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#150711 - 08/31/05 01:18 PM training for non-electrical personell
ldelee Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 2
Loc: Sylacauga, Al. USA
Does anyone know of a video or brochure for training non-electrical people on opening a cubicle and resetting tripped overload units when the reset is not assessable from outside the unit?
I have been assigned the task of coming up with a procedure and I don't really feel comfortable with non-qualified persons opening cubicles on 480 volt systems.
thanks
ldelee

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#150712 - 08/31/05 06:42 PM Re: training for non-electrical personell
mxslick Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 785
Loc: Atomic City, ID USA
 Quote:
I don't really feel comfortable with non-qualified persons opening cubicles on 480 volt systems.


Trust your feelings on this one. If the original equipment design has the overloads inaccessable to unqualified persons there is a darn good reason for it. How would you feel if some unqualified person you supplied a proceedure to got hurt or killed?

480 volt power is extremely dangerous to work live when you don't know what you're doing. And you know that anyone not qualified has never heard of lockout/tagout! I get a lot of requests to change breakers/transformers or reset breakers in the 480 volt class in the cinemas I service. My response? Call your electrician. They have the experience and proper PPE to do the job safely.

Sounds like you're in an industrial/commercial setting. What about your plant/facility electrician? That should fall under their job description.

Personal injury, liability issues abound with your request. If it was your boss who came up with this idea, they need to rethink it. If he's trying to save money on either manpower or lost-process time, he needs to find another way.

And welcome to ECN! You'll find a lot of great people here, with lots of valuable and sage advice.

edited for html

[This message has been edited by mxslick (edited 08-31-2005).]
_________________________
Stupid should be painful.

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#150713 - 08/31/05 07:05 PM Re: training for non-electrical personell
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
Woe to the supervisor (or "qualified individual") who lets an untrained person try to flip the breaker back to ON without switching it OFF first, especially in the presence of a dead short...

[This message has been edited by DougW (edited 08-31-2005).]

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#150714 - 09/01/05 04:24 AM Re: training for non-electrical personell
resqcapt19 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2209
Loc: IL
 Quote:
Woe to the supervisor (or "qualified individual") who lets an untrained person try to flip the breaker back to ON without switching it OFF first, especially in the presence of a dead short...

Actually there is an OSHA rule that says a tripped breaker cannot be reset by anyone until the cause of the trip is located and repaired. There is an exception that permits resetting if you know that the trip was caused by an overload condition.
Don
_________________________
Don(resqcapt19)

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#150715 - 09/01/05 11:29 AM Re: training for non-electrical personell
danc Offline
Member

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 15
Why dont you train the employees to be "qualified" for the task you describe?

Are you guys saying that only electrcians can open electrcial enclosures in the workplace?

Qualified does not mean electrician...

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#150716 - 09/01/05 11:57 AM Re: training for non-electrical personell
mxslick Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 785
Loc: Atomic City, ID USA
danc:

To answer your questions:

1)Training someone to handle this task would require a lot of time and assumes that said individual is capable of remembering and comprehending the necessary proceedures even though they may not have done the task in many weeks/months. And in a production-based environment, said person's focus would not be on logical troubleshooting and safety, but getting the machine running as fast as possible. This would create the increased risk of fire, electric shock, machine damage and serious injury. In my current line of work (cinema repairs) all projectionist/managers are warned not to reset any breakers on equipment until it can be checked out. Those who have ignored this have suffered the consequences of damaged equipment, total facility outage and loss of job. Finally, some people simply cannot be trained for the task. (Film projectors are very easy to operate, but so many people can't do it.) Would you want the responsibility for the injury or death of a trainee who couldn't hack it?

2)I think OSHA would weigh into the second question. It can be stated as only qualified individuals should be opening electrical enclosures in a workplace. Machine panels which would be opened for the routine operation and cleaning/operator inspection, sure, as long as it's deenergized and locked out. Breaker panels, disconnects, transformers, etc. no way. That's why there are electricians. And in the 480 volt class, only a Darwin Award candidate would be nosing around in an enclosure if he's not qualified.

