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Safeguarding Power: A Comprehensive Guide to Developing a High Voltage Switching Safety Plan

Safeguarding Power: A Comprehensive Guide to Developing a High Voltage Switching Safety Plan

Mar 14, 2024


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High Voltage Switching is a critical aspect of electrical systems that demands meticulous planning and strict adherence to safety protocols. Whether you’re an electrical professional or an organisation seeking to enhance your team’s skills, a well-structured high-voltage switching safety plan is paramount.  

High voltage systems pose inherent risks; without a comprehensive safety plan, the potential for accidents and injuries increases significantly. A well-developed safety plan mitigates these risks and ensures the smooth execution of high-voltage switching operations. 

1. Authorised HV Equipment Switching Operator Requirements   

High Voltage Equipment

To become an HV equipment operator, you must: 

pass a HV Operations course containing national HV competencies,  

have received appropriate training, re-testing and re-accreditation in high voltage electrical work and  

be authorised to work on high-voltage electrical equipment.               

Further to the above, an HV equipment switching program shall be written and checked by an authorised competent switching operator. Only the authorised assistant and HV operators will execute the HV Switching operation. 

 

2. Discharge Your Legal Responsibility 

To ensure you comply with your legal responsibilities, you must comply with the main acts, regulations, enterprise procedures and standards for high voltage work, including:  

  • National and state guidelines for safe approach distances to electrical and mechanical apparatus  
  • Safe Work Australia Managing Electrical Risks Code of Practice  
  • Electricity Act 1945 and Regulation 1947 
  • Electricity Licencing Regulations 1991 
  • Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 and Regulation 1995 
  • National Work Health and Safety Act 2011 
  • National Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 


3. Risk Assessment and Emergency Response Plan: 

Begin with developing a robust emergency response plan that includes procedures for addressing unexpected situations. Conduct drills regularly to ensure your team is well-prepared to handle emergencies effectively. 

Conduct a thorough risk assessment of the high-voltage switching operations. Identify potential hazards, assess the consequences of failure, and determine the critical control measures needed to minimise risks. 

4. Equipment Inspection and Maintenance: 

Regularly inspect and maintain high-voltage equipment. Develop a schedule for routine checks and ensure that any faulty equipment is promptly repaired or replaced. Being proactive reduces the chance of equipment failure during switching operations. 

5. Documentation: 

High-Voltage Switching Activities Documentation

Keep detailed records of all high-voltage switching activities to show evidence that you have met the legislative requirements. Documentation should include switching programs, safety procedures, risk assessments, and emergency response plans. Update these documents frequently to reflect modifications to the machinery or operating methods. 

 

6. High Voltage Switching Training and Certification 

Enrol your team with the necessary skills and knowledge training to manage any high-voltage system.  

In addition, the HV Switching Operator must have competency in HLTAID009 – Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and UETDRRF004 – Perform Rescue from a Live LV Panel. 

SCADA is a crucial aspect of many high-voltage systems. Equip your team with the skills to operate SCADA to perform HV switching systems safely.   

High-Voltage Training in Perth, Karratha and Adelaide   

PMV delivers specialised training in Plan & Perform High Voltage Switching Operations in Perth, Karratha and Adelaide. This course complies with industry standards and provides hands-on experience and practical knowledge essential for real-world applications. 

Developing a high-voltage switching safety plan is a multifaceted process that demands attention to detail and a commitment to ongoing training. By investing in high voltage courses and SCADA courses with PMV, you equip your team with the skills needed to execute switching operations safely and efficiently. Safety is a shared responsibility, and a well-prepared team is the key to success in high-voltage environments.