Cord and Plug The portable electric equipment that we will cover is cord and plug connected equipment and extension cords. The equipment mentioned must be handled safely and effectively to avoid causing harm as stated in 29 CFR 1910.334.
Incident Prevention breaks down the equipment into different categories, depending on risk: High Risk Low Risk
High Risk Covers portable electric tools and cords used fully through temporary wiring. “It also includes portable electric tools and cords whose source of power may vary from permanent to temporary – this excludes portable generators – for construction, alteration and/or repair, including painting and decorating, or that are used in wet or visibly damp areas.” It has the utmost risk for electrical shock hazards.
Low Risk Comprises of portable electric tools and cords “whose sole power source is the permanent wiring of any building, mobile trailer, temporary building or similar structure.” Workers may be exposed to minimal risk for electrical shock hazards.
Visual Inspection • OSHA states that visual inspection must be done for all portable electrical equipment. Look for the following: • External defects like loose parts, deformed and missing pins or insulation damage. • Internal damage such as pinched or crushed outer jacket.
Visual Inspection • Any defective item must be removed from service unless repairs and tests have been made to deem the equipment safe. • The plug and receptacle contacts shall first be checked to ensure that they are of proper mating configurations.
Grounding Type Equipment • A flexible cord used with grounding type equipment must have an equipment grounding conductor. • OSHA notes in 1910.334(a)(3)(ii) that “Attachment plugs and receptacles may not be connected or altered in a manner which would prevent proper continuity of the equipment grounding conductor at the point where plugs are attached to receptacles. Additionally, these devices may not be altered to allow the grounding pole of a plug to be inserted into slots intended for connection to the current-carrying conductors.” • Do not use adapters which interrupt the continuity of the equipment grounding connection.
Testing 120-Volt AC Portable Electric Cords • Testing must be done on all cord sets and receptacles not part of the permanent wiring of the structure and cord- and plug-connected equipment necessary to be grounded. This will ensure correct continuity of all equipment-grounding conductors and proper attachment to their each terminal. • Learn more about portable OSHA Standards and portable equipment safety here.
Reference Links • https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_id=9911&p_table=STANDARDS • http://incident-prevention.com/ip-articles/ppe/safe-use-of-portable-electric-tools-cords-and-generators • http://www.oshacampus.com/hazwoper-training Image Credits: • Corbis • Steve HixSomos Images • Tetra Images • LJM Photo • Blend Images • Bill Varie • Lawrence Manning