Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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Testing High-Voltage Cables Safely: 5 Important Tips

Operators testing high-voltage cables put themselves in highly dangerous situations. Consider that a cable is rated high-voltage with +1000 volts of alternating current running through it—that can pose some serious physical injuries to the operator.

high-voltage cables

Minimizing injury from electrical shock is a top priority for anybody who’s working around high-voltage current. That’s why in this article, we give 5 tips to ensure your ultimate safety as a cable tester.

1.Operator Competence

Clearly, there is no replacement for a well-trained operator who can perform high-voltage testing. Not only that, but an operator should be in good health without any special medical conditions.

As a well-trained operator, you understand that high voltage is extremely dangerous. You give extra attention and care to avoid touching energize circuits and how to interrupt power in case of an emergency.

You should have a good understanding of how electrical currents affect the human body and how to avoid shock hazards. Knowing how to perform compression-only CPR is also a valuable skill to have as an HV testing operator.

2.Check Testers

In order to ensure that your testing equipment is working properly, regularly check your tester by connecting it to PASS and FAIL samples. These PASS and FAIL samples are specifically designed to give a certain result indicating the tester is functioning properly. It’s recommended to do this before every HV testing job.

While testing, the HV tester should have indicator lights that show when there is high voltage present. Your test equipment should also be equipped with internal discharge circuitry for the prompt and safe elimination of the output voltage.

3.Safe Testing Area

When performing tests on high-voltage cables, make sure the testing site is far away from any factory assembly area. For the safety of others and the operator, ensure that the testing area is away from foot traffic as well. Conspicuously mark the area off with “DANGER—HIGH VOLTAGE” signage and tape.

4.Remove All Metal Objects

Work station and workbenches should be made of a non-metallic material in order to avoid any arcing or electrical shock. Remove any metal objects from the testing area before running your HV cable diagnostics. Any metal objects that you cannot remove from the area should then be grounded.

Using an ESD mat for safety purposes is not recommended. It is not needed and can cause erroneous readings for leakage.

5.Use of Palm Switches

Operators use palm switches in order to prevent high voltage injuries. Palm switches function in a way that requires the operator to use both hands—sometimes a hand and foot—to begin testing. As a safety feature, if one of the hands is removed from the palm switch then the test abruptly ends.

Testing High-Voltage Cables

Making sure electrical equipment is working properly and meets code is a requirement and a regular practice all around the world. As a high-voltage cable testing operator, it’s important to adhere to the most strict safety protocol in order for you and others to remain safe. Always read your equipment manual and guidelines before use.

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