Utility Week

UTILITY Week 19th February 2016

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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18 | 19th - 25th February 2016 | utILIty WeeK Operations & Assets Game changer /Technology/Innovation Sealing the deal Laying a cable or pipe is just the start – it then has to be sealed in to keep it safe from moisture, the elements and a hostile environment. Mathew Beech reports. A ll utility firms make safety a priority. Ensuring staff, customers, and the wider public do not face any danger is of totemic importance to their operations. Regulators also play their part in ensuring utilities are hitting the highest standards for safety, and oen make incremental improve- ments to safety regulations. One such change was introduced in 2002, and came into force in June 2006. This was the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR), which is enforced by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). The legislation puts a duty on employ- ers to protect people from the risks of fire, explosion and the corrosion of metal in the workplace, as well as members of the public who may be put at risk by work activity. In a world populated by substances that can be very dangerous when mixed together, keeping them apart is vital. CSD Sealing Systems UK onshore sales manager Phil Westerman tells Utility Week that prior to the new regulations coming into "We aim to stop the ingress of water and gas with our sealing system. Doing this to ensure the safety of workers and the public is paramount." Phil Westerman, uK onshore sales manager, CSD Sealing Systems effect, expandable foam was regularly used to seal cabling and piping ducts. "When I joined the company [in 2004], expanding foam was standard across the utility mar- kets. The standards were very low and the expandable foam could deteriorate," he says. Westerman says that not only would the foam fail quickly, but that it was not airtight or watertight, so moisture and gas could enter spaces containing electrical equip- ment. "It doesn't stop the ingress of gas or water because its porous," he says. At best, this could result in the corrosion of assets, such as electrical cables and cir- cuitry, speeding up the wear rate and how soon they would need to be replaced, and increasing the level of expenditure on main- taining or replacing the asset. At worst, this could allow flammable or explosive gas to ingress into the asset, result- ing in a dangerous and potentially fatal working environment, or an explosion. CSD Sealing Systems offers utilities its innovative Rise Rapid sealing system, which is made up of two components: a thermo- plastic sleeve which is passed into the duct- ing, and a silicon-based fire-rated material which is gunned over the sleeve completing the seal. This, according to Westerman, provides more than 50 years of "proven maintenance- free protection" with a watertight seal at up to 58psi and a gas-tight seal at up to 15psi. Westerman says another advantage the Rise Rapid system has over expandable foam is that it is not rodent friendly. "Rodents love it to nest with [the foam]. They chew it out from the ducting and take it to nest with. It can get to a point where they chew through electrical cabling," he says. That raises obvious safety issues, with

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