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Are street poles safe from the Electrocutions?

Are street poles safe from the Electrocutions?

  • OSNepal
  • शनिबार, मंसिर १८ २०७८


Are street poles safe from the Electrocutions?
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Saroj K Joshi

Even a small amount of current will have deadly impact on body under standard utilisation voltages, please see below:

Estimated Effects of 60 Hz AC Currents per cdc.gov/NIOSH

1 mA – Barely perceptible

16 mA – Maximum current an average man can grasp and “let go”

20 mA- Paralysis of respiratory

100mA-Common fuse or breaker opens cir

2 Amps-Ventricular fibrillation threshold

15/20 Amps-Cardiac standstill and internal organ damage

So we can imagine the fatality rate that will takes place in high voltage and impact of higher Amps.

Technically no chance to survive, if a person will get contact with high voltage or low voltage distribution lines accidentally. It may develop in the way it is contacted however, impact may be deadly and no doubts about it.

Are our streets safe?

I found streets in many places of the world particularly developing, under developing and least developing countries are not safe. Reason behind there is poor electrical design/installations, groundings and poor life safety measures implemented.

Here are a few evidences that is still existing in real time situation in developing countries, some of them are right in densely populated streets.

It’s very scary and must be categorizes as critical area and utility companies must supervise, manage and take immidiate actions both visually and with advance protections using effective technologies such as ground fault protections, properly rated kAIC rated fuses & breakers etc.

Check these pictures below:

Trees are touching medium high voltage / low voltages electrical lines. It is deadly as we know per above stated Amps and it’s impact on human body .

These pictures show critical situations on the streets. If any one will touch pole most likely will have deadly consequences as trees stems touching electrical live conductors. And during wind and rainy season it’s more deadly. It’s huge life safety issue. Groundings can save but no one know how effectively done unless it will measure the grounding resistances? During rains and winds cases like above are very critical and higher possibilities that there will occur deadly short circuits even bolted. Impacts from such will be deadly both for lives & property. It is also fire hazards.

And pic with transformer medium voltage line. There is no warning sign, no clearances and no bollards to protect from any possible exterior physical impacts.

These are just few examples. I found there a
numerous evidences.

It’s time to put more attentions in such issues and categorized leveling normal, critical and emergency situations of the street’s distribution systems as stated above, that concerns
Electrical transmissions/ distributions/ substations, which are running in populated area!

Underground distributions are definitely very expensive in comparisons to the above grounds, but it will eliminate all above issues providing great life safety, however underground systems shall be well planned and with advanced protections. Need additional attentions and cautions for the countries, which have to deal with monsoons .

Here are few tips to be safe on streets:

  1. Educate yourself about the electrical transmission lines/poles of the streets for an example in Kathmandu valley there is 11kV ring transmission lines distribution system.

Then with step down transformers low voltage distributions to the residential / commercial clients are available in downstream.

Learn little bit about it and identify those.

  1. While walking look at the poles near by and highly recommend not to touch as you see on the pics some poles live conductors are touching the stem of trees. Those are deadly poles that might have electrical leakages in the poles already .

  2. Say electrical poles may have leakages and visually it can not be detected so better not to touch any poles.

Educate kids too telling them not to climb and touch the electrical poles. Predictions won’t work unless we check whether poles are safe or not or properly grounded or not and level of ohmic grounding resistances?

These simple tips may help.

It is critical and life safety must concern first by utility companies and regularly inspecting all street poles making safe poles to minimize and bringing zero life losses!

We must learn from the past history of the electrical electrocution by electrical distributions & transmission lines systems and must wok making them very very safe and reliable !

Editor : KS
Reviewer: Jiban Bajracharya

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