3)True, very true. But would you want a "qualified" plumber to change out a service panel? Or, in my case, I'm qualified to work on cinema projectors and sound systems, and have worked as an electrician as well. Am I qualified to work on the main switchgear in a cinema? Absolutely not. The closest I get is changing a bad breaker in a sub panel serving projection equipment, and only when I can work safely. (That means shutting down the subpanel. And I lockout/tagout.)

The scenario ldlee is asking about is too frought with hazards and would leave his company open to major liability.
_________________________
Stupid should be painful.

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#150717 - 09/01/05 01:13 PM Re: training for non-electrical personell
danc Offline
Member

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 15
Good answers.

1) There is certainly a cost associated with training. I think we can all recognize that, however the benefit of having trained individuals to do this task may outweigh those costs. I donno?

2) I dont agree with the statement about OSHA having a problem with this. Show me where OSHA references "electrician" anywhere it its regs. It talks about persons "qualified" to do the job. An electrician would most likely be qualified for this, however that certification would not be necessary.

3)I meant: Qualified Electircal Worker does not equal Electrician. Both the OSHA & NFPA reference "qualified" personnel by providing performance based training requirments. These requirements can be met without obtaining any professional certifications (although professional credentials would obviously be preferred). Your knowlege of electrical systems, safety regulations relevant to working on or near electrical components, and your intimate knowlege of cinema projectors makes you qualified to service them.

There are dozens of pieces of equipment in my shop. Some maintenance tasks require my guys to remove guards that may enclose electrcial components amoung other mechanical components. Sometimes my guys will need to access these areas for work, and LOTO may not be feasible. They are not electrcians, but they have been trained to do the work safely and know what equipemtn is required.

Our insurance company requires licensed electrcians for certain activities, but not OSHA.

If done correctly, i dont see major liabilty in this. Although anyone can sue anyone for anything these days.

Look forward to a response...

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#150718 - 09/02/05 02:47 AM Re: training for non-electrical personell
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
I'm with mxslick on this one.
Any Industrial Electrician reading this would be cringing like never before.
Overloads aren't installed for the sheer fun of it.
Having all and sundry have access to taking the dead-front's off of panel, would only have the effect of sooner or later someone is going to cop it.
I have to also agree with Don, closing a CB onto a decent short-circuit can result in a huge explosion.
 Quote:
If the original equipment design has the overloads inaccessable to unqualified persons there is a darn good reason for it.

This statement alone speaks volumes!.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#150719 - 09/02/05 07:06 AM Re: training for non-electrical personell
ldelee Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 2
Loc: Sylacauga, Al. USA
guys,
thanks for all of the input.
I think that i will follow the advice of the majority and go with my initial gut feeling on this.
Since i do not feel comfortable being the one to decide who is "qualified" and who is not, I have contacted an MSHA inspector to come in and assist / advise on this.
By the way, I work for an industry connected with and located on a minning sight so we come under MSHA rule in stead of OSHA.
I am sure that a lot of the same rules/procedures apply for either.
Thanks again for the input and for the welcome. I have already found tons of useful info here.
lld

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#150720 - 09/02/05 07:41 AM Re: training for non-electrical personell
danc Offline
Member

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 15
Trumpy, exactly which part of mxslick post you agree with?

It is not necessarily too expensive to train employees to perform certain electrcial tasks, this is a case by case judgement. I dont think OSHA would have a problem with a non-electrcian performing this task as OSHA does not require an electrician. Done correctly, there is no unusual liability (dont confuse liability w/ risk) here other than that which exists when performing any hazardous industrial operation.

If I were to provide mxslick's response to corporate, I'd better be ready to support it

I agree there is an element of risk associated with the job. In that respect, I also agree with mxslick's post. And I also agree that not just anyone should be poking into panels/boxes, thats not what i was implying.

I know there are alot of electrcians on this board, but come on...cant feed ldelee bad info on regs/risk. There must be some OSHA/risk experts out there that can weigh in...?

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