Office of Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety

Electrical Safety Program

Electrical Safety Program - Work Practices for Qualified Persons (OSHA & NFPA 70E)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

APPENDICES

 

Purpose:

The purpose of this program is to establish safe work practices and procedures for University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Facilities Management employees exposed to electrical hazards in the workplace.

Objective:

To safeguard our employees by providing an electrical safety management guide for compliance.

Employees Responsibility for Safety:

Before proceeding with any type of electrical work, all qualified employees shall assure themselves that they can perform the work without injury.  If they are assigned work they are not qualified to they shall call this to their Supervisor’s attention.

Relationships with Facilities Management and other Contractors:

When outside contractor personnel are engaged in electrical work at UNI facilities for the Facilities Management, the Facilities Management Maintenance or project Supervisor in charge shall conduct a meeting with the contractors and inform them of the following:

  • Known hazards that are covered by NFPA 70E 2015 that are related to their work and that might not be recognized by their employees.
  • Information about UNI’s installation will be made available.  Any assessment relating to electrical hazards, and any existing electrical hazards from our Arc Flash Hazard Analysis, if one was conducted.

This coordination meeting will be documented using the Facilities Management's Safety Acknowledgement Sheet APPENDIX “G” Page 19 of this program.

Facilities Management Responsibilities:

Facilities Management shall be responsible for the implementation of specific procedures and practices that meet or exceed those contained within this program, OSHA, and NFPA 70E 2015.

Training Requirements 

The training requirements contained in this section shall apply to all UNI qualified employees who face a risk of electrical hazard that is not reduced to a safe level required by the National Electrical Code installation requirements.  Such qualified employees will be trained to identify and understand the relationship between electrical hazards and possible injury.

Type of Training

The training required shall be classroom, on the job, or a combination of the two.  The degree of training provided shall be determined by the employee’s risks.

Emergency Training

Employees working on or near the approach boundaries as found in NFPA 70E 2015 edition, who are exposed to energized electrical conductors or circuit parts shall as a minimum:

  • Fully understand the emergency procedures for the facility at which work is being performed.
  • Be trained in methods of release of victims from contact with exposed energized conductors or circuit parts.
  • Qualified employees shall be regularly (as required by American Red Cross) instructed in methods of first aid and emergency procedures, such as approved methods of resuscitation, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of automated external defibrillator (AED). Qualified employees shall be certified by the employer every two years as required by the certifying agency.

Employee Job Safety Training

Qualified persons shall be trained and knowledgeable of the construction and operation of equipment or specific work method, and be trained to recognize and avoid the electrical hazards that might be present with respect to that equipment or work method.  Qualified Person REF: NFPA 70E 2015 110.2 (D) (1) – A person who is fully trained in the University’s electrical safety program, whom the University has confirmed that they understand the program and are capable of properly following all of the requirements of the program. The University will provide the proper PPE for their classification and they shall be deemed “Qualified” by the University.  Such qualified persons shall also be familiar with the proper use of special precautionary techniques, PPE, insulating and shielding materials, insulated tools and test equipment as appropriate for the task.  Such qualified persons permitted to work within limited approach of exposed energized conductors and circuit parts shall, at a minimum, be additionally trained in all of the following:

  • The skills and techniques necessary to distinguish exposed energized electrical conductors and circuit parts from other parts of electric equipment.
  • The skills and techniques necessary to determine the nominal voltage of exposed energized electrical conductors and circuit parts.
  • The distances specified in the NFPA 70E 2015 Approach Boundaries to Live Parts for Shock Protection Table 130.4(D)(a) APPENDIX “E” Page 17 and (Table 130.4(D)(b) APPENDIX “F” Page 18 of this document.
  • The decision making process necessary to determine the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and job planning necessary to perform the task safely.
  • Training shall include safety related work practices contained in 1926.416 and 1926.417 for construction.  1920.331 – 1910.335 in general industry standards and information contained in the NFPA 70E 2015 Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.

Unqualified Person

REF: NFPA 70E 110.2 (D) (2) – The training of unqualified persons is not included in this program.

Test Instruments and Equipment/Accessories

The training requirements contained in this section shall apply to all qualified UNI employees who face a risk of electrical hazard that is not reduced to a safe level required by the National Electrical Code installation requirements.  Such qualified employees will be trained to identify and understand the relationship between electrical hazards and possible injury.

