Work Order Management is used for managing procedures and all the activities related to planned and unplanned work in distribution networks. It provides a formal process for requesting and performing switching changes on a power grid for the purposes of maintenance, network reconfiguration and outage restoration. Safety validations are enforced in order to guarantee the safety of field crews and equipment while the work is in progress. In effect, switching management enhances a control room operator’s ability to be effective and to operate the network safely. Specification and approval of different types of work in power grids usually includes procedures for switching and tagging the equipment, placing and removing temporary elements (jumpers, cuts, temporary ground connections, and temporary generators), issuing switching instructions to the field crews and receiving updates from the field, and all validations that enforce safety of the crews and equipment.
Those processes are implemented using documents like work requests submitted by control room operators and crews outside the control room who are requesting permission to work on or near utility assets, switching plans used for documenting switching steps that are required in order to make the work safe or get the network into a condition desired for other operational purposes, and are written, validated, approved, and executed by control room personnel, and safety documents issued to guarantee the safety of the field crew performing the work. There are typically two kinds of work requests handled by Work Order Management: de-energized work on an installation where safety measures have been taken to ensure that the installation is de-energized (‘dead’) and is safe for the duration of work activities, and energized work on, or in the vicinity of, an installation which remains energized (‘live’) but with specific security measures taken to prevent injury or damage.