How to become an electrical spotter in Australia

Important duties of an electrical spotter in construction

Almost every day, workers are at risk on construction sites when operating in the proximity of electrical currents. Powerlines can often be neglected or forgotten about. An electrical spotter’s responsibility is to make sure that tasks are carried out as safely as possible to prevent accidents. Heavy machinery is often most at risk of encountering powerlines, and it is a requirement to obtain an electrical spotter in many areas of construction.

Few people realise that this is a great entry point to work in construction. It is relatively easy to become an electrical spotter and it is not physically taxing as it is mostly observing. There is a fair amount of work available in Victoria for spotters, in metro and regional areas, although it may be ad hoc at times.

What work does an electrical spotter do?

An electrical spotter may also be known as a safety observer. Their primary job is to observe the work in progress and ensure it is carried out according to approved procedures and rules regarding electrical safety.

  • Prevents risk by watching closely the movements of plant and machinery in proximity of electrical hazards.
  • Observes work being carried out on site and ensure that it is compliant with site protocols.
  • Ensures a high standard of safety is being always followed.
  • Follows electrical work activities throughout the entire task’s duration.
  • Alerts team members on site of any potential hazard that may reduce safety such as lack of compliance, infringement of safe working distances or movement of materials.

Concentrates on keeping up constant, fast, and effective communication with the work team.

Vital responsibilities of a spotter

Operating within permitted clearances near overhead powerlines or if underground infrastructure when digging is in proximity requires a spotter. The spotter can recognise, find, and safeguard subsurface services, including communication, sewage, gas, and water resources. A spotter can halt work temporarily when on duty, if required. Due to noisy circumstances, electronic communication may be used on site. Protective workwear must be always worn.

How to become a spotter

An official training course takes 1-2 days. A First Aid course and CPR training is also mandatory to ensure you can perform the role to the best of standards. Training will teach the following:

  • Knowing when to use a spotter;
  • Implementing no-go zones on site;
  • Identifying electrical hazards;
  • Using hand signals;
  • Acting promptly and responsibly in the case of emergencies; and
  • Wearing the correct PPE.

Construction jobs available in Melbourne

EWS Recruitment has blue collar and white collar work available in Melbourne and greater Victoria. See the latest jobs online here and follow us on social media for updates.

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