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Electrical Systems in Industrial Settings: What Do Your Employees Need to Know?

05/08/2019

Electrical Systems in Industrial Settings: What Do Your Employees Need to Know?

Electrical systems form the backbone of any production process. For that reason, your setup should comply with all government regulations, as well as safety codes. A good way to maintain these standards is by ensuring your employees understand how electrical systems in industrial settings work.

Aspects of Electrical Systems in Industrial Settings

Before handling complicated electrical systems, your team must understand the basics. These systems can broadly be classified as:

Power Generation

You will naturally pick a power generation method that brings your company the most value for money. Other than purchasing electricity from a utility or independent power producer, you can also generate it from other sources.

These include coal, solar and industrial residue. Generators are also important to keep the production process going when there are power fluctuations.

Power Transmission

Electric grid stability is a major factor in ensuring industrial systems run smoothly. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is responsible for this function. Stability is also paramount in a manufacturing setting.

The types of industrial equipment you install determine the voltage used. Your employees must understand that the way these machines are operated affects power transmission.

Power Distribution

This is the last step of electric delivery in the manufacturing process. It transfers electricity from the relevant transmission system to the various individual processes that need it. In industrial settings, not all processes are similar, so distribution ensures each one receives the right amount of power required.

By understanding how power is generated, transmitted and delivered, operators can handle the industrial equipment they’re entrusted with better. This reduces their rate of wear and tear, saving your organization potentially high replacement costs.

How Electrical Systems Affect Industrial Production

Depending on your industry, you might be using any of these three production systems:

  • Batch System. This manufactures products whose specifications differ from one batch to another.
  • Continuous System. It works well for products with generally equal specifications, which are manufactured in large numbers.
  • Project System. This method uses a combination of batch and continuous systems to manufacture products.

By understanding how electricity powers these manufacturing processes, your employees can implement protocols that ensure optimum productivity. Other than improving efficiency, it leads to overall cost savings for the entire company.

Electrical systems also make it easier to scale production through regulation of power use. The higher the rate of production, the more electricity is required. An efficient electrical system uses lower power for each extra unit produced, which translates to economies of scale savings. Having employees who are properly trained on how to properly operate such systems is a plus for your organization.

Why You Need Safety Training

As part of OSHA regulations, your employees are expected to be conversant with how power is generated, transmitted and distributed. This makes them more likely to prevent actions that might lead to electricity-related accidents. It also makes them better prepared to understand electrical faults and respond accordingly to avoid disasters.

Such accidents include industrial fires, electrocution, burns, and even death of employees, which repercussions can be costly. Your manufacturing process could be either suspended or shut down indefinitely, leading to financial losses. You’ll also have to deal with investigators, insurance companies, as well as potential lawsuits from affected employees.

Another consequence is low productivity due to reduced employee morale. If they feel like their safety is not guaranteed, their commitment to your organization will be questionable.

Generally, OSHA regulations require your employees to be trained depending on their level of exposure to workplace hazards. As such, they should understand safety concepts related to electrical systems in industrial settings. These include:

  • Identifying exposed live parts in electrical equipment.
  • Determining the voltage of exposed live parts.
  • Understanding safety distances.
  • Knowing how to properly use protective equipment, as well as taking precautionary measures when operating electrical equipment.

New industrial equipment regularly comes with technological advancements that make them more efficient. If you invest in them, you should also train your employees on their use. Although basic electrical functions might be the same as in previous machines, they might have more complex electrical systems installed.

Final Thoughts

By now, you understand how critical electrical systems in industrial settings are. You should take concrete steps to ensure your employees are conversant with all safety procedures involved in operating them. NTT Training Inc. is a premier trainer on all aspects of electrical systems. These include electrical safety, compliance, maintenance, and automation.

Having been endorsed by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET), you can rest assured that your employees will receive the highest standards of electrical safety training. For convenience, we offer both online and on-site training to our clients. Feel free to contact us today for more information on all of our electrical safety seminars, as well as our training programs.

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