  • Shall be rated for the voltage and equipment to which they will be connected.
  • Shall be rated for the voltage and equipment to which they will be connected, designed for the environment to which they will be exposed, and for the manner in which they will be used.
  • Shall be visually inspected for external defects and/or damage before the equipment is used on any shift
  • Calibrate per manufacturer’s requirements.
  • When test instruments are used to determine the absence of voltage on conductors or circuit parts operating at 50 volts or more, the operation of the test instrument shall be verified before and after an absence of voltage test is performed.
  • Test instruments, equipment or accessories found to be defective, damaged or out of Calibration, shall be removed from service and tagged “Danger Unsafe Do Not Use”.

Visual Inspection of Portable Cord and Plug Connected Equipment and Flexible Cord Sets

Before each use and at the time of any shift change, portable cord and plug-connected equipment shall be visually inspected by the employee for external defects (such as loose parts, deformed and missing pins) and for evidence of possible internal damage.  (Such as, pinched or crushed outer jackets).  Any portable cord and plug-connected equipment or flexible cord sets found to be defective or damaged shall be removed from service and tagged, “Danger Unsafe Do Not Use” or cord cap shall be removed.

Job Briefing

The Job Briefing for routine work will require only a brief discussion if the qualified employee, by virtue of training and experience, can reasonably be expected to recognize and avoid the hazards in the job.

A Job Briefing for non-routine job/tasks, will be conducted by the qualified employee in charge, and  shall include the following:

  • Hazards associated with the job.
  • Work procedures involved.
  • Special precautions.
  • Energy source controls.
  • Personal Protective Equipment requirements.
  • Reference: APPENDIX “A” page 12 in this document, the Job Briefing and Planning Check Sheet.

Follow the Hazard/Risk Procedure if either of the following applies:

  • The work is complicated or particularly hazardous.
  • The qualified employee cannot be expected to recognize and avoid the hazards involved in the job.

Hazard/Risk Evaluation Procedure 

Before work is started on, or near live parts operating at 50 volts or more, each qualified employee shall conduct a Hazard/Risk or Shock Hazard Analysis evaluation using Risk Assessment Procedure in APPENDIX “B” page 13 of this document.

Working on or Near Electrical Conductors or Circuit Parts

Prior to working on or near exposed electrical conductors and circuit parts operating at 50 volts or more, lockout/tagout (LOTO) devices shall be applied in accordance with the University’s Energy Control Program (LOTO).

Working on or Near Energized Parts (Justification for Energized Work)

Energized electrical conductors and circuit parts, to which a qualified employee might be exposed, shall be put into an electrically safe work condition before a qualified employee works within Limited Approach Boundary of those conductors or parts.

  • Greater Hazard.  Energized work shall be permitted where it can demonstrated that de-energizing introduces additional or increased hazards. Examples of increased or additional hazards include, but are not limited to interruption of life support equipment, deactivation of emergency alarm systems, and shutdown of hazardous location ventilation equipment.
  • Infeasibility.  Energized work shall be permitted where it can be demonstrated that the task to be performed is infeasible in a de-energized state due to equipment design or operational limitations. Examples include performing diagnostic and testing (e.g. start-up or troubleshooting) of electric circuits that form an integral part of a continuous process.
  • Less Than 50 Volts.  Energized electrical conductors and circuit parts that operate at less than 50 volts to ground shall not be required to be de-energized.
  • Normal Operation.  Normal operation of electric equipment shall be permitted where all of the following conditions are satisfied:
    • The equipment is properly installed.
    • The equipment is properly maintained.
    • The equipment doors are closed and secured.
    • All equipment covers are in place and secured.
    • There is no evidence of impending failure.
    • An example of normal operation includes, but is not limited to operating a switch rated breaker to turn lights on and off.

Energized Electrical Work Permit

Working on energized electrical conductors or circuit parts that are not placed in an electrically safe work condition (as indicated above in 8,1 or 8,2), the work performed shall be considered Energized Electrical Work and shall be permitted by completing the University’s Energized Electrical Work Permit APPENDIX “C” Page 14-15 in this document.

Exemption

An energized electrical permit shall not be required if a qualified person is provided with and uses appropriate PPE and safe workplace practices in accordance with OSHA and NFPA 70E, Chapter 1 under any of the following conditions:

  • Testing, troubleshooting, voltage measuring.
  • Thermography and visual inspection if the restricted approach boundary is not crossed.
  • Access to and egress from as area with energized electrical equipment if no electrical work is performed and the restricted approach boundary is not crossed.
  • General housekeeping and miscellaneous non-electrical tasks are performed if the limited approach boundary is not crossed.
  • For locations >40cal/cm2 incident energy, a qualified person shall be required to wear a minimum 40 cal/cm2 suit provided by the University of Northern Iowa to open the enclosure, inspect, test, and verify voltage.  No work shall be permitted on such an energized circuit.

