when we actually work on it, it is shut down...we are Operator/Maintenance techs...so we are the guys who shut it down, and work on it. In substations, there is no live work done...no reason for it.
But to shut it down, especially on the old consumers system...we use hot sticks to open 138kv disconnect switches. Almost nothing over there is ganged or mechanically operated, so you have to individually pull open each phase which draws a nice 138,000 volt arc out right above you, and all you have is a pair of gloves and a fiberglass pole.
The energized stuff isn't what you really have to worry about though, it is the induced static on the "dead" equipment from near by energized lines/equipment that will get you. Grounding is the biggest safety concern in our job...we had a guy killed a few years back from static alone.
Last edited by 04PSD; December 16th, 2009 at 08:40 PM.