Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety Policy

 PURPOSE AND SCOPE

 The Electrical Safety program is designed to prevent electrically related injuries and property damage. This program also provides for proper training of maintenance employees to ensure they have the requisite knowledge and understanding of electrical work practices and procedures. Only employees qualified in this program may conduct adjustment, repair or replacement of electrical components or equipment. Electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard, exposing employees to such dangers as electric shock, electrocution, fires and explosions. References: NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces, National Electrical Code (NEC) and OSHA Standard (Electrical Safety) 29 CFR 1910.331 to 1910.339

 DEFINITIONS

 Qualified Worker: An employee or other personnel trained and authorized to conduct electrical work.

Unqualified: Employees who have not been trained or authorized by management to conduct electrical work.

 RESPONSIBILITIES

Management

Provide training for qualified workers and unqualified employees

Conduct inspections to identify electrical safety deficiencies

Guard and correct all electrical deficiencies promptly

Ensure all new electrical installations meet codes and regulations

Employees

Report electrical deficiencies immediately

Not work on electrical equipment unless authorized and trained

Properly inspect all electrical equipment prior to use

PROCEDURES

Electrical Circuit Safety Procedures

Electrical power and lighting circuits are defined as devices specifically designed to connect, disconnect or reverse circuits under a power load condition. When these circuits are employed, the following rules apply:

1. Cable connectors (not of load-break type), fuses, terminal plugs or cable splice connectors may not be used, except in an emergency, to connect, disconnect or reverse in place of proper electrical circuits.

2. After a protective circuit is disconnected or opened, it may not be connected or closed until it has been determined that the equipment and circuit can be safely energized.

3. Overcurrent protectors of circuits or connected circuits may not be modified, even on a temporary basis, beyond the installation safety requirements.

4. Only Qualified workers may perform tests on electrical circuits or equipment.

5. Test equipment and all associated test leads, cables, power cords, probes and connectors shall be visually inspected for external damage before use. Any damage or defects shall be repaired before use or placed out of service.

6. Test equipment shall be rated to meet or exceed the voltage being tested and fit for the environment in which it is being used.

7. Where flammable or ignitable materials are stored, even occasionally, electrical equipment capable of igniting them may not be used unless measures are taken to prevent hazardous conditions from developing.

 Standard Operating Procedure

Electrical Pre-Work Procedure

Except in extreme cases, work on electrical equipment will be done with all electrical circuits in the work area de-energized by following the Lockout/Tagout procedure. When working on or near energized electrical circuits with less than 30 volts to ground, the equipment need not be de-energized if there will be no increased exposure to electrical burns or to explosion from electric arcs.

To prepare for work on electrical systems or components, the following procedure applies:

Caution:Treat all electrical circuits as “Live” until they have been Tagged and Locked Out and tested by the following procedure.

1. Obtain permission from supervisor to conduct work

2. Lockout and Tagout all sources of electrical power

3. Verify de-energized condition before any circuits or equipment are considered and worked as de-energized.

A. A qualified person shall operate the equipment operating controls or otherwise verify that the equipment cannot be restarted.

B. Verify proper operation of the Voltmeter at a live electrical source of the same rated voltage as the circuit to be worked.

C. Using the Voltmeter, check all exposed circuits phase to phase and phase to ground for evidence of voltage/current in the circuit.

D. Conduct work on the circuit only after determining that there is no voltage in any of the exposed circuits.

E. If voltage is detected in any exposed circuit, STOP, inform supervisor and determine source and procedure to eliminate voltage.

4. Conduct work

5. Close up all exposed circuits, boxes, controls, equipment.

6. Remove Lockout/Tagout

7. Obtain supervisor permission to energize circuits

 Standard Operating Procedure

Working on or Near Exposed Energized Circuits

In the rare situation when energized equipment (or working in near proximity to energized equipment) cannot be de-energized, the following work practices must be used to provide protection:

Caution: Unqualified Employees are prohibited from working on or near exposed energized circuits.

1. Obtain permission from Supervisor to work on or near energized electrical circuits

2. Lockout and Tagout all circuits possible

3. Treat all circuits as energized.

4. Remove all conductive clothing and jewelry (rings, watches, wrist/neck chains, metal buttons, metal writing instruments, etc.).