Properly Maintained Electrical Panel

  • REF: NFPA 70E 2015 Chapter 2, 110.2 (D) (2)
    • In keeping with “industry consensus standards” a properly maintained panel at the University of Northern Iowa shall be: properly installed, the enclosure is completely intact, there are no open spaces or missing circuit breakers, all screws are installed and secured, there is no evidence of impending failure, the condition of each breaker has been checked & documented with an infrared (IR) camera when the campus Arc Flash study is updated or when changes are made to the loads on an individual panel.  Such panels are considered to be properly maintained and will be identified with a label noting the year the IR scan was completed. 
  • REF: National Electrical Manufacturers Association AB 4: “Exposed Face Temperature Check” 4.2.2 Procedure
    • A properly maintained alternating current circuit breaker at the Univeristy of Northern Iowa shall be inspected as recommended in NEMA AB 4 4.2.2, paraphrased here: With the breaker enclosed as in normal use, carrying normal load current, and with the door (if any) giving access to the breaker operating handle open, check the exposed accessible insulated face of the breaker and the adjacent, surrounding, dead front surfaces of the enclosure for their approximate operating temperature.  This will be done by a thermographic (IR) camera to identify excessive temperature conditions at the surface.  The results will be documented in FAMIS  4.2.3 Results:  Temperature rises above ambient exceeding 35°C (95°F) on metal and 60°C (140°F) on plastic surfaces (See UL 489 7.1.4.1.1) are considered excessive and may be an indication of overheating. Further investigation will be as follows”.  A breaker exceeding these temperatures will be tested for current flow.  For breakers exceeding 80% of its trip ampacity, the circuit will be evaluated and part of the load removed.  Breakers exceeding the temperature range with ampacities under 80% will be replaced.
  • NEMA AB 4 – Guidelines for Inspection and Preventive Maintenance of Molded Case Circuit Breakers Used in Commercial and Industrial Applications
    • Introduction:  “This document is intended to ensure that molded case circuit breakers are well maintained, and provided guidelines for circuit breaker replacement.”
    • Cause 4 deals with Inspection Procedures and describes thermal checks (4.2) – “…over heating of the circuit breaker would necessitate further investigation, and cracks in the molded case would certainly necessitate circuit breaker replacement.”
    • The last sentence in Cause 7: “This document should be used for recommended, periotic preventive maintenance.”
    • Guidelines 3.4:    GUIDANCE REGARDING INSPECTION AND PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES:  Industrial users have requested guidance regarding inspection and preventive maintenance procedures which could be carried out on a regularly scheduled basis. Clauses 4 through 7 of this publication set forth guidelines for inspection, preventive maintenance, and testing. These clauses may be applied independently or in combination to establish such a program. For additional assistance, consult the manufacturer's published instructions.
    • 4.2.2 Procedure:  With the breaker enclosed as in normal use, carrying normal load current, and with the door (if any) giving access to the breaker operating handle open, check the exposed accessible insulated face of the breaker and the adjacent, surrounding, dead front surfaces of the enclosure for their approximate operating temperature.  This may be done by a thermographic survey or a temperature measuring instrument to identify excessive temperature conditions at the surface.
    • 4.2.3 Results:  Temperature rises above ambient exceeding 35°C (95°F) on metal and 60°C (140°F) on plastic surfaces (See UL 489 7.1.4.1.1) are considered excessive and may be an indication of overheating. Further investigation may be necessary.
    • 5. PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE - 5.1 GENERAL:  Under normal conditions, properly applied molded case circuit breakers require maintenance only for verification of environmental conditions and that the correct enclosure type for those conditions is being used.

