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Equal Potential Grounding Practices
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Gainesville FL
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    176

    Exclamation Equal Potential Grounding Practices

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    I just read an article in "Incident Prevention" magazine about equal potential grounding. It stated that AEP has changed the method for creating an equal potential zone (EPZ). Apparently they did some testing and found that the pole band or cluster bar does not energize the heartwood of the pole where a workers gaffs penetrate, and thus does not actually protect the worker adequately. They recommeded to place a pole bond that extends down a min. of 10 ft from the neutral (full length pole bond prefered from top of pole to a driven ground rod) and connect it to the system neutral, staples should be a max of 18 inches apart and firmly driven into the pole. I spoke with a AEP rep and they verified the testing methods they used and solutions they came up with to correct the problem. They no longer require the use of the pole band or cluster but do require what is stated above. Other than the cluster mount the grounds should still be installed nueutral first then to each phase.

    What are your company standards on this subject? I also heard GA Power has changed to this standard as well along with others. Any information we can share with each other will go a long way.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ramsey, Isle of Man.
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    3,068

    Default

    You get the feeling that each new safety feature introduces it's own new dangers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    That's why a trampbag has handles.....
    Posts
    424

    Default I'm screaming, yet no one hears

    You got it Clive.

    Traveling around really shows the glaring discrepancies between jurisdictions where safety is concerned. For the first decade I thought it was because every area had it’s own special circumstances but slowly it began to dawn on me that those special circumstances have more to do with employers, or groups of employers, and our own worker representatives (be them unions or associations) collectively trying to distance themselves from any liability what-so-ever.

    If the powers to be were concerned about trying to truly make the job safer we would be seeing fewer serious accidents, many fatal. We are not seeing any statistical proof that that is so, but what we do see is some safety geek department of yet another utility putting a new spin on a flogged to death idea.

    We have had numerous threads in this forum discussing the fine points of EPG methods, FR clothing, safety glasses and a myriad of other safety topics amongst ourselves and what has been accomplished? For me it is only proved the point I made in the first paragraph, “…employers, or groups of employers, and our own worker representatives (be them unions or associations) collectively trying to distance themselves from any liability what-so-ever.”

    If anyone has noticed I have been spending most of my efforts on this site in the “Politics and BS” portion because I’m doing more good there, especially in BS.

    Until we get our collective heads together as Linemen and quit arguing about whether 5 staples or 6 per 10 foot length is going to make a difference in the safety of our people this trade is doomed to continually suffer the jobs site meat grinder we call a trade.

    It makes me hold my head and scream the sound that is never heard.
    Have Trampbag, Will Travel

    Everyone who comes here brings a little joy.

    Some when they come in. Others when they leave.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    401

    Default yep

    couldnt agree more and besides hes in the wrong thread!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,240

    Wink Osha

    Until OSHA gives the OK to just a ground wire, it's a pole band. Plain and simple. The company can add a ground wire to the pole and use the pole band too. The EPG tests Ive seen this is the best way to do it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Gainesville FL
    Posts
    176

    Default

    Actually guys I would consider this to fall under safety meeting (the heading of this thread.) I do agree that this subject has been beaten to death over the past few years. Some companies do not fall under OSHA actually but use OSHA rules and regs as guidelines. I think as a industry wide thought that Equal Potential Grounding has been accepted. These other companies are not saying that this is wrong by any means. They performed tests that show the current method (pole band/cluster bar) can be ineffective. I personally want to protect myself as much as possible and if there is a better, more consistent way to provide a safer work area then I am all about it. From speaking with the guy they are actually attempting to make establishing a EP zone easier (no pole band/cluster bar) as well as making it more reliable and safer. As stated earlier I would like to know what other companies are doing and if they are considering changing to a different method why are they doing so? We can be proactive and help change happen in directions where we would like to see it go, or we can sit by and watch while people who have no idea about our job make the rules for us. I personally choose to be proactive and ensure that things are in my best interest where ever and when ever I can. So with that being said, does anyone have any helpful information on this subject?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    171

    Default Nope Nope Nope

    Cluster Bar is the only way. Staples????? Come on!

    You try to get IEEE to go along with that one. When they stop laughing they'll say NOPE NOPE NOPE!

    That pole ground and staples are covering a tiny portion of that poles surface. The surface is where the current is going to travel. Skin Effect. It's not just in wire. The cluster bar covers the entire outside of the pole. Not just on or two corners.

    Your hooks are going to travel through the surface wood into the deeper wood. The depth of the wood your hooks will penetrate will not be any more moist than the surface.

    I think a pole ground can help. Grounded cases on transformers too, but you must have that cluster bar circling the entire outside of the pole. No compromising! I won't let you on my pole.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Gainesville FL
    Posts
    176

    Default It does sound strange

    I agree 500 the ground wire and staples does sound very if'y but according to the artcile's author it has been thourghly tested again and again on all different treated pole types. These results have been duplicated by more than one company as well.

    If these results are accurate and have been duplicated by more than one company then you never know what IEEE or OSHA may or may not do.

    Go online to Incident Prevention Magazine and look at the article. It does a lot better job explaining it than I have.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,240

    Question Question

    EPZ. How many Companies out there require grounding of your trucks and those of you that do ground your trucks, how do you set up your work zone to protect ground personal? IE; bounding the truck together, ground mats, barricades and what do you uas for barricades, etc?
    Last edited by PA BEN; 05-13-2007 at 05:34 PM.

  10. #10
    fastlane Guest

    Default EPZzzzzzzzzzz

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    Out here its the band and cluster.Whats interesting is when you are EPZing on the underground with the mats and barricading whatever trucks are tied to it then just one transformer down the road has school kids sitting on it,I guess they dont need EPZ.

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