Appendix R. Subcontractors and Vendors: What You Need to Know About Performing Electrical Work and Lockout/Tagout at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), safety is our top priority. We comply with numerous federal, state, and industry consensus standards. When you work here, you are required to adhere to all of these standards. In order to help you to work safely and efficiently, we have put together this guide to electrical safety requirements at LBNL. This guide is intended to help you understand the most significant electrical safety and lockout/tagout (LOTO) required practices at LBNL. This guide is NOT intended to include ALL legal, code, and other requirements (see Section II, Regulations). LBNL has many resources available to you to help you work safely and in compliance with the rules. If you need assistance understanding or implementing any safety practices, please contact your LBNL point-of-contact, such as the construction manager, and he or she will arrange for the appropriate people to assist you.
This is ONLY a guide and does not train, nor does it authorize you to perform electrical work at LBNL. For further detail on LBNL requirements for electrical work and LOTO, see LBNL PUB-3000 Chapter 8 (Electrical Safety) and 18 (Lockout/Tagout and Verification).
Subcontractor employers need to ensure their employees comply with all regulations when their work is covered by a federal or state code or standard. All electrical wiring and equipment installations must comply with the National Electrical Code®, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, and other consensus industry standards for electrical safety and engineering.
The following regulations apply to electrical work and LOTO at LBNL. Where there is a conflict between regulations, the more stringent regulation shall apply:
- LBNL PUB-3000, Chapters 8 (Electrical Safety) and 18 (Lockout/Tagout and Verification)
- OSHA 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.147
- OSHA 29 CFR 1910.333, Subpart S
- California Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) California Code of Regulations, Title 8
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
- OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269, Subpart R
- American National Standards Institute C2, National Electrical Safety Code
- NFPA 70, National Electrical Code
- Federal Law 10 CFR 851
When performing work at LBNL, subcontractor employees need to be familiar with the following terms:
arc flash hazard analysisstudy investigating a worker’s potential exposure to arc flash energy, conducted for the purpose of injury prevention and the determination of safe work practices, Arc Flash Protective Boundary, and the appropriate levels of PPE.
Arc Flash Protection Boundary: When an arc flash hazard exists, an approach limit at a distance from a prospective arc source within which a person could receive a second-degree burn if an electrical arc flash were to occur. . Arc flash protective PPE is required for any person who is within the Arc Flash Protection Boundary. A permit is required before a subcontractor employee may enter the Arc Flash Protection Boundary.
de-energized: Free from any electrical connection to a source of potential difference and from electrical charge.
electrically hazardous: A dangerous condition such that contact or equipment failure can result in electric shock, arc flash burn, thermal burn, or blast.
electrically safe: A state in which an electrical conductor or circuit part has been disconnected from energized parts, locked/tagged in accordance with LBNL requirements, tested to ensure the absence of voltage, and grounded if determined necessary.
energized: Electrically connected to, or is, a source of voltage.
Limited Approach Boundary: An approach limit at a distance from an exposed energized electrical conductor or circuit part within which a shock hazard exists. This distance is 42 inches from energized electrical parts with voltages ranging from 50 to 750 volts. Unqualified persons may not enter this area unless escorted by a qualified worker. A permit is required before a subcontractor employee may enter the Limited Approach Boundary (see Section IV (Safe Work Practices), Subsection 1 (Electrical Safety Program) of this appendix).
qualified worker: A qualified electrical worker is one who has the skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations, and has received safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved.
Restricted Approach Boundary: The distance (varies by voltage; see NFPA 70E, Table 130.2(C)) from an exposed energized electrical conductor or circuit within which shock protection PPE is always required. Unqualified person(s) may NEVER cross the restricted approach boundary. A permit is required before a subcontractor employee works within the Restricted Approach Boundary.
shock hazard analysis: A method of determining the hazards associated with the possible release of energy caused by contact or approach to energized electrical conductors or circuit parts, and controls to protect qualified workers from electrical shock by defining the boundaries, voltages, and the required PPE.
