It is currently Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:49 am



Post new topic Reply to topic
Author Message
ekstra   ara
 Post subject: Faulsified Arc flash Study
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:01 am
Posts: 13
As a electrical engineer who performs arc flash studies and investigates electrical accidents I have come across a company who is faking their arc flash studies. They go into companies and collect a little data such as the number of electrical panels then go back and print labels with made up numbers. I have proven that this particular study was totally fabricated. This false study resulted in three maintenance personnel being burned with two having very serious injuries. There is presently a civil case against the company who performed the study and additional action is anticipated such as criminal action.

MY question is how do we prevent such these bogus studies? I will be publishing information of the accident and the arc flash company as soon as I can but that is not enough. There could be many companies with arc flash studies out there where the information on the labels that are wrong.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Faulsified Arc flash Study
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:24 pm 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:01 am
Posts: 142
jcp@pfeiffereng.com wrote:
..............

MY question is how do we prevent such these bogus studies? ................


Not sure you can. Obviously the label printers (as opposed to engineers) who are doing these have no concern about consequences.

They could have at least printed all "Danger - Shutdown Required - No Appropriate PPE Exists" with boundaries 240" and energies of 80 calories for every label...................


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Falsified Arc flash Study
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:33 pm 
Offline
Plasma Level
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:08 am
Posts: 1878
Location: North Carolina
You can report it to the state professional licensing board as well.

Not sure what you mean by "fake". Some companies have created labels using the tables in NFPA 70E. As has been mentioned many times before the tables are better than nothing. There has been one published study that suggests that the injury rate is 50% if the tables are used and an arc flash happens, based on the old (pre-2015) tables.

In addition to the tables, 70E gives around a half dozen different methods for estimating incident energy in Annex D. However it does not cite any kind of analysis as to which is the "best" method. Even IEEE 1584 gives both a theoretical (Lee) method, an equipment specific method, and an empirical method. It does a numerical analysis of the empirical method but does not do any kind of analysis of the other two methods. Thus there really isn't any documentation out there that purports to claim that method A is better than method B, except for something along these lines published by OSHA comparing the Duke heat flux model, ArcPro, and the Lee equations above 15 kV.

So at a bare minimum, picking ANY model out of Annex D would be equally valid without evidence claiming that either some of the methods are outright invalid or any kind of "goodness" metric.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Faulsified Arc flash Study
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:09 am 
Offline
Sparks Level
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:00 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Maple Valley, WA.
I agree that reporting it to the State Licensing Board would be the best way. Most states require that professional engineers review and/or stamp all reports related to electrical power systems. Most states have a staff that will investigate these companies or engineers when it is brought to their attention.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Faulsified Arc flash Study
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:28 am 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:43 am
Posts: 164
Location: Colorado
You can go to the engineering board but only if they are claiming to be engineers. If they are only claiming to provide arc flash labels the board may not have jurisdiction.
Many engineers I know are not licensed and are not required to be. I work for a consulting firm (do ENGINEERING for others) and therefore I have to be licenced or work under some one that is.

It seems there is a very grey line that may have been crossed. Unfortunately if they violated any laws the worst that will come is they pay some money. It will not stop people from trying to make a buck - engineers included.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Faulsified Arc flash Study
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:10 am 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:40 am
Posts: 119
"You can go to the engineering board but only if they are claiming to be engineers."
I don't think that is entirely true. In CA at least, the State board investigates instances where a "non engineer" offers to, {or actually performs} "engineering work" with out the work being supervised by a PE.

Those few cases that I have seen, there seems to be little more than a "cease and desist" order.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Faulsified Arc flash Study
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:11 am 
Offline
Plasma Level
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:08 am
Posts: 1878
Location: North Carolina
Again, pay attention to the "industrial exemption". It practically neuters engineering boards. It does vary significantly though from state to state as to just how strong of an exemption it is.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Faulsified Arc flash Study
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:46 am
Posts: 7
Here we are looking only one side of the coin. Use of PPE is not a permission to do work on energized equipment and circuits. The 'Faulsified Arc Flash Study' actually did not result in injuring the workers as described in the post. Actually main responsibility goes to the people who have signed the Energized Electrical Work Permit, if there was any and required by NFPA 70E for working on energized equipment and circuit. EEWP supposed to be signed at least by a senior facility officer allowing their worker to work on energized equipment and circuit. EEWP also be signed by the person who is agreeing to work on energized equipment and circuit and know hazard involved with the work, so injured person also has responsibility for their injuries. Also worker shall be qualified for the work they are doing and know about the danger involved. In facility where the accident happened do not have qualified worker for the job, do not have a safe electrical work policy then they are responsible for establishing an unsafe work condition anr are guilty under OSHA Act.

First of all there should be an electrical safe work policy and people who work on electrical equipment and circuit shall be trained and qualified. Facility's safety policy shall not allow working on energized equipment and circuit except under some rare conditions.

Arc Flash labeling requirement comes next to a fundamental safe electrical work policy. NFPA 70E does not prohibit people to do their own labeling and selection of PPE if they are trained to do so.

