working live on electrical systems

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jimbo123

Senior Member
The company had ec in on monday to do repairs to parts of the electrical system. They were replacing 2 feeders and were racking these large circuit breakers 500a @460 volt in and out of the switch gear. They send we do this everyday. Someone had mention to the manerger that they are not ppe equipt nor any hazard assesment being done be for beginning work. Shouldn't they have followed some kind of Osha or 70 e rules be fore doing this kind of work?
I thought most contractors followed the rule abut working live.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
The company had ec in on monday to do repairs to parts of the electrical system. They were replacing 2 feeders and were racking these large circuit breakers 500a @460 volt in and out of the switch gear. They send we do this everyday. Someone had mention to the manerger that they are not ppe equipt nor any hazard assesment being done be for beginning work. Shouldn't they have followed some kind of Osha or 70 e rules be fore doing this kind of work?
I thought most contractors followed the rule abut working live.
It is conceivable (not real likely though) that the standard PPE (glasses, shoes, etc.) is adequate for what they are doing.

What does the HRC tag on this equipment say?
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
Jimbo, dosen't your company require "qualified" contractors and proof of 70E training to even enter the plant? Many companies do these days. Someone at your company must have signed off on thier EEWP?

Your company could be held liable if one of those EC's was injured due to not following OSHA/70E requirements.
 

jimbo123

Senior Member
1. there has not been a arc flash study started so there are no hrc lables on system.
2. i don't know if they do a eewp . do they have to ?
3. i don't know if they have any training.
All that information is between then and mangement.
If they do this type of work on a daily bases i would think there is training involved , i hope.
We are not part of the proscess , also these ec are here for the first time.
Appreciate the repleys.
 

peter d

Senior Member
Location
New England
There is no amount of PPE that will protect you if something goes wrong while racking in a large frame breaker into high amperage gear.

There is an infamous video on Youtube showing a worker racking in a large frame breaker at a refinery in Venezuela that faults during the racking process. It's pretty horrific.
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
1. there has not been a arc flash study started so there are no hrc lables on system.
Then the EC is required to follow the tables which means HRC 4 for racking.
2. i don't know if they do a eewp . do they have to ?
Yes, if they are doing energized work, and your company has to approve it.
3. i don't know if they have any training.
If not, which it sounds like they don't, they are not qualified to be doing the work. Again, your company assume liability when they are in your plant and should pre-qualify contractors as OSHA recommends. THe 70E now has specific rules for outside contractors.
 

the blur

Senior Member
Location
cyberspace
This is where I disagree. Your hiring a professional licensed insured contractor. Its their responsibility to do it right, and work safe. I would take this all the way to the judge, should an incident occur.
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
This is where I disagree. Your hiring a professional licensed insured contractor. Its their responsibility to do it right, and work safe. I would take this all the way to the judge, should an incident occur.
And you would lose, it happens all the time. Being licensed has nothing to do with being "qualified" or safe.
 

the blur

Senior Member
Location
cyberspace
Then that's a problem with the licensing board, or licensing system. plain and simple.

say a 277v 3o lighting panel, in retail store, like office depot, or book store, or similiar. Is the store manager suppose to be qualified enough to know a master electrician is doing it wrong ??? or a master plumber is doing it wrong ???? That's totally ridiculous.

Electrian drops screw driver across 2 phases and blows himself up.
You put that store owner before a judge and JURY of common lay people, he would not be found liable.
This is another obama type gov't regulation taking control of what should be put on the responsible party... which is the licensed electrician.

just the other day, doing commerical alterations, my co-worker is cutting an existing conduit shorter. stuffed with 10 THHN #12 wires. 1 wire was still live, and he sliced it with the pipe cutter, and it blew up in his face. He fell off the ladder from fright. Your blaming the strip mall owner !!!! please, that is totally insane. We were hired because they moved a partition wall in the strip mall, and we're dropping outlets & low voltage computer wire down the new wall. we're hired to do it properly, in a work-man like professional manner, and we take responsility for our actions.
 

the blur

Senior Member
Location
cyberspace
How about this: we're doing commercial renovations on a 2 story strip mall. The glass company is doing major window work, 20 feet up, on scaffolds. Flimsy-ist scaffolds I have ever seen. no safety rails, no harnesses, no regards for any safety rules at all.

