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 Post subject: Escorted Unqualified Persons
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:05 am 
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Location: Charlotte, NC
Is there a requirement that an unqualified person that is escorted into a Limited Approach Boundary be escorted by someone other than the qualified person that is accomplishing the work?

The question is prompted by something that happened back in the late 1980's when I was an electrician in a mill. A motor had tripped out and the area supervisor called for someone to reset the motor. He followed me to the MCC and stood behind me while I opened the starter can. While I was inspecting the starter and overload, he apparantly thopught I was not working fast enough and was messing up his production numbers, so he reached around me and reset the overload.

To this day, every time I am reminded of this incident, I get angry and, at the same time, I am thankful the starter didn't explode in my face.

I am not sure whether asn additional qualified person would have been able to stop the supervisor in question from committing an act that could have severely injured the both of us or not.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:57 am 
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I don't believe so. NFPA-70E 130.4(D)(2) says where there is a need for an unqualified person to cross the Limited Approach Boundary, a qualified person shall advise him of the possible hazards and and continuously escort him; under no circumstances is the unqualified person to cross the Restricted Approach Boundary.

I think I would question the supervisor's need to enter the LAB in the first place, and his understanding of the hazards. If the supervisor demanded to see the problem I may have allowed him to step close enough to look, but would've then requested he step back outside the boundary while I worked.

Often when focused on a task it is difficult to be aware of people coming up behind you; we use caution tape to cordon off the area when necessary to provide an awareness barrier for unqualified personnel. Approach distances are also covered in general electrical safety training for unqualified workers.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:30 am 
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Today the superviser wouldn't be allowed near since he is unqualified, probably isn't wearing the PPE required, and his actions would have violated the safety policy (& OSHA regs) in our building possibly resulting in his dismissal.

1910.334(b)(2), Reclosing circuits after protective device operation. After a circuit is de-energized by a circuit protective device, the circuit may not be manually reenergized until it has been determined that the equipment and circuit can be safely energized. The repetitive manual reclosing of circuit breakers or re-energizing circuits through replaced fuses is prohibited.

Note: When it can be determined from the design of the circuit and the over current devices involved that the automatic operation of a device was caused by an overload rather than a fault condition, no examination of the circuit or connected equipment is needed before the circuit is reenergized.


We also require two qualified people working a hot item with one as the safety backup who is there to keep unqualified people out of the area as well as kill the power and render emergency aid should the working member need it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:08 am 
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CPorter wrote:
Today the superviser wouldn't be allowed near since he is unqualified, probably isn't wearing the PPE required, and his actions would have violated the safety policy (& OSHA regs) in our building possibly resulting in his dismissal.

We also require two qualified people working a hot item with one as the safety backup who is there to keep unqualified people out of the area as well as kill the power and render emergency aid should the working member need it.


I agree wholeheartedly. If someone where I am working now were to do the same thing, he would be fired.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Just as a re- enforcement to the existing comments . Both NFPA 70E and CSA Z462 state- "where there is a need for an unqualified person to cross the Limited Approach Boundary, a qualified person shall advise him of the possible hazards and and continuously escort him; under no circumstances is the unqualified person to cross the Restricted Approach Boundary.

Partial reasoning behind these boundaries (shock boundaries, which are fixed distances based on the nominal system voltage) is so that the qualified worker is in control of the workspace, as it should be. Keeping out unqualified workers including an over ambitious supervisor. When the qualified worker escorts an unqualified worker into the LAB, they are of course advising of the potential dangers with an open energized panel ,and that they are not to approach any closer.

Correct, today this supervisor would not be allowed to do what he did to you based on our 2 standards. Further as the qualified worker I would demand reprimand of the supervisor, in addition to the fact he likely was not wearing any electrical specific PPE and clothing


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