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Thread: Electrical Work Boundaries

  1. #1
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    Electrical Work Boundaries

    I have a question about electrical work boundaries and I cannot find my answer in 70E, thought maybe one of you could help:

    I have a 480V boiler. During the annual, the back cover is removed (under LOTO), energized work boundaries are set up, and the boiler is re-energized - this is so the inspector can watch for leaks. Here is the situation - This work was being performed on Monday. A problem was identified (a gauge needed replaced), and work was halted. Operations turned the boiler OFF, no LOTO, the boundary was energized work boundary was left in place, and everyone walked away. The new part won't be here til next week, so it will set like that at least until then. Is this OK? My gut feel is that it should be under LOTO and the boundary removed until work resumes, but I can't find anything that tells me that...

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by Jraef; 11-20-17 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Removed foreign formatting

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by PORTS View Post
    Operations turned the boiler OFF, no LOTO, the boundary was energized work boundary was left in place, and everyone walked away. The new part won't be here til next week, so it will set like that at least until then. Is this OK? My gut feel is that it should be under LOTO and the boundary removed until work resumes, but I can't find anything that tells me that...
    That's because you're wrong. The LOTO standard "covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or start up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm employees." If no employees would be harmed by the unexpected energization or startup, LOTO must be removed. That's why affected employees remove their locks when their work is done and they are no longer in danger. If necessary, a maintenance lock or "out of service" lock may be put on.

    Here's OSHA's point of view: https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owa...ONS&p_id=25538

  3. #3
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    Wtucker, You must've missed the part where I said they left all the covers off the boiler. So, if the boiler was started back up, all the heating coils as well as all the 480V connections would be OPEN!!!!  Even tho no work will be happening, with all the covers OFF, shouldn't the unit be controlled somehow?  LOTO?

  4. #4
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    I don't think it's an NEC issue. Probably OSHA or its equivalent to you.

    Just having a cover removed on something no one is working on is not the same as someone WORKING in the space that might get energized. At least, not from a practical standpoint. I can't comment on OSHA being practical or not. I've no need to keep track of them.

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