Berkeley Lab

Electrical Safety Support During Curtailed Operations

While the Laboratory is in a state of Curtailed Operations, the Electrical Safety Group will reduce it’s on site presence to practice “Social Distancing”.  Support of the Laboratory’s mission will continue to take place remotely.  Requests that require on-site support will be prioritized and coordinated to ensure best use of limited resources. Response time may be delayed.

For LOTO support requests click here

For Non-NRTL (small chassis) equipment inspection support click here

For Electrical Installation Inspection requests click here

For Divisional electrical safety contacts or other requests click here




Line crew’s safety training saves infant’s life

“We go to CPR training every year, and we’re always told that we’ll use it more away from work than at work,” said Arty Mayfield of Vacaville, California. “This is what we do. This is what we’re trained to do.”

Mayfield, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1245 and five other members of a Pacific Gas and Electric line crew recently put their life-savings skills to work, helping to save a nine-month old infant from choking.

(In the photo at right, Kurt Kidwell holds the baby he and his co-workers saved from choking. Photo by Dustin James.)

Read the full article on the ISHN website.
If you don’t already subscribe to ISHN, it’s a great FREE resource! Consider Subscribing.

Download a PDF version of the article HERE.

Draft 2 of Chapter 8 and the Electrical Safety Manual Out for Review

The second draft of the proposed revisions to the Lab’s  electrical safety program (PUB-3000, Chapter 8 and the Electrical Safety Manual) have been completed. Both documents are available for viewing. The initial drafts received close to 500 comments from across the lab. These comments were processed and voted on for resolution by an Electrical Safety Sub-Committee and have been incorporated into the current drafts. The next step will be a joint Safety Advisory Committee (SAC) and Electrical Safety Committee (ESC) effort in February to test the proposed electrical work categorization against the actual electrical work being performed in the labs.

This has been a huge effort and is a big change from how we have conducted business in the past. By focusing on the electrical hazards that we may be exposed to or expose others to in the course of our work, their removal and/or mitigation, and the associated electrical safe work practices, we are confident that we can create a vibrant electrical safety culture that furthers our scientific mission.

Want to get involved? Contact your Safety Advisory Committee representative for more information.


OSHA considering changes to NRTL program

Last fall, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) held a stakeholders’ meeting that attracted over 100 attendees from more than 50 organizations to discuss questions and options for changes to OSHA’s Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) program.

The NRTL program is now over 25 years old and in need of updates to keep up with the changing demands of both manufacturers and employees, so OSHA is embarking on a multi-year plan to update and modernize the program. The stakeholders’ meeting was held to get input from vendors, customers and the NRTLs.

Proposed changes include a common certification mark that would identify a device as NRTL-certified, regardless of which NRTL did the testing, as well as changes leveling the playing field between UL and competitor NRTLs.


Article from OSHA Today

OSHA information page about the NRTL Program improvement project

NFPA Certifications for Electrical Safety

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) now has two electrical safety certifications available: Certified Electrical Safety Compliance Professional (CESCP) and as of January 5, 2015 the Certified Electrical Safety Worker (CESW). Both certifications emphasize electrical safety in the workplace (NFPA 70E); however, from different perspectives. The CESW certification is for the electrician in the workplace. The CESCP certification is open to electricians, electrical engineers, or other professionals working in electrical safety. To differentiate the exams, we have provided each exam’s weighted criteria for the major domains covered.



CESCP Certification test description

2012_70E CESW Certification test description

ASTM D-120 Updated

astm_international_75687ASTM D-120 has been updated to version “-14a”, approved Nov 1, 2014 and effective December 2014.

ASTM D-120-14a, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Gloves

The update changes the wording of Section to allow for electrical testing of gloves to be performed using either a true-“RMS or average responding” voltmeter.  The previous edition wording used antiquated language of “RMS responding voltmeter”, and was found to confuse users of the standard.

ASTM standards are viewable through our Resources page.

An article on the differences of True-RMS vs Average-Responding meters

Electrical Safety Program and Chapter 8 Comments Processing Beginning December 9th

A sub-committee of the Electrical Safety Committee (ESC) has been formed to begin the process of reviewing and processing hundreds of comments received concerning the proposed changes to PUB-3000, Chapter 8 “Electrical Safety Program” and the newly developed corresponding Electrical Safety Manual. The group is comprised of members from the Electrical Safety Committee that have been charged with reviewing and voting upon comments submitted during the comment period. The group will vote on whether or not to agree to recommendations provided in principle or as written. The AHJ for Electrical Safe Work Practices will also participate to ensure the recommendations are consistent with applicable consensus standards and regulations. The voting process is expected to be completed by December 23, 2014. The Finalized version of both documents will begin the submission process before the start of the New Year, with implementation of the new program to begin March 2015. The transition from the old program to the new program is expected to take a year. Check back here for updates.

Qualified Electrical Worker (QEW): Past, Present, Future Presentation

Here’s a quick presentation regarding the status of our QEW program along with the process of becoming a Qualified Electrical Worker currently and while we are transitioning to our revised Electrical Safety Program. Click HERE to download the presentation.

Review process is extended

The review process for the draft documents, Chapter 8 and Electrical Safety Manual, has been extended until December 5th. If you have not had a chance to get your comments in, now is the time.

Meanwhile the Electrical Safety Committee (ESC) will be standing up a team to formally review and process all comments.