Hospital OSHA QuickFacts – Electrical Safety

Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in Blog, NFPA70E, OSHA Standards | Comments Off on Hospital OSHA QuickFacts – Electrical Safety

Hospital OSHA QuickFacts – Electrical Safety

United States’ hospitals and other medical facilities face increasing OSHA and Commission pressure to meet the most exacting electrical safety standards within any industry.  The standards require regular testing, detailed labeling, careful inventorying of electrical system components, special diagramming requirements, regular arc-flash testing, regular infrared inspections, availability of proper safety equipment, and a myriad of other requirements not imposed on other facilities/businesses.  The most basic Commission standards, as dictated by NFPA99, which apply to circuit diagrams, receptacle information, and related data are found at the following Environment of Care Standards:

  • EC 02.05.01(2) – Written inventory of ALL operating components of systems is required.
  • EC 02.05.01(3) – Must identify in writing all inspection and maintenance records related to ANY component of EDS.
  • EC 02.05.01(4) – Requires that ALL intervals for inspection, testing, and maintenance of ALL EDS components be set forth in writing.
  • EC.02.05.01(7) – Requires that hospital map all distribution points.

According to a fairly recent article in Health Facilities Management magazine, two of the 10 most common OSHA violations are directly related to electrical system problems, to wit:

“General Requirements (Electrical) (1910.303). This standard addresses the safety and suitability of electrical equipment for use within health care organizations. Equipment must be listed or labeled, used according to associated instructions and free of short circuits and nonpermitted grounds. Equipment must be secured firmly to the mounting surface and have appropriate air circulation as required. The manufacturer’s identification and appropriate electrical ratings must be placed on the equipment. Clear working spaces and guarding of parts also is included.

Wiring Methods, Components & Equipment (1910.305). This standard details the requirements for electrical wiring and associated components, including raceways, cable trays and enclosures. Electrical transformers also are covered.

The following inclusions often are particularly troublesome in health care organizations: Temporary lighting may be used only during remodeling, maintenance or repair; holiday decorations may not be in place for longer than 90 days; flexible cords and cables, such as extension cords, may not be used as a substitute for fixed wiring and may not be run through walls, ceilings, floors, doors or windows; receptacles installed in wet locations must be suitable for that use, such as outlets with ground-fault protection; and electrical appliances must have appropriate nameplates.” [Reference Link].

All of this should must also be accounted for in a Utility Systems Management Plan and be regularly updated.  Amerisk Engineering’s professionals are experienced in providing the level of professional detail required to meet these exacting standards.  We are ready to serve the specialized needs of the medical field and not many of our competitors can say that.