WSR 09-05-072

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

LABOR AND INDUSTRIES

[ Filed February 17, 2009, 7:37 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 08-23-087.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Chapter 296-45 WAC, Safety standards for electrical workers.

Hearing Location(s): Department of Labor and Industries, 7273 Linderson Way S.W., Tumwater, WA 98501-5414, on March 26, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: May 5, 2009.

Submit Written Comments to: Kimberly Johnson, P.O. Box 44620, Olympia, WA 98504-4620, e-mail rhok235@lni.wa.gov, fax (360) 902-5529, by April 10, 2009.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Beverly Clark by March 18, 2009, (360) 902-5516 or clah235@lni.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The electric utility safety advisory committee (EUSAC) has come to the department with concerns about the protection of nonqualified workers while in energized electric utility substations. EUSAC recommends that the department adopt language to help the industry ensure the safety of these workers.

The new language establishes a "safety watch," which entails direct supervision of a qualified person when a nonqualified employee approaches exposed energized electrical equipment in substations or switch yards.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050, and 49.17.060.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Department of labor and industries, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Tracy Spencer, Tumwater, Washington, (360) 902-5530; Implementation and Enforcement: Stephen M. Cant, Tumwater, Washington, (360) 902-5495.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These rule amendments do not impose an economic burden on businesses. Utilities have other options when working around substations; this amendment merely outlines a requirement should the option of having nonqualified personnel perform said work.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. See above.

February 17, 2009

Judy Schurke

Director

OTS-2160.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-17-038, filed 8/9/05, effective 10/1/05)

WAC 296-45-475   Substations.   This section provides additional requirements for substations and for work performed in them.

(1) Access and working space. Sufficient access and working space shall be provided and maintained about electric equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment.


Note: Guidelines for the dimensions of access and working space about electric equipment in substations are contained in American National Standard-National Electrical Safety Code, ANSI C2-1997. Installations meeting the ANSI provisions comply with WAC 296-45-475(1). An installation that does not conform to this ANSI standard will, nonetheless, be considered as complying with WAC 296-45-475(1) if the employer can demonstrate that the installation provides ready and safe access based on the following evidence:

(a) That the installation conforms to the edition of ANSI C2 that was in effect at the time the installation was made;

(b) That the configuration of the installation enables employees to maintain the minimum approach distances required by WAC 296-45-325(5) while they are working on exposed, energized parts; and

(c) That the precautions taken when work is performed on the installation provide protection equivalent to the protection that would be provided by access and working space meeting ANSI C2-1997.

(d) Precaution must be taken to prevent accidental operation of relays or other protective devices due to jarring, vibration, or improper wiring.

(2) Draw-out-type circuit breakers. When draw-out-type circuit breakers are removed or inserted, the breaker shall be in the open position. The control circuit shall also be rendered inoperative, if the design of the equipment permits.

(3) Substation fences. Conductive fences around substations must be grounded. When a substation fence must be expanded or removed fence continuity must be maintained and bonding must be used to prevent electrical discontinuity. A temporary fence affording similar protection when the site is unattended, must be provided. Adequate interconnection with ground must be maintained between temporary fence and permanent fence.

(4) Guarding of rooms containing electric supply equipment.

(a) Rooms and spaces in which electric supply lines or equipment are installed shall meet the requirements of subsection (4)(b) through (e) of this section under the following conditions:

(i) If exposed live parts operating at 50 to 150 volts to ground are located within 8 feet of the ground or other working surface inside the room or space;

(ii) If live parts operating at 151 to 600 volts and located within 8 feet of the ground or other working surface inside the room or space are guarded only by location, as permitted under subsection (5)(a) of this section; or

(iii) If live parts operating at more than 600 volts are located within the room or space, unless:

(A) The live parts are enclosed within grounded, metal-enclosed equipment whose only openings are designed so that foreign objects inserted in these openings will be deflected from energized parts; or

(B) The live parts are installed at a height above ground and any other working surface that provides protection at the voltage to which they are energized corresponding to the protection provided by an 8-foot height at 50 volts.

(b) The rooms and spaces shall be so enclosed within fences, screens, partitions, or walls as to minimize the possibility that unqualified persons will enter.

(c) Signs warning unqualified persons to keep out shall be displayed at entrances to the rooms and spaces.

(d) Entrances to rooms and spaces that are not under the observation of an attendant shall be kept locked.

(e) Unqualified persons may not enter the rooms or spaces while the electric supply lines or equipment are energized.

(5) Guarding of energized parts.

(a) Guards shall be provided around all live parts operating at more than 150 volts to ground without an insulating covering, unless the location of the live parts gives sufficient horizontal or vertical or a combination of these clearances to minimize the possibility of accidental employee contact.


Note: Guidelines for the dimensions of clearance distances about electric equipment in substations are contained in American National Standard-National Electrical Safety Code, ANSI C2-1997. Installations meeting the ANSI provisions comply with subsection (5)(a) of this section. An installation that does not conform to this ANSI standard will, nonetheless, be considered as complying with subsection (5)(a) of this section if the employer can demonstrate that the installation provides sufficient clearance based on the following evidence:

(i) That the installation conforms to the edition of ANSI C2 that was in effect at the time the installation was made;

(ii) That each employee is isolated from energized parts at the point of closest approach; and

(iii) That the precautions taken when work is performed on the installation provide protection equivalent to the protection that would be provided by horizontal and vertical clearances meeting ANSI C2-1997.

(b) Except for fuse replacement and other necessary access by qualified persons, the guarding of energized parts within a compartment shall be maintained during operation and maintenance functions to prevent accidental contact with energized parts and to prevent tools or other equipment from being dropped on energized parts.

(c) When guards are removed from energized equipment, barriers shall be installed around the work area to prevent employees who are not working on the equipment, but who are in the area, from contacting the exposed live parts.

(6) Substation entry.

(a) Upon entering an attended substation, each employee other than those regularly working in the station shall report his or her presence to the employee in charge in order to receive information on special system conditions affecting employee safety.

(b) The job briefing required by WAC 296-45-135 shall cover such additional subjects as the location of energized equipment in or adjacent to the work area and the limits of any deenergized work area.

(c) Nonqualified persons may only approach exposed energized electrical equipment located in substations or switch yards up to the distances set forth in Tables 1 through 4 when under the direct supervision of a qualified person acting as a safety watch. The safety watch will make sure that the nonqualified person does not encroach or take conductive objects closer to exposed energized parts than set forth in Tables 1 through 4.

(i) Nonqualified persons must have hazard recognition training and attend a documented tailgate meeting prior to entering the substation.

(ii) The safety watch must be a qualified employee as defined by WAC 296-45-035.

(iii) The safety watch will have the responsibility and authority to monitor work on a continuous basis and/or stop work until the hazard is eliminated or protected.

(iv) The safety watch will maintain a direct line of sight and voice communications with all nonqualified persons under their direct supervision. If the safety watch cannot meet these requirements, additional safety watches must be assigned or work must be stopped. Each safety watch will monitor no more than four persons.

(v) The safety watch will perform no other duties while acting as a safety watch.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050, 49.17.060. 05-17-038, 296-45-475, filed 8/9/05, effective 10/1/05; 98-07-009, 296-45-475, filed 3/6/98, effective 5/6/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office