Author: Pam Tompkins, CSP, CUSA, CUSP

SET Solutions, LLC is a full-service safety management consulting firm that takes great pride in custom-tailoring its programs and services to meet the diverse needs of our ever-increasing client base. Programs range from full-service safety management programs to on-the-job program development, to site-specific safety training programs and processes.
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Are Compliance Grungs Taking Over Your Organization?

Do you have a safety culture that focuses solely on safety compliance and the use of personal protective equipment? If so, you probably also have the dreaded Compliance Grungs, which can secrete poisons throughout your organizational safety culture. What exactly are Compliance Grungs, and how do deadly creatures relate to anything associated with safety? Deadly creatures kill, destroy, and cause suffering and pain. They wreak havoc and generate a great deal of harm. Individuals who work for organizations that promote safety only as a rule or compliance issue may experience similar phenomena...

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How to Develop a Contractor Safety Management Standard

Have you ever questioned whether a contractor or subcontractor was qualified to perform electric power work? If so, you should consider developing a contractor safety management standard. This type of standard defines minimum safety requirements that contractors must adhere to when they perform work for your company. Years ago, many electric power organizations used contractual language and a hands-off approach to establish contractor safety responsibilities. In fact, organizations hired contractors to perform work they felt was unsafe because they knew the contractor would do whatever it took...

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Does Your Company Have an Effective Safety Management System?

Your safety program can have fully developed rules and procedures, a top-notch training program and the best safety equipment and tools money can buy – and there is still the possibility that it may not be successful. Although these things are extremely important and necessary, safety success will not occur until your safety program becomes a fully functional safety management system. This means that everyone in the organization is actively pursuing the same safety goals and working together in a synchronized manner to achieve those goals. A fully developed and well-executed safety management...

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Understanding OSHA Electric Power Training Requirements

Are your employees performing work on or near electric power generation, transmission or distribution facilities? If so, whether they are performing electrical or nonelectrical work, electrical training is required. The training provided must ensure employees can identify electrical hazards and employ safe work methods to remove or control the hazards for their safety. Covered Work To simplify the application of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269 and 1926 Subpart V, many companies use the term “covered work,” which includes work areas with electrical system hazards. For example, the construction of a power...

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Arc Flash Exposure Revisited: NESC 2012 Part 4 Update

The 2012 edition of the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) hit the streets August 1. The updated code adds a new dimension to electric utility arc flash implementation with the inclusion of voltages from 50-1000V. Previous editions have required employers to assess voltages over 1000V for potential electric arc flash exposure and to provide clothing or a clothing system with an effective arc rating for the anticipated arc energy. Major ChangesNESC 2012 requires employers to assess low voltages, 50-1000V, for electric arc flash exposure. Many utilities are currently using NESC 2007’s exception...

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Employee Training: How Hard Can It Be?

We all know high-quality training must take place to ensure the overall development of employees. Does having a well-trained employee mean the employee only attends a monthly safety meeting to gain training knowledge? Certainly not. Training should provide employees with a continual understanding of job task requirements, task-associated hazards and the appropriate abatement strategies for their safety. A monthly safety meeting may help validate these issues, but it cannot be the sole delivery method for training. Unfortunately, many employees receive no additional training beyond apprenticeship...

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LOTO vs. Switching and Tagging

Electric utilities have unique issues that are not easily addressed in a traditional LOTO program. Traditional programs typically address equipment and system designs that rarely change. This is certainly not true with electric utility Transmission and Distribution (T&D) programs. LOTO procedures are dynamic, changing from day to day and sometimes from hour to hour. So the question arises: What is the difference between traditional LOTO and switching and tagging programs? Several key differences are equipment source and load conditions that constantly change; various types of switches and...

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NESC-2012-Part 4: Summary of Change Proposals

NESC-2012 change proposals have been published and are available for comment through May 1, 2010. Subcommittee 8, Work Rules Sections 40-44, is responsible for the changes to Part 4 of the NESC. The main change proposal includes a requirement for employers to determine potential electric arc exposures for employees who work on or near lines, parts or equipment 50- 1,000 volts. NESC-2007 does not specifically require employers to perform an arc hazard analysis on low-voltage systems so this will be a major change for 2012. According to the 2012 proposals, NESC Subcommittee 8 established a Low...

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