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 Post subject: Scare tactics
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:23 pm 
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Location: Texas
Arc flash can release tremendous amount of energy, both mechanical and thermal, and can maim or kill.

Have you seen a car-wreck, with persons in it?

Which one is worse?

They are the same, they are dead.

The point is that both driving and working on energized, live equipment can be done safely.

Trainers and other peddlers of safety programs often begin their presentation with horrendous videos, showing the shocking pictures of energy release and the maimed people in some cases. It appeals to the emotions, not to the logic and sense. Of course these folks try to stay away from EE's and approach the management and safety types.

But they fail to show the testing video of a 3000A system circuit breaker under full fault current where the only sign is that the fault was safely interrupted is a slight vibration of the front door, a small smoke exhaust through the vents and of course the scary sound effect. BUT NO DAMAGE!

What they fail to underline that in 95%+ of the incidents the occurrence is clearly attributable to either equipment failure due to improper handling or lack of maintenance, obsolete design equipment, and equipment operated beyond its fault limits and human error. Human error sources are often ignoring the safety rules out of arrogance or ignorance, inadequate training or just plain stupidity. So let’s train our people right and verify their training, educate them to a deeper level in understanding the underlying physics, so they are not just trained monkey but thinking human beings who are capable of analyzing potential sources of hazard and protect them against the hazard. Training of course costs money and it cuts into the profit line. But so is the ensuing litigation.

I wish we all step back for a moment, take a deep breath and do the RIGHT thing, not the "legal" thing....

Be well and work safely.....


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 9:21 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:52 pm
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Location: Westchester County NY
Lazlo
There are different tactics for different people in regards to the way to deal with training for Arc Flash.

My thoughts based on what you posted.
There are some who will take lessions well and are easily taught to work properly. Then there is the other end of the spectrum with the individual who barely pays attention during the training and will keep on keeping on as he has in the past.

So, when training for this topic, do you think it is wise to try several approaches or one approach to the training styles?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:00 am 
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Pierre wrote:
Lazlo
There are different tactics for different people in regards to the way to deal with training for Arc Flash.

My thoughts based on what you posted.
There are some who will take lessions well and are easily taught to work properly. Then there is the other end of the spectrum with the individual who barely pays attention during the training and will keep on keeping on as he has in the past.

So, when training for this topic, do you think it is wise to try several approaches or one approach to the training styles?


I do not consider a presentation that emphasizes the negative and fails to point out the statistical percentage as conveying unbalanced information. That is saying nicely that a lie is often masquerades as a truth not told.

As I mentioned these types of "lessons" are not presented to the people who have sufficient technical knowledge to see through the incomplete picture. They are often presented by people who themselves are lacking sufficient in-depth knowledge and are just trained presenters, like an actor who is playing the role of a doctor in the soaps.

The danger associated with this type approach is that the employer will develop unnecessarily strict policies which hamper safe working. The other problem is that the workers themselves will become overly frightened of the task performed, they feel that they are at the mercy of the protective gear and become unsure what the safe action to take is and unclear about how the danger is generated.

In summary, both in initial presentation as a safety topic and instructions for safe work practices full disclosure is mandated. Both the safety and the dangers associated with live electrical work should receive the proportionate amount of time that they represent in the overall task performance. It should be also noted that current protective gear does not have a protective rating against flying debris associated with an arc-flash explosion.

People who should be performing electrical work should have a level of intelligence and seriousness toward the topic. Their supervision, which are responsible to provide a safe environment to the workers, should also have a level of technical expertise to approach this subject.

IMNSHO there is a lot of snake-oil salesmanship practiced in this field. :eek:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:13 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:55 am
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Location: New York State
Snake Oil is a pretty good summary. Although there are a few very good training programs out there, there are way too many programs (many of them FREE or low cost) that focus on scaring people to death in order to sell them a product or service.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:19 pm 
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Andy R. wrote:
Snake Oil is a pretty good summary. Although there are a few very good training programs out there, there are way too many programs (many of them FREE or low cost) that focus on scaring people to death in order to sell them a product or service.


Bottom line, you get what you pay for, I can count on 1 hand the number of training companies out there that actually know what they are talking about. (Yes, our host is one of them)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:24 pm 
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LaszloZW wrote:
I do not consider a presentation that emphasizes the negative and fails to point out the statistical percentage as conveying unbalanced information. That is saying nicely that a lie is often masquerades as a truth not told.

As I mentioned these types of "lessons" are not presented to the people who have sufficient technical knowledge to see through the incomplete picture. They are often presented by people who themselves are lacking sufficient in-depth knowledge and are just trained presenters, like an actor who is playing the role of a doctor in the soaps.

