Technical Competencies Required For Cable Installation

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Cable installation is a complex, technical process that requires careful attention to detail and strict adherence to complex standards. Wiring codes of practice are specifically intended, to protect people and property from shock and fire risks. Across Europe wiring standards have been harmonized in the IEC 60364 standard, but more detailed prescription relating to the United Kingdom is laid out in BS 7671. As with all standards this document is constantly under review, and it was most recently updated to its 17th version on July 2011.

Technical Competence at all Levels
All aspects of cable installation require well trained, experienced staff. Specifically designed cable plant is required for the various levels of supply required. High and medium voltage cables, jointing and terminals are required to avoid cable degradation due to exposure to ozone caused by electrical discharge. This type of cabling is often required within some types of machinery and between buildings where it is often secured in underground runs.

Earthing systems that are specific to each type of supply are unique to each manufacturer. As well as complying with UK standards any installation must also be carried out according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, which must also be followed when attempting to isolate faults within existing cables.

Detailed documentation to accompany each installation will also be required and should be drawn up to comply with BS 7671 and to meet the equipment manufacturer’s guidelines

Project Management Experience

Large capital expenditure projects of this nature require careful project management if they are to be delivered on time, within budget and according to strict technical requirements. Modern project management methodologies all cover the same aspects of managing a project and will frequently include;

Stake holder management to ensure that all parties are aware of the direction and progress achieved

Clear measuring of progress against milestones
Risk management using logs of risks, issues and events to identify and resolve issues

Quality management that ensures that issues are identified and resolved as early as possible to minimise additional cost

There are many legal and Practical reasons why cable installation needs to be carried out to strict standards and a suitably qualified contractor that can demonstrate experience of similar projects will ensure a safe and cost effective installation.

Article By: Adam Nicolson

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