Approach Boundaries to Live Parts

  • Shock Risk Assessment - A shock risk assessment shall determine the voltage to which personnel will be exposed, boundary requirements, and Personal Protective Equipment necessary in order to minimize the possibility of electric shock to personnel.  Refer to Approach Boundaries to Live Parts for Shock Protection Table 130.4D(a) for AC APPENDIX “E” page 17 or 130.4D(b) for DC APPENDIX “F” Page 18.
  • Approach to Exposed Live Parts Operating at 50 Volts or More - No qualified person shall approach or take any conductive object closer to exposed live parts, operating at 50 volts or more, than the restricted approach boundary (as set forth in Table 130.4D(a) for AC APPENDIX “E” Page 17 or 130.4D(b) for DC APPENDIX “F” Page 18  unless the qualified person is insulated or guarded from the live parts operating at 50 volts or   more (insulated gloves or insulating gloves and sleeves are considered insulation only with regard to the energized parts upon which work is performed), and no uninsulated part of the qualified person’s body can come in contact with exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts.
  • Employees shall use properly rated insulated tools and/or handling equipment when working on exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts where tools or handling equipment   might make accidental contact.

Preparation for Approach, Unqualified Person(s) 

Observing a Safe Approach Distance for exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts is an effective means of maintaining electrical safety.  As the distance between a person and exposed energized conductors or circuit parts decreases, the potential for an electrical accident increases.

Unqualified Persons, Safe Approach Distance. 

No unqualified person is permitted to approach nearer than the Limited Approach Boundary of energized conductors or circuit parts unless permitted by section b) below.

Unqualified Persons Entering the Limited Approach Boundary

Where there is a need for an unqualified person to cross the limited approach boundary, a qualified person shall advise him or her of the possible hazards, AND continuously escort the unqualified person while inside the limited approach boundary.          Under no circumstance may an unqualified person cross the Restricted Approach Boundary.

Limits of Approach 

Arc Flash Risk Assessment 

Facilities Management employees shall refer to the existing “ARC Flash Hazard Analysis” assessment to determine if arc flash hazards exist.  The results of this analysis are indicated by a “Field Label” affixed to the electrical equipment APPENDIX “D” Page 16.  Facilities Management employees will utilize the facility “Arc Flash Hazard Analysis”. 

In absence of a recognized analysis, refer to NFPA 70E (2015) Arc-Flash Hazard Identification Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(a) APPENDIX “I” Pages 21-23, Arc-Flash Hazard PPE Categories for Alternating Current, Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(b) APPENDIX “J” Page 24, Arc-Flash Hazard PPE Categories for Direct Current, Table 130.7(C)(15)(B) APPENDIX “K” Page 25, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Table 130.7(C)(16) APPENDIX “L” Pages 26 in this document to determine the Arc-Flash Boundary, Arc-Flash PPE Category and the personnel protective equipment to be used.

Guarding Exposed Energized Electrical Circuit Parts

  • Barricades shall be used in conjunction with safety signs where it is necessary to prevent or limit employee access to work areas containing energized conductors or circuit parts.  When needed, Facilities Management employees shall place barriers of red “Danger”tape in conjunction with safety signs to prevent or limit unqualified persons access to the electrical hazard.  Place the barriers no closer than the limited approach boundary given in Table 130.4 (D)(a) APPENDIX “E” Page 17 and 130.4 (D)(b) APPENDIX “F” Page 18  in this document.
  • If signs and barriers do not provide sufficient warning or students and faculty are at risk because of the location of energized conductors, an attendant shall be stationed to warn and protect persons.

Buried or Concealed Electrical Hazards

  • Before excavation starts where there exists a reasonable possibility of contacting electrical lines or equipment, the employer shall take the necessary steps to contact the appropriate owners or authorities to identify and mark the location of the electrical lines or equipment. When it has been determined that a reasonable possibility of contacting electrical lines or equipment exists, appropriate safe work practices and PPE shall be used during the excavation.
  • Before cutting or drilling into equipment, floors, walls, or structural elements where a likelihood of contacting energized electrical lines or parts exists, the employer shall perform a risk assessment to:
    • Identify and mark the location of conductors, cables, raceways, or equipment
    • Create an electrically safe work condition
    • Identify safe work practices and PPE to be used

Personal Protective Equipment Requirements – General

  • General -  Employees working in areas where electrical hazards are present shall use:
    • Protective equipment that is designed and constructed for the specific part of the body to be protected and for the work to be performed.  See APPENDIX “L” Pages 26 in this document for PPE.
    • Properly maintained electrical panels identified with less than 4 cla/cm2 incident energy.  The proper PPE to operate a breaker shall be: intact leather glove and FR sleeve rated 4 cal/cm2 or greater.
  • Care of Equipment.  Protective equipment shall be maintained in a safe, reliable condition.
    • The protective equipment shall be visually inspected before each use.