The danger associated with this type approach is that the employer will develop unnecessarily strict policies which hamper safe working. The other problem is that the workers themselves will become overly frightened of the task performed, they feel that they are at the mercy of the protective gear and become unsure what the safe action to take is and unclear about how the danger is generated.

In summary, both in initial presentation as a safety topic and instructions for safe work practices full disclosure is mandated. Both the safety and the dangers associated with live electrical work should receive the proportionate amount of time that they represent in the overall task performance. It should be also noted that current protective gear does not have a protective rating against flying debris associated with an arc-flash explosion.

People who should be performing electrical work should have a level of intelligence and seriousness toward the topic. Their supervision, which are responsible to provide a safe environment to the workers, should also have a level of technical expertise to approach this subject.

IMNSHO there is a lot of snake-oil salesmanship practiced in this field. :eek:


Ask for references next time you hire a "trainer", you know the tpoic fairly well, did you interview the trainer? I insisted on a pre-training interview for every course I did, for me so I could incorperate the companies safety policies and existing program, point out problems to the safety guy and EE before the class that I will be addressing (Yes, that lost me a few clients) and inform them of the questions they need to be prepared to ask when the training happens (I.E. Who will determine who is qualified and how?)

And yes, I have done plenty of training for BASF, just not in Tx


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:49 am 
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Zog wrote:
Bottom line, you get what you pay for, I can count on 1 hand the number of training companies out there that actually know what they are talking about. (Yes, our host is one of them)



The main issues with training companies are the lack of practical experience in the part of the trainers. Of course this is not a blanket statement for all, but it is the rule rather than the exception. The training MUST involve hands-on experience or at least video demonstration of the different processes.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:47 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:37 pm
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Dear Mr. Weress

Good day, I hope all is well. You are 100 percent correct there are snake oil salesmen’s out there today. The first thing I would tell you is from my 30 years of manufacturing experience, this is a real hazard and people (EE and Safety Professionals) that brush this aside and not informing there employees of the hazard are doing a disservice to there employees.

I am encouraged that BASF has clean updated equipment and a good Standard Operating Procedure, however most manufacturing facilities DO NOT live in the same world that you do. They have old equipment that was built in the 60’s and 70’s and have high fault clearing times usauly 8 to 10 cycle times. Their EE’s (if they have one) and Safety Managers have either buried their head in the sand or have been missed informed by one of these snake oil salesmen that you talked about. Or even worse they do nothing because of the cost of replacing equipment and or the cost of proper PPE. With that being said, what these plants have a major accident waiting to happen.

It is my personal option that is creating a good Standard Operating Procedure with the following:

1. Have an Arc Flash Study of the manufacturing facility. Find out were the read problems are.
2. Train the employees on the new S.O.P.
3. Get people in the proper PPE for them to wear
4. Clean the current equipment and label them with the proper labels, the labels should have the Cal/CM2 of the event, the boundary restrictions and the proper PPE to be used.
5. Create a long range plan of replacing equipment in stages. Let’s take the dynamite out of the bomb.
6. After the equipment is replaced go back and recalculate the event.
7. Reduce the PPE level and re-label the new units,

I welcome the opportunity to talk to EE’s and true Safety Professionals everyday. I have outfitted some of the largest electrical companies in the country and they welcome my input because I keep the employees and their companies safe.

Respectively
Keith Gavin


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:10 pm 
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Arc flashes don't happen very often but IF clothing ignites they are very bad. 120,000 workers at EDF who were exposed had 125 electrical incidents per year and only 25% were permanent or fatalities (I cringe to say ONLY). But when training is balanced folks realize that seat belts are a good idea even if you are never saved by one (I have been saved by one but it was 20 years ago).

I'd like to see every electrician in single layer arc rated clothing (who cares if it is HRC 1 or 2). Non ignition saves MOST lives. Then move to a flash suit for higher level exposures, maintain equipment, get a good flash study and de-energize when ever possible and so few folks will be killed.

Most don't even point out how many fatalities could be prevented just using a GFCI with extension cords (which is the law since August 15, 2008).

Too many folks think a scare video is training or that their clothing company's free training is adequate electrical safety training. Every site has special needs so good, knowledgeable trainers are important. I have seen a company recently which gives a PowerPoint away which is so inaccurate and clothing focused it makes me cringe.

One company recently sent their MechE to a training class and he went back and threw NFPA 70E and the workbook on the table with a sign up sheet and told them to sign off they had been trained. Fortunately the guys rebelled because they had over interpreted the standard in some ways. Had no idea they had little arc flash risk in their plant until they looked at the tables for their tasks and types of equipment. Maintenance became THE issue along with getting away from CAT I meters for 480V testing.


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