IV. Safe Work Practices
Following are some of the more important safe work practices enforced at LBNL. These practices were developed to minimize the chance of an electrical injury, and to comply with applicable OSHA and other standards:
- Electrical Safety Program: Every subcontractor performing electrical work at LBNL must submit a written electrical safety program to his or her point-of-contact. Your point-of-contact will forward your program to the appropriate reviewer for approval. Permits for work within the Limited Approach Boundary, Restricted Approach Boundary, or Arc Flash Protection Boundary (including LOTO testing/verification) WILL NOT BE ISSUED until the subcontractor employer has an approved electrical safety program. For an example of the elements of an electrical safety program, see Annex E of NFPA 70E.
- Training Requirements: Subcontractor employees must be trained to identify and understand the relationship between electrical hazards and possible injury. Training must be appropriate to the technical requirements of the work assignment as well as all applicable safety-related work practices. Each electrician must be a licensed journeyman in the state of California, and must be prepared to display their journeyman card if asked. Electrical apprentices may work at LBNL, but they must be registered with the State of California apprenticeship program, and under the direct supervision of a journeyman at all times. Only one apprentice per journeyman is permitted.
- Two-person rule. If the work involves potential exposure to more than 250 volts, then support from a second QUALIFIED WORKER is required (see PUB-3000, Chapter 8, for exemptions to the two-person rule). The second qualified worker must be able to de-energize the equipment, know the location of the nearest telephone and how to alert emergency personnel, be able to free an injured worker from the hazard, be trained in first aid and CPR, and remain in constant visual and audible contact with the workers performing the work.
- Establishing an Electrically Safe Work Condition. Work will only be permitted to be performed on or near exposed energized electrical circuits or components when it can be demonstrated that de-energizing introduces additional or increased hazards, or is infeasible due to equipment design or operational limitations. When this is the case, an Energized Electrical Work Permit (EEWP) will be issued. In all other cases, the work will be done under LOTO with an approved LOTO permit.
Permits. No subcontractor employee shall apply a lock or tag to any circuit or equipment, test/troubleshoot, or be within the LIMITED APPROACH BOUNDARY of an energized electrical conductor (minimum 42 inches from an energized electrical part with a voltage greater than 50V) without first obtaining an approved LOTO permit or an EEWP as necessary.
LOTO Permits. LOTO is performed to prevent a worker from being injured by the accidental release of energy. LOTO applies to all energy sources including mechanical, thermal, pressure, chemical, and rotational, not just electrical. Equipment must be de-energized and isolated from all hazardous energy sources before work begins. ALL workers who are working on that equipment are required to have control over the energy with a personal lock and tag. EACH LOTO OF EQUIPMENT, utilities, systems, etc., REQUIRES A LOTO PERMIT. This is true when the subcontractor is working independently, and when LBNL employees are assisting with the LOTO. You can obtain a LOTO permit online at http://electricalsafety.lbl.gov. Do not work on de-energized equipment without a LOTO permit.
- Power supplies incapable of producing more than 5 milliamps are not considered to be ELECTRICALLY HAZARDOUS, and are not required to be de-energized.
- There are exemptions to the LOTO requirement, such as work with cord-plug equipment. See PUB-3000, Chapter 18 (Lockout/Tagout and Verification).
- Once the LOTO permit has been approved, it will be printed out by your point-of-contact. Your point-of-contact will conduct a briefing with all workers, explaining to them the scope of the LOTO permit and their respective roles and responsibilities.
- Comply with all terms, scope, and conditions stated on the LOTO permit.
- Any changes to the LOTO permit may be written directly on the permit, and must be initialed by all workers involved in the LOTO. In addition, LBNL Electrical Safety and the Facility Manager as listed on the permit must approve and initial the changes.
- The permit may not be used beyond the expiration date. The work being done under the permit must be completed and the locks removed before the permit expires. If an extension is required, contact LBNL Electrical Safety before the permit expires.
- The permit is to remain on the job site and be produced when requested.
- When the LOTO has been completed and the locks removed, give the permit to your point-of-contact for transmittal to LBNL Electrical Safety.
Energized Electrical Work Permits. All conductors are assumed to be energized until they have been de-energized, tested, locked, and tagged. Subcontractor employees are not permitted to be within the Limited Approach Boundary of uninsulated energized electrical parts without an EEWP. This includes testing, troubleshooting, inspecting, and nonelectrical work within the Limited Approach Boundary.
