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OSHA Enforcement of Arc Flash / Electrical Safety Standards

Discussion in 'OSHA CFR Title 29' started by 1sparkygirl, Jul 19, 2010.

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  1. 1sparkygirl Junior Level

    Hey ya'll, new to the forum. There is a lot of great info here!! I am starting the process of becoming compliant with arc flash. I am wondering if any one has knowledge of how OSHA would react if I was paid a visit by them before all of our electrical safety policy is in place? Would we be fined as if we had nothing in place? Or would we be considered to show "Good Faith" that we are trying to become compliant?
  2. cbauer Sparks Level

    IMHO, I believe that you would recieve some credit for having started the program.
  3. Sparkytrician Junior Level

    I think that if OSHA were to fine companies for not having a full electrical safety plan in place, there would be a tremendous amount of fines that we would be hearing of on a daily basis. The company that I work for has a plan, but full compliance with the arc flash/blast requirements is not required until the 4th quarter of this year.
  4. arcflash71 Sparks Level

    Good question. You're not alone.

    Has anyone heard of OSHA taking action with respect to arc flash compliance at facilities where no-one has been injured?
  5. John Perrotti Sparks Level

    OSHA Emphasis

    All the time......

    If they determine there is an exposure to the hazard, the company receives a fine. It is a National Emphasis Program right now.
  6. Absolutely! I was recently asked to represent a company that has exactly this scenario. An investigation revealed the company was not using proper protection and action from OSHA was taken.
  7. arcflash71 Sparks Level

    Jim and John,

    Thank you for your comments.

    I'd like to know more about the circumstances under which OSHA has taken action on this issue. Are the details public record? If this information is common knowledge then forgive my ignorance. My job responsibilities are mostly limited to the technical side but knowing more about compliance will help me provide better advice to management.

    Regards,

    Bill
  8. John Perrotti Sparks Level

    Exposure question

    It goes something like this....

    The field agent during the inspection process may ask a question, so do you guys ever plug in bus plugs? Response: Sure, all the time, we move equipment around and need to perform this process constantly.

    Do you every shut down the bus?

    Well no, we are very busy.

    They then request a copy of the electrical safety program and then the fines start adding up.
  9. John Perrotti Sparks Level

    More info

    Remember, all OSHA has to do is prove there was an exposure to a recognizable hazard.
  10. jghrist Sparks Level

    Do you have a reference for the 4th quarter requirement for full compliance?
  11. Sparkytrician Junior Level

    A reference as in something from OSHA? No. Keep in mind that I did not write the plan, our safety department did that. Considering that our facility is an OSHA STAR site, I hope that they have all of their ducks in a row.
  12. The thread below was just posted recently. A pretty good example of OSHA action covering a wide spectrum of issues including electrical safety.

    Thread about OSHA fines
  13. arcflash71 Sparks Level

    This may be a dumb question, but what triggers an OSHA inspection other than injury?
  14. Good question. It could be the result of a complaint or just random. I have also heard (in the hospital industry) where OSHA goes into a major hospital to look for one item. When they don't find it there is a fine and they are made an example. Word then spreads quickly to the other hospitals which then quickly fall into line.

    Has anyone here had a random OSHA inspection (that you could tell us about)?
  15. SPETE Junior Level

    Have had three or four in the 30 years htat I can remember. Two had to do with when we were part of that partnership program (not sure if that was what it was called) the other was a random 2 or 3 years ago. Bunch of minor but no serious violations.
  16. mountaineer Sparks Level

    I recently found publication "OSHA 3075" on line. It states that OSHA will provide consultation assistance at no cost to small employers. No penalties or citations are issued for hazards identified but the employer has an obligation to correct all serious hazards within an agreed upon time frame. Failure to do so requires the consultation manager to report the situation to the enforcement office. (words from the document in short form)

    This publication refers to electrical hazards.

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