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Re: Qualified Electrician? #150894 12/29/05 01:34 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,623
gfretwell Online Content
Inmates seem to be the best conduit benders. They have nothing but time so they go slow and make things pretty. Desoto CI has a parallel run of conduits that has about 20 pipes and it runs the length of a BIG building, going over and around obstacles. It is truly a thing of beauty. All the conduit bodies line up, the curves all sweep in lock step and the variance of the pipes is less than you can see.

Over at Charlotte I had one job where an inmate had bent a perfect "2000" in 10' of 1/2" for the millenium and it had wire in it.
The super made them tear it out but I was willing to pass it, just for the whimsey.

It is an interesting place to work.
I have been "locked down" a few times, chased by COs with shotguns for driving into the wrong area and I saw a guy get killed in the yard once.
At Hendry they left me in the sallie port for over an hour once. I had the A/C on and I had my tunes. I really didn't care. There are harder ways to make $60 an hour.

Greg Fretwell
Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools
Re: Qualified Electrician? #150895 12/30/05 02:14 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,397
Trumpy Offline
Desoto CI has a parallel run of conduits that has about 20 pipes and it runs the length of a BIG building, going over and around obstacles. It is truly a thing of beauty. All the conduit bodies line up, the curves all sweep in lock step and the variance of the pipes is less than you can see.
I'd like to see that.
For some strange reason, a prison doesn't really conjure up images of neat wiring.
(Sorry if I've just offended everyone that replied to this thread).

Re: Qualified Electrician? #150896 12/30/05 08:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Oh, I don't know, Mike. As someone mentioned, prisoners have nothing but time. And what one would give for an occasional change of scenery....

I also would love to see pics of exceptional work- gives us all something to strive for!

Re: Qualified Electrician? #150897 07/02/06 03:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 56
Paul O'Connell Offline
You should contact your local electrical inspector. It sounds like your company is doing construction work with maintenance electricians. So probably they are not applying for permits and getting the necessary inspections. The local inspector can check his files and see exactly what has been done usder a permit.

Re: Qualified Electrician? #150898 07/02/06 01:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Since I last posted on this issue, I have had the opportunity, for the first time, to work in a prison.

As other described, prison staff mainly supervised inmates in the performance of maintenance tasks. What was ironic was when I found that, of the four 'inmate electricians,' three were former employees of mine- and the fourth was from the parts house! I wondered why they just stopped coming to work....

I cannot speak as to other prisons, but this one certainly has qualified help. :-)

As for "multi-tasking"... it is true that trades are, by their nature, specialised. It is also true that a union environment can really make for some sily work rules. Ask any musician who's tried to plug in a radio at Carnegie Hall.... such 'work' is reserved for Union electricians!

(How does one get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice....)

My idea of electrical work also includes a fair amount of digging, rigging, plastering, some carpentry.... and the lines really get fuzzy when HVAC, alarms, data, phone, or anything with wires is involved! A problem only arises when I lack the tools, training, and competence to do the job; pity the fool who expects me to weld!

Re: Qualified Electrician? #150899 07/12/06 11:50 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 116
XtheEdgeX Offline OP
I've heard of some of the other prisons where the staff just supervised the inmates, and the inmates did all the work. That's mostly in state prisons from what I understand. We don't work like that where I am. I've been here for 11 yrs. and hardly ever do you find an inmate that knows very much about electrical work. Once in a blue moon you get lucky, though.
In response to a recent post, we are not required to get inspections on our work. I wish we at least had someone intenal that inspected our work.
But...recently, the problems I initially described have been occurring less. All the electricians banded together and complained. I also went to a labor/management meeting and voiced my concerns to one of the higher ups. We threatened grievences, and to file a complaint with OSHA.
We'll see that happens next.

