Incident Prevention is on a mission to be a major player in the reduction of job related accidents within utilities and telecommunications. The publication, our iP Safety Conferences and this site are dedicated to providing utility safety and operations professionals the resources to build safety programs and implement processes that lead to reduced work-related incidents.
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There are a number of hazards unique to substations. The substation safety information found in this article is drawn from 30 years of personal experience as well as industry best practices, regulations, codes and company policies. During my time working in substations, I have seen some horrible accidents and hope the following lessons I’ve learned will prevent other people from having to experience injury or death.
According to The Humane Society of the United States, there are approximately 78.2 million owned dogs in the country and about 40 percent of all households have at least one dog. Of course, the percentage of households with dogs is higher in suburban and rural areas than in cities, but the fact remains that dogs are nearly everywhere. Couple these statistics with the fact that most households with dogs also have electric service, and those of us who work in the transmission and distribution departments of electric utility companies have a potential problem. OSHA would consider dogs a recognized workplace hazard, right?
The minimum approach distance (MAD) is the closest distance a worker is permitted to approach an exposed energized conductor. When we think of MADs, we normally think of qualified electrical workers, and this discussion will cover what a MAD is, how it is developed, how it is to be applied and how it is often misapplied. There is also a second MAD for nonqualified electrical workers known as the 10-foot rule. Nonqualified electrical workers, subject to federal OSHA regulations, must remain a minimum of 10 feet away from any exposed energized conductors or equipment up to 50 kV, plus an additional 4 inches for every 10 kV above 50 kV.
Has someone disrespected you in a group setting? Have you clearly been treated unfairly? Do you sometimes sense that no one is listening or that you’re unappreciated? If you find yourself affirmatively answering any of these questions – or all of them – you must learn and understand self-regulation, the second skill set in learning to lead through emotional intelligence.