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#150612 - 07/11/05 07:41 AM Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
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.


Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools

#150613 - 07/11/05 04:16 PM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,124
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.


Greg Fretwell

#150614 - 07/11/05 05:40 PM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters  
DougW  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
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.


#150615 - 07/11/05 09:27 PM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
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.


#150616 - 07/12/05 04:11 AM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,223
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?.


#150617 - 07/12/05 04:32 AM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
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!


Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#150618 - 07/12/05 10:14 AM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,223
SI,New Zealand
Personally it would be at YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!.


#150619 - 07/12/05 01:02 PM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,124
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.


Greg Fretwell

#150620 - 07/13/05 03:01 PM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters  
Hazmat  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 30
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.


#150621 - 07/13/05 03:20 PM Re: Job site radios with cords, fans, and heaters  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Boston, Massachusetts USA
We both agree then:

DougW hit it on the head.

Thanks for the words of wisdom.


Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant


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