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 Post subject: PPE required for 110V lighting panels
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:04 am 
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We recently had 8 hour Qualified Electrician training from GE recently certified for 70E 2012. We were trained that to operate a 110V circuit breaker requires HRC 0 PPE. (Table 130.7(C)(15)(a) This means turning a breaker on or off, or resetting a tripped breaker. We are considering placing cotton coveralls in a locker adjacent to all lighting panels, and placing labels on the panels requiring the these coveralls if the clothing they are wearing is not Long Sleeve cotton Shirt and Long leg Cotton Pants. I am interested in what other may be considering or doing.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:36 pm 
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Tough question when talking to unqualified personnel but I've been trying to convince qualified personnel to wear HRC0 at all times, no matter what the weather in the shop. For me, the bigger problems relate to machine operators and some others who open and close breakers and disconnects at 208-600V who don't want to wear long pants and sleeves, much less have the discussion on non-melting clothing, but I continue to push it.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:22 pm 
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You can't wear a polyester shirt or pants under the cotton coveralls and still have HRC 0 PPE.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:47 am 
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What about just installing switches near the panelboard to operate the lighting? That way there is no extra training, clothing and enforcement needed. Also no unqualified people entering the panelboard if it is now locked.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:14 am 
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NFPFA70E 130.7(A) goes out of its way to say that not all operations of electrical equipment require PPE.
Quote:
Informational Note No.2: It is the collective experience of the Technical Committee on Electrical Safety in the Workplace that normal operation of enclosed electrical equipment, operating at 600 volts or less, that has been properly installed and maintained by qualified persons is not likely to expose the employee to an electrical hazard.


Your company is allowed, if not outright required, to identify the hazard and assess the risk (see 110.3(F)).

Remember there is a big difference between the proper maintenance and installation of a 120V molded case circuit breaker and that of a 480V draw-out power circuit breaker. One size fits all policies - usually don't.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:41 am 
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Only those body parts that cross the arc flash boundary must be protected. If you are outside the arc flash boundary there are no PPE requirements. Looking at the NFPA 70E 2012 definition for Boundary, Arc Flash it starts off by saying "When an arc flash hazard exists, an approach limit at a distance...". If there is no arc flash hazard, then there is no arc flash boundary. So, if you have have a 208V system being fed from a single 45kVA transformer (actually <=125kVA) there is no arc flash hazard according to IEEE 1584... “Equipment below 240 V need not be considered unless it involves at least one 125 kVA or larger low-impedance transformer in its immediate power supply.”


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:47 am 
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viper57 wrote:
.... So, if you have have a 208V system being fed from a single 45kVA transformer (actually <=125kVA) there is no arc flash hazard according to IEEE 1584... “Equipment below 240 V need not be considered unless it involves at least one 125 kVA or larger low-impedance transformer in its immediate power supply.”

I'm not sure we can say "there is no arc flash hazard". I think the intent was it would not be significant but there is still a small arc flash hazard.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:26 am 
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NMSUPE wrote:
We recently had 8 hour Qualified Electrician training from GE recently certified for 70E 2012. We were trained that to operate a 110V circuit breaker requires HRC 0 PPE. (Table 130.7(C)(15)(a) This means turning a breaker on or off, or resetting a tripped breaker. We are considering placing cotton coveralls in a locker adjacent to all lighting panels, and placing labels on the panels requiring the these coveralls if the clothing they are wearing is not Long Sleeve cotton Shirt and Long leg Cotton Pants. I am interested in what other may be considering or doing.


Really? So turning on the lights in the morning via breakers requires a bit of thought towards PPE? I understand if a breaker tripped - something abnormal is occurring but for normal operation of small breakers like for lighting? Do we extend this logic to simple light switches too?

RichardG wrote:
I'm not sure we can say "there is no arc flash hazard". I think the intent was it would not be significant but there is still a small arc flash hazard.


I have seen this interpretation too often. No calculation required = no arc flash hazard exists. Completely wrong! :eek:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:26 am 
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LHall wrote:
I have seen this interpretation too often. No calculation required = no arc flash hazard exists. Completely wrong! :eek:


Close. There are dozens of PI's for 2015 addressing this.

No calculation=default hazard.

Defaults hazard does not mean default risk.

Calculated hazard does not mean unacceptable risk (without PPE) either.

An example where there is no appreciable shock hazard is less than 50 volts AC. In this case irrespective of the likelihood there is almost no risk. With arcing faults we would have to study the minimum energy required to ignite synthetic fabrics to get to something similar, because their use raises the hazard above that of bare skin.

Conversely if the likelihood is very low, reductions in likelihood or PPE should not be required, irrespective of the hazard. For example there is a hazard of a fatal auto accident when driving but we don't ban cars because of it. Plus, the darned things scare the horses too which is a threat to those on horseback.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:27 pm 
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NMSUPE wrote:
We are considering placing cotton coveralls in a locker adjacent to all lighting panels, and placing labels on the panels requiring the these coveralls if the clothing they are wearing is not Long Sleeve cotton Shirt and Long leg Cotton Pants.


It only takes one person in any given workplace to get their polyester shirt melted to their body for everyone to get the point that they should be wearing natural-fiber, non-flamable clothing - even under cotton coveralls. How much simpler it would be if people would just realize we are not interested in just making them uncomfortable.


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