Electrical Safety Program
The purpose of this program is to prevent injuries and accidents and protect University employees from low voltage electrical hazards. “Low Voltage” is defined by Cal/OSHA as work performed directly on or in proximity of systems of 600 volts, nominal, or less. Work unit specific safety procedures for preventing electric shock or other injuries resulting from direct/indirect electrical contact to employees working on or near energized or deenergized parts will be developed and implemented as required.
This program applies to all work operations at UC Irvine involving electrical systems of 600 volts or less where employees may be exposed to live parts and/or those parts that have been deenergized. Any work on energized equipment may be done only after it has been determined that this type of work must be performed with the equipment energized. While some lab and Facilities Management employees may work with equipment in the 120 to 600 volt range, most University employees normally work in areas with electrical appliances that operate at 120 volts or less.
Current - (measured in amps/amperage) Term used to describe electric flow. It is current that can cause electric shock.
Deenergized – Electrical devices that are disconnected from all energy sources including direct electric connections, stored electric energy such as capacitors, and stored non-electrical energy in devices that could reenergize electric circuit parts
Energized Electrical Work – Work conducted by an employee on or near an exposed energized circuit greater than 50 volts and less than or equal to 600.
FM - Factory Mutual –An independent product safety testing and certification company.
GFCI – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, provides additional protection from shocks by shutting off current to equipment when a change in electricity is sensed.
Grounding - P rovides a safe path between electricity and the earth, preventing leakage of current. The creation of a conductive path for electricity between a circuit or the equipment to ground.
High Voltage – Electrical systems or equipment operating at or intended to operate at a sustained voltage of more than 600 volts.
Low voltage - Electrical systems or equipment operating at or intended to operate at a sustained voltage of 600 volts or less.
Polarized Plug - Helps reduce the potential for shock with easily identifiable plugs. One prong is wider than the other and can only be inserted into outlets one way.
Qualified Person – A person, designated by UC Irvine, who by reason of experience or instruction has demonstrated familiarity with the operation to be performed and the hazards involved. An employee is considered a qualified person only after they have successfully completed the UC Irvine Electrical Safety Awareness and Advanced Electrical Safety trainings.
Note One: Whether a person is considered to be a “qualified person” will depend upon various circumstances in the workplace. It is possible and, in fact, likely for an individual to be considered “qualified” with regard to certain equipment in the workplace, but “unqualified” as to other equipment.
Note Two: An employee who is undergoing on-the-job training and who, in the course of such training, has demonstrated an ability to perform duties safely at his or her level of training and who is under the direct supervision of a qualified person is considered to be a qualified person for the performance of those duties.
Qualified Electrical Worker – A qualified person who by reason of a minimum of two years of electrical training and experience with high voltage circuits and equipment and who has demonstrated by performance familiarity with the work to be performed and the hazards involved. Only a Qualified Electrical Worker is allowed to work on energized conductors or equipment connected to energized high-voltage systems. With the exception of replacing fuses, operating switches, or other operations that do not require the employee to contact energized high voltage conductors or energized parts of equipment, clearing trouble or emergencies involving hazard to life or property, no such employee shall be assigned to work alone.
An employee is considered qualified only after they have successfully completed the UC Irvine Electrical Safety Awareness, Advanced Electrical Safety, and Hazardous Electrical Voltage trainings, and have demonstrated a minimum of two years experience working on the specific equipment under the oversight of another Qualified Electrical Worker. This training will be provided when the employee is initially assigned to the job with refresher training every three years after.
Resistance - The ease with which electricity flows through the material (conductor). Materials (conductors) with higher resistance properties can become hot. (Measured in ohms)
UL - Underwriters Laboratories is an independent product safety testing and certification organization.
Voltage - Electric potential or potential difference assigned to a circuit or system expressed in volts.
The goal of the electrical safety program is to ensure that all employees understand the hazards associated with electric energy and are capable of performing the necessary steps to protect themselves and their coworkers.
Primary responsibilities include:
All employees use electric powered equipment and systems throughout the campus. Whether in an office, lab or workshop, electricity is used continuously, usually without incident.
Voltages as low as 12 volts can be dangerous. When working with or around electrical equipment, one may inadvertently become part of an electrical circuit. Only trained and authorized or qualified individuals should do any repair or work on electrical equipment.
As part of the Injury and Illness Prevention Program , departments are required to conduct a hazard analysis of the workplace. This analysis will provide a mechanism for defining work unit specific hazards associated with electricity and create a plan for hazard mitigation and employee training.
General Precautions for All Staff
Localized Electrical Outage
Labs and Facilities Management
Damaged or Defective Electrical Equipment
Report malfunctioning equipment or devices to your supervisor or Facilities Management at 949-824-5444. Typical issues include:
Any electrical equipment not operating properly should be:
Do not attempt to repair any electrical equipment yourself unless you are properly trained and authorized to do so.
If safety issues persist, please notify your supervisor or submit a Report of Safety Concern .
Work unit specific training may also be required for specific workplace activities or equipment. Notify your supervisor if you have any questions.
For more information, please contact EH&S at 949-824-6200 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Subchapter 5, “Electrical Safety Orders” ( http://www.dir.ca.gov/Title8/sb5g1.html ).
Initiator: David Mori