Arc Flash at JCP

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Just another guy who thought he could safely work on live parts.

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/11/35-year-old_chicopee_man_suffe.html

I feel for the guy, but when are people going to learn?

I don't know the answer to the above, but I have a couple opf otehr thoughts:

  • Were there arc-flash labeling?
  • Did his employee had a formal training on Safety, specifically woking on live equipment?
  • Was he actually working on equipment that was LIVE according to his best determinaltion, or did he got backfeed by some setup that could not be identified without drawings?
  • Was he an electrician? (Even though the article refers to him as an electrician.)
  • Are there rules anywhere where an electricians training is including safe working on live equipment?
What I am attempting to demonstrate here that newspaper stories are so vague and written by non-technical persons that very little useful determination can be made of the actual events.
 

pfalcon

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I don't know the answer to the above, but I have a couple opf otehr thoughts:

  • Were there arc-flash labeling?
  • Did his employee had a formal training on Safety, specifically woking on live equipment?
  • Was he actually working on equipment that was LIVE according to his best determinaltion, or did he got backfeed by some setup that could not be identified without drawings?
  • Was he an electrician? (Even though the article refers to him as an electrician.)
  • Are there rules anywhere where an electricians training is including safe working on live equipment?
What I am attempting to demonstrate here that newspaper stories are so vague and written by non-technical persons that very little useful determination can be made of the actual events.

I'm sorry but most of this has little to do with real safety.

If the article is correct and he is an electrician then:
*Working in a MCC has arc-flash hazards when working hot - duh
*Did he receive formal training? - What, are we pranking apprentices now? How about informal training? Getting batted upside the head as an apprentice for not following the proper procedures?
* Does an electricians training include safe working on live equipment? Again, kinda a big oversight if he apprenticed without it don't ya think?

I'll back the other two questions though.
*Was he really an electrician? Cause if not then training and warning signs are pointless. He was gonna do as told even if it killed him. And it almost did.
*Unidentified backfeed? Wow! Some of these retail establishments. This is why 410.130(G) got put in. Unplug the luminaire cause we don't know what kind of hack job feeds the lights.
 
I'm sorry but most of this has little to do with real safety.

If the article is correct and he is an electrician then:
*Working in a MCC has arc-flash hazards when working hot - duh
*Did he receive formal training? - What, are we pranking apprentices now? How about informal training? Getting batted upside the head as an apprentice for not following the proper procedures?
* Does an electricians training include safe working on live equipment? Again, kinda a big oversight if he apprenticed without it don't ya think?

I'll back the other two questions though.
*Was he really an electrician? Cause if not then training and warning signs are pointless. He was gonna do as told even if it killed him. And it almost did.
*Unidentified backfeed? Wow! Some of these retail establishments. This is why 410.130(G) got put in. Unplug the luminaire cause we don't know what kind of hack job feeds the lights.

I was pointing to omission of labeling on the owner's part. The person servicing the equipment may have PPE, but it is inadequate for the distance and available arc-flash energy. (We do not know if he had some PPE on originally, but as it disintegrated, he tore it off.)
I was pointing to the employer's responsibility.
Of course an electrician's training would be incomplete without 'working live' training, but could you point to me to a document that assures that? Uniformly? In ALL States? Compliant with current NFPA 70E?

What I am trying to highlight that there is lots of potential for this to happen.
 
Training & PPE

Training & PPE

I found this incident and put on my blog. It is so sad that too many electricians still don't know how bad a 480V arc flash can be. Large petrochemical companies and most of the utilities know and provide training but the average electrician in a contractor is still without training. Boston and all of OSHA region 1 is really upping the citations on electrical safety. Ken Mastrullo's training there is really helping and most larger companies have been doing training since 2000-2004 versions came out but it is still missing in the small employers unless they work in companies requiring it of their contractors.

Arc flash training, as it is often called, is just up-to-date electrical safety training. They really mean the same thing. Some companies are giving away training but it is always from a perspective. Several good training companies out there. These news items make it clear that these are happening. How many don't get in the news.

Hugh Hoagland
 
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