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#164132 - 05/25/07 04:36 PM Worker Killed in Fire Sparked by Faulty Fuse
kale Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/02
Posts: 168

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Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools
#164134 - 05/25/07 05:20 PM Re: Worker Killed in Fire Sparked by Faulty Fuse [Re: kale]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Oregon easily has the nation's, maybe the worlds', toughest requirements for folks who do electrical or industrial maintenance work. I doubt that many Master Electricians or Licensed Contractors would be considered 'qualified.'

And yet, we see this sort of hack work performed.

Even so, I would have expected the flash to have been contained within the enclosure.

Someone needs prison time ... and those 'someones' are almost sure to carry briefcases, not tool belts.

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#164146 - 05/26/07 04:46 AM Re: Worker Killed in Fire Sparked by Faulty Fuse [Re: renosteinke]
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
 Originally Posted By: renosteinke
Someone needs prison time ... and those 'someones' are almost sure to carry briefcases, not tool belts.


And why is that?

Do you think a briefcase person was the one that decided to jury rig the fuse?

 Quote:
Apparently, the appropriate replacement fuse was not available (or there was trouble getting it to work properly), and the coworker had taped a renewable fuse link to the outside of the melted, nonrenewable fuse cartridge. The production worker removed the rigged fuse to inspect it, and then reinserted it into the fuse holder.


Regardless of any pressures from the bean counters those of us out in the field working with the tools need to be responsible for our own actions.


Edited by iwire (05/26/07 04:49 AM)
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#164165 - 05/26/07 12:47 PM Re: Worker Killed in Fire Sparked by Faulty Fuse [Re: iwire]
mxslick Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 785
Loc: Atomic City, ID USA
 Quote:
Regardless of any pressures from the bean counters those of us out in the field working with the tools need to be responsible for our own actions.


While I agree 100% with Bob on this, I think in this case there are some other factors which , IMHO, would make the briefcase persons liable:

(Quoted from the report linked in the OP, bold emphasis added by me.)

 Quote:
The building where the incident occurred was built to older construction standards, and not for the purpose for which it was presently used. A structural modification violated the National Electrical Code (Class II/Div. 1) by exposing the fuse-panel room to combustible dust. In addition, a rubber seal on the fuse box intended to prevent dust from penetrating the box was not in place. Most of the electrical equipment in the factory was old and not up to code, making replacement parts difficult to obtain. The general manager, located in another state, was aware of the antiquated equipment at the mill, but was unaware of applicable safety regulations.
and:

 Quote:
The employees had worked together at the mill for 9 years. They did not maintain a safety program, or perform safety training or routine inspections to identify hazards related to the building, machinery, or operations. None were trained in applicable safety regulations that apply to wood-flour manufacturing.


Both quotes above seem to indicate a serious breakdown in the management of the facility. It is most unfortunate it took a fatality to expose the situation.

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#164176 - 05/26/07 02:46 PM Re: Worker Killed in Fire Sparked by Faulty Fuse [Re: mxslick]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Bob, I have worked a a variety of industrial situations. My own experiences confirm what the textbooks teach:

Safety is, first and foremost, a management concern. That is, management defines the 'culture.' Invariably, poorly run places also have terrible safety records. "Records" in the sense that lots of folks get hurt; management can ALWAYS point the finger elsewhere.

Peters (NOT the ESI guy) documented it best .... where management was held to account, accidents quickly became a thing of the past.

When it comes to bonus time, management is quite happy to claim their bonuses for any perceived improvement. On the shop floor, management has likewise always been quite ready to say 'my way or the highway.'

To me, especially in light of Oregon's licensing rules, it is simply inconceivable that an unqualified person did the work - or that a qualified person ignored his training - without the direct involvement of management. "Git Er Dun" is not something limited to "the Cable Guy."

Moreover, as I stated before, the enclosure would have contained the flash, had it been the correct enclosure. Only the 'professionals" ... equipment manufacturers, engineers, etc., get to make that call. Someone approved the wrong enclosure ... and someone else got killed.

