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 Post subject: When to wear PPE when analysis is completed
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:09 am 
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Greetings,

I have completed an arc flash analysis for the facilities that I am responsible for and we are getting in our PPE, but numerous questions have come up about when is it required to wear the PPE.

In NFPA 70E the table 130.7 (C)(9) is very useful break down of what to wear for a particular task, but my understanding is it is applicable if you haven't done an analysis. The only thing I see if you have done the analysis is 130.7 (C)(1) which states PPE should be worn within the Arc Flash Protection Boundary, which if I take it literally would mean putting on PPE to read a panel meter on the outside of equipment.

Is there something else I am missing here? Any advice would be appreciated.

Regards,
Kane


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:46 am 
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Location: Connecticut
Analysis

What type of Arc Flash analysis did you have performed at your company?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:59 am 
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You only need the PPE if there is an arc flash hazard. See the definition of arc flash hazard in Article 100 for guidance (not very good guidance, but some).


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:07 am 
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The analysis was done by modeling the plants with EDSA software which uses the IEEE 1584 calculations.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:05 pm 
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Location: Lawrenceburg KY
You should wear the Arc Flash PPE when interacting with the equipment and within the flash boundary. In most cases, when outside the boundary, AF PPE is not required by an employer other then normal work wear and PPE per company policy.

You should wear the Shock Protection PPE when interacting with the equipment and within the shock R & P boundary. Outside these boundaries you do not need gloves. :)

Sometimes you may have no arc flash hazard but a shock hazard with lower voltage (120v) . Sometimes you may have no shock hazard (doors shut) but an arc flash hazard to which the leather covers and AF PPE may be required.

Depending on you IE found during study. On high IE equipment PPE wear around this equipment interacting or not is questionable by some in this group. IMO, it depends on a combination of several components to make this determination.

Confused that’s ok most of us are. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:40 pm 
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Analysis

Since you used an IEEE 1584 method, you should have calculated a flash protection boundary, and an incident energy calculation (usually at 18" depending on equipment)

What are the results of those caculations for the gear in question?, or are you looking for a more general approach?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:58 pm 
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I am looking for a more general task list approach similar to the table. I calculated bounderies from a couple of inches to many feet.

Now that the program is rolling out, I am getting many questions of when the PPE is required. For example - MCC bucket, switching when the door is closed, testing to make sure it is dead, pulling the fuses after the check. Is the PPE required for all of these tasks?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:18 pm 
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Ppe

PPE is required when interacting with the equipmet (within limits). Testing to verify zero voltage needs PPE, until verified at zero. Now that you have your study, I would recommend a training course to help you implement your findings.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:00 pm 
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Thanks for the advice John.

We have done a bit of training in house, but I think it is lacking a bit on the details. So I thought it would be a good idea to make a table similar to the one in 70E stating when to wear the PPE and when they don't have to. So I was looking for some basis in 70E, which I guess is in the definition for arc flash hazard as stated above. However that is a bit vague.

I thought I could just use the table and go through and Yes for this task and No for that task, but I am finding this to be not an easy assignment, particularly when it comes to operating something with the doors close, which I see has been debated on this site quite a bit. In addition, it seems in the table they downgrade the level of PPE for less risky tasks such as reading a meter which makes a lot of sense, but it is just makes this project even more troublesome.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:28 am 
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It's going to be difficult to come up with a single set of rules due to the different conditions you'll find with your equipment. In my plant, we established some minimums but still require the electricians to look at the label to make sure the minimum is sufficient. For example, we require HC4 PPE when racking in 480V Circuit Breakers. Much of our equipment would be rated HC2, but we require HC4 for this operation. But we do have a few pieces of gear that cannot be racked hot and they are labeled as such. So the electrician has to look at the label and use the greater protection - the required minimum or the label. I don't think you'll ever get away from looking at the label unless you're a new plant with new gear and can use the most stringent requirement as the minimum for that operation.

So it gets back to traning the employees to understand the hazards and understand the protection requirements on the label and in your safety policy.

TxEngr


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:27 am 
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TxEngr, well said. Kane, I would suggest you and your safety people get together and come up with a good policy that all can live with.

Several types videos and trainings can help. I recommend you preview online and learn about PPE at Coastal Training videos to help. Google, Coastal located in VA and you'll find free full length previews. :cool:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:05 pm 
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Kane wrote:
For example - MCC bucket, switching when the door is closed, testing to make sure it is dead, pulling the fuses after the check. Is the PPE required for all of these tasks?


Yes,
Yes,
No, if voltage is no longer present.

At our facilities we use the standard of "interacting" with the equipment.

If you are reading a meter, you don't need PPE.
If you operate a switch or are testing, you must wear PPE.
If you are just looking, or walking by, you don't need PPE.
If you open a hinged door, you may not need PPE, but the minute you cross the plane into the equipment, you must dress out.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:51 pm 
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Thanks to all who replied, it mostly confirmed what I thought but that is why these message boards are valuable.

As for training our safety people came up with it, but I think the only thing they based it on was the NESC as these are all power plants. I went to some training but it mostly focused on doing the calculations, not how to implement a program, which is where we are at now. However, now that the labels are all being applied and the clothing is showing up, I am the guy getting all the questions.

I turned to 70E for help, as I found the NESC severely lacking in details. The table in there is just what I was looking for, however I quickly realized it was for when calculations haven't been completed.

It seems like a couple of you (TxEng & WDeanN) have come up with definitive task list of when to wear the PPE, so I guess this is what we will have to do as well. When we do this I will definitely be keeping in mind the word "interacting".


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:10 am 
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I would make one addition:

If you are within the arc flash boundary when anyone is interacting with the equipment, you must where PPE.

The food plant security video shows three people being injured while one was interacting.


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