The Three Best Things to Do To Avoid OSHA Training Violations

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With OSHA’s clear message to all employers that more training needs to be completed in order to avoid violations, there are three main things that you can do in order to educate you and your employees of the importance of being compliant.

The first thing you can do is to start with education and a clear understanding of what OSHA is asking you to do. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you with that such as, the Training Requirements in OSHA Standards, and the NFPA 70E Handbook. These documents will be able to clearly explain what you need to do in order to get your employees properly trained. OSHA has now made it a requirement that the employer must train their employees. This means that in order to stay compliant and avoid violations you MUST have training complete.

The second thing is to check out the 270-page book that lists the overview and requirements of the OSHA standards. This is meant to assist employers, safety and health professionals, and training directors with what they need to know in order to keep their employees safe. Also check out the most cited violations for the past year. This will give you an idea on what to avoid and what to train your employees on.

The third thing to do would be to get started with your training schedule and keep track of what you are doing. One of the main questions that an OSHA investigator will ask is if your employees have received proper training. It’s better to have a program started rather than not at all. Keeping track of what you do shows that you are making the right steps forward.

Overlooking training isn’t something that we would recommend. It is better to get started now than to do nothing at all. Come to Thompson for your training needs, we are ready and willing to assist you in any way.

For more information regarding Thompson Training contact us at:

Phone: 844.321.3869

Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecalty.com

OSHA’s Most Cited Violation in 2017 was TRAINING

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Given the nearly 5,000 recorded OSHA violations in 2017 related to Training it’s time to look at your companies training programs and make sure you are covered and not in violation of an OSHA rule.  Not only are nearly one-fifth of all OSHA violations in 2017 related to training, the #9 reason for citations alone was improper training related to fall protection.  OSHA is sending a very clear message to all employers; train your employees!

If you are wondering what to do then, the first place to start is with education and an understanding of what OSHA is asking you to do.  OSHA requires explicitly that the employer must train employees in the safety and health aspects of their job.  One place to find this information is in the Training Requirements in OSHA Standards, a 270-page book that provides a general overview of training standards, requirements, and related topics.  The book is to assist employers, safety and health professionals, and training directors with what they need to know regarding OSHA’s training-related requirements. You could also just start by looking at the list of most cited violations.

Ask yourself: Do your employees handle or work around dangerous chemicals?  Are we properly locking out when we work on electrical gear?  Have we conducted the proper electrical safety training or taught our employees on the proper use of fall safety equipment?  If the answer is ‘Yes’ and you are not conducting training – you better start.

As a nationally recognized leader of electrical safety and electrical preventative maintenance testing, Thompson Automation and Specialty Services is also a leader in electrical safety, preventative maintenance and technical training.  Thompson Training offers more than 60 specific courses in the areas of electrical safety and electrical preventative maintenance.  This breadth of courses provides us the opportunity to design a unique curriculum for your staff’s specific needs.  Whether the course is Electrical Safety for Non-Electrical Personnel, OSHA 30, or training on the most recent NFPA 70E 2018 updates; our expert trainers will connect with your team to deliver an impactful training session that increases your teams’ knowledge. Start 2018 off with a customized safety training plan.

SAFETY

Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices – Provide training to high-risk workers and management on OSHA requirements and the prevention of serious injuries from electrical hazards on the worksite. (OSHA Sub part S – Electrical)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Electrical Safety – Selecting, using and care of PPE used for arc flash and shock protection.

OSHA 30 – 30 hours of Regulations training over a minimum of 4 days, Introduction to OSHA, OSHA inspections, OSHA’s focus Four, (Falls, Struck By, Caught in-between, Electrocution), Confines Spaces, Ladders and Stairs, Scaffolding, Cranes, PPE, Excavations, tools, etc. (Training can be tailored to focus specific business hazards)

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

Electrical Preventative Maintenance Training – Infrared testing, good housekeeping practices, early failure indicators.

Troubleshooting Fundamentals – What to look for when troubleshooting electrical hazards, questions to ask.

TECHNICAL

Electrical Fundamentals – How electricity works, electrical applications, differences between the power at your house and your business.

NFPA 70E – Latest NFPA changes and how they affect your employees, NFPA & OSHA relationship

NEC® National Electrical Code Training – The latest changes to the National Electrical code and what those changes mean to your business.

If you want additional information don’t hesitate to contact us. Our phone number is 712-224-3873 and our website is www.thompsonspecialty.com. Again, thank you for attending and we hope to hear from you soon!

Jason Glover
General Manager

Keep Your Electrical Gear Clean and Tight

Electrical failures often can be avoided and good preventative maintenance programs can help predict the imminent failure of equipment.  According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the failure rate of electrical equipment is three times higher when electrical preventive maintenance programs are not performed. This tells us that electrical failures can be avoided.

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But what should be included in a good electrical preventative maintenance program (EPM). There are so many things that could be done.  Equipment maintenance, cleaning, and thermal imaging are just a few of the things to be considered.  However, where does one put the priority?  Just consider the top causes of failure in electrical system: loose connections, improperly installed parts, defective/inadequate insulation, foreign objects causing short-circuiting, overloading inadequate capacity, and the accumulation of dust, dirt and oil.  All things that can be prevented with routine and systemic electrical inspections.