Naturally, in such an accident, management suddenly has 'no idea' such practices were followed. I have witnessed this with two firms in the Reno area ... and can tell you for a fact that no line worker in either place could so much as go to the toilet without management's blessing.

Indeed, both places also deliberately sought employees who had little choice: illegals, prisoners, etc.

That's why I say "It's Judgment Day!"

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#164215 - 05/27/07 11:56 PM Re: Worker Killed in Fire Sparked by Faulty Fuse [Re: renosteinke]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
To my way of thinking, the fault lies with the clown that circumvented the (possibly HRC) fuse protection with the length of fuse wire.
Cartridge fuses are made to trip at a given level of current and have true I2T characteristics.
They use silver wire inside the fuse body itself and have fine silica sand to turn to glass when the fuse operates.
Now, for some idiot to merely tape a bit of wire to bridge the fuse gap is bordering on lunacy!.
How good can a connection like that be?.
I also don't accept the replacement fuses of the same type and rating were "not available at the time", who the hell is running the show there?.
It's not the fuse that was faulty, it was the fact that there was no-one competent enough to go and get some proper replacements.
A couple of dollar fuse caused all this?.
No,
Ever been in a dust explosion before guys?, sure the initial explosion is often small and it will initiate a secondary explosion, if it gets to a tertiary explosion, you have big problems.
I was in one in a flour mill with the Fire Brigade some years back, it was bloody scary to be honest, the two explosions happened within 30 seconds of each other.
The second burst my eardrums, I couldn't hear for a week afterwards, and I still have hearing problems.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#164218 - 05/28/07 03:28 AM Re: Worker Killed in Fire Sparked by Faulty Fuse [Re: Trumpy]
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
John no mater what pressure 'the suits' bring for production it is the person who actually rigged the fuse who should see some punishment.

If I tell you to break the law and you do it you are the one who is responsible for breaking that law.

Sure the management has some responsibility here, without a doubt.

But the person who rigged the fuse is the one who caused the painful death of the worker.
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#164219 - 05/28/07 04:57 AM Re: Worker Killed in Fire Sparked by Faulty Fuse [Re: iwire]
Alan Belson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1801
Loc: Mayenne N. France
As to management being to blame, I worked in a very closely controlled danger-area workplace as a manager, where we rigidly stuck to the rules, spent fortunes on training and money no object on the best clothing, plant and equipment. This did not deter the highly paid Star DarwinAward candidates one iota! From hiding bombs under a sack on a Friday to make up next week's bonus, hitting blocks of HE with hammers to "save time" , smoking in a gunpowder store, pouring 2 pounds of fluorescent discloser dye into a drain and coloring the entire length of the best salmon-fishing river in Wales bright green for three days, you name it; they did it!
My fault? Yes, I suppose I should have sacked them all earlier, but they bloody outnumbered me by 50-1!

Alan


Edited by Alan Belson (05/28/07 04:59 AM)
Edit Reason: cant spel flourescnt
_________________________
Wood work but can't!

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#164222 - 05/28/07 09:39 AM Re: Worker Killed in Fire Sparked by Faulty Fuse [Re: Alan Belson]
Alan Nadon Offline
Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 398
Loc: Elkhart, IN. USA
The 600V rated fuse shown has a reject feature, common on time delay fuses. Notice the left end. That is why they had trouble trying to use the replacement fuse.
Junk rigged stuff will work and then fail. The only question is how long and how much damage. In this case not long, and a death resulted.
It is unfortunate that being stupid with elctricity ends up blaming the electricity.
Alan--
_________________________
Alan--
If it was easy, anyone could do it.

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#164347 - 05/31/07 10:55 PM Re: Worker Killed in Fire Sparked by Faulty Fuse [Re: Alan Nadon]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Alan Nadon,
In no way can a piece of tinned copper wire have the same I2T characteristics as a proper High Rupturing Capacity fuse link.
As those have said above, the clown that circumvented this level of protection, needs to see some jail time, isn't this why we train electricians? (as in selection of protection devices).
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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