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“Donnie’s Accident” – “I Was Too Good To Need My Safety Gear”

Donnie's Accident

On August 12, 2004, I was connecting large electrical generator in preparation for Hurricane Charlie. The meter I was using failed and blew carbon into the gear and created an electrical arc which resulted in an arc blast. The electrical equipment shown in the video is the actual equipment after the explosion when my co-workers were there trying to restore power and make temporary repairs. I ended up with full thickness, 3rd degree burns to both hands and arms along with 2nd and 3rd degree burns to my neck and face. I was in a coma for two months due to numerous complications from infections and medications.

During this time my family endured 4 hurricanes and the possibility of losing me. I am a husband, a father, a son and a brother, not just an electrician. It took almost two years of healing, surgeries and rehabilitation to only be able to return to work to an office job. I can’t use my hands and arms as well as I once could… BUT I’M ALIVE! There are those who have had similar accidents and fared much, much worse. I use my experiences to caution others.

All of this could have been avoided if I had been wearing my personal protection equipment (PPE), which I was fully trained to do and was in my work van. I would have probably only gone to the hospital for a checkup! I am asking you to protect yourself by following your safety procedures. Accidents at work not only affect you; think about the effects on your family, your friends, your finances, your company, your co-workers… your entire world.

Most of these injuries can be prevented by following the safety rules your company probably have in place. Most of these rules were put in place because of accidents like mine. Be safe, wear your PPE; not for fear of fines, penalties or getting fired. Be safe for yourself and for all the people close to you. I got a second chance… You might not!!! !!!

You can read a more in depth account of my accident on the “Full Story” page.

OSHA Arc Flash Safety Information
Understanding “Arc Flash” – Occupational Safety and Health …
https://www.osha.gov/…/arc_flash_han…

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Employees must follow the requirements of the Arc Flash Hazard label by wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), use of insulated tools and other safety related precautions. This includes not working on or near the circuit unless you are a “qualified” worker.

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“NFPA 70E – 2017” – “LOTO & Arc Flash Proposed Changes From Second Draft Meeting “

NFPA-70E-2015

The second draft meeting for NFPA 70E was held in Salt Lake City on July 18th through July 21st. There were 173 public comments acted on at the meeting. There are a few proposed changes to the standard that were acted upon that may garner the most attention.

NOTE:  The official position of the committee has not been given through the formal ballot. This blog only addresses preliminary revisions proposed by the public and committee.

The first is that the layout of Article 120 Establishing an Electrically Safe Work Condition has been reorganized to better address the logical sequence of events. The steps, principles, and program for lockout/tagout have been moved to be the first sections of Article 120 since these are necessary before verifying the condition.  The verification steps have been moved to the end of Article 120 since these are the last steps for establishing the electrically safe work condition.

A second change is to place further emphasis on the risk assessment and put the hierarchy of controls into mandatory language.  The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) has always been and remains to be the last method selected when providing protection for the worker exposed to hazards when conducting justified energized work. The revised text clarifies this principle.

The third changes clarifies how the standard should have always been used when justified energized work is to be conducted. It essentially is not adding new requirements but will assist in preventing the misuse of the standard. The change is that Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(a) [that many call the task table] has become a new table applicable to both the PPE category method or the incident energy analysis method. It no longer determines whether PPE is required but whether or not there is a likelihood of an arc flash occurrence. The user conducts a risk assessment and determines the protection scheme to be employed to protect the worker using the hierarchy of controls (same as in the past editions).

The last big change is that the references to PPE equipment standards have been changed to informational notes. The equipment must still meet the applicable standards but the verification process has been changed to one of a conformity assessment where the PPE manufacturer should be able to provide assurance that the applicable standard has been met by one of three methods. The previous edition of the standard did not require any verification method. The three methods are; self-declaration with a Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity, self-declaration under a registered Quality  Management System and product testing by an accredited laboratory and a Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity, or a certification by an accredited independent third-party certification organization.

The committee’s official position will be taken by ballot in early September.  If you want to keep up on the process visit the NFPA 70E web page at www.nfpa.org/70E. The next edition tab will carry all the current information throughout the process. NFPA 70E – 2017 is slated to be voted on at the association meeting in Boston, MA in June 2017.

