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    Energizing on Set Time Schedule

    Several years ago, a worker on my construction project, was completing work on a transformer when he was electrocuted. Very tragic-dramatic event. The investigation revealed that the upstream energization of the transformer was based of a set time. Worker was triying to complete the work befroe the time deadline and/or he did not have the correct time. Investigation also revealed that the group responsible for commissioning were not provided with portable radios or telephones. A phone or radio could have been used to effectively communicate with other team members the status of completed work before energization.

    Is electrical energization based on set time schedule(s) prohibited by any law or consensus standard? If so where is the subject is clearly addressed? Any comments will be appreiciated.

    #2
    It sounds like the practice common to utility work of setting local grounding jumpers on deenergized source wires would have prevented this tragedy. Not, AFAIK, mandated by NEC or OSHA though.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

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      #3
      IMHO, this was a failure to properly lockout/tagout before working on the equipment.
      Bob

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by petersonra View Post
        IMHO, this was a failure to properly lockout/tagout before working on the equipment.
        Maybe. If it were new construction at what point does one have to start to consider the possibility of what you are working on becoming energized and need to LOTO?

        As mentioned for utility work or other similar situations - local grounding jumpers is very important, without them one about has to treat it as if it were energized.
        I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by petersonra View Post
          IMHO, this was a failure to properly lockout/tagout before working on the equipment.
          I agree. Though I have no idea how the Poco does their work, anytime my hands are in something that could be energized, my locks are on any and all applicable breakers. Getting hit with 120 is no fun, getting hit with 19920 V, probably the last thing you ever do
          Electricians do it until it Hertz!

          Comment


            #6
            Energizing on set time schedule without any safeguard is like working under a time bomb set to go off at a time schedule. No law/code/standard will allow such a work practice.

            Comment


              #7
              Please identify the specific law you are referring too. Info needed for a safety bulletin I am preparing on the subject.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by TVH View Post
                Please identify the specific law you are referring too. Info needed for a safety bulletin I am preparing on the subject.
                Refer to CFR 29 subpart S 'Electrical' of OSHA. The OSHA requires the equipment used, in your case the equipment for energizing on set time schedule for power line work, to be certified so by a third party.

                Comment


                  #9
                  i found myself in a similar problem 02 years ago. the procedure of lockout was not respected and consequently the workplace was not safe enough to work in. these type of problems are very common in construction sites

                  Comment


                    #10
                    ADDITIONAL INPUTS TO COMMENTS ON "ENERGIZATION ON SET TIME SCHEDULE"

                    Originally posted by TVH View Post
                    Several years ago, a worker on my construction project, was completing work on a transformer when he was electrocuted. Very tragic-dramatic event. The investigation revealed that the upstream energization of the transformer was based of a set time. Worker was triying to complete the work befroe the time deadline and/or he did not have the correct time. Investigation also revealed that the group responsible for commissioning were not provided with portable radios or telephones. A phone or radio could have been used to effectively communicate with other team members the status of completed work before energization.

                    Is electrical energization based on set time schedule(s) prohibited by any law or consensus standard? If so where is the subject is clearly addressed? Any comments will be appreiciated.
                    I failed to mention in the original post that locks and tags were removed from the prime energy source by supervision prior to the initial energization of the new field transformer. The lone worker at the transformer did not have a lock applied to the energy source. Part of the energization procedure, at that time, allowed energization based on a set time schedule. The procedure which was approved by management, had been in place for several projects without incident. The lone worker had not completed all his work and it was speculated that he did not have the proper time. It is obvious that the procedure was seriously flawed and it was subsequently revised requiring radio or portable telephone communications at the equipment being energized before the switch was pulled at the substation. Other safeguards were also added to the procedure.

                    Although the answers to my previous posts were good and interesting, the issue I wanted to address is the identification of any recognized standard that prohibits the energization of field equipment based on a set time schedule. I cannot locate a reference on this subject. Can anyone help identify a mandatory standard/reference on this subject. I believe the subject needs highlighting to operatives responsible for the electrical energization of field positioned equipment.
                    Thank you for your assistance and cooperation.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Although the answers to my previous posts were good and interesting, the issue I wanted to address is the identification of any recognized standard that prohibits the energization of field equipment based on a set time schedule.
                      Not per se. I think the requirements for LOTO and using grounding jumpers would apply.

                      -Hal

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by TVH View Post
                        I failed to mention in the original post that locks and tags were removed from the prime energy source by supervision prior to the initial energization of the new field transformer. The lone worker at the transformer did not have a lock applied to the energy source. Part of the energization procedure, at that time, allowed energization based on a set time schedule. The procedure which was approved by management, had been in place for several projects without incident. The lone worker had not completed all his work and it was speculated that he did not have the proper time. It is obvious that the procedure was seriously flawed and it was subsequently revised requiring radio or portable telephone communications at the equipment being energized before the switch was pulled at the substation. Other safeguards were also added to the procedure.

                        Although the answers to my previous posts were good and interesting, the issue I wanted to address is the identification of any recognized standard that prohibits the energization of field equipment based on a set time schedule. I cannot locate a reference on this subject. Can anyone help identify a mandatory standard/reference on this subject. I believe the subject needs highlighting to operatives responsible for the electrical energization of field positioned equipment.
                        Thank you for your assistance and cooperation.
                        OSHA includes a "general duty" clause that basically is a catch-all, requiring:

                        (a) Each employer --
                        (1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;


                        Anyone familiar with this type of work could have easily foreseen this tragedy.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          From the LOTO standard "..in which the unexpected energization or start up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm employees. This standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the control of such hazardous energy."

                          In this case LOTO would apply and should have been recognized.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by mikecj View Post
                            From the LOTO standard "..in which the unexpected energization or start up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm employees. This standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the control of such hazardous energy."

                            In this case LOTO would apply and should have been recognized.
                            This clause is why the OP is soliciting thoughts. In his case the harm came not from unexpected energization but rather from anticipated energization.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jeremysterling View Post
                              This clause is why the OP is soliciting thoughts. In his case the harm came not from unexpected energization but rather from anticipated energization.
                              I guess it also matters in terms of expected by whom.
                              It sounds like in addition to the scheduled activation there was a LOTO process in use. For some reason the victim either did not see the need for his own lock because he thought he was protected by the schedule or he was prevented from placing his own lock.

                              I guess I do not see an insurmountable safety issue with setting a schedule as long as it is not seen as a substitute for a proper LOTO process.

                              Comment

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