2008 - Electrical system at an oil company

The client's operation involved a number of remote, onshore sites that were supplied by 33kV electrical supplies. In the past any work on the electrical supply lines required them to be isolated. In order to minimise production interruption the client was considering carrying out some activities with the electrical systems live. Andy was asked to evaluate the risks of human error of live line working and to advise whether it should be pursued by the client. He visited the preferred contractor for the work, observed them in practice and held lengthy discussions with their technical experts. He completed task analyses of the tasks for both live and dead line working, and used these to identify the potential human errors. His conclusion was that live line working has been accepted in many countries as a safe way of working and with good management and control there was no reason why the client should not adopt it. In fact it could be safer than dead working implemented correctly. Andy provided the client with the information they needed to inform their decisions and a list of recommendations that they would need to implement to carry out live line working safely.