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Working on Energized Equipment. Working on Energized Equipment. Is it dangerous? Yes, especially if performed by unqualified personnel! Possible physiological consequences from contacting live circuits: Heart Attacks Permanent nerve damage Brian damage Broken bones

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Working on energized equipment1
Working on Energized Equipment

  • Is it dangerous?

  • Yes, especially if performed by unqualified personnel! Possible physiological consequences from contacting live circuits:

    • Heart Attacks

    • Permanent nerve damage

    • Brian damage

    • Broken bones

    • Severe Burns


Working on Energized Equipment

Is it the First Choice?

NO!

The message is clear:

NEVER WORK ON LIVE CIRCUITS UNLESS IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

OSHA and NFPA 70E allow work on live circuits in rare cases. Convenienceand reduced production are not one of these rare cases.


Exceptions to rule
Exceptions to Rule

  • NFPA 70E and OSHA 29 CFR 1910.333 provide 3 exceptions to the no working on energized equipment rule:

    • Creates Greater Hazard

    • Interruption of life support equipment

    • Deactivation of emergency alarm systems

    • Shut down of hazardous ventilation system

    • Infeasible Due to Equipment Design or Operational Limitations

      • Testing

      • Diagnostics

      • If testing or diagnostics can be done de-energized you can’t use this exception.

    • 3. Less than 50 volts


Who can work on energized equipment if it is deemed necessary
Who can work on energized equipment if it is deemed necessary?

OHSA CFR 1910.333(c)(2) states that:

“Only qualified persons may work on electric circuit parts or equipment that have not been de-energized…Such persons shall be capableof working safely on energized circuits and shall be familiar with the proper use of special precautionary techniques, personal protective equipment, insulating and shielding materials, and insulated tools.”


What to do when energized work is your only choice
What to do When Energized Work is your only choice necessary?

  • Obtain an Energized Electrical Work Permit (NFPA 70E)

    • Items contained in the permit:

      • Description of equipment/components worked on and their location

      • Justification for why the work must be performed energized

      • Description of the safe work practices to be employed

      • Shock and arc flash analysis and applicable boundaries

      • Required PPE

      • Access restrictions techniques

      • Evidence of completion of Pre-job Briefing completion

      • Appropriate approvals


What to do when energized work is your only choice1
What to do When Energized Work is your only choice necessary?

  • No permit required for the following:

    • Testing, Troubleshooting, voltage testing, etc

    • Visual inspection only; between the Restricted Approach and Limited Approach Boundaries.

    • Note – in both case above one of the three exceptions (Greater Hazard, Infeasible, or Less than 50 volts) must be applicable.

    • Hazards (arc flash and shock) must be analyzed and

    • Must utilize appropriate safe work practices and PPE


Orps reports lessons learned
ORPS Reports – Lessons Learned necessary?

  • On October 22, 2010, at the Materials and Fuels Complex, a subcontractor electrician conducted hot electrical work (testing of energized leads) without proper work procedure and authorization, no Lock and Tagout, and incomplete PPE.

    NE-ID--BEA-MFC-2010-0009

    The Worker is at risk for injury!


Orps reports lessons learned1
ORPS Reports – Lessons Learned necessary?

  • On March 17, 2010, a subcontractor technician performed electrical checks in an energized Programmable Logic Control (PLC) panel without proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

    NA--PS-BWP-PANTEX-2010-0019

    The Worker is at risk for injury!


Orps reports lessons learned2
ORPS Reports – Lessons Learned necessary?

  • On December 21, 2010: Electrical subcontractors entered the limited approach boundary of a panel they intended to inspect. They were attempting to open the panel cover when a site inspector noticed the activity. A stop work was issued; the panel door was secured. Panel was energized and was greater than 50 volts. Subcontractors were not wearing the appropriate PPE.

    NA--SS-SNL-NMSITE-2010-0003

    The Worker is at risk for injury!


Lessons learned
Lessons Learned necessary?

  • Each occurrence involved either trouble shooting/testing or visual inspections.

  • Even though no permits were required proper procedures/processes were not followed:

    • No evidence of hazard analysis

    • No PPE worn

    • No or inadequate pre-job

    • Lack of understanding of the requirements

    • All involved subcontractors

All put the worker at risk


Recap energized work
Recap – Energized Work necessary?

  • Is the last option

  • Must have a justifiable reason (3 to choose from)

  • Must use a energized work permit except for

    • Testing, Troubleshooting, voltage measuring, etc. or

    • Visual inspection within the Restricted and Limited Approach Boundaries

  • Must always analyze hazards (shock and arc flash) and

  • Use appropriate methods and PPE.


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