Safety is paramount whenever any work is conducted on electrical equipment. If electrical maintenance has to be carried out from time to time at your facility, what do you need to consider in order to maintain those high levels of safety at all time?
The right type of personal protective equipment must be worn in order to mitigate risks.
- This includes the use of face protection whenever working near to high current power, or where there is a risk of sparking.
- A suitably rated, full-face shield has to be worn. Eyeglasses with metal frames are not permitted.
- While leather work gloves may be used when dealing with deenergised electrical equipment, only gloves that are insulated to the highest possible voltage in question are generally accepted.
- You must insist upon clothing that is made from non-synthetic and non-fusible material and that is flame resistant.
- No clothing with any metal threads within can be permitted.
- Steel, toecap boots are often found in work environments. It’s important to specify only nonconductive footwear.
- Also, any harnesses and safety belts have to be inspected regularly, in particular when it comes to buckles, clips, webbing or hooks.
Whenever workers are engaged in potentially risky electrical maintenance it’s a good idea to have a separate worker on standby, who is fully trained in first aid procedures. You must have a fully stocked first aid supply, which must be easily accessible. In the case of very high-risk activity then local government may require safety observers to be stationed, as well.
Pay close attention to tools, equipment or instruments used by electrical workers during maintenance procedures. Individual tools and instruments themselves must be adequately maintained and must always be used only for the purpose they were designed. Tools should always be restrained whenever working at a height in their proper place. Tool belts and baskets are ideal, but lanyards may be used around the wrist to mitigate the risk.
Ideally, ladders used to access equipment in question should only be made from nonconductive materials. Care should be taken when erecting ladders and scaffolding to avoid touching energised equipment or lines.
If practical, ladders should always be restrained, especially in outdoor conditions. It’s a good idea for two or more people to carry any ladders especially in the vicinity of switching equipment. The ladder should be carried in a position below shoulder height for maximum safety.
Finally, it is recommended that scaffolding made from a conductive material should be bonded to an earthing system before any work commences.
Talk to resources like All Electrical Work for tips on how to ensure that the job goes smoothly.