5. Use proper personal protective equipment, shields and/or barriers to provide effective electrical insulation from energized circuits. This may include electrically rated insulated gloves, aprons, rubber soled shoes, insulated shields, insulated tools, etc.

6. Provide adequate lighting. Do not enter areas with exposed energized parts unless illumination (lighting) is provided so that Employee may work safely. Do not reach around obstructions of view or lighting (blindly) into areas where exposed energized parts are located.

7. Employees entering a Confined Space with exposed energized parts, must use protective barriers, shields, or equipment or insulated materials rated at or above the present voltage to avoid contact.

8. Doors or other hinged panels shall be constructed and secured to prevent them from swinging into an Employee and causing contact with exposed energized parts.

9. Housekeeping in areas of exposed energized parts may not be completed in areas with close contact unless adequate safeguards (insulation equipment or barriers) are present. Conductive cleaning material (Steel Wool, Silicon Carbide, etc.) or liquids may not be used unless procedures (Lock and Tag Out, etc.) are in place and followed.

10. Station a safety observer outside work area. The sole function of this person is to quickly de-energize all sources of power or pull worker free from electrical work area with a non-conductive safety rope if contact is made with an energized electrical circuit.

11. A person qualified in CPR must be readily available to the scene.

 Standard Operating Procedure

Re-energizing Electrical Circuits after Work Completed

These requirements shall be met, in the order given, before circuits or equipment are reenergized, even temporarily.

1. A qualified worker shall conduct tests and visual inspections, as necessary, to verify that all tools, electrical jumpers, shorts, grounds, and other such devices have been removed, so that the circuits and equipment can be safely energized.

2. Warn employees exposed to the hazards associated with reenergizing the circuit or equipment to stay clear of circuits and equipment.

3. Remove each lock and tag. They shall be removed by the employee who applied it or under his or her direct supervision. However, if this employee is absent from the workplace, then the lock or tag may be removed by a qualified supervisor designated to perform this task provided that:

A. The supervisor ensures that the employee who applied the lock or tag is not available at the workplace, and

B. The supervisor ensures that the employee is aware that the lock or tag has been removed before he or she resumes work at that workplace.

4. Conduct a visual determination that all employees are clear of the circuits and equipment.

 PROTECTION

 Personal Protective Equipment

Employees working in areas where the potential contact with exposed electrical sources are present and likely, will be provided and shall use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The following rules apply to the use and care of PPEs:

1. PPEs shall be used where contact with exposed electrical sources are present and likely.

2. PPEs shall be designed for the work being performed and environment in which it is used.

3. PPEs shall be visually inspected and/or tested before use. Any defects or damage shall be replaced, repaired or discarded.

4. In cases where the insulating capabilities of the PPEs may be damaged during the work, a protective outer cover, such as leather, must be used.

5. Employees shall wear non-conductive head protection wherever there is a danger of injury from electrical burns or shock from contact with exposed energized parts.

6. Employee shall wear protective eye/face equipment whenever there is a danger from electrical arcs or flashes or from flying objects resulting from an electrical explosion.

 Electrical PPE Inspection Schedule

Type of equipment When to test
Rubber insulating line hose Upon indication that insulating value is suspect.
Rubber insulating covers Upon indication that insulating value is suspect.
Rubber insulating blankets Before first issue and every 12 months
Rubber insulating gloves Before first issue and every 6 months
Rubber insulating sleeves Before first issue and every 12 months

 

Electrical Lockout & Tagout Requirements

Application of locks and tags.

A lock and a tag shall be placed on each disconnecting means used to de-energize circuits and equipment on which work is to be performed, except as provided for below.

1. The lock shall be attached so as to prevent persons from operating the disconnecting means unless they resort to undue force or the use of tools.

2. Each tag shall contain a statement prohibiting unauthorized operation of the disconnecting means and removal of the tag.

3. If a lock cannot be applied a tag may be used without a lock.

4. A tag used without a lock must be supplemented by at least one additional safety measure that provides a level of safety equivalent to that obtained by use of a lock. Examples of additional safety measures include the removal of an isolating circuit element, blocking of a controlling switch, or opening of an extra disconnecting device.

