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#22076 - 02/17/03 10:09 PM OSHA Misinformation!  
Nick  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 599
Riverside, CA
This post was one of the casualties of the server problem.
I posted the following quote from an OSHA 10 hour presentation.
Grounding creates a low-resistance path from a tool to the earth to disperse unwanted current.

When a short or lightning occurs, energy flows to the ground, protecting you from electrical shock, injury and death.

OSHA Professor posted asking where this was from. He does not believe it could be from an official OSHA site. I posted the URL and that’s when we lost the thread. So, here it is again! I e-mailed OSHA Professor the following info yesterday so hopefully he comes back with more info.
Download the electrical safety-construction Power Point Presentation. Slide #24.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#22077 - 02/18/03 08:16 PM Re: OSHA Misinformation!  
Nick  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 599
Riverside, CA
I received an e-mail from The OSHA Professor. It is an OSHA site and it slipped through the cracks. He has the power to change the wording on the slide and is asking for suggestions. So how about it guys. Can We come up with something together here? I figured we could come up with something good as a group.
The title of the slide is ‘grounding’. It has a picture of a man cutting with a skill saw.

[Linked Image]

To the left of him is the text:

Grounding creates a low-resistance path from a tool to the earth to disperse unwanted current.

When a short or lightning occurs, energy flows to the ground, protecting you from electrical shock, injury and death

First of all the title of the slide is misleading. The tool is in fact bonded to the grounded conductor not “grounded.” However, non-electricians (and even a lot of electricians [Linked Image] ) will not understand the difference. So to keep it simple maybe the title should stay the same to avoid mass confusion. I am going to post this now and work on some rewording myself. I’ll post back later. Anybody have some ideas? It has to be about the same number of words or less.

(Picture added to post)

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 02-18-2003).]

#22078 - 02/18/03 11:57 PM Re: OSHA Misinformation!  
Nick  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 599
Riverside, CA
OK, how about this:

Grounding tools and equipment creates a low-resistance path for current to flow.

When a short occurs, current flows back to its source causing the circuits over current device to open, protecting you from electrical shock, injury and death.

There is a lot more to it but the intent of this slide is a very general over view.

#22079 - 02/23/03 09:25 PM Re: OSHA Misinformation!  
OSHA Professor  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 48

Thanks for all your input and guidance in this issue. Including the reposting of this.
Before the thread was lost when the server crashed I said the information disseminated in the outreach program was bullshit. Since that original post and with your help we have established that it is a fact that this missinformation is on the OSHA government site. And guess what...It's still bullshit!

Now that we have also established my proclivity to political correctness..LOL lets see what we can do to fix the problem. As I suggested to you when you were kind enough to e-mail me with the URL and information, I can have this changed / fixed. Frequently electrically related technical information is "run by me" before going through all the other clearance hoops prior to posting. This one fell through the cracks or something. I'm also not consulted on a great many electrical issues prior to posting, for buracratic, political, organizational, and / or other constraints. Anyway on with the show or the fix or whatever.

Nick, your thecnical definition / explanation is absolutely correct. In a very technical environment (like an ecn forum) I might be inclined to use the slightly more technical term "impedance" instead of resistance. However I'm not quite sure either is appropriate given the context and intended audience. This 10 hour outreach safety training is basic safety (in all categories, general PPE, walking working surfaces, hand tools, ladders & scaffolds, fall protection, basic electrical, etc, etc) for general trades (could be anybody, carpenters, roofers, laborers, masons, plumbers, etc).
So the question I ask (as an educator and in the eyes of the student audience) what does that mean to me. Carry fault current back to where for what? For the benifit of the GC, or employer no doubt? To somehow save the elctricity? You would be surprised at what student think if they don't know the reason.

There are two questions to consider and keep distinctly seperate.
1. What is the purpose (function) of the equipment ground?
2. How does it work?

Nick I like your approach in your suggestion for rewording because you hit the mark in terms of purpose. I would suggest we underscore or
emphasize that and bring it right up front.

IT PREVENTS ELECTROCUTION in the event of a short or electrical malfunction in the tool.

Ask 100 workers (other than electricians) what the purpose of that ground pin /wire is and I'll be willing to bet very few state "Prevent Electrocution".
"To prevent electrocution!" That's the mindset I want to prepetuate. Now given the context it seems that we need to explain the function just a little and very basically to the point where we don't say anything technically wrong.

"Grounding prevents electrocution by carrying dangerous electrical current back to its source over a safe path and causes the circuit breaker or fuse to shut the circuit off instantaneously."

Just my first thought although I've been jaded because I frequently describe it this way to neophytes. Seems to work. Not that all the good folks on this forum don't have better ideas or ways to say it even more clearly and succinctly.

Just had another thought.

