Author: Jim Vaughn, CUSP

After 25 years as a transmission-distribution lineman and foreman, Jim Vaughn, CUSP, has devoted the last 20 years to safety and training. A noted author, trainer and lecturer, he is a senior consultant for the Institute for Safety in Powerline Construction. He can be reached at jim@ispconline.com.
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What You Need to Know About Substations

Beyond information peculiar to technical crafts, every person who enters a substation has a common need to understand substation grounding. This includes things to look for that might indicate problems in the station’s grounding system. Substation grounding plays the primary role in several key aspects of fault clearing, equipment preservation and, most importantly, personnel protection as well as protection of the passing public. In fact, if the ground grid in a station were not in place, anyone standing next to a breaker that operates stands a good chance of being shocked, if not killed. Twenty...

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Tower Rescue Pre-planning Pays Off

Tower rescue presents a completely different level of difficulty in planning and methodology. Whether 250-ft communications or transmission towers, they are often necessarily placed in remote areas, and usually inaccessible to conventional paramedic rescue vehicles. While it is each individual employer’s responsibility to make their own determinations on how rescues will be accomplished, the following may help in preplanning for these unusual rescue situations. Pre-planning for rescue in these situations must answer several questions. Effective Communications911 plays a key role in surviving...

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Notes From the Underground

In the May/June 2005 issue of Incident Prevention the cover article, “Why Single-Point Grounding Works,” generated a lot of inquires about single-point worksite grounding in underground installations. The most frequently asked question was, “How do we create an equipotential zone for underground worksites?” I received inquiries from California to Maine, North Dakota to Florida. There were so many that IP asked if I could immediately address underground protective grounding for employees in this issue. OF BONDS AND BOUNDARIES Let’s begin with the practicality of...

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Why Single-Point Grounding Works

The pros and cons of single-point equipotential grounding, as opposed to working between your grounds or bracket grounding, has generated a lot of discussion. As found in IEEE-1048 Guide for Protective Grounding of Power Lines, single-point equipotential grounding is becoming more simply and accurately referred to as worksite grounding. In most cases, those who don’t trust worksite grounding don’t understand how or why it works. In fact, we have always been taught as linemen to “work between your grounds,” and that seemed like good advice. But it may not have been the...

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Training for the New Century

Experiencing high turnover?  Too many incidents?  The answer to these problems could lie in a new, innovative training program. Electric utilities of all business models, whether investor owned, municipal or cooperative, are undergoing a transition. This transition is partly driven by evolving business strategies toward better cost controls that result in efficiency. With the possibility of electric utilities forced through deregulation to enter the competitive market, utilities must seriously evaluate the traditional business model. One attractive resource for cost effective restructuring...

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