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Electrical Switchyard Safety | Safe Maintenance practices in Switchyard

Switchyard is an assembly of switches, electrical circuits, circuit breakers and auxiliary equipment used to collect power energy from the generators of the power plant and then distributed to transmission lines at a load point or at the destination. Working in a switchyard poses a serious risk of electrocution or flash burns because it handles high voltage electricity.

Electrical Switchyard Safety | Safe Maintenance practices in Switchyard

 

Electrical Switchyard Safety | Safe Maintenance practices in Switchyard

Electrical switchyard is place used to transfer electricity from one voltage to another through transmission and distribution line and can be considered as the interconnection of generating station and the grid. Here we discuss important safety measures that can minimize the risk of electric shock or flash burns when working in the switchyard or during maintenance work in switchyard.

 

Safety Tips - Electrical Switchyard Safety

πŸ‘‰To avoid intrusions/ trespassing, deliberate escalations, stray animals, etc. properly fence off the switchyard on all sides. The height of the fence should not be less than 1.8 m.

πŸ‘‰Restrict unauthorized entry into the switchyard by providing appropriate means, including warning signs and “No entry” signs.

πŸ‘‰ The gate to the electrical switchyard must be made of non-combustible material and of adequate height and width.

πŸ‘‰ The fence should be grounded in two or more places covering all lacing, especially under the overhead transmission line. The gate of the switchyard must also be earthed by means of a flexible earthing cable if it is made of metal.

πŸ‘‰ The switchyard must be equipped with an earthing system consisting of a reasonable number of earthing (Earth Pit) electrodes.

πŸ‘‰ The resistance of the earth pit should be measured every six months and the records should be properly kept so that any changes in the resistance of the earth pit can be easily understood and action can be taken accordingly.

πŸ‘‰ Surge arresters of the appropriate rating must be provided at the reception point of each overhead transmission line in the switchyard to protect its equipment against lightning surges and / or switching surges.

πŸ‘‰ No umbrella should be taken inside the switchyard.

πŸ‘‰ All equipment provided in the switchyard must have safe access to perform routine inspections and / or maintenance. Ensure adequate passages for the transport of material.

πŸ‘‰ Drains must not cross or end at the switchyard. A suitable drainage facility should be provided to prevent the formation of pools of water during the monsoon season.

 

Safe Maintenance practices in Switchyard

πŸ‘‰Do not start any maintenance work in the switchyard without obtaining the appropriate work permit from an authorized permit issuer.

πŸ‘‰ Ensure electrical isolation and follow LOTO before starting work on any electrical equipment. A danger tag must also be affixed to isolation points in accordance with the LOTO procedure.

πŸ‘‰ Barricade all electrically charged parts of the switchyard equipment and post the warnings signage.

πŸ‘‰ Do not allow the transport of metal poles or other conductive rods inside the switchyard. Use wooden planks or other non-conductive means if necessary.

πŸ‘‰ Arrange to erect standard scaffolding if the work is to be performed at elevated platform/ area.

πŸ‘‰ Avoid excavation or digging work in switchyard. If it is unavoidable and very much essential, then perform only after obtaining the appropriate work permit and taking adequate safety measures.

πŸ‘‰ After completion of the work, stay all persons at a safe distance, away from the equipment, before surrendering the work permit. Make sure that all tools and materials have been removed from the site before energizing the equipment after maintenance.

 

Summary

Switchyard handles high voltages and thus possess high risk of electrocution and flash burn. The general safety tips for switchyard are fencing the area, control the unauthorized entry, display the danger boards and control all maintenance work by electrical isolation work permit with compliance to LOTO. All these safety measures will help to minimize the risk of electric shock or flash burns when working in the switchyard or during maintenance work in switchyard. 


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