Maintaining the electrical systems you can’t see

Maintaining the electrical systems you can’t see

Today, we take for granted that electricity is readily available. So many things we use today require electricity, and many more things coming in the future will require it. But people also do not want to see power lines, utility poles and big green boxes everywhere they go. So, what does the industry do? They hide the evidence. 

In big cities there are underground network systems in manholes and vaults. In large facilities, a mechanical room holds the heart and soul of the electrical system for that building.  

Inside the mechanical room 

What does this mean for people working in these areas to maintain the electrical systems? They must be content working in confined spaces, comfortable working in the dark and able to work in cramped positions for long periods of time. All of this must be done using personal protective equipment, such as gloves, hard hats, safety glasses and more.  

Electrical workers handle not only maintenance, but also electrical problems that occur at all hours of the day or night, in all weather conditions. This can be very dangerous, and they must follow all procedures and policies to remain safe while providing reliable power to customers.

One of the most dangerous situations these professionals come across are arc flashes and blasts, an immediate discharge of electricity outside its normal parameters sending shrapnel from pressure waves. These incidents can create intense heat up to 11093 degrees Celsius or 20000 degrees Fahrenheit. The result can be severe injuries, which are most often severe burns.

Essential PPE for electrical workers indoors

Honeywell Salisbury takes into account the safety, comfort and opinion of our users when designing the protective equipment they need. To be able to see clearly in dark areas, such as poorly lit rooms, manholes and vaults, PrismShield™ Plus uses nanoparticle technology that allows for enhanced color differentiation and improved light transmittance. Providing full color recognition ensures that workers can differentiate between similarly colored objects. The double curved lens redesign provides superior optical performance and reduces eye strain while wearing the face shield. The venting system heightens user comfort, allowing fresh air to enter from the bottom and moisture to escape from the top.

To make working in tight, uncomfortable places and in awkward positions as bearable as possible, Honeywell Salisbury Pro-Wear TM Plus series of arc flash garments have been engineered to be lightweight, more breathable, better fitting and softer to the touch. We have designed these garments with electrical workers’ most pressing needs in mind, such as creating a drop tail back to allow for more movement without loss of protection and articulated sleeves for enhanced comfort. All garment types have been re-sized (based on ASTM D6240/D6240M-12 and D8077/D8077M-16) for the best fit, improved comfort and mobility. 

Honeywell Salisbury took what electrical workers in these locations asked for, and made a product they can trust, with the quality they expect to help keep them safe. 

To learn more about the advantages of our lineup of electrical safety products, including Honeywell Salisbury Pro-WearTM Plus with Honeywell Salisbury PrismShield™ Plus Face Shields, visit our website. 

About the Author: Russ Owen, CUSP, served in the U.S. Military for 21 years, 13 of which were spent in the U.S. Army doing power generation and distribution, and 6 years in power distribution safety. Now he is a senior technical lead at Honeywell Salisbury and serves on ASTM International committees (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials). His experience as a lineman gives him first-hand insight into how to make our products both high-quality and user friendly.  

Learn more

This article is part of a series. To learn more about arc flash, grounding equipment, rubber gloves and line hoses, read more from Russ.