Tag: ppe

Train the Trainer 101: Fall Protection and the New Rule

With the publication of OSHA’s new final rule regarding 29 CFR 1910.269 and 1926 Subpart V, the fall protection rules have changed – somewhat. Both the general and construction industries have had fall protection rules in place since the advent of workplace safety rules, including the duty to have fall protection found in 1926.501. However, provisions specific to the industry have enabled utilities and their contractors to operate under fall protection exemptions for poles and similar structures. That is no longer the case. Before we go any further, there is a basic premise every safety manager...

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Voice of Experience: OSHA Eye and Face Protection Standards

In this installment of “Voice of Experience,” we will take a look at the wording in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.133, “Eye and face protection.” A review of this standard is a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of what OSHA requires of both the employer and employee in order to properly protect these vital body parts in the workplace. The standard begins with general requirements. Rule 1910.133(a)(1) states, “The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals,...

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NFPA 70E Arc Flash Protection for Nonexempt Industry Workers

Editor’s Note: As defined in the scope of NFPA 70E, electric utilities, with the exception of certain commercial electrical installations, are exempt from the standard. If, as a safety professional, you have installations covered under OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Subpart S, “Electrical,” you are subject to NFPA 70E. In the recently published 1910.269 and 1926 Subpart V final rule, OSHA prominently mentions NFPA 70E as a beneficial informational resource for employers regarding arc flash programs. NFPA 70E is referred to numerous times throughout the final rule’s preamble, demonstrating that even as an...

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June 2014 Q&A

Q: Can you help us with regard to fall protection practices while working on top of a roof or in areas near substation transformers? We are aware of the exceptions for qualified climbers in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269. How does that affect us? A: Most utilities will tell you that they don’t require fall protection to work a weatherhead on a roof. Many have no fall protection requirements or programs for working on top of transformers. I am aware that some utilities use the definition of a working surface issued by OSHA – at least once every two weeks or for a total of four man-hours or more during...

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Addressing Comfort and Contamination in Arc-Rated Clothing

With the revised OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269 standard slated to soon be released, the last utility companies holding out on moving to arc-rated clothing will soon be compelled to do so as a matter of law. The new standard is likely to have the same language as the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) and will require arc flash calculations for both primary and secondary voltages. NESC 2007 excluded secondary voltages, but the 2012 edition includes a requirement to perform arc flash calculations and does not discriminate against primary or secondary voltages. To follow calculations per the updated...

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Transitioning to FR Clothing

Since Tacoma Power’s creation in the 1890s, its employees have worked on or around energized conductors and have been exposed to the hazards of electrical arcs and flames. For most of that time, electrical workers wore natural fiber clothing to reduce the risk of injury if involved in a situation that could result in an arc flash. Injuries from burning clothing can lead to permanent disabilities and death. The utility launched a project in 2009 to transition to protective clothing that would provide an even greater level of protection. Flame-resistant (FR) clothing promised a much higher level...

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Keys to Evaluating and Comparing Arc-Rated and Flame-Resistant Fabrics

When determining what type of protective clothing to purchase, the first thing specified by a significant number of safety professionals is the flame-resistant (FR) or arc-rated fabric brand. The number, type and source of these fabrics have expanded dramatically in the last few years as new offerings chase profits in an expanding market. There have also recently been significant failures, making it more critical than ever to thoroughly research and select trusted, market-proven brands. These failures can occur on several levels; one recent issue involved the failure of a fabric to be flame...

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FR Layering Techniques

With new revisions to the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC), many electric utilities and contractors are discovering that a standard HRC 2 program is no longer adequate. Numerous companies are now turning to layering of flame-resistant (FR) garments to achieve the required levels of protection. Well-designed, well-managed layering programs will increase worker safety and comfort. This article will discuss why layering is important and how to ensure that your layering program works. What Does NESC 2012 Require? Although the NESC is rather brief in its discussion of FR clothing, Section...

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Back to the Basics: PPE 101

Have you ever noticed that management likes to show up to monitor the helicopter operations? Doesn’t it seem like all the attention is paid to helicopters, stringing operations and setting 500 kV transformers? Does the same crowd show up when one of your workers is trimming trees on the right-of-way (ROW) without a face shield or chaps? Or when someone is wearing an unbuttoned FR shirt with the sleeves rolled up? How about when you climb into a vault with an attendant that’s too busy texting his girlfriend to make sure that your air monitor was calibrated recently? I’ve often wondered why people...

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