Policy

The electrical safety program is designed to structure safety procedures that will effectively meet the realistic demands of professional electrical field employees who are required to work in the presence of electrical energy.

The program is designed to encourage self-discipline to all our employees who must perform work on or near exposed energized electrical conductors and circuit parts rated greater than 50 volts and less than 480 volt single phase and three phases. For any voltage over 480 volts the Safety Director must be notified.

Purpose

This policy has been established to ensure that electrical work on energized parts is performed only when necessary, and every alternative means to carry out de-energized work has been considered and eliminated, and to establish safeguards that will identify and control all hazards encountered in testing, maintenance, service and all other work involving exposure to live electrical parts.

Scope

This policy and procedure applies to all employees, managers, and supervisors.

Definitions

Authorized Persons: An authorized person shall meet all of the requirements of a qualified person. They shall be trained in all of the following:

  • The skills and- techniques necessary to distinguish exposed energized parts from other parts of electric equipment
  • The skills and techniques necessary to determine the nominal voltage of exposed energized parts.

Energized Electrical Work (Hot Work): Any work on electrical equipment, circuits, devices, systems, or any other energized part(s) where an employee is required to deliberately, or could accidentally, place any part of his body, tool or material into or around such electrical devices where the voltage has been deemed to be in excess of 50 volts.

De-energized:   Current carrying parts that are free from any connection to a source of voltage or from electric charge; not having a potential different than that of the earth.

Electrical Hazard: This is to recognize electrical hazards.

  • Electric Shock (a) by simultaneous contact-with both the energized ungrounded and grounded conductors. (b) by contact with one of the energized conductors and the ground, and (c) by contact with a metallic part that has become energized by an energized conductor while also in contact with the ground.

Energized:    Electrically connected to a source of voltage or otherwise electrically charged with a potential noticeably different than that of the earth.

Qualified Person: A qualified person shall be knowledgeable of the construction and operation of equipment, and trained to recognize and avoid the electrical hazards.

A qualified person must be familiar with and trained in:

  • The proper use of special precautionary techniques,
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Along with insulated tools and test equipment

A person can be considered qualified in respect to certain equipment and methods and still be unqualified for others.

Testing  Equipment:  For the purpose of this policy, only testing equipment that bears the identifying mark of a recognized testing laboratory, such as UL or GSA, will be used in field operations.

Trouble  Shooting: The testing of live electrical circuits known as troubleshooting shall be confined to the purpose of diagnostic readings of voltage and amperage only.. All methods of safety will be employed during this procedure, and the live parts shut down and locked out for subsequent repair or additional work.

Requirements

Energized electrical work includes working on or near any energized electrical system, whether alternating or direct current, including, but not limited to, service  entrance sections, distribution switchgear, transformers, distribution panels, UPS Systems and branch circuit wiring and may include, but not be limited to:

  • Voltage Testing,
  • Circuit Testing,
  • Trouble-shooting,
  • Power-switching,
  • De-energizing and Re-energizing Procedures
  • Pushing fish tapes or pushing/pulling wire into an energized enclosure,
  • Work performed on energized enclosures,
  • Excavations near underground electrical lines.

All circuits, equipment, devices and other apparatus must be placed into an electrically safe work condition before any work can be performed.

An electrically safe (de-energized) work condition shall be achieved when performed in accordance with company policy and the following conditions have been met:

  • Where it is possible, visually verify that all blades of the disconnecting devices are fully open or that draw-out type circuit breakers are withdrawn to the fully disconnected position.
  • Apply lock/out tag/out devices in accordance with company lock/out tag/out policy.
  • Use an adequately rated voltage detector to test each phase conductor or circuit part to verify they are de-energized. Proximity detectors shall be permitted for preliminary testing but shall not be considered an adequately rated voltage detector. An additional test with an adequately rated voltage detector will be required when a proximity tester has been utilized.

Note: The suggested test instrument is a vibrometer (Wiggy). The vibrometer does not rely on internal voltage sourced to operate functionally and therefore is the most reliable instrument for determining a circuit is de-energized.

Where the possibility of induced voltages or stored electrical energy exists, ground the

Phase conductors or circuit parts before touching them. Where it could be reasonably anticipated that the conductors or circuit parts being de-energized could contact other exposed energized conductors or circuit parts, apply ground-connecting devices rated for the available fault.         ·

  • Only authorized persons are permitted to work on electrical conductors or circuits that cannot be de-energized.
  • All equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Steps shall be taken to maintain electrical equipment’s insulation and enclosure integrity.
  • Every attempt shall be made to protect employees from shock, burn, and other hazards that  are present in this working environment.  Employees shall be
  • responsible for protecting themselves from such hazards with the assistance and supervision of management, and personal adherence to the policies and procedures set forth in this manual. ·
  • Employees shall use only the appropriate equipment to accomplish an assigned task.
  • The true effectiveness of any safety program relies upon the execution and   acceptance of the policy by the employees This program shall be audited annually and revised as needed. The management shall encourage input from all employees concerning safety procedures and policies.

Hazard Control

Control of electrical hazards shall be established and observed by  all employees to minimize hazards from electrical energy:

Engineering Controls

  • Approved clearances will be established for all distribution panels and equipment.
  • Electrical rooms, vaults and areas containing equipment will be guarded against accidental damage by suitable barriers and structural means.
  • Electrical installations will conform to the requirements of the NEC, including support requirements for all conduit and equipment.
  • Adequate lighting shall be maintained in all areas where energized work is to be carried out.
  • All enclosures, including junction boxes, switches, panels, etc., as required by the NEG, shall be properly maintained in order to safely contain energized parts. Shock injuries may be caused by poorly grounded or ungrounded electrical equipment. Close attention must be paid to the condition of all equipment -and the integrity of the grounding system.

Administrative Controls

  • Every electrical conductor or circuit part shall be considered energized until proven otherwise.
  • De-energized conductors and equipment that have not been locked out or tagged shall be treated as energized parts.
  • No barehanded contact is to be made with exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts above 50 volts to ground.
  • All employees will follow established electrical safety requirements set forth in this Policy and Company Safety Policy.
  • Work on energized electrical parts is limited to Authorized  Persons, under the requirements set forth in this Policy.
  • Access to electrical rooms or other areas engaged in energized work, is limited to those employees who have a legitimate need to enter.
  • Housekeeping duties will not be performed at close distances to live parts unless adequate barriers and insulating equipment are employed.
  • Portable ladders shall have non-conductive side rails if the ladder or employee might be in a position to contact live electrical parts.
  • Violation of the safety policies and work procedures set forth in this addendum will be considered willful misconduct and subject to disciplinary procedures, up to and including termination.

Protective Equipment

  • Approved rubber gloves rated at 500 volts shall be used when required.
  • Only tools that are designed and rated for the appropriate voltages will be used on -energized circuits, equipment or systems.
  • Metal belt  buckles,  jewelry, key  chains,  cell  phones,  pagers,  ,  should  be removed when working with anything energized.
  • Voltage rated tools should be clean and have a smooth finish with no breaks in the insulation.

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