EConnection
Volume 11, Issue Number 3 September 1, 2006

NECA 1, Good Workmanship in Electrical Construction Released

No technical information has been changed since its last publication. Pictures and references have been updated.

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NECA 202, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Industrial Heat Tracing Systems Released

No technical information has been changed since its last publication. Pictures and references have been updated.

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NECA/IESNA 500, Standard for Installing Indoor Commercial Lighting Systems Revised

This standard describes installation procedures for lighting systems commonly used in commercial and retail buildings, including but not limited to the following:

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NECA /IESNA 501, Standard for Installing Exterior Lighting Systems Released

No technical information has been changed since its last publication.  Pictures and references have been updated.

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NECA/IESNA 502, Standard for Installing Industrial Lighting Systems Released

No technical information has been changed since its last publication. Pictures and references have been updated.  This standard describes installation procedures for lighting systems commonly used in industrial and storage buildings, including, but not limited to, the following: 1. High intensity discharge (HID) low-bay and high-bay lighting systems. 2. Fluorescent strip lights and general purpose industrial overhead lighting systems. 3. Common special-purpose and special-environmental industrial luminaires. 4. Lighting installed on industrial wireway and track lighting systems.

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NECA/BICSI 568, Standard for Installing Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Revised

This standard covers five major components: support systems, pulling cable, firestopping, cable terminations, and installation verification. Tables and figures include conduit bend radius, separation distances, suspended cable tray, fire seal of drywall, wiring schemes and more.

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NECA Issues New Safety Software

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has released Version 3.1 of its Safety Expert Software.  Electrical contractors use this system to help them design company safety programs, keep records required by OSHA, print out safety procedures required to satisfy customer or contractual requirements, and develop company safety manuals.  Subjects covered [modules] include:

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Revised Electrical Construction Employee Safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Act charges employers with providing employees a safe place of employment.  This handbook summarizes the basic safety regulations.  This handbook was developed to familiarize employees themselves with general safety practices and OSHA safety regulations pertaining to worksites.

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Selector

NFPA standard 70E has become the driving force in the industry for the worksite protection needed by electrical contractors.  However, applying this complex standard to determine what personal protective clothing and equipment should be worn in the field can be difficult.  NECA’s Personal Protective Equipment Selector manual and software simplifies this task.  Both tools offer an overview of the standards and easy to follow links.

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NEIS and Safety Publication Release Schedule

In an effort to assist NECA chapters budget for publication purchases, Codes and Standards is providing the proposed release schedule. This schedule is subject to change.

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Train-the-Trainer Classes Begin for New OSHA 10-Hour Line Construction Safety Course

Six classes to teach utility and line construction company trainers how to deliver a new 10-hour OSHA safety course for line workers, were held between April 18 and May 25, 2006. The new course was developed by the OSHA Transmission & Distribution Strategic Safety Partnership. The new 10-hour course taught line workers about OSHA 1910.269 and 1926 Subpart V rules for working on high-voltage utility power systems, and about safety techniques including equipotential grounding and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The purpose of the course is to reduce injuries and fatalities in the line construction industry by teaching safer work practices to craft workers and foremen. “Having a common mission to improve the well-being and safety of workers allows us to share resource and work towards achieving results that will benefit the entire industry for years to come,” said Kathy Mills of Henkels & McCoy, chair of the Partnership’s training task team. The Partnership is currently also working on a more comprehensive 30-hour OSHA course for line workers and foremen. The OSHA Transmission & Distribution Strategic Safety Partnership is a formal collaboration of industry stakeholders, working together to improve safety for workers in the electric line construction industry. Its members are: • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) • National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) • Henkels & McCoy, Inc. • InfraSource, Inc. • MDU Construction Services Group, Inc. • Pike Electric, Inc. • MYR Group, Inc. • Quanta Services Inc. • Edison Electric Institute (EEI)

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CDC: Males account for 70 percent of injury cost

The 50 million injuries that occurred in 2000 ultimately will cost $406 billion, according to a recent released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Males account for approximately 70 percent of the total injury cost, because men have higher injury rates than women and their wages tend to be higher, CDC found. In terms of age, Americans 25-44 years old represent 30 percent of the U.S. population and 40 percent of the total costs of injuries. The National Safety Council releases injury economic data annually. The council and CDC data differ due to variant definitions of terms and statistical methods. For 2000, the council estimated the economic cost of unintentional injuries to be $512 billion. http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/Economic_Burden_of_Injury.htm