“New NFPA 70E – 2015 Standard Explained”

The 2015 edition of NFPA 70E introduces a major change in how stakeholders evaluate electrical risk, so that owners, managers, and employees can work together to ensure an electrically safe working area and comply with OSHA 1910 Subpart S and OSHA 1926 Subpart K.
• Key changes throughout the Standard replace the phrase “hazard analysis” with “risk assessment” to enable a shift in awareness about the potential for failure.
• Change in naming from “Hazard Risk Category” to “Arc Flash PPE Category.”
• Elimination of Hazard Risk Category 0.
• Requirement added for proper maintenance of electrical equipment for both energized and de-energized maintenance.
• Updated tables add clarity to requirements, such as the restricted approach boundary dimensions in Table 130.4 (D)(a).
• New requirement 320.3 (A)(1) covers risk assessment associated with battery work.
• New subsection in 130.2 (A)(4) provides requirements where normal operation of electric equipment is permitted.
• Informative Annex E has updated text to correlate with the redefined terminology associated with hazard and risk. This annex provides clarity and consistency about definitions as well as risk management principles vital to electrical safety.

In short, the above changes noted are a bit easier explained as follows:

There are many changes that you should be aware of in the new NFPA 70E 2015 edition. Changes in the boundaries will certainly have an effect on the type and rating of the electrical personal protective equipment that qualified electrical workers will be wearing.

Although the prohibited approach boundary has been deleted, there are still shock hazards and arc flash boundaries remaining that must be understood.

First, the restricted approach boundary is closest to the energized equipment and may only be crossed by qualified workers with the proper PPE. Next, you have the limited approach boundary that unqualified workers can cross only if they are in the proper PPE and accompanied by a qualified worker. Finally, the arc flash boundary is the boundary that requires any person that crosses it to be in the appropriate arc flash PPE.

This may be one of the most important boundaries to be aware of in your facility, as it affects not only electrical workers but all personnel. It is critical that all are aware of this boundary because there are no requirements on who can cross this boundary unless your company has an internal policy in place written in its electrical safety program.

Another change in the NFPA 70E 2015 edition to be aware of involves work permits. Any time the restricted approach boundary is crossed, a work permit will now be required.

Please work through your internal electrical safety program team to ensure this process is followed prior to any work taking place within the restricted approach boundary. Keep in mind that a work permit may not be required when troubleshooting, testing or voltage measuring is taking place.

Another change to consider is what electrical PPE is needed when working energized. Since the prohibited approach boundary for shock protection has been deleted, there are some updates in NFPA 70E 2015 around this.

Table 130.4 (D)(a) defines the approach boundaries and there have been some changes as it pertains to voltages. For example, the old NFPA 70E version from 2012 had shock boundaries built around 50V-300V and 301V-750V. However, this has now changed and the shock protection boundaries for 2015 are 50V-150V and 151V-750V. What this means is that shock hazard equipment will be required when inside the restricted approach boundary.

There are many changes you will want to familiarize yourself with in the NFPA 70E 2015 edition that could affect your overall facility, as well as your processes on working in or around energized electrical equipment.

This new edition is available for purchase at NFPA.org and other technical book stores.

 

“New! ” NFPA 70E – 2015 Standard Released”

NFPA 70E
The 2015 edition of NFPA 70E introduces a major change in how stakeholders evaluate electrical risk — so that owners, managers, and employees can work together to ensure an electrically safe working area and comply with OSHA 1910 Subpart S and OSHA 1926 Subpart K.
• Key changes throughout the Standard replace the phrase “hazard analysis” with “risk assessment” to enable a shift in awareness about the potential for failure.
• Change in naming from “Hazard Risk Category” to “Arc Flash PPE Category.”
• Elimination of Hazard Risk Category 0.
• Requirement added for proper maintenance of electrical equipment for both energized and de-energized maintenance.
• Updated tables add clarity to requirements, such as the restricted approach boundary dimensions in Table 130.4 (D)(a).
• New requirement 320.3 (A)(1) covers risk assessment associated with battery work.
• New subsection in 130.2 (A)(4) provides requirements where normal operation of electric equipment is permitted.
• Informative Annex E has updated text to correlate with the redefined terminology associated with hazard and risk. This annex provides clarity and consistency about definitions as well as risk management principles vital to electrical safety.

