EPZ Grounding Grates — What You Need To Know
No matter your jobsite, keeping workers safe is one of your highest priorities. Perhaps nowhere is this more important than when working on power lines. Erecting transmission towers or repairing damaged lines puts crew members at risk of severe — and even fatal — shocks, if proper precautions are not taken.
Since OSHA began enforcing 29 CR 1910.269 in 1994, contractors have been required to utilize grounding practices to better ensure employees are not exposed to current in the event that a line or equipment becomes re-energized. Of all construction-related fatalities in 2018, 8.5% were electrocutions. This underscores the dangers for anyone working around power lines.
What Makes These Projects Risky?
At the core of the danger for employees is the nature of electricity and how it travels between points. Basically, electrical charges always want to be equal. Whenever there is a discrepancy in potential between two objects that come into contact with each other, current will flow between them as the charge seeks to equalize.
This means, a human who touches charged power lines will experience a severe shock unless he or she is grounded. Grounding gives the current a pathway to the earth where it will be dissipated safely without electrocution. This is because the voltage of the ground is effectively zero — resulting in the highest difference of potential. Therefore, the electricity will flow into the earth — as long as it has a means of doing so.
The Basics of Equipotential Grounding
Creating an equipotential grounding zone through the use of galvanized steel grates has emerged as an effective means of protecting workers. This can assure that the electrical potential between any two points on a person’s body is virtually the same. Any faults or lightning strikes that may occur within the area created by these mats are grounded — directing current along the ground instead of through his or her body.
Why Grounding Grates Make the Most Sense
Single-piece grates are easy to deploy and are manufactured of highly resilient materials. Because they can be joined, they could be used to create an equipotential zone of virtually any size and configuration — depending on the job requirements.
To learn more about these essential products and how they can be utilized, take a look at the accompanying resource. It provides many of the basics you need to know about how they work and what they can do for you and your crews.
Courtesy Of Yak Mat