Common in all these causes of electrical equipment failure is gear not being clean and well maintained.  Here are things to keep in mind when developing an EPM.

  1. Keep your gear clean. The buildup of dirt and metal debris in an electrical enclosure can cause arcing and arc flash explosions. A second issue brought about by the buildup of dirt and debris is an increase in heat and the temperature of the electrical equipment.  Restricted airflow and an increase in the temperature of gear decreases the quality and usable life of the equipment.  Finally, a dirty environment also creates a hospitable home for rodents and vermin. Dust is not your only enemy in dirty environments and lurking to cause problems.
  2. Keep your gear tight. Loose connections are a major cause of electrical failures. Greater than 75% of the problems uncovered during routine thermal imaging inspections are loose connections. Thermography (infrared scanning) is a common way to identify areas that need repair but must be done while the gear is energized. While the gear is off and being cleaned why not take an extra minute to check and tighten those loose connections.

If you have more questions or are looking for ideas and more information on best practice electrical preventative maintenance programs give the experts at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services a call today.  Given their 85+ years of experience as an electrical contractor, Thompson specializes in the development of custom electrical preventative maintenance programs for customers across the country.  Thompson understands the importance of keeping facilities safe, efficient and operating at peak performance and can custom tailor a program for you.

www.thompsonspecialty.com

Thermal Imaging is a Critical Piece of EPM

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Electrical systems, just like mechanical systems, are prone to failure over time due to age, poor maintenance, and the stress of overuse.  People often wrongly assume that because electrical systems lack moving parts there is not a need for electrical preventative maintenance (EPM).  Nothing could be further from the truth.  While no one can claim to be perfect at identifying electrical problems before they arise, a good preventative maintenance program can help predict the imminent failure of equipment.   The early detection of problems can allow you to catch small issues before they become big ones.  A challenge faced, however, is the determination of what the right EPM program is.

While there is not a single EPM program or field of study that would catch all problems the most reliable and cost-effective inspection to have conducted is Thermal Imaging. Thermal Imaging is a non-contact, non-destructive technology proven effective in the early detection of imminent failure in an electrical and mechanical system. When properly conducted a Thermal Imaging inspection can identify “hot spots” or areas of a potential problem that necessitate further investigation and maintenance.  As you can see in this image, an area of concern is identified for further evaluation by the heat or temperature difference it is putting off against the ambient temperature.

If you have more questions or are looking for ideas and more information on Thermal Imaging or other best practice electrical preventative maintenance programs give the experts at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services a call today.  Given their 85+ years of experience as an electrical contractor, Thompson specializes in the development of custom electrical preventative maintenance programs for customers across the country.  Thompson understands the importance of keeping facilities safe, efficient and operating at peak performance and can custom tailor a program for you.

You Need an Electrical Preventative Maintenance Program

2014-08-20 10.27.22Electrical systems, just like mechanical systems, are prone to failure over time due to age, poor maintenance, and the stress of overuse.  People often assume that because electrical systems lack moving parts there is not a need for electrical preventative maintenance.  An idea that couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, the resulting impacts of electrical failures can lead to larger and more costly problems than mechanical failures alone.  Here are four things to consider if you don’t think an electrical preventive maintenance program is for you.

  1. Safety: What is the safety of your employees and contractors worth?
  2. Electrical failures often can be avoided.

  3. Electrical preventative maintenance programs are not expenses, rather good investments.

  4. Industry standard best practice guidelines include preventive maintenance programs.

Earlier detection of problems can allow you to catch small issues before they become big ones.  No one can claim to be perfect at identifying electrical problems before they arise.  A good preventative maintenance program, however, can help predict the imminent failure of equipment.   The question then when deciding on the value of a preventative maintenance program is not the cost of the program but rather the return on the investment.

If you have more questions or are looking for ideas and more information on best practice electrical preventative maintenance programs give the experts at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services a call today.  Given their 85+ years of experience as an electrical contractor, Thompson specializes in the development of custom electrical preventative maintenance programs for customers across the country.  Thompson understands the importance of keeping facilities safe, efficient and operating at peak performance and can custom tailor a program for you.

GEAPS

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Recently, Thompson Automation & Specialty Services participated as an exhibitor, in the National GEAPS (Grain Elevator and Processing Society) Expo in Kansas City, MO.  More than 3000 people from all aspects of the grain industry attended the 3 day event.

Mike Pendergast (Thompson Automation and Specialty Services) and Rob Costello (Thompson Electric) handled the booth duties promoting arc flash awareness, infrared thermal imaging and electrical safety for grain elevators.  Thompson Automation and Specialty Services is using these national expos to create awareness of the dangers of electrical hazards in grain handling facilities.  As a result, owners and operators of grain facilities, are now realizing the dangers of electricity and the need for arc flash risk assessments, electrical surveys and training for their employees.

The interest generated by our presence at the GEAPS Expo, and the follow up from our contacts made at the Expo, emphasizes the growing interest in electrical safety and the need for Thompson Automation and Specialty Services to stay active in the grain industry.