Making personal contact with any electrical voltage especially at high voltage levels can potentially be lethal, as a result, when working in an electrical High Voltage (HV) switchboard room, you should know what to look for. The risk to anyone working in HV areas is greatly focused by careful application of sensible general and company safety regulations and procedures. It is understood that personnel who are required to routinely test and maintain HV equipment should be trained in all aspects of practical safety procedures and certified as qualified for the job responsibility. In addition, approved safety clothing, footwear, eye protection and hard hat should be worn where danger may arise due to an arc flash incident. This also includes the addition of safety equipment such as insulated rubber gloves and mats along with emergency procedure routines in case of an incident.
4 Things to Look for in a HV Switchboard Room
The access to HV switchboards and equipment must be strictly controlled by using a permit-to-work scheme procedures along with the live-line tests and earthing-down before any work is started. However; in a High Voltage switchboard room, you should check for the following 4 things:
- Insulated electrical rescue hook (Sheppard’s hook)– Designed to be used as an electrical rescue hook if an injured worker is cornered in a dangerous area or electrical hazard.
- Fire extinguisher– Knowing fire classifications is an essential part of any fire safety plan, particularly in commercial settings where electrical, chemical, or flammable liquid fires can occur. Different kinds of fires are fought with different approaches and require specific types of extinguishers. Class C fires, sometimes referred to as electrical fires, require their own class c fire extinguishers. Understanding the distinct qualities of class C fires and how to prevent and extinguish them is vital for keeping your commercial and residential buildings safe.
- Station calling point– Information on the efficiency and status of machinery, the location and well-being of personnel, scheduling and organizing maintenance all contributes towards maintaining productivity and most importantly, safety.
- 2 means of escape route– In an emergency evacuation, personnel should know where the exit escape routes are located and doors should be open and unblocked to safely exit the hazardous area. Exit Routes, Emergency Action Plans, and Fire Prevention Plans are further explained in the OSHA website.
Planning ahead and always being aware of potential hazards are essential when working in electrical high voltage areas.
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