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 Post subject: Z462 and safety-rated prescription eyewear
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:32 am 
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Hello all. I have a question regarding our employer and the responsibilities of our employer to provide PPE.

We are curently having a disagreement with our employer. Our employer's position is "as long as you have a face shield on, prescription glasses are not required to be non-conductive." Our interpretation of the Z462 is that "for HRC 2 safety glasses must be provided in addition to a face shield". When asked about the employer providing safety rated prescription glasses for testing/working on eqiupment rated HRC 2 the employer's response was that prescription eyewear was the responsibility on the employee and was not required as long as the face shield was worn. The employer (as of Jan 10, 2010) has not provided the Z462 Standard for employees to look at.


Also regarding HRC0, the employer does not think it necessary to provide the custodial staff (I work for a school board) with long sleeve clothing and safety glasses to do such things as their monthly testing of fire alarm safety equipment under emergency power (turning off/on the 15A breaker for the FACP) and generator testing.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Jim

Canada


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:39 am 
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Location: Lawrenceburg KY
Welcome WJW to the forum and some good questions.

It is my understanding that safety glasses are to be worn + the ER face shield. It is also my understanding the employer must provide the proper PPE as required for your safety on the job at the employers cost. As the saying goes, you cannot put a price on safety.

In addition I believe this is an OSHA reg.

The conductive part of eyewear has been a point of confusion for many.
During extreme cases plastic frames have the potential to melt to the head. Titmus has what is called ER glasses but as of now not very many companies are going this far. Having said that, IMO, conductive safety glass eyewear is not out of the normal when wearing an ER face shield and hard hat for most companies.
[url="http://www.titmus.com/"]http://www.titmus.com/[/url]

The PPE may be company specific. Some companies have policies that state: If you wear conductive prescription eyewear and you’re within the electrical hazard boundary you must wear the ER face shield/hard hat.

Conductive eyewear becomes a flash hazard when falling off while in the arc flash boundary onto an exposed energized device. This subject has received some attention. There is an eyewear retaining strap that can be ordered that is ER and FR if my memory is correct to help prevent such occurrences.

Conductive eyewear becomes a shock hazard only if someone makes contact to an exposed energized device when wearing the glasses. This is possible but I suspect this rarely occurs with voltages below 600v. However, this is why some companies opt conductive eyewear users to utilize the ER face shield when working within the electrical shock hazard boundary.

My safety glasses are plastic frames with metal components. I would expect this along with ER face shield to protect me in most cases. Now if I worked a lot around KV I may look more at the Titmus brand of ER frames.

Eyewear is sort of a complex issue and I expect more developments in eyewear within the coming years.

HRC0 PPE daily wear for someone turning off a 15A circuit breaker seems a little overkill for LV panels.
A more logical approach and an alternative to a long sleeve shirt may be a FR lab coat and leather glove covers and safety glasses worn during the interaction of devices. IMO, this is best when limited interaction is required.
Moreover, this person should receive electrical safety training in his or her specific duties.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:26 pm 
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Thanks very much for the response. Previous to the CSA Arc Flash course provided late last month, our last directive from our Assistant Supervisor was simply the directive "don't work live". We were left with more questions than answers after the course. As of now, we don't even have a proper policy and procedure guideline to follow. We asked if were to follow the Z462 and were told no, we were to follow the policy being written. Asked when this policy was to be provided, the answer was sometime in the next year :confused:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:11 pm 
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wjw wrote:
our last directive from our Assistant Supervisor was simply the directive "don't work live". We were left with more questions than answers after the course.:


Being left with questions: This is common, I see and hear this all the time.
Don't work live: Good, but still you are required to verify de-energized and wear proper PPE (Gloves, FR clothing, face shield/hard hat). Since Z462 was designed around NFPA 70E I would assume the same is true.

IMO (In my own opinion) the following should be provided by your organization if you do electrical work for them.
1. The correct category of test equipment and insulated tools.
2. The proper electrical drawings, blueprints etc.
3. Training to be a qualified worker. (PPE, hazard analysis, equipment knowledge)
4. Various FR Clothing and PPE for HRC determined by the level of work hazards done by a study or chart and wear proper PPE.
5. Lock outs/Training

Just to name a few.
I do not know the level of work you perform but do as your boss says, do not work live. However there is more to NFPA 70E and Z462 then not to work live. Always protect yourself as much as you can also.




As of now, we don't even have a proper policy and procedure guideline to follow. We asked if were to follow the Z462 and were told no, we were to follow the policy being written. Asked when this policy was to be provided, the answer was sometime in the next year:confused


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:31 am 
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Location: Western Canada
wjw wrote:
Hello all. I have a question regarding our employer and the responsibilities of our employer to provide PPE.

