What to do when you are working for a heating and cooling company and they have no idea what NFPA70E stands for

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Move on but file a complaint with OSHA. They should not get away with this. Maybe go to a TV station too?
TV station probably won't be interested unless it is an employer with hundreds of employees and/or after there has been rather severe circumstances or even a fatality. Might even need to be multiple fatalities if station is in a metropolitan area.
 
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
TV station probably won't be interested unless it is an employer with hundreds of employees and/or after there has been rather severe circumstances or even a fatality. Might even need to be multiple fatalities if station is in a metropolitan area.

TV channel won’t give a darn. You’re 100% correct. I just filled a complaint with osha and the state labor board. Let’s see what happens


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Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
Move on but file a complaint with OSHA. They should not get away with this. Maybe go to a TV station too?

Filled with osha and state labor board yesterday.
My apprentice had two recent shock injuries due to :
1- no safety program
2- the journeyman he worked with refused to reenergize the circuit.
He reported both accidents to our direct manager who did not file a report on both incidents. Nothing was done.


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Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
Did you mean threatened if you did wear gloves?
Look, this is a very pro-active trade. You are wrong for being reactive and not walking. In other words, you cant say its dangerous and still stay put.
Its not what you say in life, or write (i guess) its what you do.
Your actions. A cool head, listen to what people are trying to do you, and act. It will always save you. And please never use sharpie on gear. Use tape, then sharpie... some old codger will have a go at you.

Walked away and reported it to HR*
That gear we never installed or serviced. I print labels or have plaques made when required.
I think just quitting is cowardly. Why would I not take action thru osha and the labor board after exhausting all internal options? That would be, in my eyes, abandoning my fellow coworkers


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Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
Did you mean threatened if you did wear gloves?
Look, this is a very pro-active trade. You are wrong for being reactive and not walking. In other words, you cant say its dangerous and still stay put.
Its not what you say in life, or write (i guess) its what you do.
Your actions. A cool head, listen to what people are trying to do you, and act. It will always save you. And please never use sharpie on gear. Use tape, then sharpie... some old codger will have a go at you.

I’m being threatened for not wearing a polyester uniform, asking for a federally required safety program and asking to start toolbox talks.
They refused to pay for safety gloves that I requested but I have my own pair anyways.
The shop is just 18-24 year old apprentices for the most part and I’ll gladly be a thorn in my employers side


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paulengr

Senior Member
NFPA-70E chart below. I see many residential main breaker panels rated with 10kA to 25kA main breakers. Most single phase breakers are now minimally rated at 10kA.

NFPA 70E Article 130.7(C)(11) continues to prohibit the use of certain flammable, synthetic materials as it has in the past. This means, at a minimum, wear clothing made from nonmelting, natural fabric when arc flash PPE is not required. (Extracted from ECMag online)

View attachment 2561838

There is a small risk here particularly with 240 VAC. OSHA investigated an incident in 2009 on a temporary construction panel near a pole in Georgia. The workers were wearing tank tops, shorts, and flip flops. No details on the shirt material or whether it was dark colored like a biker shirt or more of a light colored beach theme.

But you are completely out to lunch using AIC as an arcing fault current. If you look at NESC which uses real arc flash testing data they recommend 4 cal/cm2 for working on anything 250 V or less while energized. You might have 100 kVA at the pole for a 400 A service but the moment you add a service cable to it the short circuit rating quickly falls off. Even at 20 kA available short circuit current you need to have some way to contain the arc such as inside a breaker cover to keep the air hot enough. Lab tests have only sustained 240 V arcs for 80 milliseconds, just over the 1.2 cal/cm2 threshold.

At 10-25 kA, the number you are using, the breaker trips in 1 cycle (0.0167 seconds). This is in the instantaneous trio region. Arc flash will be well under 1.2 cal/cm.

Electricians are required to mark panels with available fault current. That is not the same as AIC. Care to try again?

Hint: low and slow. Run the calculation at 2 seconds at 240 VAC using the largest breaker.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
There is a small risk here particularly with 240 VAC. OSHA investigated an incident in 2009 on a temporary construction panel near a pole in Georgia. The workers were wearing tank tops, shorts, and flip flops. No details on the shirt material or whether it was dark colored like a biker shirt or more of a light colored beach theme.

But you are completely out to lunch using AIC as an arcing fault current. If you look at NESC which uses real arc flash testing data they recommend 4 cal/cm2 for working on anything 250 V or less while energized. You might have 100 kVA at the pole for a 400 A service but the moment you add a service cable to it the short circuit rating quickly falls off. Even at 20 kA available short circuit current you need to have some way to contain the arc such as inside a breaker cover to keep the air hot enough. Lab tests have only sustained 240 V arcs for 80 milliseconds, just over the 1.2 cal/cm2 threshold.

At 10-25 kA, the number you are using, the breaker trips in 1 cycle (0.0167 seconds). This is in the instantaneous trio region. Arc flash will be well under 1.2 cal/cm.

Electricians are required to mark panels with available fault current. That is not the same as AIC. Care to try again?

Hint: low and slow. Run the calculation at 2 seconds at 240 VAC using the largest breaker.
I’ve never had a breaker trip that fast.
possibly the pickup will assert in that time, but still doubtful.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
I’ve never had a breaker trip that fast.
possibly the pickup will assert in that time, but still doubtful.
Actually it is fairly common for new generation molded case breakers to clear this fast. However while very few, if any, Time Current Curves show this speed it is part of the reason series ratings are possible.
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Occupation
Facility Maintenance Tech. Licensed Electrician
Filled with osha and state labor board yesterday.
My apprentice had two recent shock injuries due to :
1- no safety program
2- the journeyman he worked with refused to reenergize the circuit.
He reported both accidents to our direct manager who did not file a report on both incidents. Nothing was done.


