What is Electrical Safety Audit?
In a simple term, Electrical Safety Audit is an audit of an Industry or even Household to check any hazard point in the whole ecosystem related to Electricity to avoid any damages in the future and in the due process, Electrical Safety Audit also helps to analyze steps that can be taken to save fuel costs.
Why is Electrical Safety Audit necessary?
Electrical Hazard can have a severe impact on businesses. It can lead to fire hazards, shock, severe burns which can, in turn, lead to loss of life and property. Thus it becomes crucial to get the electrical ecosystem checked regularly and best practices are followed in handling the system.
In a very competitive environment like today in the world of business, it is very essential to keep the product cost down without compromising on the quality of the product. One of the ways it can be achieved is by saving production costs. And subsequently keeping the fuel cost down helps saving production cost.
The Electrical Safety Audit also helps in identifying whether the expensive electrical equipment is being used properly and it will not get damaged in the future due to reasons which could have been avoided. These types of equipment if damaged can put companies at a huge disadvantageous position.
Industries that handle inflammable substances have to be extra careful with Electricity and electronics handling. Factories that have IT infrastructures and data servers, damage of which can incur huge losses, also should be very cautious.
Few procedures which incur during Electrical Safety Audit are listed below:
- Analysis of Current Systems and Practices
- Document Collection
- Abiding Statutory Compliances
- Physical/ On-site Inspection
- Protection System Checks
- Static Electricity Hazard Checks
- Any Near Accident Misses Data Collection
- Review of Earthing Protection Systems
- Overloading Checks
- Flameproof/ Insulation Inspection
- Losses which can be saved
- Report Submission
These points are discussed one by one in the following section:
Analysis of Current Systems and Practices
The very first thing in an Electrical Safety Audit one should do is meeting the managers and analyzing what is being practiced currently by the managers in day to day maintenance of the systems. What all safety guidelines they are following? To understand whether all the employees in the scheme of things are aware of the importance of safety measures and they do not take things lightly is a must. Right from the top management to the person executing things on the ground is checked in the process.
In this process, all the required documents are collected. Documents like SLD, Log Books, Equipment Specifications, Fuel Consumption Reports, Company Electrical Safety Handbook, etc. These documents are collected so that the same can be verified on-field and faults can be analyzed.
Abiding Statutory Compliances
All the government and nodal agencies Statutory Compliances are being followed or not is checked in the process.
Physical/ On-site Inspection
Now the audit team inspects the situation on the field and gathers data. The actual implementation of the SLD, electrical layout, and other drawings are checked. The checking starts right from the incoming of electricity till its complete consumption.
Protection System Checks
All the major equipment in the electrical system has a protective devices. These devices needed to be checked as it is not always active and it gets activated once it is triggered. This equipment in case of emergency saves the major equipment from damaging. Hence it becomes crucial in keeping these devices in good condition. So such Protection Systems are checked in this process.
Static Electricity Hazard Checks
If in an industry there are chances where static electricity is generated on surfaces then their disposal becomes very essential as it can prove to be a hazard catalyst. Such surfaces are checked in this step. Suggestive measures to avoid generation or dumping of static electricity is then mentioned in the Electrical Safety Audit Report.
Any Near Accident Missed Data Collection
This data is very helpful in identifying potential hazard points quickly. If there have been any near accident misses in the past then their causes can be identified and it can be corrected.
Review of Earthing Protection Systems
There are always a few percentage of electricity as electrical leaks in the system. These leaks if not grounded properly can turn into danger in no time. Thus in this step, all the earthing pits, Lightning Arrestors, and other earthing systems are checked. The position of earthing pit and Lightning arrestor is important. The leaked current should travel the shortest path before it is earthed. The lighting Arrestor must be at the highest point at a certain height in the premises.
As the name suggests, all the equipment after a certain point if overloaded does not perform to it’s best efficiency and it causes fuel loss. Also, overloading can create electrical flow imbalances in the system and the system can trip or irreparable damages can be incurred.
Flameproof/ Insulation Inspection
All the areas which are at high risk in the plant are checked for flameproof equipment. All the cables and wires in the system is checked for insulation and it’s service life.
Losses which can be saved
After collecting all the above important data of the electrical system, an experienced Energy Auditor can suggest many steps that can be undertaken to save fuel costs and optimal utilization of the fuel. Not only fuel but other resources which can be saved is also suggested.
All the data collected and the suggested steps are then discussed with the management formally. And if the management agrees, the necessary installation of devices and other steps are taken.
A comprehensive Electrical Safety Audit Report is then submitted. The report consists of all the data collected and suggestions, guidance to emergency procedures, degree of compliances, savings on fuel, etc.
As the world, continues to adopt new technologies to its benefit, the safety of the resources becomes more critical day by day. An Electrical Safety Audit is a step taken by the industry which wants to take the precautions so that they do not have to take the cure.