We are curently having a disagreement with our employer. Our employer's position is "as long as you have a face shield on, prescription glasses are not required to be non-conductive." Our interpretation of the Z462 is that "for HRC 2 safety glasses must be provided in addition to a face shield". When asked about the employer providing safety rated prescription glasses for testing/working on equipment rated HRC 2 the employer's response was that prescription eyewear was the responsibility on the employee and was not required as long as the face shield was worn. The employer (as of Jan 10, 2010) has not provided the Z462 Standard for employees to look at.


Also regarding HRC0, the employer does not think it necessary to provide the custodial staff (I work for a school board) with long sleeve clothing and safety glasses to do such things as their monthly testing of fire alarm safety equipment under emergency power (turning off/on the 15A breaker for the FACP) and generator testing.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Jim

Canada


Hi Jim
There is nothing is Z462 requiring the use of non-conductive frames on prescription eye glasses when used behind a face shield. See clause 4.3.6.4. The face shield will protect the eye wear but non-conductive eyeware is required when exposed to energized parts or conductors.

The Z462 standard is not a regulation but the employer does have the duty of develop and implement an effective OH&S program under CSA Z1000. The Canadian Electrical Code also references Arc Flash but does not require employers to comply with Z462 (yet). Some provinces are taking more stringent approach so it may be different for your jurisdiction.

HRC 0 PPE is basically plain cotton clothing and safety glasses. I would comment that failure to require the use of safety glasses when switching a low voltage breaker is not good practice. Depending on the size and nature of the electrical distribution system, there may not be an arc flash hazard at the 120 volt breaker. Regardless, the staff should be using standard PPE including leather gloves, safety glasses, HRC 0 clothing, etc.
Your OH&S committee should be trying to work with the facility to get an actual Arc Flash study done or at least have the system characteristics documented to the point where using Table 4 would be a valid method of protecting the workers.

I hope your employer realizes their duty to provide a safe work environment under any applicable OH&S regulations. Arc Flash hazards are just one of the many hazards in the workplace. Shock and electrocution are just as important when dealing with electricity.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:10 pm 
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Thanks, these were some of the answers to the questions I had. I’m more familiar (as a maintenance electrician working with fire alarm system) with the OBC (part 3), the OFC (part 6) S524, S336, S537, and S282. I understand the principles of Z462, however (here is the start of a loonnng rant :D ) I work for a public company that is run by supervisors that are content to sit in offices and put the impetus on employees to make noise regarding training, lockout-tagout, fall protection, lift training etc.

For example, the directive from our supervisor six months ago was to “not work live”. At the time we didn’t know the legal difference between “working” and “testing”. The employer will not provide personal (insulated or otherwise) tools because we should never be “working live” in the first place. It finally got around a year ago to providing CAT III testers. We were told (after the 8-hour arc flash training course this December) that if we wanted safety rated prescription eyewear we were to go through our insurance provider and supply it ourselves. That’s why I wanted clarification as to whether non-conductive prescription eyewear had to be worn under the provided HRC 2 face shield the Employer has supplied. When asked about the fact that half of the electricians wear glasses and we do everything from resetting breakers to working on 600v open panels the response was that- if we were that concerned about not being provided with cotton long-sleeve clothing and safety glasses- simply wear your HRC 2 FR coveralls, face shield and glover for everything right down to resetting breakers and taking 4x4 covers off. I feel comfortable in saying that there will be no Arc Flash Studies done where I work.

Because this is the PPE forum, that’s what I’m more concerned with. I would very much like to have some concrete clauses and references to bring to our monthly meeting this week to be brought forward to management.

Jim
Ontario
Canada


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:54 am 
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Concrete clauses

The best place to start in your quest is with documentation.
CEC 2-306 provides direction to mark panelboards etc with Arc Flash Hazards warnings. Appendix B refers to Z462-08 for assistance in determining Arc Flash Hazards...

Z462-08 is a STANDARD and is not a regulatory requirement. This is not an "out" for employers - there is legislation through OH&S and ESA (Ontario) requiring an employer to provide a safe working environment including providing due diligence with respect to Arc Flash.

CSA Z462: If your employer has chosen to use a table based approach, the system characteristics must meet the conditions contained in the notes in Table 4 otherwise an Arc Flash Study must be performed. Assigning a risk category 2 sure sounds like they're using the tables...


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:18 am 
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Location: Lawrenceburg KY
Z462 - I am not directly knowledgable of but I would assume the employer would be responsible for safety wear (Safety Glasses)? Does anyone know that lives in Cananda?

I know that in the US OSHA directs that the employer must provide safety wear at the employers cost.

Sorry wjw, I cannot help you more. I wish the best for you my brother.

[url="http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=25893"]http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=25893[/url]

[url="http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=20094"]http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=20094[/url]


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