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Sad indeed. But I still think reporting at least establishes a record.
 

gene6

Senior Member
Location
US
Occupation
Electrician
I’m being threatened for not wearing a polyester uniform, asking for a federally required safety program and asking to start toolbox talks.
They refused to pay for safety gloves that I requested but I have my own pair anyways.
The shop is just 18-24 year old apprentices for the most part and I’ll gladly be a thorn in my employers side
I have been in your shoes, get in touch with your local OSHA office, explain the situation and request a on site consultation (at the active jobsite), it says your in Mass:

Your employer will automatically get a $1500 fine, don't walk out or quit, let them fire you.
If they fire you you can sue under whistle blower laws.
 

gene6

Senior Member
Location
US
Occupation
Electrician
I should three things I have learned about safety over loooog time;
#1 Just forget about 70E, its not enforceable, I know of very few places its really used, even in the armed forces.
#2 Don't make safety more complicated than it needs to be, just don't work hot there are very few good reasons to.
#3 Forget about ever working on anything over 250 Volts 'hot' (L-L or L-G AC or DC etc) , you just can't safely, there are very rare exceptions like if your working for a utility or large plant that does have a hot work safety program and you sat thru all the training's.
 
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
I should three things I have learned about safety over loooog time;
#1 Just forget about 70E, its not enforceable, I know of very few places its really used, even in the armed forces.
#2 Don't make safety more complicated than it needs to be, just don't work hot there are very few good reasons to.
#3 Forget about ever working on anything over 250 Volts 'hot' (L-L or L-G AC or DC etc) , you just can't safely, there are very rare exceptions like if your working for a utility or large plant that does have a hot work safety program and you sat thru all the training's.

70E may not be, but refusing to have a safety program is law.
Thanks for this


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Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
Maybe I missed it, but how many are employed, particularly the in the field technicians that you are trying to protect?

70 in the company. Most are plumbers or hvac. Only 4 electricians. I think under ten man company is a different thing and not required to have a safety program but 70+ certainly would be.
Too bad I’ll be leaving soon because my coworkers are great, management not so much


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kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
70 in the company. Most are plumbers or hvac. Only 4 electricians. I think under ten man company is a different thing and not required to have a safety program but 70+ certainly would be.
Too bad I’ll be leaving soon because my coworkers are great, management not so much


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That may mean OSHA won't be watching you as hard as larger employers, but at same time won't prevent an attorney pointing out what sort of safety measures are required by OSHA in any civil lawsuits when an employee or his family is suing an employer after some incident happened.
 
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
That may mean OSHA won't be watching you as hard as larger employers, but at same time won't prevent an attorney pointing out what sort of safety measures are required by OSHA in any civil lawsuits when an employee or his family is suing an employer after some incident happened.

Yea. Good call on that. I anticipate being fired and osha doing nothing to be honest but, I got my integrity.
Incidents have happened. From falls, shocks and ladder accidents. I even fell through a 2nd floor balcony recently and was out for two weeks. Kinda a funny story. The old couple said it was safe, they’d been up there that morning they said. Looked pretty solid too. Did my conduit run and right before moving on, boom! Right thru!
Turns out the wife who I spoke too, has Alzheimer’s.
I know they’re supposed to have a qualified person look at the jobs before we start but they send their salesmen out who are all former car salesmen and have zero safety training. Not a big deal I suppose most of the time but, guys get hurt.
Had a kid pass out in in attic. Was basically a crawl space and he was overcome with heat but got out in time. Could have been extremely bad. I mentioned that some attics are indeed confined spaces, some are permit required. No one in management cared.
The sad part is they hire extremely young people without any basic safety training and they refuse to have a safety program, let alone basic training for them. I honestly never thought hvac companies were this poorly run but oh well, learned what I wanted to from it and times approaching to move along


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Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Yea. Good call on that. I anticipate being fired and osha doing nothing to be honest but, I got my integrity.
Incidents have happened. From falls, shocks and ladder accidents. I even fell through a 2nd floor balcony recently and was out for two weeks. Kinda a funny story. The old couple said it was safe, they’d been up there that morning they said. Looked pretty solid too. Did my conduit run and right before moving on, boom! Right thru!
Turns out the wife who I spoke too, has Alzheimer’s.
I know they’re supposed to have a qualified person look at the jobs before we start but they send their salesmen out who are all former car salesmen and have zero safety training. Not a big deal I suppose most of the time but, guys get hurt.
Had a kid pass out in in attic. Was basically a crawl space and he was overcome with heat but got out in time. Could have been extremely bad. I mentioned that some attics are indeed confined spaces, some are permit required. No one in management cared.
The sad part is they hire extremely young people without any basic safety training and they refuse to have a safety program, let alone basic training for them. I honestly never thought hvac companies were this poorly run but oh well, learned what I wanted to from it and times approaching to move along


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Aren’t you the qualified person? You have to have a qualified person on the job, not just look at it and send in the inexperienced
 
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
Aren’t you the qualified person? You have to have a qualified person on the job, not just look at it and send in the inexperienced

Osha 30 card, NFPA70E cert, Confined spaces cert, licensed sparky. You’d think I was but nope.
They literally have no concept of these things. This is why in my eyes, being the qualified person, I’m not wearing polyester and push for a safety program. Just ToolBox talks would do but no.


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