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Ensuring that electrical equipment is safe for its intended use

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3 Author(s)
J. J. Andrews ; Electr. Safety Resources Inc., Aiken, SC, USA ; L. B. McClung ; T. J. White

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, the National Electrical Code (NEC), and several other nationally recognized standards and recommended practices indicate that electrical equipment must be inspected, tested, and evaluated to ensure that it is essentially free of hazards. This article guides the reader toward methods that will ensure that electrical equipment meets the safety intention of present day regulations, codes, and standards. The authors have experienced the situation where an electrical inspector, or a safety inspector, says that a particular piece of electrical equipment cannot be used because it does not have a label stating that it is listed by an nationally recognised testing laboratory (NRTL). The inspector's argument is that without such a label, he or she does not know if the equipment is safe for its intended use. The authors agree that one should try to purchase equipment with an NRTL label. But, if that is not possible, there are other acceptable ways to evaluate the safety of equipment and installations. OSHA allows two alternatives to listing and labeling. One involves the use of another federal agency, state, municipal, or other local authority responsible for enforcing occupational safety requirements. The other involves the use of manufacturer's test data, which the employer must keep

Published in:

IEEE Industry Applications Magazine  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 3 )