Friday, March 13, 2015

MSHA Issues Best Practices for Electrical Safety

As a result of three recent electrical incidents at underground coal mines, MSHA issued an electrical safety alert that lists best practices during electrical work. 
  1. Do not perform electrical work until the circuit is deenergized, locked and tagged out.
  2. Never touch any ungrounded electrical component until you are sure it is deengergized. 
  3. Identify all hazards, then develop and follow a safe plan to perform the work to ensure the safety of all miners who are involved in the task. Conduct electrical measurements to test for unwanted electrical power, especially in wet or muddy areas.
  4. Always handle deenergized cable instead of energized cable, or wear properly rated and well maintained electrical gloves when handling energized cables. 
  5. Conduct complete and thorough examinations on all electrical equipment to hand-over-hand examinations of deenergized electrical cables. 
  6. Protect electrical cables from damage by mobile equipment and falling roof. When cable damage is suspected, immediately notify a qualified electrician so that a potentially dangerous condition can be corrected. 
  7. Install sensitive ground fault relays with instantaneous trip setting of 125 mA or less on all face equipment. Use trailing cables with a grounded metallic shield.