Protective Grounding

There is more than one way to effectively ground for personal protection. Each method has benefits and liabilities. Grounding overhead conductors improves the safety of the aerial worker – benefit; but it increases the step and touch hazard for ground personnel – liability.

Grounding and protective grounding may be one of our modern mysteries. Grounding and dead are not now nor have they ever been synonyms. Grounded has never meant dead or safe. Grounded may mean safer but it does not mean it makes the system completely safe.

Grounding and protective grounding is but one method of mitigating the hazards created when electric supply systems are built, energized, and operated. Workers accessing any electrical system overhead or underground MUST ASSUME it is energized until proven de-energized using approved work methods and procedures. Workers and end users must understand the limited protection that even properly designed, operated and maintained systems can provide. Nothing is completely 100% safe, and modern electric supply systems with so many paralleled circuits and huge fault currents, required to meet customer demands, are hazardous and must be understood.

Personnel failing to completely understand these hazards and take appropriate steps to mitigate these hazards are not protected. Associated Training and ATC Consulting have been providing written protective grounded standards and training for clients for more than 20 years.