It is easy to get into the habit of being too familiar. We drive by muscle memory, while adjusting the radio, taking a call, eating a burger…while we don’t always see the guy crowding our lane or running the light ahead. We are just too comfortable with what we are doing. It is a habit we need to break…our attention needs to be on driving.
The same can be said for field checking regulator, capacitor and other controls on the line or in the station. Routine annual test. Routine voltage complaint. Routine, routine, routine. Routine can KILL YOU!
Do you check for intact grounds before touching the apparatus or the control cabinet? Ground wire seems to still “go missing” everywhere, and this we will have to put up with until; A: Copper prices drop, or; B: We prosecute scrap dealers for “knowingly receiving”, or; C: We put armed guards on every pole and substation! Ground wires also sometimes get clipped by traffic accidents, connectors corrode, etc. – and many utilities have lengthened their pole inspection cycles resulting in more potentially bad grounds at any given time.
A high-resistance fault or leakage inside the apparatus or bushing leakage both have the potential for placing line voltage on the apparatus case. The resistance may be too high to cause protective devices to open the circuit. As long as the ground is intact, the case and control panel are still “dead front”, if the ground is not intact…
Always, always, ALWAYS check the integrity of your grounding before touching or doing anything to the control. If you find grounding or inadequate, follow your utility’s procedures for correction prior to performing any control work or testing!
Work safe out there!