working live on electrical systems

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zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
All I see is legal manipulating to shift blame away from the electrical contractor...... who should know better, and take responsibility for his actions.
Actually the owner of the system is shifting blame to the EC, who should know better if they had the required training to be "qualified" per 70E and OSHA. In the case of the OP the EC did either not know better or was ignoring the requirements on purpose. The OP's company has arc flash labels and PPE requirements posted on the breaker and the EC ignored them and was racking the breaker without any PPE.

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.
No, if the panel in your example is not labeled the owner has to provide the info needed for the EC to make the assesment required by either doing an arc flash analysis or apply the tables if they can be used, which would need to be determined by the EC using the info provided by the owner (OCPD info and available fault current)

"Information about the employer?s installation that the contract employer needs to make the assessments required by Chapter 1"

It sounds like you could really use some training yourself and stop being one of those guys trying to fight the system. Arc flash regulations are not going away, they are in place to protect people from serious injuries, 4-5 people a day are sent to burn centers from arc flash indicents, you ever been in a burn unit? I have, it is hell on earth.
 

kenaslan

Senior Member
Location
Billings MT
And you would lose, it happens all the time. Being licensed has nothing to do with being "qualified" or safe.
In order to sit for licenseure, you must be first qualified. Once you are licensed by a state (government) you take legal responsibility for your actions like it or not.
 

the blur

Senior Member
Location
cyberspace
Mr. Zog,

On your course of thinking, or logic, every home owner needs 70E training in order to hire a licensed electrician.

also, (your logic), every business owner, no matter how small or large, should be trained in electrical, plumbing, HVAC, property management, etc, etc, etc, rather than running their own "expertise", which is obviously not electrical work. Even the chinese restaurant owner should be trained in 70E, so the electrician can fix their wok. :eek:

This is really an embarrasment to the profession of EC.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I don't agree with the owner being responsible for contractors following safe practices whether it be the use of fall arrest gear or electrical protective gear, or whatever. They called a professional to do a job and expect them to know how to do it - including using safe work practices.

A big difference for any service company that performs work on the owners property and other companies is the fact you are on someone elses property. If you take your car to a repair shop - how can you be responsible for a technicians failure to follow safe procedures done in their own shop? Now if they come to your place to work on your car it gets complicated, even though they are doing same work. Makes a great breeding ground for legal disputes.
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
In order to sit for licenseure, you must be first qualified. Once you are licensed by a state (government) you take legal responsibility for your actions like it or not.
"Qualified" as defined by the NFPA 70E (And OSHA, which has the same requirements). In this sense it has nothing to do with being an electrician.

According to the NFPA 70E, a ?Qualified Person" is one who is trained and knowledgeable of the construction and operation of the equipment or the specific work method, and be trained to recognize the hazards present with respect to that equipment or work method.

Such persons shall also be familiar with the use of the precautionary techniques, personal protective equipment, insulating and shielding materials, and insulated tools and test equipment. A person can be considered qualified with respect to certain tasks but still be unqualified for others.

An employee that is undergoing on the job training and who, in the course of such training, has demonstrated the ability to perform duties safely at his or her level of training and who is under the direct supervision of a qualified person shall be considered to be a qualified person for the performance of those duties.

In addition, to be permitted to work within the limited approach of exposed energized conductors and circuit parts the person shall be trained in all of the following:
Qualified employees shall be trained and competent in:
?The skills and techniques necessary to distinguish exposed live parts from other parts of electric equipment
?The skills and techniques necessary to determine the nominal voltage of exposed live parts
?The minimum approach distances specified in this section corresponding to the voltages to which the qualified employee will be exposed, and,
?The decision making process necessary to determine the degree and extent of the hazard and the personal protective equipment and job planning necessary to perform the task safely
A few notes to add to the 70E definition.
?Only the employer can deem an employee qualified after they have had the proper training and have demonstrated profinency using the skills and method learned.
?There is no such thing as NFPA 70E certification, going to a training course does not make an employee qualified.
?The most misunderstood part of the "qualified" term is that it is all emcompassing, you are "qualified" to work on a specific type or piece of equipment.
?Neither a J-card, a masters license, or an engineering degree make you a "qualified person"
?The word "electrician" is not anywhere in the definition of a "qualified person" meaning these rules apply to all employees and you dont have to be an electrician to be "qualified"
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
Mr. Zog,

On your course of thinking, or logic, every home owner needs 70E training in order to hire a licensed electrician.

also, (your logic), every business owner, no matter how small or large, should be trained in electrical, plumbing, HVAC, property management, etc, etc, etc, rather than running their own "expertise", which is obviously not electrical work. Even the chinese restaurant owner should be trained in 70E, so the electrician can fix their wok. :eek:

This is really an embarrasment to the profession of EC.
No, they just need to ensure the contractor they are hiring is qualified, and in the OP the EC they hired obviously was not.
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
They called a professional to do a job and expect them to know how to do it - including using safe work practices.
Which in the OP's question was obviously not the case.

