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ELECTRICAL SAFETY


was to achieve a transformation in the context of developing customer needs without compromising technical durability or operability. An insulation fault positioning feature was requested for the international market, based on which we started to develop the new insulation monitoring equipment.


Continuous PE continuity monitoring ‘24/7’


The new-generation equipment includes monitoring of PE continuity. This enables continuous 24/7 monitoring, prevents dangerous situations, and decreases the costs of laborious inspections. It complements and ensures the continuity of protective earth between the distribution board and the last socket. If the PE wire breaks, the insulation-level monitoring will not work with the fuse wire in question. A missing PE cable may also prevent automatic fuse operation.


A typical Finnish hybrid room with its insulation monitoring system.


Insulation monitoring brings safety, efficiency, and cost savings Although hospital engineers are responsible for maintaining the equipment in the operating theatre, other personnel working in the theatre itself need also to be familiar with electrical safety and have good technical skills. New and complicated devices and systems are brought into the working environment, and the theatre staff must be able to master them in terms of dangerous situations. That is why continuous training and support are essential. It is the equipment manufacturers’ responsibility to ensure that the equipment runs smoothly, has been fully tested, and is safe to use; they also organise user training.


Regardless of all the precautionary measures, the possibility of a device failure or human error cannot be discounted. Such situations may lead to a serious emergency, so G2-classified medical facilities need a separate electric grid system for IT and an insulation-level monitoring system, which will anticipate any incidents and protect the patients and personnel.


In summary, the job of an insulation monitoring system is to: n Protects patients and medical staff from electric shocks.


n Prevent electrical fires and burns. n Avoid unnecessary downtime. n Prolong the service life of surgical equipment.


National legislation may not require IT- system and insulation-level monitoring in G2 facilities, but it is seriously worth considering. In addition to increasing safety, it also reduces costs. It is also worth noting that such a proactive monitoring system ensures that operations are not interrupted. With any issues detected at


72 Health Estate Journal September 2020 Timo Ohtonen


Timo Ohtonen is the managing director and owner of PPO- Elektroniikka Oy, which he founded in 1981. He has developed and built demanding technology solutions for 40 years, and has extensive experience in security and professional electronics. He has a broad international partner network, and is an innovative developer with a vision of the future.


Petri Pelkonen


Petri Pelkonen, Development manager at PPO-Elektroniikka Oy, has been working in professional electronics and electrical safety for over 25 years, during which time he has developed three generations of insulating monitoring equipment. He has worked closely with hospital engineers and electrical engineering offices, and has extensive experience in IT systems and insulation monitoring.


an early stage, hazardous situations during operations can be prevented. As a result, the operating theatre and the equipment within it are efficiently deployed, and unnecessary downtime avoided. The theatre team works more productively, and the service life of


surgical equipment is extended, bringing significant cost savings.


Every operating theatre in Finland is insulated with medical isolation transformers, and no surgery is performed without insulation-level monitoring in place.


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