It’s time you had an Arc Flash study done

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Are you ready for the new OSHA electrical safety requirements? Do you feel prepared? Have you had your Arc Flash Risk Assessment complete? If the answer is no then it is time to get started. “What is an Arc Flash?” this is one of the most frequently asked questions. An Arc Flash occurs because of a release of energy caused by an electrical arc, resulting in an explosion. The flash can reach temperatures up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the main reasons to get an Arc Flash Risk Assessment is because the explosion that occurs is known to cause serious damage. With the extreme temperatures of the blast, burns account for around 80% of all the injuries. Any employee not wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are also at risk of electric shock, blindness, shrapnel wounds, and in some cases death. The damage to your facility can also lead to problems such as lengthy downtime, extensive repairs, and even loss of profit. Often times a simple adjustment to your electrical systems like the breaker settings or the installation of a breaker disconnect can really help to reduce accidents.

Another reason for having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed is simply because it is required by OSHA. In 2014 OSHA recognized an arc flash as a “hazard” and after that, the OSHA General Duty Clause began to cover arc flash explosions. All employers need to properly implement and document electrical safety programs that direct activity to the risks involved. All Companies must now comply and have an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed every 5 years. The leading standard and best practice in electrical safety is the NFPA 70E Handbook. Two main points from the handbook would be that the employer is required to conduct an assessment, and must hand out the proper PPE if a potentially dangerous situation arises.

Having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed by qualified and trained professionals is highly important. Are you ready? Contact the experienced Arc Flash specialists at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services today to perform an arc flash analysis for your facility, complex, office, or campus.

For more information contact:

Phone: 844-321-3869

Email: sales@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.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

What does the new NFPA 70E 2018 Standard mean to you?

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The NFPA 70E has been the go-to playbook for electrical safety practices since 1979 when it was first published. To keep it updated and current, every three years it is revised to include new regulations and requirements for electrical safety. The 11th edition, also known as the 2018 version, is right around the corner and there are hundreds of minor and major revisions specifically, regarding Arc Flash that you need to educate yourself on.

So, what does all this mean to you the employer? Why should you care?

Complying with consensus standards can be difficult. NFPA 70E offers electrical safe work practices for the industry. The NFPA 70E is a how-to-comply instruction manual for several of OSHA’s regulations including electrical hazard assessments and how to select the appropriate PPE for electrical hazards. It is however ever changing and keeping up with all the changes can be difficult.

OSHA enforces compliance to NFPA 70E using Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which is commonly referred to as the GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE, as the basis for implementation. As the employer, you “shall furnish to each of its employees’ employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.” As a result, companies can be cited by OSHA for non-compliance of NFPA 70E.

It is more important than ever that you utilize a third party that specializes in Arc Flash Risk Assessments and has the experience and knowledge of the OSHA and NFPA 70E requirements. Call Thompson Automation and Specialty Services today at 844.321.3869 to learn more and to find out how we can help you stay compliant with OSHA and the new NFPA 70E standards.

www.thompsonspecialty.com

 

Nebraska Safety Council Conference and Trade Show

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Thompson Automation and Specialty Services was pleased to support the Nebraska Safety Council Conference and Trade Show October 11th and 12th, 2017 at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, NE. This exciting conference brought together a larget group of safety professionals to keep current on a broad range of issues, get valuable training, and network with colleagues and industry experts. Jason Glover of Thompson was there to discuss some of the new OSHA, NFPA 70E, electrical safety and preventive maintenance needs for the varying industries in Nebraska.
 
Thompson strongly supports the Nebraska Safety Council and WorkWell mission of enhancing Nebraska’s safety initiatives by offering professional training, education and technical assistance. Great training and great technology allows the industry to propel itself forward and provide innovative solutions to solve Nebraska largest safety issues. Thompson Automation and Specialty Services provides automation & controls support and specialty electrical services to help our customers operate their facilities more efficiently, keep in compliance with government and safety standards, run electrical systems at optimal energy efficiency levels, and help reduce the ever-growing energy costs. Services like Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Thermal Imaging, Breaker Testing, Electrical Preventative Maintenance, and courses in Electrical Safety Training all help keep a work environment safe and free from accidents.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help your business operate safely, energy efficiently, cost-effectively, and in compliance for years to come.

