The Importance of Substation Safety
Electricity is in our homes and business premises as a matter of course. We don’t tend to stop and think how it gets there, or what makes it safe for use to use. The grid that transfers electricity from the point of generation to its end use is a colossal undertaking, something that really is a marvel of engineering.
One of the biggest problems with electricity is making sure it gets to the user as the correct voltage. It will be sent along the many miles of cable at a much higher voltage than that used, for example, in the home, but must be reduced to the required level to be safe to use.
This is done by way of transformers; these are clever devices used to change the electrical voltage output, and they are found in substations across the land. Substations are the link between the raw electricity, if you like, and that which is refined for end use. As such, they are areas of very high voltage – and can be extremely dangerous.
Substations include those that are owned by the power suppliers, and that regulate the voltage from the National Grid, as well as private versions that can be found in industrial and commercial complexes. Each requires a considered and careful approach when it comes to safety, so let’s have a look at the dangers involved, and what can be done to ensure the substation is as safe as possible.
Dangers of Substations
The dangers of electricity are often overlooked, and this is because we use it – day to day – without even the slightest thought. It is impossible to comprehend what we would do without it; in the home, many appliances and household systems are electrical, while in the workplace there is great demand for electricity.
However, in terms of the generation and supply of electricity, it can be very dangerous if it is not approached carefully. The substation is one of the most dangerous elements of the procedure, as it is here that personnel may be required to come close to very high levels of voltage. This is why you should turn to Substation Safety for advice.
Electricity is very volatile: in some cases, faults can result in what is known as an arc flash. This is when a circuit is effectively created in the air, and the result is a potentially damaging explosion that can cause serious injury – or death – to those in close proximity. This is juts one of the potential dangers of the substation, so why do people need to enter them?
There may be maintenance involved, or circuits may need switching to different outputs. Or, there may be a fault that needs fixing. In all cases, it is essential that the personnel who enter the substation are correctly authorised, experienced and understand the dangers involved. This is why you should turn
This is where the lockout-tagout, or LOTO, procedure plays its part. LOTO is a simple yet effective routine whereby one operator is designated to shut down a machine – or in the case of a substation, ensure it is correctly secured – and only that person can then reverse the procedure.
The designated person will be required to physically lock the substation, and apply a special tag with his or her details and information as to when they did so, in order that they are then responsible for reopening the substation. If the LOTO procedure is carried out, no unauthorised personnel can enter the substation in any circumstances, as it can only be opened by the keyholder – who applied the tag. To learn more about LOTO, you can turn to companies like Lockout Safety.
This simple routine can prevent against injury and save lives in substations, so make sure you have personnel who are suitably trained.