5. A lock may be placed without a tag only under the following conditions:

A. Only one circuit or piece of equipment is de-energized, and

B. The lockout period does not extend beyond the work shift, and

C. Employees exposed to the hazards associated with reenergizing the circuit or equipment are familiar with this procedure.

Working at Elevated Locations

Any person working on electrical equipment on a crane or other elevated platforms must take necessary precautions to prevent a fall from reaction to electrical shock or other causes. A second person, knowledgeable as a safety watch, must assume the best possible position to assist the worker in case of an accident. Portable ladders shall have non-conductive siderails if they are used where the employee or the ladder could contact exposed energized parts.

General Protective Equipment and Tools

General Protective Equipment and Tools shall be used when in the proximity of, or working on, exposed energized parts. The following rules apply:

1. When working on or near exposed energized parts, Qualified workers shall use insulated tools or handling equipment suitable for the voltage present and working environment. In cases where the insulation may be damaged, a protective outer layer should be employed.

2. Fuse handling equipment, insulated for the circuit voltage, shall be used to remove or install fuses when the terminal is energized.

3. Ropes and other handlines used near exposed energized equipment shall be non-conductive.

Warnings and Barricades

Warnings and barricades shall be employed to alert unqualified Employees of the present danger related to exposed energized parts. The following rules apply:

1. Safety signs, warning tags, etc., must be used to warn Unqualified Employees of the electrical hazards present, even temporarily, that may endanger them.

2. Non-conductive barricades shall be used with safety signs to prevent Unqualified Employees access to exposed energized parts or areas.

3. Where barricades and warning signs do not provide adequate protection from electrical hazards, an Attendant shall be stationed to warn and protect Employees.

Powered Equipment Safety Rules

Portable electrical equipment is defined as cord or plug-type electrical devices which includes the use of flexible or extension cords. Examples of portable electrical equipment includes powered hand tools, powered bench tools, fans, radios, etc. The following safety rules apply to portable electrical equipment (PEE):

1. PEE shall be handled in such a manner as to not cause damage to electrical equipment. Power cords may not be stapled or otherwise hung in a way that may cause damage to the outer jacket or insulation.

2. PEE shall be visually inspected for damage, wear, cracked or spilt outer jackets or insulation, etc., before use or before each shift. PEE that remain connected once put in place need not be inspected until relocated. Any defects; such as cracked or split outer jackets or insulation must be repaired, replaced or placed out of service.

3. Always check the compatibility of cord sets and receptacles for proper use.

4. Ground type cord sets may only be used with ground type receptacles when used with equipment requiring a ground type conductor.

5. Attachment plugs and receptacle may not be altered or connected in a way that would prevent the proper continuity of the equipment grounding conductor. Adapters may not be used if they interrupt the continuity of the grounding conductor.

6. Only portable electrical equipment that is double insulated or designed for use in areas that are wet or likely to contact conductive liquids may be used.

7. Employees that are wet or have wet hands may not handle PEEs (plug-in, un-plug, etc.). Personal protective equipment must be used when handling PEEs that are wet or covered with a conductive liquid.

8. Locking-type connectors shall be properly secured after connection to a power source.

HAZARD CONTROLS

Engineering Controls

  • All electrical distribution panels, breakers, disconnects, switches, junction boxes shall be completely enclosed
  • Water tight enclosure shall be used where there is possibility of moisture entry either from operations or weather exposure
  • Electrical distribution areas will be guarded against accidental damage by locating in specifically designed rooms, use of substantial guard posts and rails and other structural means
  • A clear approach and 3 foot side clearance shall be maintained for all distribution panels.
  • All conduit shall be fully supported throughout its length. Non-electrical attachments to conduit is prohibited.
  • All non-rigid cords shall be provided strain relief where necessary.

