. electrocution) or by initiating fires, including bushfires. Network operators must have procedures in place to minimise the risks from customer installations.

The Regulation therefore requires that network operators prepare and implement plans which include a safety management strategy for the purpose of ensuring the safe operation of the transmission or distribution system and customer installations. This includes analysis of hazardous events, emergency procedures and the procedures and standards for work on or near the network.

As part of this process, the Department publishes documents relating to the functions of network operators. Department staff also play an active role in the formulation of NSW and National Standards, Codes and Guides which provide direction to the industry.

The need for a joint approach to network safety has been recognised by the Minister for Resources and Energy, who established the Industry Safety Steering Committee (ISSC) with the mission being to identify opportunities to improve electricity network safety in order to eliminate or minimise exposure of people and property to the risk of injury or damage from electricity network hazards.

The ISSC comprises representatives from network operators, unions, accredited service providers, WorkCover with the Department having a non-executive role. The ISSC has produced specialised guides for industry use to improve safety for the public and industry workers.

Electricity Industry Safety Steering Committee Guidelines

Other safety codes and guidelines