Thursday, April 22, 2010

GFCI Continued

As an alternative, OSHA does allow you to develop and implement an assured equipment grounding conductor program. The program must be in writing and address the following items: 1. Assignment of a competent person, 2. Daily visual inspection of all equipment before use, 3.The performance of tests on all cord sets at varying intervals (continuity and conductor attachment), and a documented system to track all tests. See 29 CFR 1926.404(b)(1)(iii)[A] through 1926.404(b)(1)(iii)[E] for further details.

Electrical hazards are a significant source of injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. Employee contact with electricity is responsible for approximately 18% of the fatalities observed in construction. Many injuries and fatalities could be prevented through the use of safe electrical work practices that include providing ground fault circuit interrupters on all temporary wiring.

All employers on construction sites are required to use either ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) or assured equipment grounding conductor programs to protect employees from the risk of electrocution or shock. There are several different means of employing GFCI depending on the application: A. as an attachment to an appliance cord, B. installed at the breaker panel, or C. provided at the receptacle.

Extension cords are considered to be temporary wiring; therefore, you should ensure that ground fault protection is used in conjunction with all extension cords on construction sites.

Inspect the GFCI equipped before each use to ensure it works properly. When a “pigtail” is used in conjunction with an extension cord, you must connect the GFCI equipped cord to the outlet.

All 120-volt, single-phase 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets on construction sites, which are not a part of the permanent wiring of the building or structure and which are in use by employees, shall have approved ground-fault circuit interrupters for personnel protection

The ground fault interrupters should be tested frequently to ensure they are functioning properly. The manufacturer usually recommends that you test the GFCI monthly. If you expect to work in a dusty environment, you should ensure all of the GFCI are covered and tested more frequently.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Job Briefing & Planning Summary

Planning for a job properly prevents mistakes and injuries from occurring. Safety on the job is not
something that just happens; it should be an integral part of the planning process. Job briefings are a
great way to include and encourage all crew members in the safety planning process. Job briefings can be
held at the start of work shifts, as work tasks or hazards change, and as additional personnel arrive.
Safety Does Not Just Happen: >
The hazards
The voltage levels involved
Skills required
Any “foreign” (secondary source) voltage source
Any unusual work conditions
The shock protection boundaries
The available incident energy
Potential for arc flash (Conduct a flash-hazard analysis)
Flash protection boundary
Number of people needed to do the job
Can the equipment be deenergized?
Is a “standby person” required?
Are backfeeds of the circuit to be worked on possible?
Job plans
Single-line diagrams and vendor prints
Status board
Information on plant and vendor resources is up to date
Safety procedures
Vendor information
Individuals are familiar with the facility
What the job is
Who else needs to know—Communicate!
Who is in charge
About the unexpected event...What if?
Test for voltage—First
Use the right tools and equipment, including PPE
Install and remove grounds
Install barriers and barricades
What else...?
Prepare for an emergency
Is the standby person CPR trained?
Is the required emergency equipment available? Where is it?
Where is the nearest telephone?
Where is the fire alarm?
Is confined space rescue available?
What is the exact work location?
How is the equipment shut off in an emergency?
Are the emergency telephone numbers known?
Where is the fire extinguisher?
Are radio communications available?