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#150612 - 07/11/05 04:41 AM Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters
Joe Tedesco Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
What standard would apply for employees bringing in their own radios with cords, fans, and heaters?

Electrical equipment used in the workplace must comply with the electrical regulations.

At a recent conference, an OSHA compliance officer used the example of a fan brought from home as something OSHA would cite for if it wasn't designed for industrial use.
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#150613 - 07/11/05 01:16 PM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I would say the compliance officer can certainly have an opinion but I don't see anything in 1910 that defines "industrial use". Since consumer grade stuff is generally double insulated these days, are you just talking about a (jr)hard service cord?
I agree a consumer product might not handle the banging around but that is just a "good condition" thing. When it gets damaged it will have to go but that is true of any equipment.
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#150614 - 07/11/05 02:40 PM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
I think there's a difference between an article of equipment being furnished by the employer and the employee's own property meant for his or her personal use. I also would consider the area it's being used in.

A $7.99 Walgreen's fan in a computer cubicle in an office? Fine, as long as it's not spliced into the back of the monitor's power cord.

20 $19 Walmart heaters being used to cure the drywall in a winter build instead of a torpedo or two? Un-uh.

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#150615 - 07/11/05 06:27 PM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Let me see if I understand this issue.....a workplace is, in the eyes of the employee, lacking, so the employee exercises a little initiative to improve his comfort- and OSHA figures that there must be a SAFETY violation here?

There are a lot of problems in workplaces- but I really hat it when "safety" is used as a catch-all to decree from on high the personal quirks of someone in a position of authority, without limit or accountability.

Now, I will be the first to admit that such things can create a safety issue- but then that is the issue to be addressed. For example, "battling boom boxes" can create an unsafe condition both because of the volume, and because they obstruct necessary communication. This is a far cry, however, from someone having a radio on their desk, at a barely audible level.
If someone -either inspector or manager- cannot differentiate between the two extremes, and seeks a "one size fits all" approach, then they are the last person I want with authority.

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#150616 - 07/12/05 01:11 AM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
John,
 Quote:
Let me see if I understand this issue.....a workplace is, in the eyes of the employee, lacking, so the employee exercises a little initiative to improve his comfort- and OSHA figures that there must be a SAFETY violation here?

I have to agree, for one thing, I've never seen an "Industrial-rated" radio or other such equipment.
And consider that you can get Industrial-rated ear-protectors these days with an AM/FM radio in them, where is the Safety Violation?
Sure if you want to bring something from home, that's OK by me, but if it gets broken....
Joe,
 Quote:
Electrical equipment used in the workplace must comply with the electrical regulations.

Doesn't all electrical gear sold, have to comply with the electrical regulations?, otherwise you couldn't sell it?.
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#150617 - 07/12/05 01:32 AM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters
Joe Tedesco Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
http://safety.blr.com/display.cfm/id/98535

Here's where I found this question and answer.

I believe that DougW covers this well with his comments.

I can recall when I found a table radio with spliced cord in a paint testing laboratory, when I turned around it disappeared!
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#150618 - 07/12/05 07:14 AM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Personally it would be at YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!.
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#150619 - 07/12/05 10:02 AM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Joe you are describing a piece of defective equipment (spliced cord) and that could happen with the most robust "industrial" item. When I asked my favorite builder she said their rule was that the case was intact and that the cord was undamaged. Beyond that they only require that the equipment is out of the way and not causing a trip hazard.
She seldom has to endure the music because a standing rule is "Baja la musica" when "El Hefe" is in the house.
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#150620 - 07/13/05 12:01 PM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters
Hazmat Offline
Member

Registered: 03/25/02
Posts: 26
Loc: IA
DougW hit it on the head. If your employees are using the "tool" for it's intended purpose, that's acceptable. If an OSHA officer says it's a violation, just ask them to quote chapter and verse. While some things may seem to be not quite right at first glance, if a standard cannot be cited, it is not a violation with the rare exception of the "standard duty clause" which is sometimes used as a catch-all.

Another exception (and this can be true of industrial goods as well as home use duty ones) would be if the worker mounts a fan (or radio, etc.) in even a semi-permanent manner and then uses a drop cord to power that unit. In that case (it might be a bit of a stretch, but I've seen it) a citation could be used for powering "equipment" with a drop cord.

Finally, if a drop cord is used, even temporarily, make sure it's not one of those dang flat (zip cord?) type that's a $0.99 item and Wal Mart. Those are almost never acceptable in a workplace...office type settings, you might get by with it.

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#150621 - 07/13/05 12:20 PM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters
Joe Tedesco Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
We both agree then:

DougW hit it on the head.

Thanks for the words of wisdom.
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Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

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