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 Post subject: UK Standard
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:54 am
Posts: 201
Location: St. Louis, MO
Found this:
http://www.tas.co.uk/engineering-sd-arcflash.asp

Apparently the UK equivalent OSHA standard must be E.A.W.R. 89 Section 5. I'm trying to get a copy.

They are recommending using IEEE 1584.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:43 pm
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Location: Sheffield, England
UK Standards

Hi, regulation 5 of the UK electricity at work regulations refers to the strength and capability of equipment and the entire regulations can be found by clicking the following link.
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1989/Uksi_19890635_en_1.htm
As an introduction, I’ve been widely acknowledged as having raised awareness about the US research into arc flash in the UK Engineering community although US standards have been applied for some years in some industries. This has often been where American owned or multinational companies have been involved. Just under 12 months ago I co-authored an article with Jim Phillips of brainfiller.com about arc flash in the Institute of Engineering and Technology Power Engineer magazine, link below.
http://www.elecsafety.co.uk/034-037_PE_JunJul07_lo.pdf
The article seeks to raise awareness about the US research into arc flash and how it can be used in UK risk assessments. There is also another article which appeared in the Electrical Review on the subject of arc flash hazard when doing live testing work, link below.
http://www.elecsafety.co.uk/Electrical%20review%20article.pdf
Since then there has been a good deal of debate as there are a few people here who justifiably point to the fact that the UK has a proud record in electrical safety dating back 100 years. I have argued that there is still a great deal that we can learn from the US standards, after all we are still burning people in electrical flashover incidents. I have been called in on several occasions to write safety rules and electrical procedures & risk assessments for companies after such events and although the statistics on the subject are not good, there are thought to be about 200 serious burns per year. In addition, I have advocated the use of IEEE 1584 to assess the severity of electrical arcs in the UK and also at a recent European seminar in Belgium.
The article that Jim Phillips and I wrote above drew some rough parallels between the legislation in the UK and US standards. At the top of the tree in UK is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 so you could say it has a standing similar to OSHA 1970. The Act sets out the general duties which employers have towards employees and members of the public, and employees have to themselves and to each other. These duties are qualified in the Act by the principle of ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’. In other words, an employer does not have to take measures to avoid or reduce the risk if they are technically impossible or if the time, trouble or cost of the measures would be grossly disproportionate to the risk. The electricity at work regulations 1989 were made under the above 1974 Act. Another key piece of legislation is the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and is more explicit about what employers are required to do to manage health and safety under the Health and Safety at Work Act. The main requirement on employers is to carry out a risk assessment.

My experience shows me that many employers do not carry out risk assessments when it comes to live work activities and have no idea of the destructive nature of fault energy should an arc flash incident be initiated by an employee. The difficulty has been a lack of knowledge available to predict the amount of harm to a worker whose screwdriver or test probes slip whilst working in an energised control panel but IEEE 1584 calculations have come a long way to address the issue. There is however, a feeling that the use of PPE is unrelated to safety training & practices and is an afterthought for poor working practices in the US. (Please don’t shoot the messenger if you want to come back on this point.)
There is much more that I could say on the subject but I’m looking forward to some interesting debate on the forum in respect of European legislation.
Mike Frain FIET MCMI
Electrical Safety UK Ltd
http://www.elecsafety.co.uk


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:01 am
Posts: 2
Location: dorset
I am a service engineer who works for a large american company within the air conditioning industry in the uk. As you are aware the american half of the company must follow strict guidelines on arc flash awareness training, ppe and arc flash analysis of switchgear etc.
Having recently read your articles Mike on arc flash and also TAS Engineerings report this year i am quite concerned on what actions my company should be doing in this field.

Talking to our health and safety manager he is happy enough that we wear eye protection (goggles), hard hat, electricians gloves and rubber mat for fault finding. His understanding of arc flash is at best very worrying to say the least.

I work mainly on large air cooled chillers which are predominately outdoors and exposed to the elements. They are all 3 phase 415 vac with controls circuits anywhere from 24vac to 240vac. Almost on a daily basis i am working on live control panels with doors open checking voltages and measuring current of fan motors and compressers some of the chillers require us to switch on isolators which are built into the chiller with the doors open. There is the potential for arc flash incidents whether by human accident or otherwise.