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Electrical Inspections Still Suspended in New Orleans

With the start of the new hurricane season, most people are focused on the next disaster. In New Orleans, though, the disaster may come not with wind and water, but with a tiny arc of electricity. An exhaustive investigation by ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine has shown that the suspension of electrical inspections in New Orleans has resulted in precarious conditions. Power has been restored in several buildings where the electrical components submerged during Hurricane Katrina have not been removed or replaced. The grim reality is that the emergency ordinance waiving electrical inspections put in place by New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has become business-as-usual – and potentially set the stage for another disaster. “Present and future owners may be faced with shoddy work done, with liability on their own shoulders, and with no measures to have had proper inspections done,” wrote ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR editor Andrea Klee in preface to Jeff Griffin’s investigative article. “Of course, there’s pressure to get everyone home as quickly as possible, but is it right to cut corners and waive electrical inspection procedures that have been in place for decades? Pushing aside the protocol could further harm those who have already been through so much.” An excerpt from Griffin’s article appears below. Please take the time to review the full text online. NECA and ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR hope to share a story that, as far as we can tell, hasn’t been told and to change a practice that has hazardous implications. Disaster After the Disaster? by Jeff Griffin, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, May 2006 From the outset, a priority for recovery has been restoration of electrical power—without electricity, a return to normal life is impossible. Yet months after the storms, thousands of homes and businesses remain without power, even though rebuilding and repairs of infrastructure makes electrical service available in most areas. Emergency steps—allowing electricians, rather than city or parish inspectors, to certify that electrical systems are safe to accommodate power—were taken to expedite the process. This measure may have resulted in service being restored to buildings that contain flood-damaged wiring and equipment, posing serious safety risks. While the practice of allowing electrical workers to make inspections apparently has been discontinued along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the city of New Orleans is operating under an emergency ordinance that allows residential property owners to waive city inspections and have electrical inspections conducted by licensed electricians. Once the homeowner and electrician complete necessary paperwork, the electrical service provider, Entergy New Orleans, is authorized to restore service. There are several concerns: • The emergency ordinance in New Orleans provides the opportunity for numerous abuses such as compromising the inspection process, which could lead to serious safety issues. • Buildings in other areas previously inspected under other emergency procedures may have been reconnected to power even though electrical components were damaged by floodwater and should have been replaced (see Electrical Contractor Jan. 2006). • For contractors making inspections, there is the risk of liability should failures occur in properties they inspected. • In addition, unconfirmed reports recently surfaced that buildings in other south Louisiana jurisdictions are being reconnected to power without replacement of water-damaged electrical components. Read the full story at http://www.ecmag.com/editorial_detail.aspx?id=2025.

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Katrina Workshop Cites National Standards as “Critical” for Emergency Preparedness

The July 12 workshop brought together experts from the homeland security and emergency preparedness community in Washington DC, to further national discussion of how standards, accreditation, and certification programs can help support the implementation of the key recommendations from the major federal reports on the Katrina aftermath.

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NECA Member Companies Win Zero Injury Awards

Twenty-four NECA electrical contractors which reported no annual injuries to OSHA during 2005 received awards at recent annual meetings of NECA Districts 1 and 2.

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Two NECA Chapters Renew Their OSHA Safety Partnership

The Central Ohio and Northern New Jersey chapters of NECA extended their safety partnerships with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), at separate signing ceremonies earlier this month. Participating NECA electrical contractors commit themselves to a range of activities intended to reduce injuries on construction sites. These include such things as having all electricians complete an OSHA 10-hour safety course, having foremen complete the OSHA 30-hour course, creating written company safety programs, and conducting weekly safety briefings for field employees. Affiliated IBEW local unions are also involved in the safety partnerships. The Central Ohio electrical safety partnership, originally put together in 2002, was the first labor-management-OSHA safety partnership in the country. Similar agreements have since spread into a number of other industries, in addition to electrical construction. “Implementing this partnership has been a positive experience for the Chapter and participating member contractors,” said Brian Damant, manager of NECA’s Central Ohio Chapter. “As a result, we have improved our relationships with the participating local unions and our Regional OSHA office.” A total of nine NECA chapters are now involved in safety partnerships and alliances with their OSHA regional offices: • NECA Atlanta Chapter • NECA Massachusetts Chapter (Maine Division) • NECA Northern New Jersey • NECA Ohio-Michigan Chapter • NECA Rochester Chapter • NECA Rocky Mountain Chapter • NECA Southeastern Line Constructors Chapter • NECA Southern New Jersey • NECA Western New York State

