This document establishes the safety-related work requirements adopted by Dartmouth College to insure the safety of its employees when exposed to the hazards of electricity.
Electrical Safe Work Practice
Prepared in compliance with 29 CFR 1910.301-305 & NFPA 70E-2015
This document establishes the safety-related work requirements adopted by Dartmouth College to insure the safety of its employees when exposed to the hazards of electricity. This policy is compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard 29 CFR 1910.331 through 1910.335 and OSHA reference document National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) 70E-2015, titled: "Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace."
Outlined in this policy are the safety-related work practices adopted by Dartmouth College to prevent electric shock injuries or potential injuries from an arc flash incident stemming from either direct or indirect contact with electrical energy sources.
II. Scope and Application
This program covers electrical safety-related work practices for both Authorized1 and Unauthorized persons and provides the requirements for protecting personnel who are exposed to electrical hazards while working on or near energized circuits and equipment. Hazardous electrical exposures may be present in the following installations:
(a) Premises wiring. Installations of electrical conductors and equipment within (or on) buildings or other structures, outdoor lighting, public address systems, stadium events, parking areas, etc.
(b) Wiring for connection to supply. Installations of conductors that connect to the supply of electricity.
(c) Other wiring. Installations of other outside conductors on the premises
(d) Optical fiber cable. Installations of optical fiber cable where such installations are made along with electrical conductors.
This program does not apply to:
(a) Communication equipment covered under the OSHA standard in 29 CFR 1910.268 (Telecommunications), however where transmitters are located, hazardous radio frequency (RF) hazards may exist and shall be considered as part of the daily job briefing.
III. Authorized Electrical Workers:
At Dartmouth College, the following FO&M job classifications are included in the safe electrical work practice program and are expected to have the technical skills required to perform any related electrical work required of their position AND to be able to identify the hazards associated with the electrical work and take appropriate action to protect themselves from those hazards.
Supervisors are expected to ensure that Authorized Employees have the knowledge, technical skill and experience necessary to safely perform any work that may expose the employee to energized electrical circuits or conductors including testing, troubleshooting and de-energizing of equipment required of their position.
IV. Selected Definitions
For the purpose of this policy an Authorized electrical worker does not represent an individual's knowledge, skill or ability regarding installation and maintenance of electrical equipment. For the purpose of this policy, the term Authorized Person only refers to the individual's ability to take action to protect themselves against the hazards of any electrical exposure related to their work.
An authorized electrical worker is one who has demonstrated the skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations that they may work on and has received safety training on the hazards involved and the actions necessary to avoid the hazards or protect themselves from those hazards. Authorized workers must be competent in the following:
An unauthorized person is someone with little or no training in avoiding the electrical hazards and does not work on or near exposed energized parts.
Arc Rating. The maximum incident energy resistance demonstrated by a material (or a layered system of materials) prior to break open or at the onset of a second-degree skin burn. Arc rating is normally expressed in calories per centimeter squared. (cal/cm2)
Electrical Hazard. A dangerous condition such that contact or equipment failure can result in electric shock, arc-flash burn, thermal burn or blast.
Energized (Live) Electrical Work: Energized electrical work is any electrical work on energized electrical equipment, other than testing or troubleshooting and requires the use of an Energized Electrical Work Permit. Energized electrical work is permitted when:
Energized Electrical Work Permit: An energized electrical work permit is required any time work on energized electrical parts is being performed with the following exceptions:
Incident Energy. The amount of energy impressed on a surface, a certain distance from the source, generated during an electric arc event. One of the units used to measure incident energy is calories per centimeter squared (cal/cm2).
Limited Approach Boundary. An approach limit at a distance from an exposed energized part within which a shock hazard exists. Personnel must be an Authorized Worker to enter this boundary. The Authorized Worker must set this boundary to prevent unauthorized workers from entering within the limited approach boundary.
Restricted Approach Boundary The restricted approach boundary is the distance from an energized electric part or conductor where the authorized worker MUST use Shock Protection PPE or other means to prevent shock in accordance with NFPA-70E Table 130.4(D)(a).
Flash Hazard. A dangerous condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc.
Arc Flash Hazard Analysis. A study investigating a worker's potential exposure to arc-flash energy, conducted for the purpose of injury prevention and the determination
of safe work practices and the appropriate levels of PPE.
Arc Flash Protection Boundary. An approach limit at a distance from exposed live parts within which a person could receive a second degree burn if an electrical arc-flash were to occur. This limit is the distance from the arcing source where incident energy is 1.2 cal/cm2
Flame-Resistant (FR). The property of a material whereby combustion is prevented, terminated or inhibited following the application of a flaming or nonflaming source of ignition, with or without subsequent removal of the ignition source. Arc Rated (AR) clothing has an arc thermal performance value (ATPV) in cal/cm² and must be labeled with this rating for the hazard level identified for the work to be performed.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Arc rated clothing/shields/hood and electrical insulating equipment such as EH rated hardhats, rubber gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection and other devices worn and used by workers exposed to electrical hazards for the purpose of preventing serious injury or death.
Personal Protective Equipment Category (PPE Category): PPE Categories are used to select proper levels of PPE for a task when the arc flash incident energy of a task is determined using Tables 130.7(C)(15)(A)(b) of NFPA 70E or the condensed tables derived from NFPA 70E in Table II of this policy.