A big difference for any service company that performs work on the owners property and other companies is the fact you are on someone elses property. If you take your car to a repair shop - how can you be responsible for a technicians failure to follow safe procedures done in their own shop?
You have it 100% backwards, if you take your car to the repair shop they don't let you in the garage area under the car (Or are not supposed to anyways, I usually ask if I can see what they found) because if the car falls on you they could be held liable.
 

the blur

Senior Member
Location
cyberspace
Mr. Zog,
My meter fails while testing panel voltage. I had it on the wrong setting, the meter blows up, and causes a flash. I'm qualified, & I'm burnt.
Now I get to sue the home owner or building owner because my meter failed.

Your obviously OK with this logic, and will defend it till the very death, because the laws are written and in stone, even though they are WRONG.

One day 70e will be overturned, or completely re-written.
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John Stossel just did a show, where he proved everyone in the county is breaking some obsure law they don't know about, and this 70e falls into this relm.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
My meter fails while testing panel voltage. I had it on the wrong setting, the meter blows up, and causes a flash. I'm qualified, & I'm burnt.
Now I get to sue the home owner or building owner because my meter failed.
What do you find in NFPA70E that has increased a property owners exposure to being sued?
Over the past 40 years we have dealt with OSHA rules for employers in regards to Hazardous Material handing, fall protection, LOTO, ergonomics, and so on, so why is the 'current' focus on electrical work any different.
 

the blur

Senior Member
Location
cyberspace
Because the EMPLOYER can be a contractor, or a property owner hiring a "professional". Mrs. Jones hires an EC. Is Mrs Jones the EMPLOYER of record ???
 

jumper

Senior Member
It sounds like you could really use some training yourself and stop being one of those guys trying to fight the system. Arc flash regulations are not going away, they are in place to protect people from serious injuries, 4-5 people a day are sent to burn centers from arc flash indicents, you ever been in a burn unit? I have, it is hell on earth.

Spot on Zog.:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
Because the EMPLOYER can be a contractor, or a property owner hiring a "professional". Mrs. Jones hires an EC. Is Mrs Jones the EMPLOYER of record ???
Maybe maybe not. I think you will find the legal definition will involve the level of 'control' over the employee and how the work is performed. The 'who is the employer' question also includes things like liability insurance, workmans comp, and unemployment insurance.

But my point is; this question exists whether we are discussing energized electrical work under NFPA70E of if we are discussing any other type of work.
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
Mr. Zog,
My meter fails while testing panel voltage. I had it on the wrong setting, the meter blows up, and causes a flash. I'm qualified, & I'm burnt.
Now I get to sue the home owner or building owner because my meter failed.
No you are not qualified, if you were you would have been wearing the proper PPE and would not be burnt.

Your obviously OK with this logic, and will defend it till the very death, because the laws are written and in stone, even though they are WRONG.
How is protecting employees from workplace hazards wrong exactly?

One day 70e will be overturned, or completely re-written.
No it won't, however someday you will be out of a job if you don't comply. EC's all over the world have been changing the way they do work and approach safety (Including many menbers here), those that do not will start to lose work for not being qualified. Will homeowners ever care? I doubt it, but commercial and industrial customers already do care.
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
Racking switchgear in and out is OK if no load is present. However testing switchgear for proper operation fault conditions require flash suits and hot gloves.
Huh???? Where do you get that from? It is not even possible to rack any breaker in or out when under load, they all have "racking interlocks" to prevent that from happening. In fact, racking breakers in or out (not under load) is perhaps the most dangerous (High risk) task you can do.

This breaker was not under load
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6Im7PLduwc
 
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jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
Who is the employer??
the EC owner, or the property owner ?????
simple question, not a simple answer.

Who has 'control' over the person doing the work and the methods they use to accomplish the task?
In the cases where the property owner has a contract with the Electrical Contractor (EC), the person performing the labor is most likely an employee of the EC. The terms of the contract spell out, usually implicitly although sometimes explicitly, who has 'control of the worker'.

In other situations the property owner may contract for labor only, like a temp agency, in which case they probably retain 'control of the worker'.
 

hawkeye23

Senior Member
Location
stanton
I have been following these post with great interest and a few points that have been made are what is done at my employment without much ppe on which i like to know if we are right or not. A point has just been made about racking breakers that it is dangerous. I see guys working with the switchgear and generator where they test the generator. Is working with the test switches where the gen breaker is put on and the main is taken offline considered racking a breaker when testing generator ?
.
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
I have been following these post with great interest and a few points that have been made are what is done at my employment without much ppe on which i like to know if we are right or not. A point has just been made about racking breakers that it is dangerous. I see guys working with the switchgear and generator where they test the generator. Is working with the test switches where the gen breaker is put on and the main is taken offline considered racking a breaker when testing generator ?
.
Racking a breaker is removing or inserting it from the cell, usually with a hand crank but more and more commonly these days with a remote racking "robot".

It sounds like what you are talking about is operating breakers from a remote station which would likely not have any arc flash hazard but hard to know for sure with such a vauge description.
 

ritelec

Senior Member
Location
Jersey
There is no amount of PPE that will protect you .

It's pretty horrific.

At a ceu, was talking to a gentleman that mentioned the same thing. Mentioned tests with dummies and arc flash and heat into the thousands of degrees..............well the dummy was still vaporized.

Gets you thinking..........(well now gets me thinking even when I "just" remove a panel cover).
 
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