Efficient Plant June 2018 - 24

safety matters compliance

that equipment owners are responsible for maintaining electrical equipment in accordance with manufacturers' instructions or industry consensus standards,
including American National Standards Institute/
International Electrical Testing Association Standard
for Maintenance Testing Specifications (ANSI/NETA
MTS), IEEE 3007.2, and NFPA 70B.
Furthermore, electrical-equipment maintenance
must encompass protective devices to ensure they can
adequately withstand or interrupt available fault current. These maintenance activities must be documented and maintained.

Effective
program
management
eliminates
the risk
of missed
compliance
deadlines.

current than in the past, a major portion of any electrical-safety compliance effort will include protecting
employees from arc flash.
Not only can arc-flash incidents cause severe
injury or death, they can disrupt business operations,
damage equipment, result in legal liability, increase
insurance premiums, harm a company's reputation,
and lead to regulatory fines.
An arc-flash-risk assessment is paramount to electrical safety and, in fact, a requirement of NFPA 70E.
Facility owners are responsible for ensuring that one
is performed prior to allowing an employee to work
on or around energized equipment. It is this process
that identifies the presence and location of potential
hazards and may uncover the need for updated labels
for equipment that could require maintenance while
energized. Arc-flash-risk assessments can also support personal-protective equipment (PPE) plans and
arc-flash-training programs.
4. USE PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
Regular inspection and testing of your plant's electrical system ensures system integrity and optimal
operation. It, too, is required. NFPA 70E stipulates

24

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

5. EMPOWER EMPLOYEES
To protect themselves, their coworkers, and the overall business, employees must be empowered through
effective training. They need to understand the existence, nature, and causes of electrical hazards, as well
as the methods for preventing them.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington
(bls.gov), reported nearly 1,800 electrical injuries in
2016. Many of those injuries can be mapped back to
insufficient training, which results in failure to follow
appropriate procedures or take necessary precautions
on the job. Inadequate worker knowledge also continues to be a key contributor to unnecessary equipment
failures and unplanned shutdowns.
Training employees is not just a good idea for
improving safety, it is required by OSHA and NFPA.
Both groups provide guidance on the type and
frequency of training required to ensure electrical
workers are qualified.
NFPA states that qualified workers shall be trained
and knowledgeable in the construction and operation of equipment or specific work methods; and
that they must be properly trained to recognize and
avoid the electrical hazards that might be present with
respect to that equipment or work method. OSHA
and NFPA go on to add that a qualified worker is one
who demonstrates the skills and abilities to do those
things.
Proving that your electrical workers are qualified
comes down to documentation of training and audits
of individual workers to ensure that each employee is
complying with safety-related work practices. These

JUNE 2018


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