Re: Qualified Electrician? #150900 10/08/06 01:04 AM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 54
tajoch Offline
I dunno about ya'll location's but here in Tx, there are alot of companies (industrial) that are big on Multi-tasking. In fact most of them won't Hire an "Electrician" They want a mechanic w/ electrical experience.
And from looking at the infrastructure of they're plants it shows.
Before I found my current job I did numerous interveiws at these type places.
One of the companies was a place that made Dock safety equipment, and they tried to get an ISO (?) 9000 certification, the inspectors walked in and left w/in 30 minutes. the place was that un-safe. and the Maintenance manager was teling me that he expected me to "Fix all the problems in 2 months, and then basically from then on I would be doing mechanic work, and welding"
He was really big on everyone knowing how to weld, he even wanted his engineers to learn welding. (like that was going to solve his problems).
IMHO I think it's a dis-service to even go this route.
I did another interveiw at a company that also wanted "a mechanic w/ electrical experience" this was at a cake factory, they (even in the wet areas) did everything in either emt or SO cord, and also had control panels w/ gaping holes in the side of them.
They also had these freezers w/ auto defrost sytems that didn't work (electrically) so they had a mechanical solution, instead of replacing the bad solenoids, they went for the manual valve turning solution. I didn't walk from this interview, I ran to my truck

Re: Qualified Electrician? #150901 10/08/06 08:03 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 111
Eddy Current Offline
Wow is it ever different in the USA! In Ontario, Canada the Occupational Health and Safety Act states:
182.(1)No worker shall connect, maintain or modify electrical equipment or installations unless,
(a)the worker is an electrician under the Trades Qualification and apprenticeship Act or,
(b)the worker is otherwise permitted to connect, maintain or modify electrical equipment or installations under the Trades Quallification and Apprenticeship Act.
(2)A worker who does not meet the requirements of clause (1)(a)or (b) may insert an attachment plug cap on the cord of electrical equipment or an electrical tool into, or remove it from, a convenience receptacle.

Basically if your not registered as an apprentice all you can do is plug something in or out!!

Re: Qualified Electrician? #150902 10/12/06 10:22 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 376
frank Offline
Eddy Current,
I have to disagree(for Ontario)as there are loopholes.I work all trades do all jobs.
Last week the two electricians were changing light bulbs while the engineers changed out 600v 30a motors.
Go figure they had no idea what fittings were needed and called me to show them.
I've seen sealtite ran over 100' with ac90 run through it and entire assembly lines HOT from bad splices and no grounds plus lots more.

On the flip side I'm an industrial electrician who goes on shift alone in charge of a 1500hp powerhouse at night.
You only have to be a licensed electrician if you contract in ontario.We don't hide it either,jobs get inspected and TSSA knows I work as a shift engineer.
There is a bill,C140 I believe that holds management responsible for the workers actions.
Basically if a non licensed worker is put on a job and gets hurt or kills someone the manager goes to jail.
This bill came into being as a result of the westray mine disaster where many people died horrid deaths as a result of self described worker competence.
IMHO this is a joke.
Try to explain why a plumber shouldn't wire an MCC and a sparky shouldn't run a 400hp boiler(BIG BOMB) to a business oriented MBA.You just can't.
In Ontario Canada if the worker believes he's competent and the manager agrees there no reason not to do any job.How can you call yourself competent for a specific task that you have never preformed?.
All trades end up cross trained just enough to be dangerous and liable in this atmosphere.
Trades are specialized by their very nature.

{Message edited to clean this post up}

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 10-13-2006).]

Re: Qualified Electrician? #150903 10/13/06 07:04 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 111
Eddy Current Offline
I understand that alot of stuff is done when it's not supposed to but that still don't make it right. Call the ministry of labour and ask if it can be done. According to them only an apprentice or electrician can work on electrical, period. They don't know about every job out there being done and couldn't possibly enforce them. They will gladly come down and check everyones licences but someone has to tell them where and when the job is to be done. There are loopholes and ways around for everything until someone gets hurt.

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