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2007 Annual Revision Cycle Report on Proposals and 2007 Annual Revision Cycle NEC Report on Proposals Available Soon

The 2007 Annual Revision Cycle Reports on Proposals will be released on July 14, 2006. They will contain a compilation of NFPA Technical Committee Reports on Proposals for public review and comment. A list of the documents with reports and the action proposed for each document is available for download from NFPA’s website at http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=817&itemID=20929. The deadline for comments on the Report on Proposals is September 1, 2006 and the deadline for the NEC Report on Proposals is October 20, 2006. Comments must be submitted during the comment period. There are forms for comment in the reports and on the NFPA website.

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Robert W. Colgan Appointed chairman of the National Lighting Bureau (NLB)

NLB is a nonprofit organization sponsored by professional societies, trade associations, manufacturers, and electric utilities to promote the advantages of new lighting technologies. Colgan is executive director of marketing for the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Before joining NECA in 1988, he was an electrical contractor in Toledo, Ohio. More information about the National Lighting Bureau can be found at www.nlb.org

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DoE and IESNA Partner to Advance Standards for Revolutionary Lighting Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Building Technologies Program and ANSI-accredited standards developer the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to partner on the development of standards for solid-state lighting (SSL)—an emerging technology that promises to transform the way future lighting systems are designed and used. The standards will help to form the DoE Energy Star criteria for solid state lighting products, which, the department says, have the potential to more than double the efficiency of traditional lighting systems. The MOU laid out goals for IENSA and the DoE to: • promote and support the development of DoE and IESNA efficiency standards • develop procedures to assist in the photometric measurement of SSL devices and technologies • develop and maintain standards that focus on energy conservation strategies to benefit design professionals and users • encourage the participation of DoE personnel in IESNA technical committee activities and provide the opportunity for publication of related research • develop appropriate education modules for inclusion in IESNA course materials Dubbed "solid state" because its light is emitted from a solid semiconductor, solid state lighting makes use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs)— like the kind used in digital clocks and exit signs—and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs)—commonly seen in mobile phones and digital cameras. Current uses of SSL technology can be found in some automobile brake lights, traffic signals, and flashlights. With breakthroughs in research and development, SSL technologies are ultimately expected to replace their incandescent and fluorescent counterparts. In the future, thin films of solid-state light—mounted onto floors, walls, windows, or furniture—could be set to double as communication displays or to vary in intensity or shade in response to pre-programmed personal preferences. To encourage the advancement of commercially viable SSL applications, DoE has developed a portfolio plan outlining initiatives for standards development, technology research, product testing, and other projects. The department has committed to work with industry and standards setting organizations to accelerate the development of needed standards and testing procedures. For more information on DoE’s solid state lighting initiatives, click here.

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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: from Theater and Rehearsal Floors to Conductive Wrist Straps

