In the United States, the publicpower utility industry has found themselves in the middle of a market transformation. Data traffic is increasing exponentially, but rural America is getting left behind with limited access to internet services.
Article originally published April 20, 2017, and updated for accuracy and relevance. For every mining professional, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is a frequently discussed topic. This organization regulates the mining industry to create safer mines through safety and health rules.
In the days leading up to making landfall in Florida on September 10, Hurricane Irma was already making history as one of the largest, strongest, and most devastating storms ever recorded. WESCO’s Utility Group recognized that it would take an all-hands-on-deck approach for its Florida utility customers to restore power to millions of people when the storm was over.
Professionals who brave the elements year-round know that summertime often creates particularly harsh outdoor working conditions. Exposure to heat and the sun is not only challenging from a productivity perspective but can lead to serious short- and long-term health implications.
Maintaining the security of the electrical grid is recognized as a top priority by most federal, state and local entities. There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose security is entrusted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the electrical grid is what allows the other 15 to function. The financial resources to implement necessary mitigation solutions to deter, detect, protect, respond and recover from an event are limited.
By their very nature, mining operations are high-volume electricity users. Energy costs have a significant impact on the mining industry’s bottom line. The good news is that there is something you can do to improve your energy efficiency without sacrificing your operating efficiency. It’s all about power factor and power factor correction.
While working around live wires, keeping electricity grounded should be every miner’s number one priority. It stops electricity from seeking a worker’s body as the grounding path. Grounding electrical equipment is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and ASTM International to promote safe work environments while electrical work is done.
While working on an electrical line, promoting electrical safety is absolutely critical. The line you are working on could become energized in an instant, creating a dangerous, even deadly, situation. Lightning, human error, static electricity, induced voltage and backfeed are all serious dangers to line workers. A top priority in electrical safety is keeping electricity grounded while work is performed. Grounding prevents electricity from seeking your body as the grounding path. OSHA and ASTM have mandated specific requirements to ensure that you remain safely grounded by using the right equipment and keeping that equipment functioning properly through inspections, cleaning and recertification. Follow these requirements, as well as company best practices, to support a safe work zone where the probability of an incident is reduced.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the average annual fatality rate for power line workers is 56 deaths per 100,000 employees. To keep workers safe, there are several personal protective equipment (PPE) items that should be utilized in the field. One of the most important lines of defense is rubber goods.
Article originally published Feb. 4, 2016, and updated for accuracy and relevance. In the immortal words of "Game of Thrones," winter is here. Luckily for us, we don't have to worry about facing the army of the dead in 100-foot-high snow drifts. There are, however, plenty of outdoor workers who will be exposed to the harsh elements this season. As conditions start to deteriorate, brush up on these 5 essential tips for every outdoor winter worker.