In short, the above changes noted are a bit easier explained as follows:

There are many changes that you should be aware of in the new NFPA 70E 2015 edition. Changes in the boundaries will certainly have an effect on the type and rating of the electrical personal protective equipment that qualified electrical workers will be wearing.

Although the prohibited approach boundary has been deleted, there are still shock hazards and arc flash boundaries remaining that must be understood.

First, the restricted approach boundary is closest to the energized equipment and may only be crossed by qualified workers with the proper PPE. Next, you have the limited approach boundary that unqualified workers can cross only if they are in the proper PPE and accompanied by a qualified worker. Finally, the arc flash boundary is the boundary that requires any person that crosses it to be in the appropriate arc flash PPE.

This may be one of the most important boundaries to be aware of in your facility, as it affects not only electrical workers but all personnel. It is critical that all are aware of this boundary because there are no requirements on who can cross this boundary unless your company has an internal policy in place written in its electrical safety program.

Another change in the NFPA 70E 2015 edition to be aware of involves work permits. Any time the restricted approach boundary is crossed, a work permit will now be required.

Please work through your internal electrical safety program team to ensure this process is followed prior to any work taking place within the restricted approach boundary. Keep in mind that a work permit may not be required when troubleshooting, testing or voltage measuring is taking place.

Another change to consider is what electrical PPE is needed when working energized. Since the prohibited approach boundary for shock protection has been deleted, there are some updates in NFPA 70E 2015 around this.

Table 130.4 (D)(a) defines the approach boundaries and there have been some changes as it pertains to voltages. For example, the old NFPA 70E version from 2012 had shock boundaries built around 50V-300V and 301V-750V. However, this has now changed and the shock protection boundaries for 2015 are 50V-150V and 151V-750V. What this means is that shock hazard equipment will be required when inside the restricted approach boundary.

There are many changes you will want to familiarize yourself with in the NFPA 70E 2015 edition that could affect your overall facility, as well as your processes on working in or around energized electrical equipment.

This new edition is available for purchase at NFPA.org and other technical book stores.

 

Arc Flash Regulations Overview

 

New Regulations, NEC Labeling RequirementArcFlash-OSHA

OSHA is now citing and fining employers for failure to protect employees from the dangers of arc flash. For guidelines on best practices for protecting employees, OSHA refers employers to the 2012 edition of NFPA 70E standard, “Standard For Electrical Safety In the Workplace.”

The NFPA 70E 2012 edition instructs employers to conduct an arc flash analysis to determine the amount of thermal energy that could be generated in an arc flash incident. The information is then used to define a flash protection boundary around the potential source, and to determine the level of arc-rated apparel and other personal protection equipment required when employees cross the boundary while they work on or near exposed live parts.

In addition, the National Electric Code®(known as NFPA 70, which is different than NFPA 70E) added a requirement in 2002 mandating that potential arc flash hazards be labeled to warn of the hazard. The requirement, covered under Article 110.16, was updated and expanded in the 2005 version of the NEC. In the newly updated 2012 edition of NFPA 70E, these requirements from the NEC have been included to streamline industry best-practices. These requirements can now be found under article 130.5 (C) within the 2012 edition of NFPA 70E.

Source: Brady®

http://www.bradyid.com/bradyid/cms/contentView.do/2017/Arc-Flash.html

 

Safety Photo of the Day – “What’s Wrong With Using This As A Face Shield?, It’ll Work Just Fine!”

New Face Shield

Want Water With That face Shield?

Face shield protection is an important part of personal protective equipment (PPE). OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.133 gives the requirements for employers to follow on the appropriate use and selection of face shields and protective eyewear. OSHA relies on ANSI to provide manufacturing standards for face shields as well as other eye and facial protective equipment. The manufacturing standard is ANSI Z87.1 and is titled, “American National Standard Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection.” The ANSI manufacturing standards for face shields includes testing for impact and optical clarity. Face shields are primarily designed to protect the face from flying objects, molten metal, liquid chemical splash, bodily fluids and potentially injurious light radiation.

The most current ANSI standard for eye and face protection is ANSI Z87.1 – 2010. Changes for the 2010 revision include the following:

  • More emphasis on specific hazard as opposed to protector type
  • Impact standards were changed from “basic impact” and “high impact” (2003 standard) to “non-impact” and “impact” (2010 standard)
  • Greater side to side and top to bottom coverage
  • New testing for splash, dust and fine dust

The ANSI 2003 standard states that face shields are considered secondary eye protection and must be used in conjunction with safety glasses or goggles. The 2010 standard does not distinguish between primary and secondary eye protection. Most manufacturers of face shields suggest using safety glasses or goggles underneath face shields for additional eye protection.

