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General Safety Tips for Industrial Substations, Panels and Transformers

To control electrical hazards and minimize the risk of accidents in industrial substations, electrical panels and electrical transformers, here are general safety tips collected reference to Industrial best practices.


General Safety Tips for Industrial Substations, Panels and Transformers

General Safety Tips for Industrial Substations, Panels and Transformers

Safety measures must be taken during designing, installation, operation and maintenance of electrical equipment such as electrical panels and transformers. Construction of industrial electrical substation must be according to applicable standards and industrial best practices as safety is the first priority.


Safety in Substation and electrical panel

👉 Cover all cable trenches with checkered plates to prevent falling of persons in it.

👉 Ensure that cable trenches are sealed properly at the point of entry in substation to avoid entry of accumulated water/oil inside the substation or to prevent the reptiles, rats, etc.

👉 Avoid storage of unwanted material in substations.

👉 Do not block emergency doors, passages, etc.

👉 Mark escapes routes in substations.

👉 Maintain emergency exits unobstructed. Emergency exit sign must be illuminated and of green colour.

👉 Display first aid guidelines in case of electrical shock and train the peoples.

👉 Provide adequate numbers and correct types of fire extinguishers at prominent locations with marking.

👉 Cable cellar of electrical substation may be provided with water spray system or water mist system for firefighting. A CO2 or other clean agent flooding system may be provided as alternative to water spray system.

👉 Cables may be provided with fire retardant coating at proper distances to prevent the spread of fire.

👉 Fixed smoke extractor may be provided in cable cellar to remove dense smoke in the event of fire emergency.

👉 Positive air pressure must be maintained inside the substation to control the hazard of dust ingress.

👉 Appropriate fire detection and alarm system must be provided in all substations. This system must be interlocked with HVAC and dampers.

👉 Ensure adequate illumination level so that switch gears can be easily identified and instrument if any can be easily read.

👉 All incoming/outgoing cables should be properly tagged.

👉 All panels should be earthed properly. Each panel should be identified properly.

👉 Provide suitable nonconductive mat near all electrical panels. The life of mat must be monitored. Nonconductive paint may be used as alternative to mat.

👉 Tagging on electrical panel should be of radium which helps to improve visibility during blackout.

👉 Escape path must be marked properly. The paint must be of glow in dark or of radium.

👉 Follow work permit system for carrying out any job.


Transformer Safety Tips

👉 Display caution notice by affixing a sign of skull and bones in a conspicuous location.

👉 Display identification mark on every transformer. Take pr►oper precautions to protect manufacturer’s nameplate against corrosion and dusting.

👉 Proper earthing system should be provided for transformer. All earth pits shall be provided with identification mark and earth resistance shall be checked according the norms.

👉 Transformer shall be effectively protected by fencing or other means not less than 1.8 m in height to prevent unauthorized access.

👉 Transformer yard should have oil soak pit and excess oil draining facility. Oil pit valve should be kept locked in closed position.

👉 Adequate measures shall be taken for draining/disposal of oil.

👉 Ensure that the gaskets of all control wiring junction boxes are intact, and no water ingress should take place.

👉 Emergency and protective devices like emergency isolation push button, inter–tripping device, over current protection, earth fault/earth leakage protection etc. shall be maintained in good health and in working order.

👉 Adequate passageways for transport of equipment for repairs should be provided.

👉 Door should be provided with stoppers to prevent hitting the transformer if opened inside inadvertently, gate should be earthed.

👉 A clear space not less than 1250 mm should be provided around transformer. It should be measured from the farthest point of transformer to the coping of the structure supports.

👉 Firewall not less than 350mm brickwork or 225mm RCC should be provided to segregate oil filled transformers. The partition wall should be extended 600mm both horizontally and vertically from the farthest point of the transformer.

👉 Windows, ventilators, etc. not permitted between the transformer and its main switchgear.

👉 No vegetation allowed in transformer yard.

👉 Check the condition of silica gel at regular intervals and replace immediately if deterioration is observed.

👉Oil and winding temperature reading should be noted and logged as per manufacturer’s recommendations.

👉 Oil levels in tank and oil filled bushing should be monitored continuously and drop in level if any, should be considered seriously.

👉 Transformer and radiator body should be kept clean and oil leakage from gaskets if any, should be attained immediately. The color of external body should be maintained as recommended by manufacturer and painting to be done at regular intervals to avoid corrosion.

👉 Inspect pressure relief device and contacts at regular intervals. Bushing should be kept clean to avoid any flashover.

👉 Calibration of the protective circuit should be carried out periodically.

👉 DCP modules may be installed on transformer for firefighting.

👉 High velocity water spay system (HVWS) with deluge valve may be provided as fire protection system for transformer.



Sound engineering and best industrial practices helps to prevent accidents while working in electrical substations, electrical panels and transformers. Safety measures in operation and maintenance of electrical equipment in substations, Panels and transformers must be according to applicable standards and industrial best practices as safety is the first priority.

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