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#217487 - 08/17/16 05:39 PM PPE in Manholes
sparkyinak Offline
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Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1307
Loc: Alaska
Question. When electricians are working around energized wires, are they considered energized equipment? Case in point. An electrician is in a 3' x 3' manhole with multiple 480V circuits passing through while there are pulling in new circuits. All the splices are well protected from accidental contact. No exposed electrical hazards. Wouldn't they require a minimum lever of PPE of 2 since they are literally within 1 inch of the wires. They are not bare like a bus bar. If memories serves me right, when one is within the prohibitive boundary, it was same as touching it.
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#217488 - 08/17/16 06:00 PM Re: PPE in Manholes [Re: sparkyinak]
sparkyinak Offline
Member
Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1307
Loc: Alaska
To add, NFPA 70E states for Restricted Approach is an approach limit distance from exposed energized conductor or circuit part within where there is an increase likelihood of electric shock. Seems pretty clear to me. I'm without my 70E and time is of the essence... LOL!

Thoughts?
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#217494 - 08/18/16 07:52 AM Re: PPE in Manholes [Re: sparkyinak]
renosteinke Offline
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Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5316
Loc: Blue Collar Country
I think we're abusing the word 'exposed.'

I see 'exposed' as referring to live parts being exposed. A wire covered in insulation is NOT exposed. It's insulated.

Good heavens, would you require full PPE simply to step over an extension cord?

Likewise ... if everything 'live' is enclosed, insulated, shielded, etc .... how can there even be a "boundary" to cross into? That's like saying you'd need PPE to walk past a closed panel.
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#217496 - 08/18/16 08:06 AM Re: PPE in Manholes [Re: sparkyinak]
HotLine1 Offline


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Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6776
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Common practice around here is blankets over the conductors within manholes/vaults, along with FR clothing, etc.

(Non-POCO)

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#217497 - 08/18/16 11:38 AM Re: PPE in Manholes [Re: HotLine1]
sparkyinak Offline
Member
Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1307
Loc: Alaska
That is why I posted the question. outside a bare ground wire, when was the last time you seen a bare current carrying conductor? Logistics worked out for me and got my 2012 70E Handbook. In its commentary, under 130.4(C)(3) it states that:

"If a qualified person must approach an energized electrical conductor closer than the restricted approach boundary, Insulating material can be installed material with a define voltage rating must be placed between the person and conductor. The insulating material can take several forms. The insulating material can be installed so that the conductor is insulated from possible contact. The employee can be insulated by wearing appropriately rated PPE or can be insulated from the ground, as in live-line, bare hand work

supposedly, the 2015 70E was going to be clearer on gray areas but I have niot seen anything yet.

As for the extension cord analogy. The conductors are not exposed, The prohibitive approach boundary is to avoid contact with the wires. The outer jacket meets that requirement. If the jacket is damaged, that we must immediately remove it from service.....
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#217498 - 08/18/16 12:25 PM Re: PPE in Manholes [Re: sparkyinak]
JBD Offline
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Registered: 07/12/01
Posts: 599
Loc: WI, USA
Have you performed a risk analysis?
Are the conductors in or on grounded surfaces? If yes, can there be a shock hazard?
Are tools being used which could compromise the conductor insulation?
Are you doing anything that is likely to result in an arcing fault? No arc fault usually means no PPE required according to 70E-2015.
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