Administrative Controls

  • Only trained and authorized employees may conduct repairs to electrical equipment.
  • Contractors performing electrical work must hold a license for the rated work
  • Areas under new installation or repair will be sufficiently guarded with physical barriers and warning signs to prevent unauthorized entry
  • Access to electrical distribution rooms is limited to those employees who have a need to enter
  • All electrical control devices shall be properly labeled
  • Work on energized circuits is prohibited unless specifically authorized by senior facility management
  • All qualified workers will follow established electrical safety procedures and precautions

Protective Equipment

  • Qualified workers will wear electrically rated safety shoed/boots.
  • All tools used for electrical work shall be properly insulated
  • Electrical rated gloves shall be available for work on electrical equipment
  • Electrically rated matting will be installed in front of all distribution panels in electric utility rooms

Electrical Equipment

Examination

Electrical equipment shall be free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. Safety of equipment shall be determined using the following considerations:

  • Suitability for installation and use in conformity with the provisions of this subpart. Suitability of equipment for an identified purpose may be evidenced by listing or labeling for that identified purpose.
  • Mechanical strength and durability, including, for parts designed to enclose and protect other equipment, the adequacy of the protection thus provided.
  • Electrical insulation.
  • Heating effects under conditions of use.
  • Arcing effects.
  • Classification by type, size, voltage, current capacity, and specific use.
  • Other factors which contribute to the practical safeguarding of employees using or likely to come in contact with the equipment.

Identification of Disconnecting Means and Circuits

Each disconnecting means for motors and appliances shall be legibly marked to indicate its purpose. Each service, feeder, and branch circuit, at its disconnecting means or overcurrent device, shall be legibly marked to indicate its purpose. These markings shall be of sufficient durability to withstand the environment involved.

A disconnecting means is a switch that is used to disconnect the conductors of a circuit from the source of electric current. Disconnect switches are important because they enable a circuit to be opened, stopping the flow of electricity, and thus can effectively protect workers and equipment.

Each disconnect switch or overcurrent device required for a service, feeder, or branch circuit must be clearly labeled to indicate the circuit’s function, and the label or marking should be located at the point where the circuit originates. For example, on a panel that controls several motors or on a motor control center, each disconnect must be clearly marked to indicate the motor to which each circuit is connected. In the figure below, the Number 2 circuit breaker in the panel box supplies current only to disconnect Number 2, which in turn controls the current to motor Number 2. This current to motor Number 2 can be shut off by the Number 2 circuit breaker or the Number 2 disconnect.

All labels and markings must be durable enough to withstand weather, chemicals, heat, corrosion, or any other environment to which they may be exposed.

 TRAINING

 Training for Unqualified Employees

Training for Unqualified Employees is general electrical safety precautions to provide an awareness and understanding of electrical hazards.

Electrical Safety Rules for Non-Qualified Workers

1. Do not conduct any repairs to electrical equipment

2. Report all electrical deficiencies to your supervisor

3. Do not operate equipment if you suspect and electrical problem

4. Water and electricity do not mix.

5. Even low voltages can kill or injure you

6. Do not use cords or plugs if the ground prong is missing

7. Do not overload electrical receptacles

Training for Qualified Employees

Training for Qualified Employees includes specific equipment procedures and requirements of Electrical Safety, 29 CFR 1910.331 to 1910.339

Training for employees (qualified and unqualified) who face a risk of electric shock that is not reduced to a safe level by proper electrical installation. Training can be either in the classroom or on-the-job type. The degree of training required is dependent upon the risk to the employee.  Specific required training includes:

    • Skills and techniques necessary to distinguish exposed live parts from other parts of electric equipment.
    • Skills and techniques necessary to determine the nominal voltage of exposed live parts,
    • Clearance distances specified in OSHA Standard 1910.333(c) and the corresponding voltages to which the qualified person will be exposed.

 

 Acknowledgement of Training on the University of Saint Francis’ XXXX Policy

 I, ___________________________, have reviewed and received the required annual training on

(Employee, Printed Name)

The University of Saint Francis’ Electrical Safety Policy.

I also understand that if I have any questions regarding this policy that I should contact my

supervisor or _______________.

 

______________________________

(Employee Signature)

 

______________________________

(Date)

 

______________________________

(Supervisor Signature)

 

______________________________

(Date)

 

 

 

RECORD OF CHANGES

 

Number (ID) Description Date Authorized Signature
1 Risk and Safety Management Approval 05MAR2015 Randy Troy
2 Annual Review 08JUL2015 Rich Bienz