- LOTO may not be performed without an approved LOTO permit.
- Each employee who is working on the equipment must have his or her own lock and tag on the energy isolation device. No one else may have the key. The key may not be transferred to anyone.
- All LOTO locks must be red. It is permissible to tape or paint the lock red, as long as the method used will withstand the working environment.
- All tags must have the date of lockout, and the employee’s name, company, and telephone number.
- Each employee who is working on the equipment must be briefed and must sign the permit.
- Any equipment that has multiple energy sources, multiple circuits, stored energy, or similar levels of complexity are required to have a written equipment-specific LOTO procedure. This documents the specific steps needed to safely LOTO the equipment. The equipment-specific LOTO procedure may be written either by a qualified LBNL employee or the subcontractor.
- The LOTO permit will specify who will perform the verification step. If the verification step is performed by LBNL, the subcontractor should arrange to witness this step. The employees working on the equipment may not proceed with work until they are satisfied that the equipment has been properly isolated and verified.
- All electrical verification tests are performed as though the equipment were energized. See “Performing Energized Electrical Work” below. If the subcontractor employee performs a zero-voltage check after a qualified LBNL employee has already done so, the subcontractor employee will perform this test using energized work procedures and PPE.
Performing Energized Electrical Work. Specific methods and PPE will be specified in your permit. Following are some of the practices that apply to most energized work:
- You can obtain an EEWP online, at http://electricalsafety.lbl.gov. Do not open covers on energized equipment without first obtaining an EEWP.
- LOTO verification testing is treated as energized work, but is covered by the LOTO permit. An EEWP is not required.
- Once the EEWP has been approved, it will be printed out by your point-of-contact. The point-of-contact will conduct a briefing with all of the workers, explaining to them the scope of the EEWP and their respective roles and responsibilities.
- Comply with all terms, the scope, and conditions stated on the permit.
- Any changes to the EEWP may be written directly on the permit, and must be initialed by all workers involved in the LOTO. In addition, the LBNL Electrical Safety Engineer must approve and initial the changes.
- The permit may not be used beyond the expiration date. All work under the permit must be completed by the expiration date. If an extension is required, contact LBNL Electrical Safety.
- The permit is to remain on the jobsite and be produced at anyone’s request.
- When the work has been completed give the permit to the POC for transmittal to LBNL Electrical Safety Engineer.
- Establish the Limited Approach Boundary and the Arc Flash Protection Boundaries as specified in the permit. Exclude all unqualified workers from these boundaries.
- Wear shock and arc flash PPE as specified on the permit.
- Arc PPE shall be rated for the expected incident energy. Arc flash PPE shall cover all parts of the body within the arc flash boundary. Arc flash PPE shall be in good condition; and not be damaged, worn out, or frayed. Arc flash protective clothing shall be buttoned at the neck and sleeves, and shirts shall be tucked in.
- Insulated gloves with leather protectors shall always be worn when conducting voltage or current tests.
- Insulated gloves may not be used later than 6 months from their date of issue to the employee. If the date of issue has not been documented, the test date stamped on the glove will be used.
- Employees shall thoroughly inspect their gloves in accordance with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F-496-08 (Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Gloves and Sleeves). Gloves shall be properly stored when not in use in accordance with ASTM F-496-08.
- Use rated insulating material to cover exposed energized parts that are not being worked on if the possibility of incidental contact exists.
- All voltage tests for LOTO verification shall include testing the tester on a known live source both before and after the zero energy tests (“Live-Dead-Live”).
- All voltage tests for LOTO verification shall include testing of every combination of conductors and ground.
- Voltage tests for LOTO verification shall be performed with contact style voltmeters, rated CAT III or CAT IV. Proximity style testers are not used for LOTO verification.
- Any tools brought within the Limited Approach Boundary must be insulated for the exposed voltage and factory-marked with a “double triangle” symbol.
- LBNL Electrical Safety:
- Keith Gershon, 510-486-4694
- Katherine Johnson, 510-486-4933
<< Appendix Q || Table
of Contents || Chapter 9 >>