Transformer Vault FAQ

From: Perry Scott <perryATezlinkDOTcom> <>
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Transformer Vault FAQ
Date: 28 Jun 2000 16:37:48 -0700
Message-ID: <8je28c$>

After reading some of the comments on a.r.s., it appears that many do not understand what a transformer vault is.

As an electrical engineer and former power lineman (USAF) in California (CAL-OSHA, protect me!), I'd like to dispel some myths:

1) Transformer vaults are DANGEROUS. This is probably obvious, but it bears repeating. Their intent is to shield "civilians" from potentially lethal conditions. Only trained professionals enter a vault. (This particular "professional" is scared to death of them.)

2) There are no "shields". The shield is the manhole cover or enclosure. The training wheels come off as soon as you enter a vault. If you're in there, you're a professional. There are exposed bus-bars, wires, and other nasty stuff. While you take steps during construction to avoid killing your fellow lineman, you also assume they know what they're doing.

3) Vaults are well-marked and physically-secure. One does not "accidentally" enter a vault. The warning signs keeps out the grownups, the manhole cover keeps out the kids.

4) Entry into a vault requires a minimum of two people. One to do the work, and one spotter in case something goes wrong.

5) Ventilation equipment is mandatory. CO2 and methane are heavier than air, and both collect in underground vaults. It is quite likely that this poor woman went down the stairs, passed out from asphyxiation, then fell onto the exposed equipment.

6) Oil in a transformer vault is a bad sign. While it may have been PCB-free oil, it's another red flag for OSHA and the EPA. If the worker doesn't know if that particular transformer is PCB-free, then they should not enter until they find out. If there are PCBs, then you get to pay for a lineman-in-baggies that can decontaminate the area.

7) It doesn't matter if a vault is on "church" property. This is a public safety issue and the government has an obvious need to regulate.

8) When the first emergency vehicle showed up, they correctly surmised that they were not adequately trained to recover a body from a vault, hence the delay as they pondered vaults, electricity, and oil on the floor. Eventually, a lineman had to come and either turn off power or put on safety equipment. Not a fun job, in my estimation.

If I see any other M/Us as I read a.r.s., I'll add to this. Questions and comments welcome.

Perry Scott, SP 4.3, ScienoSitter 3X + ISP + 2 words Co$ Escapee