Live Work means electrical work performed in circumstances in which the part of electrical equipment the subject of the electrical work is energized.
The voltages generally encountered are as described in countries standards and are listed below:
Extra Low Voltage ELV – Not exceeding 50 volts AC or 120 volts ripple-free DC
Low Voltage LV – Exceeding ELV but not exceeding 1000 volts AC or 1500 volts DC.
High Voltage HV – Exceeding LV
Work on “live” conductors at these voltages must be taken very seriously. There have been more electrical fatalities throughout the World from low voltage LV shocks than from contact with high voltage HV conductors.
While not especially dangerous to the average person, voltages below 50 volts can also cause shocks and be hazardous to a susceptible person. To attempt to control these risks, some jurisdictions in your country, state or county have recently introduced new legislation, which places more stringent requirements for working on low voltage LV. Local Legislations and Regulations must be referred to at all times.
Safe Operating Procedures (only trained, qualified and competent people carry out work on electrical systems)
DOCUMENTED PROCESS REQUIRED
- Live work is authorized due to the following circumstance: (At least one of these conditions exist):
- It is necessary in the interests of safety, whether or not electrical safety, for the work to be performed while the electrical equipment the subject of the electrical work is energized.
- A supply of electricity is necessary to performing the electrical work.
- There is no reasonable alternative to performing the electrical work but by live work.
- Risk assessment and hazard identification of the task to be performed is to be completed in writing prior to work commencing. Where the risk assessment determines, a safety observer may be necessary for any work on or near exposed energised conductors.
Live work must have a safety observer unless you are testing electrical equipment. Examples include:
- testing components of a television set that’s switched on to do repairs
- testing to ensure correct connections and polarity
- tightening the terminals of live circuit breakers.
A safety observer needs to be:
- Competent to help with the electrical work;
- Competent to rescue the person performing the electrical work and to provide resuscitation; and
- Whose competence for performing rescue resuscitation has been assessed in the last 6 months.
- Detailed Report
- Electrical Test Sheet
- Requirements for Local Legislation and Regulations
EQUIPMENT AND SAFETY ITEMS REQUIRED
The following equipment and safety items are to be used when working on live low voltage LV:
- LV Rescue Kit – comprising of an insulated crook, torch, fire blanket, burns dressing, insulated low voltage gloves (for rescue purposes only).
- Insulated rubber mat.
- Insulated low voltage screening (if applicable).
- Long sleeved flame retardant shirt (eg cotton).
- Flame retardant long trousers or overalls (eg cotton).
- Safety helmet (if applicable).
- Safety footwear – rubber sole.
- Safety glasses.
- Insulated gloves with leather protective over gloves
- Test equipment in safe condition.
- Insulated tools in safe condition.
- Hand held fire extinguisher appropriate for electrical fire.
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS MUST HAVE IN PLACE AN ELECTRICAL SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND MAY INCLUDE:
- A Company safety Quality Environmental Induction document
- An Electrical Safety Operations Manual and may include:
- Electrical Safety Management System
- Risk Management System
- Material Safety Data Sheet Verification
- Work Method Statements WMS for high risk activities
- Electrical Safe Work Procedures ESWP
- Energy Isolation and Lock Out System
- Generic Electrical Site Safety Plan
- Generic Forms and Templates
ELECTRICAL WORKERS WHILE TESTING ARE EXPOSED TO LIVE TERMINALS MUST IMPLEMENT AN ELECTRICAL SAFE SYSTEM OF WORK
ELECTRICAL SAFETY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY!