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 Post subject: PPE Selection when Interacting with non-labeled Equipment
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:11 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Illinois
Hi All,
To put my question in context, I train Industrial Maintenance and Construction Electricians at a Community College. Some of the students are new to the field and are receiving training to gain employment. Many of the students are already employed and are taking classes to enhance their skill set. Many of these folks are involved with service work that takes them to a variety of locations from 7-11s to industrial sites. Where I am troubled is how to advise them about what PPE to wear in settings where the site has not conducted an energy survey and nothing is marked. Shock is always a concern but depending on the type of work site access to information concerning voltages present may be readily obtainable, what won't be is the arc flash hazard level. The dilemma I face as a trainer is my interpretation of 70E is unless the worker is properly protected they should not do the task. To use the tables we would need to know ASCC and clearing time to know whether the tables would be applicable let alone the condition of the equipment and whether it has been properly maintained. What I do know is that these electrical service folks that I'm training are going to do the job whether the equipment is labeled and gives them direction as to what PPE to wear or not. Should I and is there a way I can suggest to them that if they are going to do the work despite the lack of hazard information available that they could use the tables in 70E without opening myself up to some form of liability? I have attended a number of NFPA 70E seminars since the year 2000 put on by the NFPA. They have never when asked publically said it is "OK" to use the tables if no analysis has been conducted to determine the tables appropriateness. Privately off to the side I have had at least one presenter tell me the whole reason the tables exist is to provide guidance for PPE selection when no energy study has been conducted, the phrase it's better then nothing comes up. Any guidance you can provide me will be greatly appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: PPE Selection when Interacting with non-labeled Equipmen
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:15 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:19 am
Posts: 43
The phrase "it's better than nothing" can still get someone killed! Per 70E section 130.5(B)(2) you can only use the tables when the requirements of the tables apply. In other words, if you don't have the Utility information and the correct clearing times, an arc flash survey needs to be performed. That is the guidance that I give when I teach electrical safety training.

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 Post subject: Re: PPE Selection when Interacting with non-labeled Equipmen
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:35 pm
Posts: 157
I would not even bring up the tables. If your students want to discuss them, that's another thing, but if I were you, I'd tell them they must do reseach themselves and let them know you don't think it's wise to trust them.
More importantly, the Standard talks about "qualified". If your students are employed by a company or contractor, it's up to the contractor to determine if they are qualified and what they can and cannot work on. This is an overarching standard that you don't have anything to do with. Getting training does not mean they are qualified. Leave this up to the employer. You can talk about the tables, but the previous post makes lots of sense. This is a can of worms you don't want to open. I've said this in previous posts, but think if the worst happened and you end up in court and are asked to explain why you told your students what you told them, you'll need to have good justification.

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