Berkeley Lab

Electrical Safety Articles

Electrical Safety Support During Curtailed Operations

March 16, 2020

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      

QEW Support Shop Open in Building 58

October 10, 2016

Do you need someone to conduct some small electrical repairs on your cord & plug equipment? Perhaps you’re in the process of building your own instrumentation and aren’t familiar with the Engineering Build Standards and would like to work under the Direct Field Supervision of an Engineering Division QEW who can help you ensure your equipment will be built properly and pass an AHJ Field Evaluation. There is QEW support available in Building 58, along with electrical work benches for you to work on your R & D electrical and electronics equipment. They can be reached at 486-5531. Rick Bloemhard can also be reached at 510-684-7019.

OSHA Resources – Electrical Hazard Recognition

August 10, 2015

Want some more information regarding Electrical hazard recognition? Click HERE and you will be re-directed to an OSHA page with access to fact sheets, statistics and other tidbits regarding electrical safety.

Duke Energy: 1 employee electrocuted and company fined for failing to implement control measures its safety team developed to protect employees

April 30, 2015

DUKE Energy fined $90,000 in connection with worker death. Dasher and other employees were testing equipment at a substation when Dasher came into contact with a test line carrying approximately 10,000 volts of electricity. Officials said Dasher fell down. When co-workers got to him, he was breathing. They immediately contacted medical personnel and performed CPR while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Dasher was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The 35-year-old Oxford man died eight days later at the hospital. A news release issued by the U.S. Department of Labor states that Dasher was using a circuit-testing technique that bypassed safety protocols designed to protect workers from electrical currents. Duke Energy, the release states, knew workers were bypassing safety protocols to conduct testing and did not enforce safety standards. Because of this, officials said “the company has a history of nonfatal shock injuries.” “Duke Energy is aware of the fatal hazards that Dasher and other workers are exposed to but failed to implement control measures its safety team developed to protect employees,” said Brian Sturtecky, director of OSHA’s Jacksonville area office, on Friday. The release explains that a willful citation was given to Duke Energy for “failure to have a qualified observer present during testing that could immediately de-energize circuits,” and that “a willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.” Serious citations OSHA officials gave Duke Energy were for failure to ensure transformers were grounded and safety-checked between each test, and failure to provide training to workers who assisted with transformer testing. Another citation came from failure to ensure controlled access to the test area to protect workers from electrical shock hazards. A serious violation is described as when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard, about which the employer knew or should have known. OSHA officials have proposed that Duke Energy be placed on their “severe violator enforcement program for demonstrating indifference to its OSHA obligations to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees.” To read the entire article, click HERE

Ramping up on NFPA 70E with Bobby Gray

January 2, 2015

Bobby Gray teaching 2012 NFPA 70E and its applicability to our lab. Participants from across the lab gaining greater knowledge of 70E and the intent behind the requirements. Last month, we held a two-day seminar on Electrical Safety in the Workplace (NFPA 70E) in preparation for the roll-out of our revised Electrical Safety Program (Chapter 8 of PUB-3000) and our new Electrical Safety Manual. Bobby is very familiar with Berkeley Lab and the complex. As a nationally recognized expert on Electrical Safety, he sits on several technical committees including those responsible for writing and revising the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) and Electrical Safety in the Workplace (NFPA 70E). Bobby is an invaluable resource, having retired from the DOE complex. We were very fortunate to have him come to our site to not only teach 70E, but to also provide the background behind the various regulations, and the reasoning used to make determinations. Bobby also provided a separate 4-hour session on the upcoming changes to 70E in the 2015 revision. The lab is adopting the 2012 70E standard during our current program revision and has no plans to adopt the 2015 revision until after the next National Electrical Code update. There were over 30 participants from all over the lab that got to benefit from this experience.

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