November 2020

FSM November 20

Inside the November Issue



Misconceptions on
Absence of Voltage Testing

Absence of voltage testing is the most vital step in the process of verifying and establishing a deenergized state of any electrical system. According to Article 120.5, NFPA 70E, it is a process-oriented approach that takes various steps to establish a deenergized state and is not accomplished with any single device. Verifying a deenergized state is further a risky task
which requires strict adherence to policies and procedures to establish a safe environment to work. Because it is a high-risk
task, verifying a deenergized state requires strict adherence to policies and procedures.

Additionally, it is also a regulatory requirement per OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.333 (b)(2)(iv)(B) and NFPA 70E, Article 120.5. Historical data suggests high incident rates of both shock and electrocution because of performing the task of “absence of voltage testing” inside the electrical cabinets. The data further points out that the incidents are primarily caused due to
workers’ inadvertent contact with electrical circuit parts inside the panel, wrong application of test instruments, human error,
production pressures, and complacency.

Many safety centric organizations and product innovators have devised a variety of methods to minimize the risk of exposure to workers from the hazards of presence and absence of voltage testing over the past several decades. In its recent edition, NFPA 70E, 2018 allowed an alternative method through a new exception for the same task under the Article 120.5 (7). This document delineates the differences between presence and absence of voltage testing from the application standpoint of lockout/tagout and compares the pros and cons of these devices, and their limitations of use. Products discussed include, voltage indicators, test portals, permanently mounted accessories, portable test instruments, and absence of voltage testers. Given the process centric approach, additional clarification is placed on worker qualification, installation conditions, training requirements, procedures, and failure modes of these risk control methods and their effect on both the task and the worker.

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FSM Staff | 11.25.20

WASHINGTON, DC -- Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through Nov. 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued 232 citations arising from inspections for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $3,148,452.

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Lennox Provides Program for Contractors to Improve IAQ

FSM Staff | 11.25.20

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Quest DALLAS -- Lennox International, provider of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration solutions, has announced additional training that will provide contractors with the proper knowledge to help improve indoor air quality (IAQ) through their Building Better Air initiative.

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Quest Diagnostics Earns Gold Status in AHA's 2020 Workplace Health Achievement Index

FSM Staff | 11.24.20

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Quest Diagnostics announced that it has achieved Gold status in the American Heart Association's 2020 Workplace Health Achievement Index, ranking the company's workplace health initiative among the best in the nation.

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NFPA Faces of Fire Electrical Hazard Awareness Campaign Highlights Firefighter Safety

FSM Staff | 11.24.20

QUINCY, MA -- The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors have introduced the latest video interview in their six-part campaign series, Faces of Fire/Electrical, which features personal stories of people impacted by electrical incidents, demonstrating the need for continued education and awareness about electrical hazards in the workplace and at home.

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OSHA Emphasizes Protecting Worker Safety and Pay During Holiday Season

FSM Staff | 11.23.20

WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) remind employers of their responsibility to protect worker safety and pay during the holiday season.

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