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Thread: Live work waiver

  1. #1
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    Live work waiver

    Has anyone ever heard of a waiver or form that can be signed by an employee to permit live work for the purpose of troubleshooting, and that is
    compliant per existing OSHA NFPA NEC codes? We typically will go into live panels to troubleshoot with proper PPE. But the question of compliance
    has come up. Hence the proposal for a waiver or form of some sort. I am vague on all the technicalities of OSHA and thought I'd ask here where a
    lot of you people know this stuff very well.

  2. #2
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    [/QUOTE]I'm somewhat vague on all the technicalities of OSHA as well, but I do know the employer is responsible for the employee's safety regardless. Which leads me to ask what exactly is the waiver you are asking about for? You can't have employees sign waiver forms that by pass safety procedures. If you are doing live work there has to be a procedure and it must be followed. Failure to follow such procedures can be grounds for dismissal.

    This is a little like having tasks that require using fall arrest equipment, but if the employees sign a waiver they don't need to use it. If the hazard is there those employees need to use proper PPE.

    That said even having the most strict policy on no live work still needs to have live work like tasks the purpose of testing for voltage to assure the item is not energized before continuing with the task .

  3. #3
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    Google "energized work permit OSHA". After reading up on the subject, post again if you have additional questions.
    I will have achieved my life's goal if I die with a smile on my face.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. We are not trying to get around any safety practices, just trying to be legit. The whole thing is a pain in
    the ass but it is what it is. We had a guy who didn't know what he was doing try to troubleshoot an issue. No one was hurt but there
    was a small flash. So we are establishing a work permit for live work, and also establishing what and who is a qualified worker. Guess
    my post should have been titled 'live work permit' as that is what it will be. Not a waiver.

    If anyone has an example of a live work permit I would love to see it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleman View Post

    If anyone has an example of a live work permit I would love to see it.
    Post #3

    http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php?t=116723
    "Electricity is really just organized lightning." George Carlin


    Derek

  6. #6
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    NFPA 70E-2015 has guidance on live work and has a sample energized work permit in Annex J. That may be a good place to start.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleman View Post
    Thanks for the replies. We are not trying to get around any safety practices, just trying to be legit. The whole thing is a pain in
    the ass but it is what it is. We had a guy who didn't know what he was doing try to troubleshoot an issue. No one was hurt but there
    was a small flash. So we are establishing a work permit for live work, and also establishing what and who is a qualified worker. Guess
    my post should have been titled 'live work permit' as that is what it will be. Not a waiver.

    If anyone has an example of a live work permit I would love to see it.
    I think many places the policy is no live work period, the exception is to test for presence of voltage after opening the circuit. No live work permit is needed for that situation, but you still wear appropriate PPE and assume it may be live until you have proven it is dead.

    Otherwise the only reason behind permitting live work is that turning off the power may present even more then hazards then putting electrical workers at risk. A bit of a rare situation but they do come up now and then in some places.

  8. #8
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    70E Art. 130.2(A) allows energized electrical work when de-energization is infeasible. (If you're troubleshooting, it's gotta be live!) OSHA agrees. 29 CFR 1910.333(a)(1) has nearly identical language.

    But, if you're going to work on energized equipment, 1910.333(a)(2) says you have to use safety-related work practices (such as a method of procedure and personal protective equipment). In order to select the proper personal protective equipment, 1910.132(d)(1)(i) says you've gotta have a hazard assessment. That gets us back to 70E, which says the two hazards of energized electrical work are shock and arc flash.

    So, you don't need a "waiver," you need an assessment of the shock hazard (What class: 00? 0? 1? 2?), and the arc flash hazard (What PPE category: 1, 2, 3 or 4?) Remember, sometimes there's an arc flash hazard but no shock hazard, and sometimes there's a shock hazard but no arc flash hazard.

  9. #9
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    Our panels are up to code per NEC 409 arc flashed rated etc. It's just that we really can't shut stuff off without it getting very expensive.
    And the powers that be want some type of safety measures in place and accountability etc.

    Once again thanks guys for the help.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleman View Post
    Has anyone ever heard of a waiver or form that can be signed by an employee to permit live work for the purpose of troubleshooting, and that is
    compliant per existing OSHA NFPA NEC codes? We typically will go into live panels to troubleshoot with proper PPE. But the question of compliance
    has come up. Hence the proposal for a waiver or form of some sort. I am vague on all the technicalities of OSHA and thought I'd ask here where a
    lot of you people know this stuff very well.
    Its not a waiver. it is essentially a permit to perform work on energized equipment. It is issued by management. The worker normally signs it as an acknowledgement that he is aware of the restrictions of the permit. It has no effect whatsoever on the employers responsibility to provide a safe work place or the employer's liability in the event of an employee injury.
    Bob

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