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Does the elimination of Category 2* simplify things?
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 Post subject: Elimination of Category 2*
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 2:22 pm 
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Category 2* is being deleted from the 2012 Edition of NFPA 70E. The “*” often led to confusion.

All Category 2* references will now be listed as simply Category 2 and a balaclava sock or an arc flash suit hood will be required for Category 2.

Does the elimination of Category 2* simplify things?

Yes
No

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 5:46 am 
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I voted No because of all the already applied labels which list detailed PPE required for HRC2, without the balaclava. Some field personnel will be confused between what will be on the label and what they may hear/know about 70E-2012 (with/without balaclava for HRC2), possibly making them less likely to believe some other info on it (after all, if a piece of PPE is missing, what else did the study miss?).

For future studies and labels, it'll definitely remove some possible confusion.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:04 am 
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Vincent B. wrote:
I voted No because of all the already applied labels which list detailed PPE required for HRC2, without the balaclava. Some field personnel will be confused between what will be on the label and what they may hear/know about 70E-2012 (with/without balaclava for HRC2), possibly making them less likely to believe some other info on it (after all, if a piece of PPE is missing, what else did the study miss?).

For future studies and labels, it'll definitely remove some possible confusion.


IMHO, This is one reason not to put the PPE components on a label. A qualified person knows how to find what is needed, and an unqualified person is probably not going to make the effort.

What did the field people do in 2009, when faceshields became part of the HRC1 PPE requirements?


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:47 am 
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I voted no because I think it will be hard to get electricians to wear a baclava ALL the time


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:38 am 
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Does anyone know if there were statistics or data to back up this change? In other words, has there been incidents where the face shield alone did not provide adequate protection?


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:34 am 
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Location: Georgia
The elimination of category 2* simplifies the process by removing confusion, but the balaclavas are miserable to wear. This will just lead to aggravation in the field. I like SCGEng1's question...Are there data to back this up?


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:45 pm 
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Great discussion! I am a strong advocate of putting a lot of information on the labels because with each new edition of NFPA 70E, the list of required information seems to grow.

However, a while ago I fell into the group that does not think it is a good idea to list the PPE for the reasons already posted here. It doesn't makes sense to list the PPE when the list keeps changing with every edition.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 8:02 am 
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Eliminating HRC 2*

I believe this does simplify things. I also think that listing the required PPE on the AF label is a good thing. Too many qualified folks I know sometimes have selective memories when it comes to training and others just plain would not reference 70E if uncertain due to fear of what they might find, grumbling that they already wear enough PPE to make their job difficult. However, it's a little more difficult to ignore the requirements when they're posted on the panel you're working in.

I do find the drastic changes in each edition to be almost too much to keep up with though. While I realize the committee is probably constantly learning new information... jeeze. Every time I think I finish something, I discover I need to re-label everything and retrain everyone.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 12:37 pm 
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A King wrote:
Too many qualified folks I know sometimes have selective memories when it comes to training and others just plain would not reference 70E if uncertain due to fear of what they might find, grumbling that they already wear enough PPE to make their job difficult.

How many people think that qualified people who will take every shortcut, whenever possible, believe they will stop to read the instructions?

I cannot remember the last time i was in some facility that believed they needed to post the exact PPE required for every hazardous material location. For some reason four colored diamonds with numbers is understandable, but HRC 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 is not.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 6:11 pm 
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Vincent B. wrote:
I voted No because of all the already applied labels which list detailed PPE required for HRC2, without the balaclava. Some field personnel will be confused between what will be on the label and what they may hear/know about 70E-2012 (with/without balaclava for HRC2), possibly making them less likely to believe some other info on it (after all, if a piece of PPE is missing, what else did the study miss?).

For future studies and labels, it'll definitely remove some possible confusion.


Listing HRC2* on a detailed AF label doesn't make sense in my opinion. Ask yourself what exactly is HRC2*? This PPE designation does not refer to any specific incident energy. Hazard/Risk Categories refer only to a required minimum level of PPE.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:01 pm
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There is always confusion on what to wear at what time. The utility that I just started working for about 16 months ago has done the study and the labels are any where from a cat 0 to 4. The company policy how ever only sees cat 0, cat 2, cat 4, or dangerous. To me this makes not it not only easy for me in selecting the right PPE but easier to explain to other crafts doing similar work (multi craft group).


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:06 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:59 am
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
brainfiller wrote:
Great discussion! I am a strong advocate of putting a lot of information on the labels because with each new edition of NFPA 70E, the list of required information seems to grow.

However, a while ago I fell into the group that does not think it is a good idea to list the PPE for the reasons already posted here. It doesn't makes sense to list the PPE when the list keeps changing with every edition.


For our labels we use "Management Approved, NFPA 70E Compliant, Category # PPE"

It keeps the label un-cluttered and allows for changes in PPE requirements. Obviously, this puts the onus on management to keep training up to date.

Bob Ragsdale, P.E.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:15 am 
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JBD wrote:
How many people think that qualified people who will take every shortcut, whenever possible, believe they will stop to read the instructions?

