Don’t tempt the tempest!
Protect HV installations!

Can you roadie run through a lightning storm? Nope, only in video games! In real life, you need solid earthing & lightning protection systems to survive.

1985 – you could still catch the first Terminator movie in cinemas, the one that starts with a chain lightning hitting the garbage truck and leaving naked Arnold in its wake. That was the year I had a genuine close encounter with a lightning storm!

My fiancée and I were enjoying our summer holiday at the seaside. The evening was mild and we were strolling along the beach, holding hands lovey-dovey. Suddenly, lightning lit the horizon and, almost instantly, we felt the smell of salt and ozone.

“Viene una tormenta!”, we commented jokingly, pointing to the distant storm. But the storm comes fast from the sea and we were caught in the middle of an open field. We realised with horror, that we were the tallest feature in a half-mile radius, far away from the lights and shelter of civilisation.

“Roadie running” was coined by gamers to describe a move when character crouches low and sprints. The character becomes significantly harder to hit and is also used for fast escape.

Needless to say, that is exactly what we did: from large strides to blindly running to any resemblance of shelter. Completely opposite of what should be done in a storm! We both knew better, but it wasn’t logical, it was primal.

If caught in a storm, seek shelter inside a car or building, not under the tree. You may hurry, but take short steps. If you can’t reach shelter in time, squat down, close your eyes and cover your ears until storm passes. If you are swimming, get out of the water as soon as you see the storm approaching. If you are playing golf, stop swinging!

In HV installations, the situation is more complicated. Apart from lightning, you can be exposed to dangerous voltages due to a fault. Someone can be killed just by making a simple step, or by holding the rail to climb the stairs, or by casually leaning at the doorframe… And there is no warning. There may not be a cloud in the sky.

HV installations are becoming more and more dangerous, as our hunger for electricity grows. Earthing decays with time and most of our substations were built in the 1980s. Since then, the IEC tightened the safety requirements, the fault levels were increased and the costs of materials went up. More and more projects are getting their budgets blown up due to non budgeted cost of providing safe earthing systems.

And there is no way to cut corners on this one! The reach of OHS law will follow you way after the project is done. If anyone gets hurt, you may be pulled out of your retirement to face sentencing for negligent homicide.

Prevent the loss in millions of dollars in damages or even loss of life. Our consultants are experienced in all aspect of earthing and lightning protection studies. We can help you improve your existing systems or build new ones.

(#xboxone #gearsofwar4)

Contact us if you need experienced consultants for any advice. Remember to stay low or get a nasty shock!

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