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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    8,248

    arc flash protection

    Anyone having to work under arc flash rules and regulations.

    A couple of plants we work in are going to be implementing some rules and regulations...though they dont know what will be required yet and now the powers to be at work are looking at staying ahead of everyone and getting FR uniforms and other equipment neccesary to comply with whatever level of protection we would need.

    Ive looked at FR uniforms before and they are expensive...cant see having to have 11 pairs of them...and have to pay the biweekly fees to have them cleaned....I think 1 pair of coveralls per man would be adequete.... face shields...gloves.....cementex tools.....sounds expensive......

    Im just wondering what is being typically required of hvac maintenance and service personel. We do industrial work mainly....480 volts and lower....just the equipment itself...panel boxes and mcc panels.....

    I think they are going to go way overboard at work...and pass the brunt of the expense onto us employees..... and I dont want to be buying stuff I dont need...or that the places we work will not be requiring of us.

    Ive talked to a couple of guys who must comply with some level of protection...sorry dont have any details....but they are required to have face shields and some very cumbersome gloves and glove protectors on before they open a disconnect....

    any comments would be appreciated....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    I somewhat agree with you can never go too overboard with safety... but.. on the other hand, sometimes, yes you can.

    Here's a neato lil discussion we had not long ago about this joys of this safety feature that's recently been popping up all over.

    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=162630
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,995
    OSHA has been looking at implementing the NFP regulations for awhile. Last time I discussed it with our safety director about 2 months ago, OSHA had not implemented the regulation.

    We already have protective gloves and eyewear we are required to use for under 500V. The gloves get sent out every six months for recertification. I test mine every time before usage for pin holes, rip and cracks.

    I do alot of 4160V work and have a certified matt, gloves, glasses and a hot stick that gets recertified every six months.

    At some point in time you will need a Nomex suit, full face shield, gloves and a hood when energizing and deenergising circuits of any voltage.

    If you've never worn a Nomex suit, it is hot as balls in the summer.
    Your poor planning does not constitute an emergency on my part!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,833

    nfpa 90e

    nfpa 90e
    it may not be required, and is expensive, I use it anyway!

    http://www.nsls.bnl.gov/esh/highligh...esentation.pdf

    st65
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    I was just thinking.. if they make us start wearing a nomex suit... that'd be awesome... then I wouldn't have to keep buying them for racing, just use the company one's
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Rockhill South Carolina
    Posts
    370
    It is not as bad as it looks I have jobs where I have to wear it,I was kind of pissed about it the first time I had to do it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    880

    Arc flash protection

    From a safety stand point 100% agreement. How ever ANY of the major chemical or refinery plants have their own onsite personnel that handle electrical or they must be present and assure that all systems are de-energized before a contractor can work inside. This includes the chain of lock outs or the lock box. Many plants require flash suits, full face shields and gloves just to turn breakers on. Not that even a 120 volt 20 amp breaker can't cause a major burn, it can. Just think of Dow, Exxon, Shell. I won't even mention BP even with the press releases.

    ga1279

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    11,347

    *

    watching those videos reminded me (sorry to change the subject) of one day working on the roof

    on a 80 ton blower wheel changeout on a Saturday afternoon in Miami FL., black clouds

    rolled in out of nowhere, 4 of us were doing the changeout, we were temporarily closing

    the unit up to keep the rain out of the a/h and then WHAM lightning struck

    friggen 10 feet away from us, i remember when it happened as i was running away

    i could see everyones tools that they were holding (before we ran) seemed to be suspended in the air

    but what it really was is that as soon as we seen the lightning we were out of there before the tools

    hit the ground, made those arc flashes you were talking about look like a matchstick

    that being said, yes anything over 230 volts needs special attention, and get that jewelry off

    yes that includes wrist watches, wedding rings, lip peircings, and the like!

    480 volts will jump out and grab yo a$$



    .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    7,326
    It is becoming more and more commonplace, especially in the high end type plants such as pharmaceuticals and refineries. One of my guys spends a lot of time on a pharmaceutical site and I had to get him a complete set to carry at all times. It was purchased from Graingers and was not that expensive. It is another cost of doing business. Your company should buy it as far as I am concerned.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Greeneville, Tennessee
    Posts
    344

    True deal!

    I've been knocked out cold, on a ship in the Gulf of Mexico. Thrown ten feet from the work site, inside the ship bilge area.

    I have had the hair burnt off my arms from pressing in a 480 volt compressor contactor that had a compressor intermittent short to ground!!

    I was naive and should have known the the obvious!

    Arc Flash? We always had a man standing close by to knock us off the jolt, should we become hung up! Arc Flash was never mentioned. We luckily, very luckily, live and learn.

    As I have mentioned before.

    We must be all ears!! Listen to others all around you!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Mixing oil and fire with a big spoon.
    Posts
    4,527
    we have one customer that requires that level of protection on anything over 50 VAC!!

    it is cumbersome. it is expensive (unless you think about the cost of 3rd degree burn recovery). it is hot. it will make you think twice before you energize the circuit. it will make you find another disconnect so that the WHOLE panel is dead, just so that you will not have to wear it...and that is the safest way.

    we just had a safety meeting on it this morning. one test showed: shock wave of just under 740 mph. molten shrapnel at 35,000F. over 467F on the skin (their temp meter only went that high), shock pressure of over 2100 pounds per square foot (about 15 psi), high mortality rate (and that is if you were lucky). if you survived: high depression rate, high suicide rate, high divorce rate (well, for some of you, that may be a benefit ), and your kids have issues...you go to work looking normal, and then in the evening your kids see a charcoal briquet for a dad.

    i am now looking for ways to identify other disconnects and shut it down completely just so i don't have to wear the stuff.

    good luck and stay safe.
    "If you pull one more stunt like you just pulled with Tommy, you won't have to get on a plane because I will personally kick your ass from here to Korea!" - Best of the Best

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    northern mich
    Posts
    168

    danger?

    when is the potential for arc flash present? just when a contactor or disconnect is energized, or even while equipment is running? i went to the safety crib at a steel foundry i do maintenance for and found NFPA 70E but it only outlined protective clothing requirements. thanks for shedding some light on this important subject.
    common sense isn't very common

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Cleveland,TN.
    Posts
    143
    Quote Originally Posted by amickracing View Post
    I was just thinking.. if they make us start wearing a nomex suit... that'd be awesome... then I wouldn't have to keep buying them for racing, just use the company one's
    now thats a good idea,wonder if we could slip in the racing sneakers too

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