There will always be a possibility of falsification in arc flash study. Engineers generally do not toil to collect data needed to do the arc flash study. they depend upon someone else to this toiling job for them. Integrity of arc flash study is depending not upon the PE who signs off the arc flash study but it depends upon the person who is collecting data for modeling the arc flash study. Collecting data is a very tedious and dirty kind of job. Any data not collected accurately will falsified the result of arc flash study.

SheelPandey


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Faulsified Arc flash Study
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:57 am 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:40 am
Posts: 119
paul Wrote "Again, pay attention to the "industrial exemption". It practically neuters engineering boards. It does vary significantly though from state to state as to just how strong of an exemption it is."

I don't think the "industrial exemption" would apply in this case, even remotely. At least as written in CA, it would exempt an engineer in company X, performing an arc flash study for company x facility. Even then it only covers engineering work that is in "connection with", or "incidental to" the product. It would NOT cover him performing the study for another company.\I think most states exemptions are similar. I know Oregon's is.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Faulsified Arc flash Study
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:24 am 
Offline
Plasma Level
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:08 am
Posts: 1878
Location: North Carolina
JKlessig wrote:
paul Wrote "Again, pay attention to the "industrial exemption". It practically neuters engineering boards. It does vary significantly though from state to state as to just how strong of an exemption it is."

I don't think the "industrial exemption" would apply in this case, even remotely. At least as written in CA, it would exempt an engineer in company X, performing an arc flash study for company x facility. Even then it only covers engineering work that is in "connection with", or "incidental to" the product. It would NOT cover him performing the study for another company.\I think most states exemptions are similar. I know Oregon's is.


It's not just a product exemption. There's also the obvious "working under someone else's license" (although that doesn't apply here), internal engineers (again probably doesn't apply), federal government (not subject to state requirements), many state exemptions (typically utilities, government agencies, schools), and as you said the product exemption. The product exemption is very broad. For instance I current work for a shop that rebuilds, removes, installs, aligns, tests, and pretty much everything else involving motors, motor controls, and switchgear. Good luck defining where the "product exemption" ends with us although that's probably an extreme example. If you make it too narrow then you get silly cases. If you make it overly broad then licensure almost never applies.

Quote:
Here we are looking only one side of the coin. Use of PPE is not a permission to do work on energized equipment and circuits. The 'Faulsified Arc Flash Study' actually did not result in injuring the workers as described in the post. Actually main responsibility goes to the people who have signed the Energized Electrical Work Permit, if there was any and required by NFPA 70E for working on energized equipment and circuit. EEWP supposed to be signed at least by a senior facility officer allowing their worker to work on energized equipment and circuit. EEWP also be signed by the person who is agreeing to work on energized equipment and circuit and know hazard involved with the work, so injured person also has responsibility for their injuries. Also worker shall be qualified for the work they are doing and know about the danger involved. In facility where the accident happened do not have qualified worker for the job, do not have a safe electrical work policy then they are responsible for establishing an unsafe work condition anr are guilty under OSHA Act.


The general duty clause is a requirement of the employer. You can have as many contracts and other pieces of paper as you want be OSHA's interpretation even extends to contractors doing work for a host employer, generally going after whoever has the deeper pockets. Employees can completely and utterly ignore company policy and OSHA regulations but the responsibility for somehow enforcing rules, procedures, and regulations still falls on the employer. This has been argued many, many times in the past for basically anything you can think of. For instance arguments have been made that employer provided PPE but employees chose not to wear it and were thus injured...OSHA still holds employer responsible.

I think about the only place where you can escape this one is when the employer gives up control to someone else who is working truly as an independent contractor with complete autonomous control over every aspect of something, and even then it has to be a very strong argument. I know that right now in some states crane operators are being held directly responsible for the safety of lifts and maintenance and inspection of their cranes (I believe I saw this in Kentucky). It may or may not hold up in court. It varies from state to state mostly depending on whether or not the state recognizes the concept of contributory negligence and whether the state or OSHA is responsible for enforcement of work conditions...if they do then an employer can be responsible for almost nothing (at least locally...OSHA is another matter). If they don't have contributory negligence then the employer is liable for almost everything because it is really, really hard to prove that an employee knew and understood what they were supposed to be doing and was motivated to flagrantly ignore policy and rules and do something else entirely. All the employee has to do is to claim ignorance and the idea that they didn't read anything they signed and the burden of proof shifts to the employer...and it's much harder to prove especially in a jury situation when the employee was injured that they knew better and yet did something different, no matter how many policies they broke or papers they signed. All they have to do is blow up a smoke screen of cases where employees routinely ignore company policy and do something different or where they claim that supervisors jumped all over them to get the job done faster and looked the other way when safety policies were ignored. This kind of thing happens all the time and personal injury lawyers are really, really good at making these arguments.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
© 2017 Arcflash Forum / Brainfiller, Inc. | P.O. Box 12024 | Scottsdale, AZ 85267 USA | 800-874-8883