It is currently Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:59 am



Post new topic Reply to topic
Author Message
ekstra   ara
 Post subject: PPE Needed for Computer Servers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:26 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:02 am
Posts: 4
Location: Mustang, Ok
Hello,

Really new to this. and the NFPA-70E is super difficult to understand.

We have one guy who is trained in this.. So we take his word on things for Safety.

but we have to call bull on this one. But want to ask some other folks and found this site.

What we have is about 150 servers, only time we work on them physically is when they are powered off. anything else we remote in to fix them.

We are being told we have to wear PPE uniforms in order to work on them. But best I can tell everything we have is a Category 0. Everything is Less than 240v In most cases only 110. We have a couple of Items 240v but as stated we only work on the items.

So we are trying to figure out why we would need to wear PPE Uniforms to work on a computer server thats powered off.

And the only way i can convince our safety guy is to find the rule in the book other wise.

We work out of our cubes 80% of the time remoting into the servers. every once in a while we have to replace a hard drive or a main board. but power is removed during that.

So can someone help me understand whats going on, and or help me explain or find out why?

And No Study has been done. They are doing some Shotgun approach because of our Environmental department needs the PPE for the generators and such they work on. And they cant find a company to contact out the PPE for just 10 employees.

This is the Federal Aviation Admin BTW doing this.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:23 am 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:52 am
Posts: 110
Location: Yankton SD/ Lead SD
You would have to wear PPE till you have verified that the server is in a "safe working condition". Once that has been verified, you can perform your work in ordinary street clothes.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:02 am
Posts: 4
Location: Mustang, Ok
Thanks,

To do that though would Overalls be Enough?

They are talking spending 350,000 a year on getting us complete uniforms, shirts, pants the whole 9 yards.. I Kinda see this as a complete waste of taxpayers money. When they could just get us some simple arc flash safe overalls to go pull power to a server.

We do not touch anything that would be considered an exposed energized circuit. Just think of your Home PC. What we work on is no different.

I see this as overkill for working on a computer, I really do. If Ya gotta wear it..

I can understand working on an UPS, or something with some good juice flowing though this...

I dont wanna sound like Im protesting this.. But at the same time I dont think our safety team has done their homework. And I want to read up and I hope this community dont mind me asking tons of questions. If I gotta wear a uniform fine.. but I want to know all the Rules Why Im having to do this, and I just dont want our management shotgunning the whole approach just because we have 1 department that seriously needs that kind of protection.

So I guess my question out of all that rant is this. Can Overalls/gloves be worn over everyday clothes to remove power from servers withs 220v or less being supplied to them. Its a normal everyday standard PC Plug in. Nothing any different than what you would unplug from your Home PC / TV Etc.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:05 pm 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:52 am
Posts: 110
Location: Yankton SD/ Lead SD
If they are actually a Cat 0, than the only PPE needed is long sleeve shirt and pants, (non melting), safety glasses, hearing protection, leather gloves and possibly insulated gloves.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:02 am
Posts: 4
Location: Mustang, Ok
cbauer wrote:
If they are actually a Cat 0, than the only PPE needed is long sleeve shirt and pants, (non melting), safety glasses, hearing protection, leather gloves and possibly insulated gloves.


So a Pair of overalls should meet those needs?

Most of us wear Jeans/slacks , and Short Sleeve Polo shirt as we are required to wear a collar because we work in a "Professional" environment. Not to mention In the Oklahoma Heat Im not wearing a Long Sleeve Shirt to work lol

But If we had business Casual attire on and put a pair of overalls on would that fit that need for long pants / long sleeves. We have Insulated rubber gloves issued to us to pull power with. So that meets that need.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:34 pm 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:52 am
Posts: 110
Location: Yankton SD/ Lead SD
IMHO, yes you would be covered with that type of setup.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:21 am 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:19 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Georgia
Also the clothing worn under the FR coveralls must be constructed with natural fibers so they won't melt.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:02 am
Posts: 4
Location: Mustang, Ok
i still think its funny, after all the years of working on computer equipment that all the sudden "arcflash" is now a threat.. and to unplug a simple 110v / 240v computer i gotta wear a complete getup for that.

Does anyone know of any major computer companies that Comply with this expensive setup?

I get the privilege of coming to work now looking like I work at McDonald's rather than the freedom of being comfortable and looking professional.

Whats the difference between wearing Arcflash at work, and not wearing arcflash at home, while unplugging you TV or Computer at home?

Is there a statistic for people injured/killed while working on computers Id love to see that one? Im just having a hard time swallowing this one. 300,000 Government dollars a year just so I can unplug a Computer to work on it.. I just dont get it..


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 1:41 am
Posts: 13
It is not all of a sudden for just servers. Everyone is seeing a new approach to Arc Flash hazards. I work in a large data center as an electrician. The techy's change power supplies, etc on the servers and we take care of the line voltage portions. One day a power supply blew up shortly after it was turned off and sprayed molten something out the back of it all over the techy. Now that type of server is our job to turn on and off the power supplies. We wear a Long sleeve cotton shirt and I like welding gloves for this task. and of course safety glasses. It is easy to stay out of the path when you know what might happen. With more power comes more hazards.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:00 pm
Posts: 21
sammyboy405 wrote:
i still think its funny, after all the years of working on computer equipment that all the sudden "arcflash" is now a threat.. and to unplug a simple 110v / 240v computer i gotta wear a complete getup for that.