Testing/Troubleshooting: Testing and troubleshooting is the process used by an authorized worker to determine if a piece of equipment is operating properly or, if not, to diagnose the problem so that repairs can be made.
When testing and troubleshooting equipment, the equipment is considered energized electrical work. The authorized employees performing this work must wear proper personal protective equipment.
Manager, Director, Executive Level Responsibilities:
College Managers, Directors and Executives are jointly responsible for ensuring that all supervisors and employees included in the safe electrical work practice program adhere to and follow the work practice requirements set forth in this policy.
College Managers, Directors and Executives will delegate the necessary authority to each supervisor to ensure that all affected employees follow safe electrical work practices. As required, College Managers, Directors and Executives will take steps to ensure compliance.
Each supervisor is responsible for ensuring that each employee is aware of and follows the electrical safety related work practices outlined in this policy. Each supervisor is expected to set a positive example by modeling safe work practices and considering safety in the assignment and planning of electrically related tasks.
Each supervisor is responsible for reporting problems with implementing this program in their shop to their direct supervisor and EHS to help ensure continual program improvement.
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all employees in the Safe Electrical Work Practice Program are provided with the Personal Protective Equipment required for Arc Flash PPE Category 2. This includes:
The Heating Plant Supervisor and the Supervisor of the "High Voltage Electricians" must ensure employees are provided with:
Supervisors are responsible for verifying that all employees who are included in the safe electrical work practice program demonstrate the ability to properly use a voltage meter for the purpose of identifying the absence or presence of electricity and if present being capable of identifying the voltage in order to determine the proper personal protective equipment required.
At all times, each employee must use care, consideration and respect for electricity and its hazards for their safety and that of others.
Each employee covered under this policy is responsible for following the electrical safety related work practices outlined in this policy.
Each employee shall report problems with implementation of this program to their supervisor and EHS to help ensure continual program improvement.
Employees are responsible for maintaining all issued PPE in accordance with the manufacturers requirements. This includes storage, cleaning and maintenance of equipment and clothing.
Director of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)
The Director of EHS is responsible for ensuring institutional compliance with this policy and the overall effectiveness of adherence to the electrical safety requirements set forth by OSHA. On behalf of the College, the Director of EHS evaluates and makes recommendations for improvements based on observed and reported discrepancies between actual practice and the intent of OSHA requirements.
VI. Electrical Work: General Requirements
All work on electrical systems and electrical equipment shall be done with the system or equipment in a de-energized state utilizing proper lock out procedures.
If the determination is made that the work must be done in an energized state (other than for testing and trouble shooting), an Energized (Live) Electrical Work Permit is required.
Energized (Live) work, other than testing and troubleshooting, is prohibited at Dartmouth College unless specifically authorized via the use of an Energized Electrical Work Permit. The Energized Electrical Work Permit is completed by the employee and is approved by at least two of the following people:
Energized electrical work requiring an energized electrical work permit, (that is any energized electrical work other than testing or troubleshooting) will only be performed by licensed electricians authorized by Dartmouth College. Employees of Dartmouth College authorized to perform energized work will be established by job description but as a rule, will be limited to:
Energized (Live) work inside distribution panels, switchboards, MCC's, bus ducts, and other higher amperage electrical equipment may only be completed by a licensed electrician authorized by Dartmouth College.
Only licensed electricians authorized by Dartmouth College may remove the cover from any distribution panel on campus.
Appropriate electrical safety-related work practices and procedures shall be followed by employees who work on or near exposed energized conductors or circuit parts that constitute a hazard as identified within the scope of this document.
Please refer to the flow chart found in Attachment 2 for additional information.
VII. General Requirements: Work On or Near Exposed De-Energized Circuits/Parts
As a general rule, employees, supervisors, and managers shall make every effort to ensure all electrical work is performed in a zero energy or de-energized state.
Energized (live) circuits or parts must be de-energized before beginning work unless de-energizing will introduce additional (or increased) hazards or is infeasible due to equipment design or operational limitations. Specific guidelines allowing for energized work are described in footnote 2 of this policy.
Energized circuits/parts that operate at less than 50 volts to ground do not need to be de-energized if there will be no increased risk for injury or mishap.
If the exposed energized circuits/parts are not de-energized, then other safety-related work practices must be used to protect employees. For example, the use of
PPE, insulating and shielding materials and insulated tools.
VIII. Auditing Compliance:
Dartmouth College Executives, Directors, Managers and Supervisors will conduct periodic audits of employees with a representative from EHS. Attachment 4 "Workplace Safety Observation" form will be used to document these periodic observations.
1 In order the eliminate confusion between different regulatory documents that use the term Qualified Worker in different manners, for the purpose of this document, Dartmouth College has substituted the work Authorized for the term Qualified as used in NFPA-70E.
2 Note: Examples of increased or additional hazards include interruption of life support equipment, deactivation of emergency alarm systems, shutdown of hazardous location ventilation equipment, or removal of illumination for an area. Examples of work that may be performed on or near energized circuit parts because of infeasibility due to equipment design or operational limitations include: testing of electric circuits that can only be performed with the circuit energized, work on circuits that form an integral part of a continuous process that would otherwise need to be completely shut down in order to permit work on one circuit or piece of equipment.