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Home / Technical Articles / Ten most dangerous mistakes in the operation of low voltage switchgear (you should be aware of)

Operation of Low-Voltage Switchgears

The Association of Steam and Electric Apparatus Owners (APAVE) generally classifies low-voltage equipment as any equipment that requires a rating of ≤ 1000 volts to operate. With a majority of electrically driven equipment falling under this category in industrial environments, this technical article focuses on highlighting dangerous mistakes that are inadvertently made in the operation of low-voltage switchgears which possess high hazardous potential to equipment and/or personnel.

Ten most dangerous mistakes in the operation of low voltage switchgear (you should be aware of)
Ten most dangerous mistakes in the operation of low voltage switchgear (you should be aware of)

Table of Contents:

  1. Bypassing Switchgear Protective Devices
  2. Switchgear Guiderails/Jaw Collectors
  3. Lock-out Tag-out Systems (LOTO)
  4. Isolator Switches (Operation On Load)
  5. Single Line diagram / Electrical Schematic Drawings
  6. Power Terminals: Verification of Torque Values
  7. Operation In Hazardous Areas
  8. Earth Switches
    1. Safe Operation of Earth Switches
  9. Minimum Safety Distance
  10. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

1. Bypassing Switchgear Protective Devices

The Austrian Accident Prevention Association (AUVA) in 2008, found that nearly 25% of all machine-related accidents occurred as a result of working around factory-installed protection devices.

More frequently than not, bypassing electrical protective devices such as Safety Relays, Emergency Shut-down (ESD) trip signals from a Process Safety System (PSS) and Emergency Push Buttons (EPBs) are subtly expected from Operations & Maintenance personnel due to perceived operational exigencies and management pressure to reduce production downtime.

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Ezeala Winner

I'm an electrical and controls engineer with core strengths in electrical protection and PLC-based control systems. My excellent performance in design, commissioning, maintenance, and troubleshooting of HV/LV switchboard controls and power equipment positions me as a valuable asset to an industrial environment.

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