3 guys on the very top platform of a 4x8 scaffold. Biggest union glass company in the city. Very well known company. There banging up aluminum frames, carrying heavy double panes of glass. Working very fast. No rails on the platform. I was nervous watching them. Even if one guy slipped, there would be nothing for him to catch him self. They say this is how they work, and they do this all day long, every day, and they are comfortable up there.

If one of these guys takes a 20' fall, there is no way you can blame the property owner. It's the biggest glass company out there, and they are professionals at what they do. There insured, the GC is insured, and the property owner is insured, but you need to place liability where it should be placed.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
This is another obama type gov't regulation taking control of what should be put on the responsible party... which is the licensed electrician.

Two points

1) OSHA regs were put into place in the early 70s, for the most part the rules have been there but no one was following them.



2) We don't allow political comments so please leave them out.
 
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iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
there is no way you can blame the property owner. It's the biggest glass company out there, and they are professionals at what they do. There insured, the GC is insured, and the property owner is insured, but you need to place liability where it should be placed.
We can feel that way but that is not the reality of it.
 

jumper

Senior Member
Then the reality of it is wrong. you place blame where it is due. not on someone else because they hired a 'professional'.
The reality of it is not wrong. The rules are there to protect workers, like it or not - 'tis the law. Please do not espouse ideas or policies that could endanger the workers - we do not appreciate it.

If your are an EC and owner, then do what you want - but do not even think of telling me to do something crazy if I work for you. Those days are over.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Then the reality of it is wrong. you place blame where it is due. not on someone else because they hired a 'professional'.
OK, lets look at that.

In many cases the employer has provided all the safety equipment necessary but the employee chooses to work with out.

If they employee gets hurt who would you say the fines should go to?
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
Good example iWire.

Here is what the 70E says:

110.1 Relationships with Contractors (Outside Service Personnel, etc.).

(A) Host Employer Responsibilities:
(1) The host employer shall inform contract employers of:
a. Known hazards that are covered by this standard, that are related to the contract employer?s work, and that might not be recognized by the contract employer or its employees
b. Information about the employer?s installation that the contract employer needs to make the assessments required by Chapter 1
(2) The host employer shall report observed contract employer- related violations of this standard to the contract employer.

(B) Contract Employer Responsibilities:
(1) The contract employer shall ensure that each of his or her employees is instructed in the hazards communicated to the contract employer by the host employer. This instruction is in addition to the basic training required by this standard.
(2) The contract employer shall ensure that each of his or her employees follows the work practices required by this standard and safety-related work rules required by
the host employer.

(3) The contract employer shall advise the host employer of:
a. Any unique hazards presented by the contract employer?s work,
b. Any unanticipated hazards found during the contract employer?s work that the host employer did not mention, and
c. The measures the contractor took to correct any violations reported by the host employer under paragraph (A)(2) of this section and to prevent such violation from recurring in the future.

(C) Documentation. There shall be a documented meeting between the host employer and the contract employer.



So the owner of the system (In the case of the OP that would be the company Jimbo works for) is required to:
1) Identify hazards (Arc flash labels from the study for the OP)
2) Ensure the EC follow the 70E requirements and any additional requirements the OP's company may have in thier safety program (Does not sound like this was done)
3) Report any observed violations of the 70E or it's own safety requirements (Obviously Jimbo tried to do this, as he should have)
3) Hold a meeting with the EC covering the safety requirements and document it (Does not sound like this was done either)

If the owner of the system does all of these things they will likely not be held liable in the event of an accident on thier property involving a contractor, but if these are not done they can be held liable (IBM found out the hard way to the tune of a few million bucks).

