At Amprion, occupational health and safety is more than a legal obligation. It’s an essential part of the responsibility we bear as a company for our employees. We live by our high standards – every day and in every area.
5 golden safety rules
Our grid transmits electricity with a voltage of up to 380,000 volts. Working in this potentially dangerous environment requires great care and specialist knowledge. And the five golden safety rules of electrical engineering always form the basis of all actions. We give our employees intensive training in how to implement these rules in the best possible way every day of their working life. This is the only way we can guarantee the health of our employees and the functionality of our grid in equal measure.
1. Disconnect from the mains
Whenever we work on our grid, no electricity must be allowed to flow through the equipment we are working on. To this end, the respective line or system must be dead, i.e. deenergised. Our experts call this “disconnecting”. The starting point is our System Operation and Control Centre in Brauweiler, which “diverts” the electricity flow via remote control and disconnects the line. In addition, specially trained staff in our stations can perform this switching procedure on-site, too.
2. Secure against reconnection
We play it safe and prevent the system from being switched on again by mistake. This is documented by our system operation and control staff who make an entry to this effect in the control system. In addition, the colleagues on-site carry out interlocking measures and affix prohibition signs on all possible switching devices in order to prevent them from being switched on again.
3. Verify the system is dead
At the actual workplace, in the substation or at the overhead line, for instance, our electricians always double-check to ensure that the system is dead. They do this using a high-voltage tester, which is itself tested immediately before and after carrying out this check.
4. Carry out earthing and short-circuiting
Our equipment is not considered completely dead, or de-energised, until we have earthed and short-circuited it. This is done by staff immediately at the workplace, who also make sure that the earthing and short-circuiting device is clearly visible.
5. Provide protection from adjacent live parts
We take special precautionary measures for areas in the vicinity of the workplace that are not disconnected. Our employees always clearly and visibly mark the areas that are safe to work in: in transformer substations with yellow-and-black chains and on overhead lines with green flags. In addition, we always have on-site a person in charge, who keeps an eye on the work. Because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Text: Meike Pedack Illustration: Xenia Fink