Readily Accessible

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Strahan

Senior Member
Location
Watsontown, PA
Guys, I need some backup here.
Here is the situation we have a room that contains three MC centers for three different machines all operating at 480VAC three phase. The problem I have with this situation is that our management team has installed locks on the doors which I don't necessarily have a problem with, but there are only two people on my shift that have keys to the room and neither are electricians. One is plant security and the other is the 3rd shift manager.

My problem is that when we (we being shift electricians) need to gain access to this room for anything we need to call either of these guys to come unlock the door. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Just last week we had a problem where we lost a phase coming into our plant and everything was single phasing. I could not access this room to shut everything down needless to say we had alot of parts to replace. From a safety standpoint I feel this room should be readily accessible for us to access if someone were to get caught in a machine or being lit up I would have no way to shut these panels down.

I have a meeting next week pertaining to this issue if you guys could give me some fire power it would be greatly apprecitated!!!
 

brian john

Senior Member
Location
Leesburg, VA
Do you have disconnects at the motors?

Seems a WISE management would see the loss of motors and associated cost as a need to change practices.
 

Strahan

Senior Member
Location
Watsontown, PA
Do you have disconnects at the motors?

Seems a WISE management would see the loss of motors and associated cost as a need to change practices.
Yes we have disconnects for each motor, but there are three machines with a total of 20 motors per machine. This makes it tough to disconnect them all in a timely fashion. I agree that they should see the dollar signs and change this but unfortunatley they see otherwise.

Mostly from a safety standpoint though; yes each motor has a disconnect located at the machine but as far as control power and line side to the disconnect switches there is no way for us to shut power completly off to this machine. God forbid someone was to get caught up in the control power or feed to these disconnects I would have to make a call and wait till someone showed up with the key.
 

ultramegabob

Senior Member
Location
Indiana
take a list of material costs, man hours for labor repairing equipment, and down time/ loss of production cost for that incident. if that doesnt convince them nothing will... maybe you could talk them into installing latches with push button combinations or key cards on maintence rooms, if they are concerned about security of the rooms, cards cannot be duplicated, and can be taken out of the system if an employee loses them.
 

Strahan

Senior Member
Location
Watsontown, PA
Thanks guys we seem to be concentrating more on the loss of time and material other than safety. I'm trying to find a sound reason for safety in order to convince them to change this prcedure. 430.107 states that atleast one disconnecting means should be readily accessible. Yes each motor has a disconnect but as I stated earlier what about control power and feed to these disconnects is there anything anywhere that states this room should be readily accessible?
 

ultramegabob

Senior Member
Location
Indiana
is there anything anywhere that states this room should be readily accessible?
I dont think there is, it is very common for electrical rooms to be locked, and many panel covers have locks directly on them. and as far as your comment on us focusing on the cost, sad to say, but money speaks louder than anything else to a room full of bean counters....
 

nakulak

Senior Member
correct me if I'm wrong, but if a person on the site has the key, then it is readily accessible.

I think that as others have pointed out, regardless of the fact that you want to do it for safety (a noble cause), you will be more likely to convince the powers that be by convincing them it will save money.
 

Strahan

Senior Member
Location
Watsontown, PA
I dont think there is, it is very common for electrical rooms to be locked, and many panel covers have locks directly on them. and as far as your comment on us focusing on the cost, sad to say, but money speaks louder than anything else to a room full of bean counters....
Ok yes I agree unfortunately money is number one on the list even ahead of safety in many cases, I didn't mean anything negative with the comment. It is just different working for such a big company where I don't have the costs that I do forget what its like when you are the one paying the bill. I'm not all together against keeping this room locked as long as all the qualified people have access. In this case it is just the opposite the two people who have access are not anywhere even close to being qualified while the people who are do not have access.
 

Strahan

Senior Member
Location
Watsontown, PA
what is thier reason for installing locks on the electrical room, or have they always been locked?
They suspect it is a hiding spot for 3rd shift employees:roll: My argument was if this is the case then fire anyone found in the room that is not suppose to be there. No this room has just recently been locked.
 

ultramegabob

Senior Member
Location
Indiana
They suspect it is a hiding spot for 3rd shift employees:roll: My argument was if this is the case then fire anyone found in the room that is not suppose to be there. No this room has just recently been locked.
I would push for access cards on the mechanical rooms, they can be custom programed for each person authorized to be in whichever room, and then easily denied access if needed for some reason.
 

Strahan

Senior Member
Location
Watsontown, PA
I would push for access cards on the mechanical rooms, they can be custom programed for each person authorized to be in whichever room, and then easily denied access if needed for some reason.
Sounds like a reasonable compromise and this may work since we already have a key card system in place. I'll try this and see where I get Thanks!!!!
 

ultramegabob

Senior Member
Location
Indiana
Sounds like a reasonable compromise and this may work since we already have a key card system in place. I'll try this and see where I get Thanks!!!!
depending on the system you have, they can monitor who is going in the room, and how long they are hanging out in there...
 

Strahan

Senior Member
Location
Watsontown, PA
Just last week we had a problem where we lost a phase coming into our plant and everything was single phasing. I could not access this room to shut everything down needless to say we had alot of parts to replace.QUOTE]

With proper overload sizing, and fusing this should not be a problem?
Totally agree! Other than motors we have alot of sensible electronic equipment as well. Unfortunately during power outages we still have issues no matter how much protection we have. Our scenario not only caused a single phasing issue but also created an imbalance on our other two phases; which we are still trying to come up with a reasonable explanation for considering are sub has two TX's in parallel. We have been hit with some pretty big storms here lately and its causing some havoc.
 
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