Sooooo, to protect themselves many companies use this form (Attached) to pre-qualify EC's before they are allowed to come on site. View attachment Contractor safety brief.doc

Here is an EC&M article that address some of these issues http://ecmweb.com/ops_maintenance/arc-flash-labeling-requirements-20110101/
 

the blur

Senior Member
Location
cyberspace
If my boss gave me eye protection, and I choose not to wear it, that?s my decision. He?s not standing over me all day long.
If I choose to ride my Harley without a helmet, that's my choice. If my brains are scattered all over the pavement ?.. According to your logic, it?s Harley?s fault because I?m not qualified, and they sold me the bike.

We are adults, not kids in elementry school.

If someone pulls the trigger on a gun, they sue the gun company.

unforturnitly, the lawyers always walk away as the big winners, and the others are all losers.
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
If my boss gave me eye protection, and I choose not to wear it, that?s my decision. He?s not standing over me all day long.
Exactly the point!! But he is required to give you eye protection if the job he assigns you requires it.

If I choose to ride my Harley without a helmet, that's my choice. If my brains are scattered all over the pavement ?.. According to your logic, it?s Harley?s fault because I?m not qualified, and they sold me the bike.
No ones logic is blaming Harley, you are overreacting. However, if your state requires you to wear a helmet and you don't and splatter your brains that is your choice, however who ever your next of kin is will most likely not get any money from your insurance company becuase of that choice you made.

If someone pulls the trigger on a gun, they sue the gun company.
Who is they? How would the gun company be liable? You are just making stuff up.
 

the blur

Senior Member
Location
cyberspace
I read those 2 links in the post above.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sooooo, to protect themselves many companies use this form (Attached) to pre-qualify EC's before they are allowed to come on site. Attachment 6746
Here is an EC&M article that address some of these issues http://ecmweb.com/ops_maintenance/ar...ents-20110101/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All I see is legal manipulating to shift blame away from the electrical contractor...... who should know better, and take responsibility for his actions.

case in point, a 480/277v 600amp service does not have an arc flash label. So the above laws say, the electrician can become a complete moron, and not assume he's opening a dangerous panel, when he should know, any 480v panel has enough energy to do major damage.

I can't argue with you, because I know the laws are in place, and you will defend them, no matter how right or wrong they are.
I'm just waiting for the 1st residential arc flash, and they blame the home owner for NOT having an arc flash label, and hot work permit.


and we all know gun companies have been sued over murders by criminals.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Then that's a problem with the licensing board, or licensing system. plain and simple.

say a 277v 3o lighting panel, in retail store, like office depot, or book store, or similiar. Is the store manager suppose to be qualified enough to know a master electrician is doing it wrong ??? or a master plumber is doing it wrong ???? That's totally ridiculous.

Electrian drops screw driver across 2 phases and blows himself up.
You put that store owner before a judge and JURY of common lay people, he would not be found liable.
This is another obama type gov't regulation taking control of what should be put on the responsible party... which is the licensed electrician.

just the other day, doing commerical alterations, my co-worker is cutting an existing conduit shorter. stuffed with 10 THHN #12 wires. 1 wire was still live, and he sliced it with the pipe cutter, and it blew up in his face. He fell off the ladder from fright. Your blaming the strip mall owner !!!! please, that is totally insane. We were hired because they moved a partition wall in the strip mall, and we're dropping outlets & low voltage computer wire down the new wall. we're hired to do it properly, in a work-man like professional manner, and we take responsility for our actions.
I feel the same way that you do with most of what you said. The jury of common lay people probably does also.
The job of the attorneys is to make the jury see it in the way the the attorney wants to present it. Like it or not the jury can not just ignore the fact the owner may have some responsibilty if the attorney presents facts that show this. But the owners attorney will have things to counter that with - so that makes it complicated. Only real winners in the end is both attorneys, judge, and court related employees only because they have a job. Everyone else was inconvenienced at the very least.
 
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