OSHA recognizes the revised 2010 standard. OSHA also recognizes the 2003 and 1989 (R1998) ANSI standards for eye and face protection. By recognizing the 2003 and 1989 standards, employers are allowed to continue to use eye and face shield protection products meeting the 2010, 2003 or 1989 (R1998) standards.

Face Shield Visor Materials

Face shield visors are constructed from several types of materials. These materials include polycarbonate, propionate, acetate, and PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol). It is important to select the proper visor for the work environment.

Polycarbonate – Polycarbonate material provides the best impact resistance and heat resistance of all visor materials. Specialty polycarbonate visors are also used for arc flash protection and high heat and radiation protection. Polycarbonate also provides chemical splash protection and holds up well in extremely cold temperatures. Polycarbonate is generally more expensive than other visor materials.

Acetate – Acetate provides the best clarity of all the visor materials and tends to be more scratch resistant. It also offers chemical splash and may be rated impact protection.

Propionate – Propionate material provides better impact protection than acetate while also offering chemical splash protection. Propionate material tends to be a lower price point than both acetate and polycarbonate.

PETG – PETG offers chemical splash protection and may provide impact protection. PETG tends to be the most economical option for face shield choices.

ANSI does not provide a standard that applies to chemical splash protection or chemical resistance. The manufacturer of the face shield is the best source for information on chemical resistance testing.

Some face shield visors come in steel or nylon mesh material. Mesh visors provide good airflow for worker comfort and are typically used in the logging and landscaping industry to protect the face from flying debris when cutting wood or shrubbery.

Specialty Face Shield Protection

Specialty face shields for arc flash, heat, radiation, and welding protection are available as well. Specialty shields such as these may need to meet specific requirements and it is generally best to contact a safety supply provider such as Grainger technical support to determine what protective shield will be most appropriate for your application or need.

Arc Flash – These face shields are used for protection against an arc flash. The requirements for arc flash protection are provided by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in the NFPA’s 70E standard. Face shields are included in this standard and must provide protection based on Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV) which is measured in calories per square centimeter (cal/cm2). The calorie rating will need to be determined first in order to be able to select the shield that will provide the best protection. In determining the level of protection needed for your job or task, some methods available to you are; referring to the NFPA 70E-2012 Article 130 tables 130.4 ( C )(a) or (b), 130.7 ( C )(15)(a) and 130.7 ( C ) (16) or Annex D. Another option is to use an industry accepted software program or use a consulting firm to complete the risk assessment.

Heat and Radiation – There are face shields that will provide protection against heat and radiation. These face shields prevent burns by filtering out intense ultraviolet and infrared radiation. They are made from polycarbonate with special coatings. An example of this would be adding a thin layer of gold film to increase reflectivity.

Welding – Shaded welding face shields provide protection from UV and Infra-red radiation generated when working with molten metal. The shades usually range from Shade 2 – 14 with Shade 14 being the darkest shade. Refer to Quick Tips #109: Welding Safety for more information and proper selection of welding face shields.

When selecting a face shield or any other PPE, OSHA suggests conducting a worksite hazard assessment. OSHA provides guidelines in 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I Appendix B on how to evaluate worksite hazards and select the proper PPE. After selecting the proper PPE, employers should provide training to workers on the correct use and maintenance of their PPE. Proper hazard assessment, PPE selection and training can significantly reduce worker injuries and ensure a safe work environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the best face shield visor for a specified chemical?
A. OSHA suggests that PPE such as face shield protection should be used as a last resort and an engineering solution is preferable when working with injurious chemicals. Engineering solution examples include using a chemical splash guard or a fume hood. A chemical splash guard or a fume hood will stop injurious chemicals from ever reaching the face. If an engineering solution is not practical, a face shield visors will offer limited chemical splash protection. The manufacturer of the face shield is the best source for chemical resistance data. If, for example, a face shield is needed for hydrochloric acid splash protection, contact the manufacturer of the face shield to inquire about its resistance to this chemical.
Q. Can I use an inexpensive face shield for impact protection?
A. The revised ANSI Z87.1 – 2010 categorizes face shields as either impact or non-impact. All ANSI Z87.1 rated face shields with a “+” symbol stamped on the face shield (meaning impact rated) provide impact protection regardless of price. Manufacturer testing of visor materials indicate that polycarbonate offers the best impact protection and PETG the least amount of protection from impact force. This said, visors made from both polycarbonate and PETG may meet the ANSI testing standards for impact, even though polycarbonate is generally most expensive visor material. OSHA states that the employer must provide PPE to workers that give sufficient protection from the hazard. Polycarbonate would be a better choice if the hazard requires a higher impact protection than PETG.

Sources

 

OSHA Safeguards For Electrical Personal Protection – Arc Flash

This is probably the second most-viewed arc flash video online. It shows three workers working in the open door of an exterior electrical substation when an arc flash occurs. They all sustained burns—one was very serious. Read more about this story here.

This video shows the supervised re-energizing of a switchgear box that led to an arc blast. No one was injured in this video, but it does illustrate the explosive force of such an event. Unlike the first two videos, this video has audio and is shot from a close distance; this gives a more visceral sense of the blast’s raw power.

Arc Flash Hazard Risk Clothing Minimum Requirements

Jazard Risk Chart - Arc Flash Protective Clothing


Part Number: 1910
• Part Title: Occupational Safety and Health Standards
• Subpart: S
• Subpart Title: Electrical
• Standard Number: 1910.335
• Title: Safeguards for personnel protection.

1910.335(a)

Use of protective equipment.

1910.335(a)(1)

Personal protective equipment.

1910.335(a)(1)(i)

Employees working in areas where there are potential electrical hazards shall be provided with, and shall use, electrical protective equipment that is appropriate for the specific parts of the body to be protected and for the work to be performed.

Note: Personal protective equipment requirements are contained in subpart I of this part.

1910.335(a)(1)(ii)

Protective equipment shall be maintained in a safe, reliable condition and shall be periodically inspected or tested, as required by 1910.137.

1910.335(a)(1)(iii)

If the insulating capability of protective equipment may be subject to damage during use, the insulating material shall be protected. (For example, an outer covering of leather is sometimes used for the protection of rubber insulating material.)

1910.335(a)(1)(iv)

Employees shall wear nonconductive head protection wherever there is a danger of head injury from electric shock or burns due to contact with exposed energized parts.

1910.335(a)(1)(v)

Employees shall wear protective equipment for the eyes or face wherever there is danger of injury to the eyes or face from electric arcs or flashes or from flying objects resulting from electrical explosion.

1910.335(a)(2)

General protective equipment and tools.

1910.335(a)(2)(i)

When working near exposed energized conductors or circuit parts, each employee shall use insulated tools or handling equipment if the tools or handling equipment might make contact with such conductors or parts. If the insulating capability of insulated tools or handling equipment is subject to damage, the insulating material shall be protected.

1910.335(a)(2)(i)(A)

Fuse handling equipment, insulated for the circuit voltage, shall be used to remove or install fuses when the fuse terminals are energized.

1910.335(a)(2)(i)(B)

Ropes and handlines used near exposed energized parts shall be nonconductive.

1910.335(a)(2)(ii)

Protective shields, protective barriers, or insulating materials shall be used to protect each employee from shock, burns, or other electrically related injuries while that employee is working near exposed energized parts which might be accidentally contacted or where dangerous electric heating or arcing might occur. When normally enclosed live parts are exposed for maintenance or repair, they shall be guarded to protect unqualified persons from contact with the live parts.

1910.335(b)

Alerting techniques. The following alerting techniques shall be used to warn and protect employees from hazards which could cause injury due to electric shock, burns, or failure of electric equipment parts:

1910.335(b)(1)

Safety signs and tags. Safety signs, safety symbols, or accident prevention tags shall be used where necessary to warn employees about electrical hazards which may endanger them, as required by 1910.145.

1910.335(b)(2)

Barricades. Barricades shall be used in conjunction with safety signs where it is necessary to prevent or limit employee access to work areas exposing employees to uninsulated energized conductors or circuit parts. Conductive barricades may not be used where they might cause an electrical contact hazard.

1910.335(b)(3)

Attendants. If signs and barricades do not provide sufficient warning and protection from electrical hazards, an attendant shall be stationed to warn and protect employees.

 

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