Does anyone know of any major computer companies that Comply with this expensive setup?

I get the privilege of coming to work now looking like I work at McDonald's rather than the freedom of being comfortable and looking professional.

Whats the difference between wearing Arcflash at work, and not wearing arcflash at home, while unplugging you TV or Computer at home?

Is there a statistic for people injured/killed while working on computers Id love to see that one? Im just having a hard time swallowing this one. 300,000 Government dollars a year just so I can unplug a Computer to work on it.. I just dont get it..


Well the Arc flash industry did not just start yesterday, these accidents have been happening for years now I must say. But be assured that there are a lot of safety engineers out there providing training & testing of new ways to keep your workplace more safe. Also if you want to check out a few guys/gals that were involved in Arc flash incidents working on similar voltage as yourself feel free to visit the DOL website under the OSHA citations citing. Also with your original question in reference to if you all are required to wear PPE while working in environments of 0-calories, you mentioned that you all have not actually performed an Arc flash study which may show that you all are working above 0-calories possibly. There are a lot more factors in the calculations of determining the arc thermal performance value (ATPV) rather than just present voltage. My first recommendation would be to advise your safety dept. to look into possibly having someone perform the Arc flash Analysis so that you all are working with more precise values other than just voltage.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:06 am
Posts: 5
I just came across this post while looking for something else and I think that an important issue was brought up by the (upset) employee. He noted that the servers were plug-in. From what I understand, there is no potential electrical hazard when pluging in or un-pluging a computer. Also, I think his safety guy really gives us all a bad name when shotguning these types of requirements. I posted earlier about the guys job I just took over for and stated that he was fired because he was putting people at risk because he didn't take the time to understand the task or the hazards before implimenting programs and PPE requirements. I do however think that $300,000 a year for arc flash gear for 10 people is way off base but it still is not cheap.

All of you safety people out there that are like me and looking for answers about the "right" electrical safe work practices need to listen to what I am about to say. Employees have a very hard time understanding and excepting that the way they have been performing their work for the last 20+ years was wrong when it comes to safety. If you think your company may require more stringent electrical safe work practices (arc flash/shock) than you need to really do your homework first. Don't just do a little bit of research, take a day long course, or the thing I hate the most...just taking some other safety guys word for it. These types of approches are completely WRONG!! and you will loose any confidence your employees or managment has in you. Understand what you are dealing with before you either put your employees risk, over protect them (which could also put them at risk) or waste tens of thousands of your companies profit dollars.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:08 pm
Posts: 1
Flash

I was testing a switchboard one day and a PT (potential transformer) blew up next to my head just as I moved out of the way to work on something else. It spewed epoxy and copper to the left and luckily I was moving right. Never thought that could ever happen to me. :eek: Sure, I heard about plenty of events and had seen many videos on explosions, arc's, faults, etc...but still never thought it could happen to me. I consider that my one chance and next time will not be so lucky, so I have changed my habits.

It's hard for me to see much risk in unplugging or plugging in a power supply (server) but then again, Murphy is always lurking around the corner.

Just think of it this way, pretend it will blow up as soon as you flip that switch or plug in that plug. Imagine it in your head and adjust your habits accordingly. If you can't imagine it, go watch a bunch of videos on YouTube, it will change your perspective!

For example, once I was installing wiring to a hot tub and another contractor was onsite flipping breakers in the basement, unbeknownst to me, I went to cut all the conductors off in one fell swoop. Well you can image my surprise when I squeezed the dikes. Needless to say, my dikes (I saved them) now serve as wire strippers too! I was ~75 ft from a 20A breaker on a 200A main panel and the service hit was ~200ft away from panel. I saw a ~5" diameter bright spot (and kept on seeing it for ~30 min) from the flash. I had some black marking on my hands but was unharmed. Would I do it again, heck no... I took experiences like that (yeah more than one) and learned to change my habits.

BTW: If it helps, at that place in the power distribution chain, the fault current level is ~5kA. The size of the breaker feeding the outlet is a factor as well (i.e. 20A breaker) and affords the ARC more energy as the size goes up. It's all about the fireball that comes out, for how long and how far it can reach. At that level, not so big or far! As far as PPE, most people that work on or around 120VAC (fed by <=200A panel) use gloves (for shock hazard) and sometimes a face shield, depending on how nosy their getting.

The clothing is another story, mostly the clothing is for when the fireball can project itself out far enough to touch you (it's simply large enough to engulp you). The FR type clothing buys us time but is not fire PROOF, and is used for more severe ARC's. As always, clothing like polyester melts into the skin. The biggest downside of the melting into the skin is on the repair side, how do you fix that? skin graft's? :confused: They can't get the melted poly out of your skin, just has to sort of grow out or be cut out during graft (bad crap). Just switching to clean burning cotton (Hanes, etc... 100% cotton) will be helpful as it sort of disintegrates when flamed. FR clothing doesn't disentigrate for a longer period of time and sort of acts as a shield for a few mS's. I wouldn't even wear poly at a campfire or grilling out!


Best of luck to you!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 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