I have personally been involved with the follow up to a couple of arc flash incidents over the years where 2 of our engineers were involved.
The 1st engineer narrowly missed being exposed to an arc flash, he had just closed the control panel door when within a couple of minutes there was a arc flash explosion resulting in taking out the local substation. This happened about 18 years ago
The 2nd engineer suffered burns to both hands, arms and face while replacing 200 amp fuses. At the time he was not wearing any ppe and was at fault for not isolating the supply prior to replacing the fuses, but even if he had worn the company ppe he still would have received burns to his upper arms and face. This happened during the early part of this summer this year.

I have bought the EAWR 1989 HSE book and i am still confused as to whether i need to wear FR Clothing and who exactly should be instigating the arc flash surveys, my company or the client.

Any helpful information would be appreciated.

Gibbo6


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:43 pm
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Location: Sheffield, England
Arc Flash Awareness

Hi Gibbo, I can understand your frustration with the apparent lack of direction and clarity in this area. In the UK we have a good record in electrical safety but our records of electrical accidents are poor which leads some people to think that there is not a problem. The anecdotal evidence suggests, (you personally have experience of two arc flash accidents) that we must not be complacent in this area and do much more to identify the hazard and protect workers. There are around 650 admissions to hospital beds per year for electrical accidents in England alone and whilst some of the victims are general members of the public, the fact that the majority of them are males of working age should allow you to draw your own conclusions. Rates of injuries have been rising in recent years so we must not be complacent.

A fundamental safety principle, which is embodied in UK legislation, is to design out, eliminate or remove the hazard at its source whether this is electric shock or arc flash. The Electricity at Work Regulations 13 and 14 lead to the conclusion that the majority of tasks must be carried out with the equipment made dead. Live working should never be accepted as the norm and Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 makes clear that three conditions must be met for live working to be permitted. These conditions are:

1.It is unreasonable in all the circumstances for the conductor to be dead; and
2.It is reasonable in all the circumstances for that person to be at work on or near that conductor while it is live; and
3.Suitable precautions (including where necessary, the provision of personal protective equipment) have been taken to prevent injury.

If live working can be justified through the rigorous tests of reasonableness in conditions one and two, judgments must be made about suitable precautions against electric shock and the effects of electrical flashover to satisfy the requirements of condition three.

At this point in time it is unlikely that a UK HSE Electrical Inspector will ask to see an IEEE1584 Arc Flash Study after an electrical burn accident whilst doing live work, but instead ask for an account of what the worker was doing there in the first place. If it can be shown that it was unreasonable in all the circumstances for the conductor to be dead and it was reasonable in all the circumstances for that person to be at work on or near that conductor while it is live then the third part of regulation 14 from the EAWR 1989 will come into question. In other words, were suitable precautions (including where necessary, the provision of personal protective equipment) taken to prevent injury. The precautions should include competent staff, insulating barriers or screens, suitable test equipment & leads and accompaniment. Other precautions should include; adequate information to the person carrying out the work about the live conductors, system & foreseeable risks, protective clothing and the creation of a safe zone in which only authorised persons can be admitted.

The latter three precautions can be specified with the aid of the US standards such as IEEE 1584 that are the result of intensive empirical research. There is no other refined tool to calculate arc flash incident energy to the same detail and therefore there is, in my view, a duty to use the *latest technological advances in the evaluation of risk. (*One of the general principles of prevention from European Law which is embodied in UK legislation) The key is to use the tools available but as part of a rigorous risk assessment.

I hope that this helps but there is a seminar which has been designed to answer the questions that you raise in Watford on the 11th February 2008. Jim Phillips PE and I will be presenting and also Neil Gove who is a HM Specialist Electrical Inspector from the HSE. The links to the event are below.

http://www.elecsafety.co.uk


http://www.electricalreview.co.uk/news/118116/Exploding_the_Myths_and_Mystery_behind_Electrical_Arc_Flash.html


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:01 am
Posts: 2
Location: dorset
Many Thanks Mike

I have seen the information on the seminar at Watford and if its ok i would like to attend i will contact your office to finalise my details.

Gibbo6


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