Personal Protective Equipment – Specific

  • General 
    • When an employee is working within the Arc Flash Boundary, he/she shall wear protective clothing and other personal protective equipment as required by our Arc Flash Hazard Analysis or in accordance with Table 130.7(C) (16) APPENDIX “L” Pages 26 in this document.
  • Movement and Visibility 
    • When flame-resistant (FR) clothing is worn to protect and employee, it shall allow for movement and visibility.  Clothing made from flammable synthetic materials that melt, such as nylon, polyester polypropylene and spandex may not be use.
  • Head, Face, Neck and Chin Protection
    • Employees shall wear nonconductive head protection wherever there is a danger of head injury from electric shock or burns due to contact with live parts or from flying objects resulting from electrical explosion.  Employees shall wear nonconductive protective equipment for the face, neck and chin whenever there is a danger of injury from exposure to electric arcs or flashes; or from flying objects resulting from electrical explosion.  Hard hats shall meet current ANSI Z89.1, Class E & G.
  • Balaclava
    • Where necessary, employees shall wear FR Balaclava.  To eliminate potential transmission of cold and flu viruses, it is recommended that employees not share a balaclava.
  • Eye Protection
    • Employees shall wear protective equipment for the eyes whenever there is a danger of injury from electric arcs, flashes, or from flying objects resulting from electrical explosion.  Safety glasses shall meet current ANSI Z87 and have non-metallic frames.
  • Body Protection
    • Employees shall wear FR clothing wherever there is possible exposure to an electric arc flash hazard.
  • Care and Maintenance of FR Clothing and FR Flash Suits
    • Inspection
      • FR apparel shall be inspected before each use.  Work clothing or flash suits that are contaminated, or damaged to the extent their protective qualities are impaired shall not be used.  Protective items that become contaminated with grease, oil, or flammable liquids or combustible materials shall not be used.
    • Care
      • All FR clothing shall be laundered per each manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • Hand and Arm Protection.  Employees shall wear rubber gloves with leather protectors where there is a danger of hand and arm injury from electric shock due to contact with live parts. Hand and arm protection shall be worn where there is possible exposure to arc flash burn.
    • Insulating Gloves
      • Per Use/Periodic Testing:  Per use testing of rubber insulated gloves shall be done by inflating them.  All rubber insulating gloves shall be voltage tested by a qualified testing facility before they are first issued and every 6 months thereafter.  Facilities Management is responsible to determine a testing facility and establish a tracking system to ensure this requirement is met.  A competent qualified person may be designated to track insulating glove inspections.                                                       
  • Foot Protection
    • Footwear shall meet the current ASTM F2413 standard and shall have non-metallic composite toes and for electrical hazard.

Other Protective Equipment: (See also OSHA CFR 1910.137)

  • Insulated Tools and Equipment
    • Employees shall be issued and use electrically insulated tools and/or handling equipment when working inside the Limited Approach Boundary of exposed live parts where tools or handling equipment might make accidental contact. 
  • Requirements for Electrically Insulated Tools
    • The following requirements shall apply to insulated tools:
      • Insulated tools shall be rated for the voltage on which they are used.
      • Insulated tools shall be designed and constructed for the environment to which they are exposed and the manner in which they are used.
  • Fuse Pulling Equipment
    • Fuse pullers shall be rated for the circuit voltage.
    • NEVER REMOVE A FUSE UNDER LOAD!
  • Ropes and Hand lines
    • Ropes and hand lines used near exposed live parts operating at 50 volts or more, or used where an electrical hazard exists, shall be nonconductive.
  • Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic Rods (hot stick)
    • Fiberglass reinforced plastic rod and tube used for live-line tools shall meet the requirements of applicable portions of electrical codes and standards dealing with electrical insulation requirements.
  • Portable Ladders
    • All portable ladders shall have nonconductive side rails if they are used where the employee or ladder could contract exposed live parts operating at 50 volts or more or where an electrical hazard exists.  Nonconductive ladders shall meet the requirements of current ANSI standards for ladders.
  • Periodic Testing
    • Insulating materials, hot sticks and tools (etc.) shall be periodically tested and/or inspected according to manufacturer’s requirements. The Facilities Management Electrical Supervisor is responsible to determine testing facility and establish a Tracking System (See APPENDIX “H” Page 20) to ensure this requirement is met.  A competent qualified person may be designated to track equipment inspections.