By: Aric Asplund, International Enviro Guard
The heavy equipment used to build our communities and the machines that drive manufacturing at high rates of speed are also the leading causes of workplace injury. In the construction industry, caught-in between or compressed by equipment accounted for 5.5 percent of the worker fatalities in 2018.
Per OSHA, workers who operate and maintain machinery suffer approximately 18,000 amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries, abrasions, and over 800 deaths per year.
By: Jeson Pitt D & F Liquidators Hayward, CA
Numerous electrical systems and electrical products are prone to arc flash hazards. By individually analyzing these systems and labeling the arc flash boundary, you can increase worker and workplace safety tremendously along with reducing shock hazards and arc flash injuries.
Arc Flash Hazard Study and Analysis
Steps to Complete an Arc Flash Analysis
To perform an arc flash hazard analysis, you must collect necessary data about the facility’s power distribution system. This data includes the details of the arrangement of components on a one-line drawing and nameplate specifications of every device. The lengths and cross-section of all cables are also included.
You can contact the utility team for details about the minimum and maximum fault currents that can be expected at the entrance. Further, you must study the modes of operation to examine the worst-case scenarios, which may cause arc flash.
Engineering Analysis of the Data
After you collect the data, perform a short circuit analysis that is followed by a coordination study. Feed the resultant data into the equations described by NFPA 70E-2000 or IEEE Standard 1584-2002. These equations produce the necessary flash protection boundary distances and incident energy to determine the minimum PPE requirement.
Conduct a short circuit study to determine the magnitude of the current flowing throughout the power system at all the critical points at different time intervals after a ‘fault’ occurs. Use these calculations to determine the bolted fault current as it is important to calculate the incident energy and interrupting ratings of the equipment. Comparing equipment ratings with calculated short circuit and operating conditions will identify underrated equipment.
Protective Device Coordination
Perform protective device coordination to ensure selection and arrangement of protective devices to limit the effects of an overcurrent situation to the smallest area. Use the results to make recommendations for mitigating arc flash hazards.
Arc Flash Calculations
Determine the incident energies and flash protection boundaries for all your equipment. The incident energy is the energy needed for an arc flash to cause second-degree burns, and flash protection boundary is the distance where the incident energy or second-degree burns are caused. Complete the calculations of incident energy levels and flash protection boundaries for all relevant equipment busses.
Arc Flash Study and Analysis Report
Once the calculations are complete, prepare the Arc Flash Report, which provides a short review period during which your team can evaluate modifications. Deduce the results of the report carefully.
Lastly, create and install arc flash warning labels that pinpoint incident energy and working distance, arc flash boundary, and nominal system voltage. Include Limited, Restricted, and Prohibited approach boundaries, date, upstream protective device, and recommended personal protection equipment (PPE) as well.
Implementing policies that encourage a culture of electrical safety doesn’t have to be reactive. Taking steps to minimize the risks associated with electrical hazards will create a safe working environment for everyone.
By: Lisa Desai, MindWise Innovations
May 21, 2020
Welcome to the newest edition of the Behavioral Health Q&A Column! VPPPA has partnered with experts at MindWise Innovations to present a monthly Q&A article addressing questions that members might be hesitant to ask about. These columns will address your questions about mental health, substance abuse, brain injuries, family issues and more. We will be posting a new column on the third Thursday of each month. To submit your own question for the experts click here.
What is resilience?
Resilience is thought of as both a process and as an internal resource to draw upon in challenging times.
May 14, 2020
By Ann Lloyd, Student Savings Guide
During the early days of the coronavirus quarantine, when we were just beginning to learn about the virus and its impact, often it seemed the criteria governing best practices for health and safety were changing by the hour. Now, after almost 60 days of social distancing and precautions, we’re getting a handle on our COVID-19 routine.
Despite this growing comfort with working inside “the new normal," it's still completely normal to also feel stress, anxiety, and fear about the worldwide pandemic, especially as the days tick past and projections for change or mitigation remain uncertain. Fortunately, there are several resources and agreed-upon techniques that can help keep you safe and healthy at work and at home while struggling through these difficult times
Over 3.5 million Americans are diagnosed on the autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and these individuals currently remain one of the most valuable yet untapped workforces out there. Yet, many of those with autism continue to experience difficulties either joining or thriving in the workforce. Approximately 85 percent of graduates with autism are unemployed, according to recent workforce estimates. Of the 15 percent that do go on to gain employment, unique workplace challenges such as communication, social interaction, and time management barriers can often impact their work performance, career progression, and future at the company. As awareness of developmental disorders grows, employers are now faced with the task of developing an ASD-friendly workplace and creating HR policies that support their employees on the spectrum so as to avoid potential accidents in the workplace or other issues.
The odors in your workplace can sometimes be unpleasant. From the smell of unusual lunches to the scent of an overcrowded meeting room, there are many scents that can be an irritant. Then there are the more serious smells, like industrial cleaner, chemicals, paints and waste. These odors can actually cause some serious health issues for the people in the workplace. But who is responsible for taking care of these smells and what can be done about them? Ultimately, it is down to the employer to firstly educate their employees on combating unpleasant odors in the workplace and to tackle more serious smell violations.
May 7, 2020
By: Jackie Edwards
Across America, workplace allergies — in particular occupational asthma — accounts for approximately 10% of all asthma cases, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Symptoms can be mild where employees are uncomfortable and may need to use an inhaler more often or they can be severe where going to the office becomes a health hazard. Employers have a responsibility to keep their staff safe, but it can be difficult to identify and remove an allergen. Avoiding bringing allergens into the office in the first place is usually the better option.
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