I'm not sure if Article 517 applies to an eye clinic that does eye exams and makes glasses but, does not do eye surgery or treat eye injuries. They employ licenced optometrist but no doctors. Health care facilities include medical, dental, psychiatric, nursing, Ob/Gyn, and surgical facilities (Lasic would be in that part) but, I'm wondering about the regular eye clinic. Is it a health care facility ? Alan-- an Inspector
Under the definition of health care facilities, it says " Health care facilities include but are not limited to, hospitals, nursing homes, limited care facilities, clinics, medical and dental offices, and ambulatory care centers, whether permant or moveable."
IMHO, I think a case could be made that an eye clinic is a health care facility.
During an eye exam, there is most definitely electrical equipment against your body. For example, the glaucoma tester, and the gadget with all the lenses in it. So, yes, an eye clinic absolutely needs to be treated as a health-care facility.
Since the patient is not connected to any of the machines I would dissagree. Certainly the AHJ can say anything they like but if we are calling the "eye machine" something that is "directly connected to the patient" (as in 517.11 FPN) then we better start looking at video arcades and the blood pressure machine at the drug store.
If we are going to try to include all the places that may examine a human being for anything, what are we going to do about the Lions Club (diabetes, glaucoma, etc...) flu shot clinics, and others, that set up at schools and businesses to provide testing, vaccinations, and the like?
In N.C. it is decided by the AHJ which is the Division of Facility Services or DFS for short.
Most plain jane Eye Clinics, Doctors Offices, Dental Offices, etc... where no surgeries or major invasive procedures are performed, are not considered Health Care Facilities to the extent that part II of 517 would be the law.
I think the NFPA has intentionally left this up to the individual AHJ's. NFPA 99 is just as open (vague) as the NEC is on the matter.
[This message has been edited by Roger (edited 10-11-2005).]
My 2 cents is to get a letter in writing from the doctors that do the work there stating that their equipment used will not be hooked up to the patients. The new type of Glaucoma machines I have seen don't really touch your eye, but they will blow a small puff of air into your eye. So as Greg stated, you are touching the machine, but you are not really hooked up to it. Also ask the AHJ in that location if he/she sees it that way.
When I inspect one of these facilities and I see a piece of equipment with a cord cap on it that has a green dot on it, I expect the circuit supplying this piece of equipment to comply with Article 517.