Electrical maintenance is a crucial aspect of ensuring the safe and efficient operation of industrial equipment and facilities.
Proper electrical maintenance not only prevents costly downtime but also reduces the risk of electrical accidents and injuries.
In this article, we’ll discuss the best practices for electrical maintenance in industrial locations.
Preparing proper permit to work
Preparing a proper permit to work is an essential step before conducting any electrical maintenance work in an industrial location.
A permit to work is a formal document that authorizes the maintenance team to carry out specific tasks and ensures that all affected departments and personnel are aware of the maintenance work and any associated risks.
The permit to work should outline the scope of the work, the safety procedures to be followed, and the timeline for completion.
Having a permit to work in place can help minimize disruptions to other departments or equipment, prevent accidents, and ensure that everyone involved in the maintenance work is on the same page.
Before starting any electrical maintenance work, it is essential to obtain the necessary permits and follow all safety protocols to maintain a safe and efficient workplace.
Making sure all spare parts are ready to use
Ensuring that spare parts are readily available is an important aspect of electrical maintenance in industrial locations.
When conducting regular inspections, if any worn-out or faulty parts are identified, they should be replaced immediately.
Keeping a stock of commonly used spare parts on hand can reduce downtime during maintenance and repairs, ensuring that equipment is up and running as quickly as possible.
It is also important to ensure that the spare parts used are of high quality and are compatible with the equipment being serviced. Read my comprehensive article 11 Common electrical maintenance mistakes you should avoid.
Conduct Regular Inspections and Testing
One of the most important best practices for electrical maintenance is to conduct regular inspections and testing.
This involves examining all electrical equipment, wiring, and connections for signs of wear and tear, damage, or overheating.
Regular testing of electrical systems and components is essential to identify potential issues before they turn into major problems.
Follow Proper Lockout/Tagout Procedures
Lockout/tagout procedures are essential for ensuring the safety of workers during electrical maintenance tasks.
Lockout/tagout procedures involve shutting down and disconnecting power to electrical equipment and machines before maintenance work begins.
This prevents accidental electrical shock or electrocution. For more information read my detailed article about Electrical Isolation here.
Keep Electrical Equipment Clean
Another important best practice for electrical maintenance is to keep all electrical equipment clean.
This involves removing dirt, dust, and other debris that can accumulate on electrical equipment and cause it to overheat or malfunction.
Regular cleaning of electrical equipment also helps to prevent corrosion and prolong its lifespan.
Train Employees in Electrical Safety
Proper training of employees is crucial for ensuring electrical safety in industrial locations.
All employees who work with electrical equipment should receive regular training on electrical safety best practices, including lockout/tagout procedures, proper use of personal protective equipment, and how to identify potential electrical hazards.
Use High-Quality Electrical Components
Using high-quality electrical components is another essential best practice for electrical maintenance.
Cheap or low-quality electrical components can lead to equipment failure, electrical fires, and other safety hazards.
Using high-quality components can prevent these issues and prolong the lifespan of electrical equipment.
Hiring a third party for OHTL
Hiring a third party for OHTL (Overhead Transmission Line) live maintenance can be a viable option for industrial locations where shutting down critical loads is not feasible.
For example, in the industrial company where I work, we recognize the importance of minimizing downtime for critical loads and thus hire a specialized third-party company for OHTL live washing and maintenance.
This approach enables us to keep our transmission lines functioning optimally without the need for costly shutdowns. However, we make sure to carefully evaluate potential contractors before hiring them, ensuring that they have the necessary certifications, training, and insurance coverage to perform the work safely and effectively.
OHTL live maintenance involves the inspection, repair, or replacement of components of transmission lines while the line remains energized.
This type of maintenance is typically performed by experienced and highly skilled technicians who have undergone specialized training in OHTL live maintenance.
Performing OHTL live maintenance can be dangerous, as it involves working on energized equipment at high altitudes.
Hiring a third-party contractor who specializes in OHTL live maintenance can provide several benefits, including:
- Expertise: Third-party contractors who specialize in OHTL live maintenance have extensive experience and knowledge in performing maintenance tasks while the line remains energized.
- Safety: OHTL live maintenance requires specialized equipment and safety procedures to ensure the safety of the technicians performing the work. Third-party contractors have the necessary equipment and safety protocols in place to minimize the risk of accidents.
- Reduced downtime: In situations where shutting down critical loads is not an option, OHTL live maintenance can help minimize downtime and ensure that power is maintained to critical equipment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Hiring a third-party contractor for OHTL live maintenance can be a cost-effective solution compared to the potential costs of shutting down critical loads for maintenance and repairs.
However, it is important to carefully evaluate potential contractors before hiring them for OHTL live maintenance.
Ensure that they have the necessary certifications, training, and experience to perform the work safely and effectively.
It is also important to ensure that the contractor has the proper insurance and liability coverage to protect your company in case of accidents or other incidents during the maintenance work.
In summary, the best practices for electrical maintenance in industrial locations include regular inspections and testing, following proper lockout/tagout procedures, keeping electrical equipment clean, training employees in electrical safety, and using high-quality electrical components.
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