Moving forward. Does the worker know how to determine when the work can be justified? We talked about that. There are three exceptions that are basically granted by OSHA. If shutting the power off and making it safe for you to work on could create a more dangerous situation. If the equipment design and circuit just doesn't allow for the energized work. The magic word they use infeasibility. You simply can't do what you came there to do with the power off, either the design of the equipment or what you need to do needs the power to be on, like troubleshooting. You can't check voltage if the power isn't on. You can't check the current motor if you can't start the motor up. Well, that pretty much mandates that the power is going to have to be on.

And, of course, the other one is, if it's under 50 volts it's not considered to be a hazardous energy level. But if you don't meet those three criteria, you have to be able to justify. You know, or in plain language, you can't justify it, if you can't meet one of those three criteria. Employees need to know how to determine if an energized work permit is required. Fundamentally, in the safety industry, the primary trigger for an energized work permit is any time anyone is going to get within what's called the restricted approach without turning it into an arc flash class, what that is it's a reflection of the person's knowledge. If the person doesn't know where the restricted approach boundary is, he couldn't be expected to be considered qualified because that's basic knowledge to a qualified safety trained electrical worker. Do they, in fact, know how to create an electrically safe work condition? This is a defined process. A lot of people misinterpret this.

And once again, if you've never had the arc flash safety training, odds are, you've never been fully instructed in how to create an electrically safe work condition. There's more to it than just shutting the power off. And these are the kind of things that workers absolutely have to be trained in. This is a biggie. Does your worker, if needed to, know how to perform a hazard analysis? Can they look at what's about to take place and do a shock risk assessment? Can they determine, based on information, whether or not an arc flash hazard assessment has been performed? If not, could they do one?

Could they interpret an incident energy analysis properly to garner the information that they need, in order to provide for their own safety? Do they know what is called the "category method", what I call the "table method" that is new to this edition of the arc flash standard, that allows for a worker, in the instance that an arc flash hasn't been done, do they know enough using these tables to move forward safely and determining their own PPE level? And also, do they, in fact, know how to determine an arc flash boundary?

Technically, an arc flash boundary, if done properly, is determined by calculation. But this table method allows for a kind of a default boundary to be established, based on certain criteria, and a properly trained worker is going to know how to do that. Once again, another thing that needs to be assessed, as far as the worker's knowledge. We mentioned this one earlier, you know, do they in fact understand what they're looking at, when they're looking at one of these arc flash labels? Do they know how to interpret the information? Do they know how to use the right protective equipment? Do they know how to care for it?

Do they know the limitations of it? Do they know how to recognize when the protective garments maybe aren't up to task? I mean, when you're doing a visual inspection of an arc flash rated set of coveralls, for example, what might you see, what makes you question the integrity of them? It's not just whether or not they have holes in them, there's a lot of other things you need to look at and assess. And a qualified worker would know what to do...would know what criteria to be interested in.

What else here? How to select, care for, use insulating or insulated tools. Someone hands you a tool, that supposedly has a certain voltage rating, what you might see that would question its capabilities, question whether or not it's suitable for the task? The right and the wrong way to use what they call "alerting techniques". Like I mentioned earlier, the warning tape that goes around your work area. The right/wrong way to setup barricades. Whether or not you're allowed to use attendants or post guards as opposed to actually using a physical barrier. You know, when is that acceptable?

Once again, it's a product of proper of proper safety training. Understanding what practices, with regards to the risk of getting near overhead or underground power lines. Moving vehicles through an area where you have overhead power lines. And understanding and being aware of limits, of how close you can get to different lines based on the voltage, and also based on the vehicle in question. Once again, task-specific training. So task-specific assessment has to be performed.


Sorry, no comments found for this article