Advanced protection against electromagnetic exposures and electric arc

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HAZARDS AROUND

While working live in the energized grid, presence of voltage around the workers requires special attention. However, live-line (live working) techniques are widely applied for decades, several accidents in the past prove that the level of safety must be improved to minimize the number and seriousness of injuries in the future.
In the high voltage grid, bare-hand method is a common technique for safe live work. In the surroundings of any energized equipment, high electric field occurs as the result of high voltage, which can be shielded effectively by conductive clothing acting as so-called Faraday-cages. The efficiency of these special PPE (personal protective equipment) is quite impressive: the screening efficiency [1] of a high-quality conductive clothing is above 99%. Although working methods guarantee the proper level of safety, some North-American examples prove that an electric arc is a real source of danger on the worksite, especially while working with hot sticks [2]-[4]. On the other hand, regular conductive clothing is not arc protective but only flame retardant. So the end user companies practicing bare-hand or hot stick methods face a dilemma (or need to choose) – ignore one of the risks of arc flash or electric field or apply an arc protective underwear, suit under the conductive clothing. Neither of these options are proper, since the first one leads to the additional risk to the human life and health and the second one reduces working comfort that strongly influences to the working safety. Beyond the combination of screening and arc protection, there are special and unique conductive clothing available by Electrostatics Ltd. with rated Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV).

Read the article in the Intelligent Power Today Magazine. 2021 Issue 1

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