Grounding prevents electrocution, keeps dangerous currents on a safe electrical path (away from people), which trips the circuit breaker or fuse and shuts the circuit off instantaneously.

OK before I get rambling too much, let me know what you think. Again I thank you and all the participants on this site for your suppot and help. Together we can fix this and get the correct information to be disseminated.

OSHA Professor,

#22080 - 02/23/03 09:42 PM Re: OSHA Misinformation!  
Len_B  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 53
New Hampshire
Just a comment:
Where you use terms like "dangerous current", also include the word fault.
Even most non-electricians will associate the word "fault" with a bad, unwanted, or dangerous condition.

Grounding tools and equipment creates a low-resistance path for fault current to flow.

When a short occurs, this fault current flows back to its source causing the circuit's over current device to open, protecting you from electrical shock, injury and death.


#22081 - 02/23/03 09:45 PM Re: OSHA Misinformation!  
WebSparky  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 138
Cleveland, Ohio
OSHA Professor,

Here's my two cents;

"Equipement grounding prevents electrocution, and provides a safe electrical path (away from people)for an electrical fault to ground, which trips the circuit breaker or fuse and shuts off the electricity instantaneously."

By the way, is there somewhere on OSHA's site that indicates how OSHA is funded and how OSHA helps "spread the word"?

I'm thrilled that you participate in the forum. It's always nice to have a pro around!


#22082 - 02/25/03 09:31 PM Re: OSHA Misinformation!  
jlhmaint  Offline
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 202
Fredericktown, OH, U.S.A
A few changes not many, my thought is that you shouldn't say prevents electrocution, because there are no 100% Guaranties. Let me think some more also but here is what i thought.

Equipment grounding reduces the risk of electrical shock or electrocution, by providing a safe electrical path (away from people) for an electrical fault to ground.

Causing a circuit breaker to trip or a fuse to blow, which shuts off the electricity to the equipment instantaneously.

#22083 - 02/26/03 12:03 AM Re: OSHA Misinformation!  
Nick  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 599
Riverside, CA
Great replies! Just one comment. The word ground. That was one of my problems with the original wording. It reinforces the false perception of people not in the electrical trade that fault current just flows to the ground and disappears. This is dangerous.
When I first got into the trade I used to install above ground pools on the side. When doing a replacement liner I noticed the guy had a ground rod next to his pool pump. Upon closed inspection I noticed he had run the old 2 wire romex (with no equipment grounding conductor) across the lawn to the pump. He then took the case of the pump to the ground rod. When I pointed out this was dangerous his response was something like “what’s wrong with it? It’s grounded.” And I am afraid the terminology used today reinforces this kind of practice.
I haven’t heard from the OSHA Professor lately. Hopefully he comes back and gives us an update.

#22084 - 03/08/03 09:26 PM Re: OSHA Misinformation!  
OSHA Professor  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 48
Hi everyone!
I've been really busy teaching every day. Just finished a two week OSHA electrical standards class and I am preparing to "hit the road" for the next three weeks for a series of conferences and clases. One week in Nashville for an Air Force safety conference, following week in Pittsburg for a ASSE (American Society of Safety Engineers) conference followed by and OSHA basic electrical course in Taunton Mass.
I haven't abandoned you folks just really crazed lately. I'm actually on the road 60% to 80% of the time.
Thank you all so much for all the really great suggestions. I'm sure a blending of all this stuff will give us something really useable to replace that awfull crap currently listed in that outreach presentation. I still have to keep it as non technical as possible because of the intended audience. Adultsa want to know what's in it for them, and they are not interested in insuring low resistances, etc, etc. Maybe they will have an interest in preventing their death! Nothing is one hundred percent but the electrical hazard addressed or protected by equipment grounding is shock & electrocution. BTW if that path is a low enough impedance as the code requires then persons using the faulted equipment can't get electrocuted, and if it's 120 volt hand held portable tools then even the probability of shock is near nill.
Also, OSHA gets it's funding annually from Congress who gives OSHA monies in the annual budget. I don't know if there is anything on the OSHA site about that. FYI: the budget last year for EPA was more that OSHA has recieved in total, every year combined since we were created. Fact: there are more fish and game inspectors nationwide than OSHA inspectors/ investigators nationwide.
Not complaining mind you just trying to put the magnitude of our mission in perspective on a grand scale. Thats why I'm hanging around asking for all your help. Together we can make it happen and send our brothers and sisters home at the end of the work day, minus only their lunch!
As soon as I can catch my breath I'l get to work on fixing this outreach presentation, Thanks for bringing it to my attention and thanks for all your help and suggestions in verbiage. If the NEC would only call this equipment grounding "equipment bonding" which is what it really is that would create a distinction from grounding (grounding electrode/system ground) which has a whole different purpose and function, then perhaps the whole thing would all be a lot clearer.
Thanks and be safe out there.
OSHA Professor

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