In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, ANSI Online will publish, on an ongoing basis, a series of snapshots of the diverse standards initiatives undertaken in the global and national standards arena, many of which are performed by ANSI members and ANSI-accredited standards developers. Two of the latest selections follow: Theater and Rehearsal Floors Ballet, gymnastics, and tap dancing can be some of the most beautiful and dynamic examples of human performance to watch, but all involve high levels of impact on the performers’ joints. A theater stage or rehearsal floor with inadequate energy absorption properties can pose serious danger to performers: energy returned directly to the body can result in premature fatigue and chronic back, knee, and other joint injuries. The Entertainment Services and Technology Association’s (ESTA) Technical Standards Program is accredited by ANSI as Accredited Standards Committee E1, Safety and Compatibility of Entertainment Technical Equipment and Practices. ANSI E1.26-2006, Entertainment Technology – Recommended Testing Methods and Values for Shock Absorption of Floors Used in Live Performance Venues, describes methods for measuring the energy absorption of theater stage and rehearsal room floors. Because appropriate levels of absorption may differ for various kinds of performance, the document recommends values specific to different performance activities. ANSI E1.26-2006 can be used by theatre owners and consultants, floor manufacturers, rehearsal studio owners, and building contractors, and performers. Conductive Wrist Straps For workers who handle sensitive electronic equipment, wrist straps often serve as a first line of defense against electrostatic discharge (ESD). Designed to limit the buildup of electrostatic voltage on worker’s bodies, wrist straps form an electrical connection between the wearer and a grounding cord to prevent injury due to electric shock. ANSI/ESD S1.1-1998 (R2006), Protection of Electrostatic Discharge Susceptible Items—Wrist Straps, details test methods to determine the electrical and mechanical characteristics of wrist straps and to evaluate their functionality. The standard also specifies the acceptable range of breakaway force required to cause a wrist strap to separate from the grounding cable. An ANSI-accredited standards development organization, the Electrostatic Discharge Association (ESD Association) develops standards and test methods designed to address electrostatic overstress and discharge control. While the Association's efforts primarily relate to the electronic manufacturing industry, ESD documents are also applicable to other industries and environments which require control of static electricity.

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Aged Electrical Systems Research Application Symposium

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is co-sponsoring this symposium with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  The symposium will be held at the Crowne Plaza Chicago-O’Hare International Airport, October 18-19, 2006.  For more information on this symposium go to www.nfpa.org/foundation.

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NFPA, IEEE to Conduct Joint Arc-Flash Study

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have begun a multiyear initiative to better protect workers against arc-flash and arc-blast hazards. The two groups will collaborate on updating their respective standards: IEEE 1584, Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations, and NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. Both consensus standards needed similar research and the two groups wanted to avoid duplicating each others’ efforts. In addition, substantial funding was needed from industry to conduct up to 2000 projected planned for the research project. On July 17, NFPA and IEEE announced that the project had received its first major donations towards the $6.5 million needed to fully fund the project. Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and Bruce Power each donated $500,000, while Hydro One Networks, Inc. contributed $250,000. The research project into arc-flash hazards is expected to take approximately two years. A joint steering committee will hold its first meeting later this month, to begin finalizing the research plan.

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NECA National Convention and Trade Show - Boston October 7-10, 2006

Join us at this year's National Convention in Boston. You may click on the following link: http://www.necaconvention.org/convention to view a PowerPoint presentation which contains information regarding the convention.

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How Much Do Injuries Cost?

The total lifetime costs for medically treated injuries in 2000 will ultimately cost $406 billion, according to calculations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That includes $80.2 billion in medical care costs and $326 billion in productivity losses.

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Rhode Island Now Requires License for Installing Lightning Protection Gear

On June 24, 2006, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed House Bill 7924. Governor Donald L. Carcieri allowed a bill to become law without his signature by transmitting the bill to the Secretary of State. House Bill 7924 became effective July 3, 2006.

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New ANSI Standards Panel to Coordinate Identity Theft Protection Standards Activities

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), in partnership with the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), has announced its intent to establish a new standards panel to address identity theft prevention and identity management standards. Once formed, the Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel would serve as a cross-sector coordinating body, applying use-case practices to promote and harmonize the timely development of voluntary consensus standards to minimize the scope and scale of identity theft.

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Recall of Voltage Testers

CPSC, Firm Announce Recall of Voltage Testers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announces the following recall in voluntary cooperation with the firm below. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

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Photo Witness Kits

A recent topic at the LA/NECA Safety committee meeting was accidents in company vehicles. It was brought to the attention of the committee that an Oregon based company makes a “Photo Witness Kit.” It comes with everything an employee will need in the event of an accident (disposable camera, pencil, paper, witness cards, and instructions on how to proceed). The kits are $8.95 each. The company is offering discounts to NECA members. For more information contact Camera Graphix (503) 699-0182, or visit their website at www.cameragraphix.com.

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Code Calendar

Upcoming meetings of interest to the codes and standards community:

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