Working on or around electrical equipment is potentially dangerous, and accidents in the course of maintaining and servicing electrical equipment can lead to death or other serious injury. These accidents do not have to happen! Almost all these types of accidents can be avoided if OSHA and NFPA standards, as well as the operation and maintenance instructions for the equipment are carefully followed.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) recently published Guide SG 20-2013 is to enhance electrical safety awareness and to mitigate electrical hazards to members of the workforce assigned to servicing and maintaining switchgear. This guide helps facilitate the relevant safety practices outlined in OSHA and NFPA 70E when work is performed on electrical equipment, especially for equipment rated above 1000 V.
Written by members of the NEMA 8SG Switchgear Section who are recognized industry experts in these products, the guide contains provisions that are applicable to all members of the workforce who are engaged in testing, servicing, maintaining, and decommissioning switchgear, circuit breakers, and controllers rated above 1000 V.
NEMA Standards Publication SG 10-2013 emphasizes OSHA and NFPA 70E safety requirements when servicing and maintaining:
a) Medium-voltage metal-clad switchgear assemblies (rated 1000 through 38,000 V) in accordance with ANSI/IEEE C37.20.2, Standard for Metal-Clad Switchgear
b) Medium-voltage metal-enclosed switchgear assemblies (rated 1000 through 38,000 V) in accordance with ANSI/IEEE C37.20.3, Standard for Metal-Enclosed Interrupter Switchgear
c) Circuit breakers rated above 1000 V in accordance with ANSI/IEEE C37.04, Standard Rating Structure for AC High-Voltage Circuit Breakers
d) Medium-voltage controllers in accordance with UL 347, Medium-Voltage AC Contactors, Controllers, and Control Centers
e) Medium-voltage pad-mounted switchgear (rated 1,000 through 38,000 V) in accordance with IEEE C37.74, Standard Requirements for Subsurface, Vault, and Pad-Mounted Load-Interrupter Switchgear and Fused Load-Interrupter Switchgear for Alternating Current Systems Up to 38 kV.
Topics in NEMA Standards Publication
SG 10-2013 include:
- Defining Qualified Persons and Approach Boundaries
- Training of Personnel Associated with Maintenance or Service of Electrical Equipment
- Job Plan Creation and Job Briefing
- Emergency Planning, Area Security, Removing Equipment from Service , Voltage Detection
- Removing Equipment from Service (Voltage detection, Grounding, Lockout/Tagout)
- Returning Equipment To Service
- Responsibilities of all of the Individuals involved with electrical work
Included in the appendix is an example of a Job Plan. This Job Plan can be printed off and used as is or used for maintenance personnel to create a job plan customized for specific equipment, locations, and applications.
Maintenance personnel are encouraged to go to NEMA.org website and download a free copy of this guide: