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Pam Tompkins

Understanding OSHA Electric Power Training Requirements

Understanding OSHA Electric Power Training Requirements

Are your employees performing work on or near electric power generation, transmission or distribution facilities? If so, whether they are performing electrical or nonelectrical work, electrical training is required. The training provided must ensure employees can identify electrical hazards and employ safe work methods to remove or control the hazards for their safety.

Covered Work
To simplify the application of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269 and 1926 Subpart V, many companies use the term “covered work,” which includes work areas with electrical system hazards. For example, the construction of a power plant is the same as general building construction until the plant begins startup and commissioning. Once electrical systems are started, the job tasks become covered work due to the additional electrical system hazards.

Another example is the construction of a substation. Substation construction is similar to general building construction until the substation becomes energized or is being built in an area with transmission lines. Consider the difference between a substation built in an open field with no transmission lines and a substation built under transmission lines. Although each substation has hazards, the substation under the transmission lines has electrical hazards that would not be found in the substation built in an open field. The substation built under transmission lines is considered covered work due to the electrical system hazards.

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Pam Tompkins

Electric Power Standards- What does OSHA consider reasonable estimates of available heat energy?

arc flashWhat does OSHA consider reasonable estimates of available heat energy? Understanding that the largest available amount of fault current does not necessarily translate into the highest levels of available heat energy is extremely important. Device clearing times plays an important factor when determining reasonable estimates. An electric power system could have system locations with small amounts of fault current and large clearing time which could equate to to large amounts of available heat energy. Many utilities are looking throughout their system to determine if locations are fully protected by adding Hot Line Tag devices which clear instantaneously, 3 cycles or less. This requires utilities to have a strict Hot Line Tag procedure in place to ensure all work performed on or near electric power lines and equipment has been placed in a Hot Line Tag position. Note the compliance date has been extended to April 1, 2015 for completion of estimates of available heat energy exposures faced by employees who are exposed to electric arc hazards. Appendix E located in 29 CFR 1910.269 and 29 CFR Subpart V outlines methodology to comply with the standards. For more information contact us at SET Solutions, LLC. 

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Pam Tompkins

Electric Power Standards- Aerial Lift Fall Protection

bigstock Power Worker In A Lift Bucket 3103043Can a 6 foot shock absorbing lanyard be used while working from an aerial lift?  The answer requires an assessment to determine if the system will provide worker protection in the event of a fall. A 6 foot shock absorbing lanyard is a fall arrest system with clearance limitations that must be assessed. The system will tipically require between 16 to 20 feet of clearance before it fully engages which could allow a worker to sustain a serious injury from hitting a surface below. An employer has to determine if work is performed when an employee could be at distances to hit a structure or lower level, such as working on secondary, decorative street lights and many other work tasks. OSHA recommends that workers use the shortest lanyard practicable during ascent and descent and when working over structures to maximize worker protection.

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Pam Tompkins

OSHA Extends Electric Power Standards Compliance Dates

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OSHA has reached an settlement agreement for enforcement with EEI and others which will extend Electric Power compliance dates beyond the February 17, 2015 effective standard date. View the OSHA EEI settlement enforcement dates on the OSHA Electric Power Page.

If you have questions contact us today!

 

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Pam Tompkins

Electric Power Standards- Subcontractors Performing Nonelectrical Work in Restricted Areas


Electrical Power Plant 1200Does the Host Employer have any responsibility for subcontractors performing nonelectrical work inside restricted workareas. The answer is Yes! Host employers have the responsibility to develop and implement appropriate procedures to communicate required information effectively to subcontractors. The required information would include voltages, MAD distances, arc flash hazards and many others in the restricted workareas. 

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