How does OSHA investigate an arc flash incident?
OSHA publication 29 CFR 1910 states that employers are responsible for protecting their workers from electrical safety hazards. OSHA doesn’t set standards for electrical safety so they rely on NFPA 70E for electrical safety in the workplace. OSHA trains its inspectors and compliance officers to ask electrical safety questions that are specific to NFPA 70E standards if there is an incident.
We have compiled a list of electrical safety questions that OSHA will ask during an investigation:
- Was there a description of the circuit or equipment at the job location?
- Was there a detailed job description of the planned work?
- Can you justify why equipment cannot be de-energized or the job deferred until the next scheduled outage?
- What are your safe work procedures?
- Have you established a detailed work procedure?
- Do you have detailed descriptions of work practices to be employed?
- Was a job briefing checklist performed, and was the job briefing completed for those performing the work?
- Were the workers performing the tasks qualified to do so?
- Was proper management approval secured prior to beginning the job?
- Have you performed an electrical safety analysis?
- Have you performed an arc flash hazard analysis?
- Do you have arc flash protection boundaries established?
- Are all other potential electrical hazards identified?
- Were proper tools and equipment used?
- Was the necessary PPE determined?
- Were proper insulated tools used?
- Were insulated blankets and/or sheeting used to properly cover all of the live parts?
Would you know the answer to these questions if an OSHA inspector came knocking on your door?
OSHA standards can be confusing. Our professionals can provide you with the tools and training necessary to keep your workers safe and to meet OSHA’s standards. Our comprehensive programs are customized to fit your facility’s individual needs. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your electrical safety program addresses the priorities within your building in the most cost-effective way possible.