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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:14 pm 
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Location: Wisconsin
cbauer wrote:
Regardless of which side of the safety switch you stand on when operating the handle, I do not think that the normal response of turning your face away is the best option. I believe that the Cat 2 face shield will only provide protection if you are facing the fault, unless you are wearing a balaclava. Or is this line of reasoning completely off base?

Isn't this one reason that a balaclave is now required for Cat 2?

But, like Zog, we recommend facing the potential blast so the faceshield can perform like it was intended.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:23 pm 
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The blast is still 'in a box' so the opening side of the door is probably the worst place. If you are wearing a face shield, you still would be better off to stand aside from the main blast but not in a way that the face shield becomes an air scoop.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:29 pm
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Location: Western Canada
Which way to train??

Haze10 says: "You are talking 'dead front' work. Unless you believe the switch to constitute 'high energy' ie, something similar to switchgear, then the answer is that arc flash ppe is not mandated (note I did not say 'required' or 'recommended'). The person doing this work should have some basic training, ie, where to stand, visual check the equipment, what to do if something goes wrong, etc."

Terry Becker says: "Here is another comment, I am right handed, I would prefer to use the hand and arm that I normally use. I wouldn't be comfortable using my left hand, especially if I stood with my back to the MCC, and opened the breaker this way (some have suggested to do this).

So I still think, hinged side, use the hand I am used to using so I have the best sense if the handle doesn't open normally.

Whatever you decide, write it down, and train workers so it is consistently applied."

I will throw in my comment: Assigning "no risk" to an operation is a tricky proposition. Normal operation of the switch handle for purposes of lockout by a mechanic seems to be a dead front operation. Telling the mechanic he is not mandated to wear PPE is fair game but I can't see training the same person which side to stand on, look away, take a deep breath, etc.
The whole of the issue is the safety of the worker - either the operation is safe or the IE must be observed in my way of thinking. The training for a non-electrical worker then becomes quite generic.
We are going through that scenario as a company and I have to say that I see the attractiveness of falling on the low risk side of the argument. The problem is that the equipment must be well maintained, in good condition and documented as such. I wonder what will happen if we have an arc flash in supposedly well maintained gear. I can see the legal ramifications already.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:49 pm 
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In the society we live in now,the legal ramification is a secondary concern. I say this because, the legal system is not concerned with who is right or who is wrong, only what seems fair. Its like no fault divorce, "...your Honor, my wife cheated on me for over ten years in secret and DNA testing says none of my 3 children are mine...." Husband still pays alimony, child support, and the wife gets half. Same in the real world of industrial accidents and I have testified in one case, contract electrician was seriously burned and the evidence was overwhelmingly in favor of the company that electrician was negligent. In chambers Judge tells us, "...man is a church going member of his community, he has three kids, and he obviously is disfigured... I suggest you settle because a jury doesn't care that you did it all right..." That remains the reality we live in. So as a company you have to make up your own mind and weigh your own decisions. Is any training necessary, well, LOTO, requires training to be done properly. So if you want to say its dead front and not coach a person to stand to the side, well so be it. You want to put that person in full arc flash PPE, so be it. Ultimately, in this case its a decision of cost versus benefit. The more PPE the less likely the employee will see you in court, while you pay the daily cost of the PPE and training. If I had two people doing LOTO in my factory, they'd be in 65cal suits for every LOTO. But if I have 400 operators who all do LOTO, do I invest to the same degree.

With regard to where to stand. I've heard the benefit for standing on either side. Personally, don't know if it makes a difference but to me its obvious to stand to the side and not in front, and at least turn away when you throw the switch. The main point is that this is 'dead front' and not significant energy switching, so it outside of Art 130 as a requirement.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:12 am 
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haze10 wrote:
In the society we live in now,the legal ramification is a secondary concern. I say this because, the legal system is not concerned with who is right or who is wrong, only what seems fair. Its like no fault divorce, "...your Honor, my wife cheated on me for over ten years in secret and DNA testing says none of my 3 children are mine...." Husband still pays alimony, child support, and the wife gets half. Same in the real world of industrial accidents and I have testified in one case, contract electrician was seriously burned and the evidence was overwhelmingly in favor of the company that electrician was negligent. In chambers Judge tells us, "...man is a church going member of his community, he has three kids, and he obviously is disfigured... I suggest you settle because a jury doesn't care that you did it all right..." That remains the reality we live in. So as a company you have to make up your own mind and weigh your own decisions. Is any training necessary, well, LOTO, requires training to be done properly. So if you want to say its dead front and not coach a person to stand to the side, well so be it. You want to put that person in full arc flash PPE, so be it. Ultimately, in this case its a decision of cost versus benefit. The more PPE the less likely the employee will see you in court, while you pay the daily cost of the PPE and training. If I had two people doing LOTO in my factory, they'd be in 65cal suits for every LOTO. But if I have 400 operators who all do LOTO, do I invest to the same degree.

With regard to where to stand. I've heard the benefit for standing on either side. Personally, don't know if it makes a difference but to me its obvious to stand to the side and not in front, and at least turn away when you throw the switch. The main point is that this is 'dead front' and not significant energy switching, so it outside of Art 130 as a requirement.

Haze10, your arguments are quite persuasive and do have a good deal of validity. Avoiding a trip to court is important but certainly no more important than giving the people who operate the equipment the tools and knowledge for safety. Given the size of the workforce here (+400 unqualifed, +50 qualified persons) we do have an issue with the cost of PPE and training. We do however mandate that all the workers wear 8 cal/cm² clothing and observe the posted IE under faulted/unusual conditions or where exposed to energised electrical equipment. The unqualified workers presently operate equipment with the basic 8 cal ppe regardless of the posted IE with the obvious exception of high energy switching.
Training of the unqualified worker definitely needs to meet the legal test but as you say - the company can be in the right and still be liable. Sometime I think the right approach is to always observe the IE - the problem would be that we would cease operations pretty quickly if we went in that direction. Finding the middle ground is the challenge...


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