South Dakota Safety Council

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Thompson Automation and Specialty Services was pleased to join the South Dakota Safety Council October 4, 2017, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center as they celebrated their 25th Annual South Dakota Safety & Health Conference!  This exciting conference brought together the largest group of safety professionals to keep current on a broad range of issues, get valuable training, and network with colleagues and industry experts.

If you were there you could have had the chance to hear a presentation on ARC Flash OSHA/NFPA 70E requirements by Jeff Bennett, Thompson Automation, and Specialty Services Corporate Safety Director.  Supported by OSHA, the current NFPA 70E changes bring a new level of regulations that employers must understand when it comes to Arc Flash, PPE and training requirements. This training program covered some of the important changes in the 2015 NFPA 70E regulations and gave attendees a better understanding of those requirements and what employers must do to protect their employees in the case of an arc flash event.

“Whatever your organization’s size or industry, if you’re responsible for workplace safety and health, this was a must-attend event in South Dakota”, expressed Jason Glover, General Manager of Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.  “If you could not make it and are interested in more information on Arc Flash safety and your requirements under OSHA and the NFPA contact us and he can help you out.  It is critically important that you understand these changing and complex regulations.”

For more information on Thompson Automation and Specialty Services reach out to us at 844-321-3869, visit our website at www.thompsonspecialty.com, or email us at help@thompsonspecialty.com.

The South Dakota Safety Council has a long history of effective programs, strong regulations, and dedicated professionals working together for safety.  The South Dakota Safety Council, a private, not-for-profit organization, has been dedicated to promoting safety and health for more than 68 years. They provide safety, health and risk avoidance training and services. Membership in the South Dakota Safety Council helps employers prevent injuries and costly claims, increase productivity and stay competitive. If you wish to join the 400+ employers who are members. Take a look at what membership can do to strengthen your safety and health programs. Learn more at: www.southdakotasafetycouncil.org/memb/benefits.cfm.

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.

Is the Risk of an Arc Flash Explosion Worth the Consequences? 

I look at risk as a combination of probability and consequences.   If the probability and consequences of an accident are low, then the risk is low.  If the probability is high and the consequences are high, then the risk is high.  Perceived risks then drive spending and investments and while we can’t put a specific value on reducing risk we ArcFlashLabeltypically will measure an expected Return on Investment (ROI) for what we spend.  If you have not already made the investment to have an Arc Flash Risk Assessment done at your facility you need to know about and consider the probability and consequences.

The probability of an Arc Flash is related to the quality, care, and age of your electrical system.  The consequences of an Arc Flash can be devastating.  Arc Flash explosions are known to cause serious damage to your facility and personnel.  What is the impact to your business if an arc flash explosion shuts your production line or facility down for a day, a week or a month? You need to consider the total financial loss of an accident; costs that include the disruption of your business and to your customers can be substantial.  Regulatory fines alone can be crippling.

An Arc Flash Risk Assessment is required by OSHA and will-full noncompliance can quickly extend fines into the millions of dollars. What about future expenses then like increased insurance rates and injury settlements.  It can be shuttering to consider, but what about the cost of a death of an employee.

The good news in all this, however, is that the cost of having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment done is low.  It’s very hard to place hard numbers on the cost of an accident.  However, if the risk of an accident is rather high but the investment is low, it makes the decision easier to deal with.  An Arc Flash and the resulting explosions can be devastating to your organization and the employee that is not properly prepared or protected against it.  Whether your motivation is to protect your employees, meet the OSHA requirements, or protect against future expenses; having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed by qualified and trained professionals is important.  Contact the experienced Arc Flash specialists at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services at 844-321-3869 today to learn more or to have them perform an Arc Flash analysis for your facility.