When arc flash occurs, it is devastating-and usually deadly. Preparation is essential. One of Utility Products' feature articles this month, "Flash!- Preparations against arc flash accidents make all the difference" by contributing editor Paul Hull, discusses the importance of training, work practices and protective clothing. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is probably the most read document concerning electrical safety, Hull reports, and is often considered the standard "right way to do it" guide. Hull also outlines actions companies should take to be in compliance with federal regulations: a safety program with defined responsibilities, personal protective equipment for workers, training, tools for safe work, and calculations for the degree of electrical safety hazard.
Another feature article, "The Power of a Single Communications Platform" by Donald Pollock, addresses how utility personnel can deliver a safe, efficient and reliable service with communications networks. Pollock presents how grid communications systems can evolve that fully integrate independent networks that can provide the real-time business and operational intelligence to enhance the safety, accuracy and efficiency of the utility worker's daily tasks.
"Communications Technologies and the Cloud Enable Productivity, Efficiency for Field Workers," by Tom OConnor, discusses how devices have evolved to deliver seamless communication between workers and headquarters. And, with cloud computing, the ability to drive workforce improvements is enhanced by connecting workers with the business data they need from anywhere, in real time.
A variety of great product focus articles are also featured in this issue. Learn more about how enhancements to push-to-talk technology are transforming the utilities industry, features to look for in rugged notebooks, harmonizing your wire and cable standards, how wind farms benefit from high-density polyethylene conduit, how using sensor technology throughout the power infrastructure can bring about modernization more quickly and cost effectively, fuel cell power solutions, fleet management mobile applications, and utility fleet driver safety.
An upcoming event you won't want to miss is the sixth annual Utility Products Conference & Expo (UPCE), which will be co-located with DistribuTECH. Held Jan. 28-30, 2014, in San Antonio, it will feature a wide range of products and services for the utility industry. For more UPCE 2014 information, please visit www.utilityproductsexpo.com.