Ensuring the Safety & Reliability of your Electrical System
Safety - Integrity - Quality
Here are some pointers that will help your electrical system run safely and more reliably.
1. KNOW YOUR SYSTEM
The first key to knowing your electrical system is an accurate and up-to-date one-line of the electrical system. With the facilities of today, which integrate multiple supplies and voltage systems, knowing how the system components are integrated togethers is key to the safety and reliability of your electrical system. Many facilities have added, removed and remodeled over the years, so that no one really knows what their electrical system looks like today. Knowing how the various systems interconnect is critical to the operation, maintenance and trouble shooting of the system. Industry standards such as NFPA70E 205.2, tell us that an accurate one-line is essential.
2. KNOW YOUR EQUIPMENT
It may seem too simple, but the first step in knowing any piece of equipment is to read the manual. Keep in mind that equipment that may look the same may not operate the same. Systems may also vary depending on the application and installation. Whether it is equipment you are operating or equipment you're installing, taking time out to spend with the product's documentation can save you many headaches. We are often called out to facilities after the facility engineer or contractor has assumed that a piece of equipment is defective or is not operating the way they think it should. We often find out that the equipment has been misapplied or there was an operator error that has damaged the equipment. In these cases, time and effort has been wasted and the results are not always good.
3. REGULARLY SCHEDULED TESTING
We realize that you have limited staff and that your employees have numerous demands placed upon them. Unfortunately, putting off testing until it's most convenient usually means testing rarely, if it ever happens. Just because the lights are on, does not mean there are not problems or challenges brewing in your electrical system that lead to equipment failure when it is definitely not convenient for your operation. Protective systems, overcurrent devices and equipment can help you maintain, provide safety and restore power quickly. But for those systems to work right, all components must be running and be in good working order. Failure to schedule testing can end in ruined equipment that neither you nor your customers can afford.
4. SAFETY FIRST
No amount of speed or pressure to get things done should make employees cut corners when it comes to safety measures. If there is anything we have learned over the years, it is that cutting corners leads to costly and often deadly errors. Always lock-out, tag-out and de-energize electrical system equipment before working on it. Use a method of procedure as a check list and wear the appropriate personal protective equipment for the job. Put as much physical distance between people and energized equipment as possible. Keep safety at the forefront of your mind, ALWAYS watch for others, and don't be complacent.