According to Foley, OSHA’s logic is focused on the belief that electric utility workers are better trained on electricity and its potential hazards and should be more knowledgeable about electrical safety than general industry workers.
Much of OSHA’s regulation for electrical hazards defaults to NFPA’s Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace – NFPA Standard 70E.
He also points out that this figure does not represent costs associated with severe injuries, such as burns, that do not cause death.
Because of the expense associated with treating serious burns, the long recovery time associated with them and the debilitating nature of burns, the costs can be much more than the National Safety Council’s $1 million estimate.
The same, however, is not required for qualified utility workers.
The requirements for a qualified worker dictate that the worker wear clothing that will not worsen an electrical injury – most likely an arc-flash burn.While these are most certainly not the only hazards encountered by power plant workers, they are definitely worth review.In addition, he is president of Technical Consultants Group Ltd., an electro-forensic investigative firm based in Denver.Foley says this means the electrical workers shall not wear synthetic clothing, but the clothing doesn’t have to be flame-resistant.Utilities and power companies can create their own safety regulations that go beyond OSHA and NFPA requirements.By Teresa Hansen, Associate Editor In the past several decades, power plant owners and industry in general have vastly improved employee safety.Numerous organizations that hand down safety requirements and regulations have been established, creating a safer work environment.Generally, electric shocks or electrocutions are thought of as the main hazards associated with electrical work.According to Foley, however, 75 percent of all reported lost time electrical-related incidents are due to burn injuries from the arc flash.Foley understands the perils of working around electricity, as well as the precautions that should be taken to avoid injuries and accidents.He explains that there is really not a good common system in place for reporting and recording the number and type of electrical injuries and fatalities that occur in power plants or general industry for that matter.