Most electricians don't walk around with a copy of 70E, and PPE for a given HRC would then often be based on best recollection. However, if it is posted on the panel, it is quicker to ascertain and easier to enforce both of which contribute to compliance.

JBD wrote:
I cannot remember the last time i was in some facility that believed they needed to post the exact PPE required for every hazardous material location

At our company we regularly perform documented hazard assessments, evaluate suitability of existing PPE, review injury & illness records to identify trends and if need be, check availability of new PPE on the market. Standard daily wear PPE is posted on all doors leading to the manufacturing floor. Glove cabinets have a matrix posted on the door rating the various types of gloves for cut resistance, heat resistance, chemical resistance, grip, dexterity and recommended applications. Areas that require PPE above the standard daily wear typically have special signage or a PPE assessment tag posted. Why would we not do the same to make things easier and safer for qualified electrical workers too?

JBD wrote:
For some reason four colored diamonds with numbers is understandable, but HRC 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 is not.

HRC 0, 1, 2, 3 & 4 did not mean the same thing in 2004 as it does today, and next year it will not mean the same thing as it means now; hence the difficulty with both listing and not listing the PPE on the label.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:22 am 
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A sign at the PPE storage site, or the shop area would provide the necessary information (similar to what is done with 'steps to follow' at LOTO stations). Some facilities provide a laminated information card for the qualified personnel to carry with their tools.

The important thing is for the employees to be able to determine and use the appropriate PPE.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 3:42 pm 

Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 3:26 pm
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Category 2* and Arc Flas Labels

I'm responding more to the label issue than 2* here. I prefer general labels without any PPE values because I expect any label that is applied to be wrong eventually. Here are my reasons for a general rather than detailed label.

1. If anyone changes breaker trip settings (which might be done when restoring power after a breaker trip), the arc flash results might change. I see a lot of design-build projects with the trip settings left at minimum. The first time the facility trips the main breaker, it is likely that the main would be reset to a higher value. For a given calculated arcing current, the PPE level might be 0 if the breaker is still within its instantaneous trip and 4 or higher if it's in its time delay region.

2. A PPE number put on a label based on some engineer's study inherently assumes that the engineer understood and anticipated the electrician's work practices and working distance. Somehow, this strikes me as not always correct.

3. If the arc flash study took credit for the service entrance main breaker, it might be Category 0. If not, it might be Category 4.

4. Every new issuance of NFPA 70E seems to change the criteria, which can make our labels wrong.

5. The IEEE 1584 testing will likely change their empirically-determined equations. I expect new equations with the new IEEE 1584.

6. As part of an arc flash study, we are supposed to consider the condition of maintenance and reevaluate the calculations every 5 years. That tells me that the label needs an expiration date.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:18 pm 
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Eddie Davis wrote:
I prefer general labels without any PPE values because I expect any label that is applied to be wrong eventually. Here are my reasons for a general rather than detailed label.

It seems like you object to either a PPE category or the Incident Energy level on the label because it might be wrong either because the study was not done right or things may have changed since the study. How do you comply with NFPA 70E labeling requirements, then?

Maybe the worker should do his own study just prior to the work so that he knows precisely what the PPE should be at the present time for the working distance that he will be at. If he neglects something or is not proficient at calculations, it's his skin! :o


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 8:22 am 

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jghrist wrote:
It seems like you object to either a PPE category or the Incident Energy level on the label because it might be wrong either because the study was not done right or things may have changed since the study. How do you comply with NFPA 70E labeling requirements, then?

Maybe the worker should do his own study just prior to the work so that he knows precisely what the PPE should be at the present time for the working distance that he will be at. If he neglects something or is not proficient at calculations, it's his skin! :o


My preference is to direct the electrician to the study report that developed the arc flash results. Most electricians probably do not use SKM or EasyPower on a routine basis.

With respect to future changes to the arc flash criteria, it's easier to change tables in a report than to relabel everything. Also, the report can include the technical bases (and any limitations) for the arc flash results, which I consider important.

I realize that NFPA 70E-2009 calls for detailed labels. But, I find it curious that the NFPA 70-2011 Handbook still shows general labels only.


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 11:32 am 
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Eddie Davis wrote:
I realize that NFPA 70E-2009 calls for detailed labels. But, I find it curious that the NFPA 70-2011 Handbook still shows general labels only.

NFPA 70E does not require detailed labels. It requires only either an incident energy value or required PPE. Saying something as simple as "Category 1 PPE required" meets the requirements of 70E 130.3(C).

NFPA70, the NEC, has absolutely nothing to do with PPE selection, because it relates to equipment installation and not employee safety.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:49 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:00 pm
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From our view, it makes it less confusing although we never actually used 2*. We already required the balaclava sock with 8 cal/cm^2 protection.

The "*" in HRC 2* only applied when using the HRC tables. We do not use the tables since we use calculated incident energy. What incident energy relates to 2*? Is it the same as 2? That is a question I have seen on the forum. So, eliminating 2* makes it easier. (except as everyone knows, the balaclava sock can be miserable to wear).

Now the trick is to explain to our staff why this changed :eek:


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