At DaRa, we love everything to do with switchboards. Whether it’s helping create the perfect custom switchboard at our manufacturing facility through the help of our experienced sales, design and engineering teams, or supplying a modular solution that powers your next project, these electrical distributors are our lifeblood.
So, just as we know about building the perfect switchboard no matter the requirements, we value your safety more than anything.
This is why we stress the need for post-commission and periodic testing of any switchboard to check for faults or hot spots. Switchboard safety, however, starts long before any technological devices come in to play. Below we’ve compiled a few steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your switchboard while keeping your staff out of harm’s way.
Inspecting for damage and faults
Once you have received your switchboard, the first important step is to reference everything you have received against your shipping inventory list. If you notice anything suspect or there is any obvious damage, it’s vital that you lodge this notice immediately to avoid further risk of harm.
Moving a switchboard
If you’ll be in charge of the team responsible for installing and fitting the switchboard into your location, the moving process will need extra consideration towards safety. Assembled switchboards will often require rigging, rolling, or hoisting into place – switchboards are built to be handled in a vertical position.
Safety to personnel
Only staff that have proper safety and operational handling training should be allowed to be near the switchboard, regardless of whether it is live or not. Never work around live parts without protection, and every precaution should be taken to insure that individuals don’t come into contact with any portion of the switchboard unknowingly.
Individuals should never come into contact with any portion of the switchboard unknowingly.
All connections are live
Every possible precaution should be taken to ensure that the personnel working in the area of the switchboard have no risk of contact with energised circuits. Therefore, every connection should be considered “live” until it has been properly assessed and trained professionals can assure that the circuits are “dead”.
Never work on parts or sections of a switchboard that carry current unless these have been disconnected from the switchboard system itself.
Keeping your vital piece of machinery running in optimal condition doesn’t have to be a headache; a simple maintenance schedule and considerations around when and why to perform checks are all that is needed to ensure you don’t experience a sudden breakdown.
A regular maintenance plan can provide incredible benefits to a facility, including:
- Extended lifecycle of the switchboard.
- Less need for replacement parts.
- Reduced time spent repairing parts.
- Fewer unexpected failures.
- Greater ability to detect improper operating conditions.
- Improved operational efficiency and use of power.
So what should every switchboard maintenance team achieve in their tests?
- Records of all installed switchboards and their accompanying maintenance plans.
- List of all equipment, components, renewed or replaced parts and blueprints.
- Details of all inspections made during the test and any changes that were made.
- A historic record of all past inspections, test results and maintenance plans.
By putting in a place a detailed and well-planned maintenance checklist and record system, anyone working around the switchboard will be in a much safer position.
Temperamental conditions and the need for increased awareness
While regular switchboard maintenance is important, there are a number of exacerbating conditions that can bring failure sooner than expected.
High humidity or temperature, corrosive atmospheres and excessive levels of dust and dirt are just a few of the environmental implications that can lead to more frequent failure of electrical equipment. Assessing the surroundings of your switchboard will help identify a maintenance schedule that is most appropriate.
At DaRa, we design, create and consult on switchboards. To discover the power of DaRa for yourself, get in touch with our team today.