Q: I read with great interest your post describing the greatest rejuvenation safety risks.
It is clear that injection is much safer than replacement and that the steps Novinium has taken to make rejuvenation safer still are substantial and impressive, but what can be done to mitigate the risk of electrical contact? Do you have any rules or insights from which I may learn?
A: When it comes to safety we share all of our best practices with anyone that would like to learn.
The very first Novinium Value is Safety. It states:
“Safety is our first priority. We provide an ever–improving safe work environment for our team members, our customers, and the public.”
The greatest safety risk we face is electrical contact. We can be safe from all known electrical hazards if we follow the 10 Commitments of Electrical Safety. If you ignore one or more of these commitments, you are not welcome on our team because you will endanger your life and the lives of others.
Before the 10 Commitments are revealed to us we should understand the following defined terms:
- 100% of the team including any visitors must repeat a facsimile of a proposed switching action and state that they concur that it is safe to proceed with the proposed switching action.
- When more than a single individual is at a location, one individual can speak for all present, if the spokesperson makes eye contact with the others and receives an acknowledgement from each.
- The spokesperson must indicate by name the concurring team members and visitors.
- Failing to obtain an Affirmative Acknowledgement means STOP.
- Non-affirmative acknowledgements include silence, requests for clarification, the word “Stop” or any other word/phrase with a similar meaning. (e.g., hold on, stand-by, give me a moment.).
- Properly tested and dated gloves with a rating that exceeds the greater of:
- The phase-to-phase operating voltage of the equipment to which you are exposed.
- Customer standards or requirements.
- Cables or equipment where line voltage is known to be present.
- Cables or equipment believed to be de-energized whether or not grounded, which may become energized by the action of others, equipment failure, or other reasons.
POTENTIALLY ENERGIZED INJECTION EQUIPMENT
Any injection equipment that is physically connected to any energized or potentially energized electrical cable or equipment. This includes but is not limited to:
- (a) Dielectric tubing which is connected to live-front or dead-front components.
- (b) Feed or vacuum bottles connected to tubing in (a).
- (c) Vacuum pump connected to a vacuum bottle in (b).
- A visibly grounded cable’s contiguous and unburied length can be seen to the point where the conductor is grounded.
1. Have a Plan; Work the Plan
- Never proceed without a clear and accurate understanding of the circuit.
- Never proceed without clear and accurate switching instructions.
- Never deviate from the prescribed instructions without authorization from the Switching Authority.
- Everyone on the job site must discuss and understand the work and switching plan for the day. If the plan(s) change, stop work, revise, and document a new plan for the balance of the work.
2. Always Check Your PPE
Check your gloves, footwear, hot sticks, electrical testing devices, dielectric blankets/barriers, hardhat, eye- and face protection, grounds, AED, and first aid equipment.
3. Communicate with Three‐Way Affirmative Acknowledgements
Always provide warning, receive a facsimile reply of the warning, and provide an Affirmative Acknowledgement when de-energizing, grounding, and switching equipment.
4. De‐energize Equipment
Wherever possible and allowable, de-energize and ground cables and equipment to Best Available Ground before performing any work within a 4 foot zone.
5. Always Use a Hot Stick
Never use your hands to manipulate any energized or potentially energized equipment. Always wear Dielectric Gloves when using a hot stick.
6. Rubber Up
Wear rubber within 4 feet of an Uncovered Zone. Never let any part of your body or a conductive tool you are holding (i.e., anything other than a hot stick or suitably rated dielectric tool) into an Uncovered Zone without wearing the appropriate PPE.
7. It is Not Dead Until It is Grounded
Starting only from an energized state, always test to confirm a de‐energized state and ground to the Best Available Ground the cable or equipment to that you will be touching without wearing dielectric gloves. Examples where it is necessary to touch cables or equipment without wearing dielectric gloves include changing elbows, installing IAs, performing TDR and RF location testing, and changing splices.
8. Cover Up
Cover all exposed Energized or Potentially Energized equipment. Place cover-ups so that all required work can be performed without breaking the plane of the cover-ups with any tool or body part, whether or not the body part is Rubbered-Up (See Commitment 6). If it is not possible to apply covers, de-energize the equipment. Document the cover-up together with Commitment 9 – Isolation from Ground with an As Isolated Photograph and record in Knomentous. Note: For equipment with more than a single termination, there is one As Isolated Photograph for each cable subsegment entering the equipment on which we work.
9. Isolate from Ground
The operator(s) and any equipment being used by the operator(s) are separated from ALL Ground Potential by a Substantial Dielectric Barrier rated at or above line voltage or at least two times the Minimum Approach Distance (MAD). De-energize the equipment if it is not possible to apply ground covers. Document the Isolation from Ground together with the Commitment 8 – Cover Up with an As Isolated Photograph and record in Knomentous. Note: For equipment with more than a single termination, there is one As Isolated Photograph for each cable subsegment entering the equipment on which we work.
10. Spike Cables Before Cutting
- Before spiking and cutting a cable always install at least one temporary ground. The condition of the neutrals on aged bare concentric neutral cables is uncertain; jacketed cables may have no exposed neutrals; unshielded cable have no neutrals. For the spiking and cutting steps which follow, the spiking tool and cutting head must be connected in parallel to the Best Available Ground and the temporary ground. If the Best Available Ground is a temporary ground, two temporary ground rods shall be utilized.
- Spike a cable on which the conductor is not visibly grounded before cutting it behind a Substantial Barrier.
- Cut spiked cables remotely with a grounded cutter. Cut the cable while standing more than 8 feet from the cut location.
- A Substantial Barrier must be between the cut and all personnel.