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  • 480V GFCIs

    August 13th is fast approaching, do you have your 480V GFCIs ready? You alternative for the short term is to have an Assured Grounding Program as defined in NFPA 70E and the OSHA regs for General Industry or Construction, bt eventually you are going to have to go to GFCIs from what I have read.

    Do you use 480V powered welding machines or other equipment on your worksite or in your workplace, you might want to check out OSHA's site for the requirements.

    http://www.osha.gov/Publications/Con...-overview.html

    Here's a link to the published rule which appeared in the Federal Register:
    http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...TER&p_id=19269

    Below I have copied a piece of it since the rule is many pages long.

    H. Branch Circuits--Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters for Employees

    [much deleted to stay under the 10000 character limit]

    GFCI requirements. Paragraph (b)(3) of final Sec. 1910.304 sets
    new requirements for ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection of
    receptacles and cord connectors used in general industry. Paragraph
    (b)(3)(i) requires ground-fault circuit protection for all 125-volt,
    single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in bathrooms and
    on rooftops. As noted earlier, this provision only applies to
    installations made after the effective date of the final rule. Cord
    sets and cord- and plug-connected equipment in these locations can get
    wet and expose employees to severe ground-fault hazards. The NFPA 70E
    Technical Committee believes, and OSHA agrees, that using 125-volt,
    15- and 20-ampere cord- and plug-connected equipment in these locations
    exposes employees to great enough risk of ground-fault electrocution
    (as noted earlier) to warrant the protection afforded by GFCIs.\15\
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ Part I 2-2.4.1 of NFPA 70E, 2000 edition, requires GFCI
    protection for all 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere
    receptacles installed in bathrooms and on rooftops for other than
    dwelling units.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of final Sec. 1910.304 requires GFCI
    protection for all receptacle outlets on temporary wiring installations
    that are used during maintenance, remodeling, or repair of buildings,
    structures, or equipment, or during similar construction-like
    activities.\16\ Such activities include cleanup, disaster remediation,
    and restoration of large electrical installations.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ See also the discussion of the term "construction-like
    activities" under the summary and explanation of final Sec.
    1910.305(a)(2), later in this section of the preamble. It should be
    noted that the discussion of the term "construction-like
    activities" is intended for application only to the use of this
    term in Subpart S.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OSHA currently requires GFCI protection for 120-volt, single-phase,
    15- and 20-ampere temporary receptacle outlets used on construction
    sites (Sec. 1926.404(b)(1)). In the 28 years that this requirement has
    been in effect, the Agency estimates that between about 650 and 1,100
    lives have been saved because of it.\17\ Temporary wiring associated
    with construction-like activities in general industry exposes employees
    to the same ground-fault hazards as those associated with temporary
    receptacle outlets on construction sites. In Sec. 1910.304(b)(3)(ii),
    OSHA is extending the ground-fault protection requirement to temporary
    receptacles used in construction-like activities performed in general
    industry. At the same time, this final rule extends protection to
    temporary wiring receptacles of higher voltage and current ratings
    (such as 125-volt, single-phase, 30-ampere and 480-volt, three-phase
    receptacles). It better protects employees from ground-fault hazards
    than the construction rule because it covers other equipment that is
    just as subject to damage as 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere
    equipment and that is more prevalent today than when the construction
    rule was promulgated over 28 years ago.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [deleted to stay under the 10k limit]
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Agency had proposed not to permit the NFPA 70E "Assured
    Grounding Program" as an alternative to GFCIs in this rule.

    [much deleted to stay under the 10k limit]

    ... some commenters argued that
    the lack of commercially available GFCIs at voltages higher than 125
    volts makes it impossible to comply with Sec. 1910.304(b)(4)(ii) as
    proposed (Exs. 4-11, 4-19, 4-23).

    [they are readily available, we are buying over 100, 60A 480V GFCIs for our workplace, this is a sizable investment when you consider that each GFCI is over $300]

    These commenters gave three reasons why the Agency should permit an
    assured equipment grounding conductor program as an alternative to
    GFCIs, particularly at voltages higher than 125 volts: (1) Because,
    they asserted, the assured equipment grounding conductor program is
    equally effective; (2) because of tripping caused by (a) the inherently
    high leakage current for some electric equipment or (b) the capacitive
    leakage on long circuits of voltages over 125 volts; and (3) because
    GFCIs are not available for all branch-circuit voltage and current
    ratings.
    Nothing in the record has convinced the Agency that its preliminary
    conclusion that GFCIs are more effective protection than the assured
    equipment grounding conductor program is incorrect. In fact, the 2002
    NEC, which permits its assured equipment grounding conductor program as
    an alternative to GFCIs only in very limited circumstances,\18\
    indicates that NFPA has reached the same conclusion. OSHA disagrees
    with the commenters' assertion that the assured equipment grounding
    conductor program provides protection equivalent to GFCIs. Thus, the
    Agency has determined based on the record that GFCIs are a more
    effective means of protecting employees than the assured equipment
    grounding conductor program.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ NEC Section 527.6 requires electric shock or electrocution
    protection for personnel using temporary wiring during activities
    such as construction, remodeling, maintenance, repair, demolition,
    and the like. GFCI protection or a written assured equipment
    grounding conductor program must be used to provide this protection.
    All 125-volt, single-phase 15-, 20-, and 30-ampere receptacle
    outlets must have GFCI protection except that in industrial
    establishments only, where only qualified personnel perform
    maintenance, the assured equipment grounding conductor program is
    permitted for specific situations. The limitations of the exception
    in industrial establishments only are for situations in which: (1)
    Qualified personnel are using equipment that is not compatible, by
    design, with GFCI protection or (2) a greater hazard exists if power
    was interrupted by GFCI protection.
    For receptacle outlets other than those rated 125 volts, single
    phase 15, 20, and 30 amperes, personnel protection must be provided
    by either GFCI protection or a written assured equipment grounding
    conductor program.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [much deleted to stay under the 10k limit]

    However, OSHA recognizes the limited availability of GFCIs for
    circuits operating at voltages above 125 volts to ground. Consequently,
    it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for employers to comply
    with a requirement for GFCI protection for all branch-circuit ratings.
    For this reason, OSHA has decided to permit an assured equipment
    grounding conductor program as an alternative to GFCIs when approved
    GFCIs are unavailable for the voltage and current rating of the circuit
    involved.

    [The vendor we have been in touch with says that there are plenty of GFCIs being produced to meet the coming demand in August]

    However, the final rule does require employers to provide
    GFCI protection whenever these devices are available at the branch-
    circuit rating involved. The Agency anticipates that approved 1-, 2-,
    and 3-pole GFCIs for branch-circuits with ratings above 125 volts and
    30 amperes will become available in the future. Employers will need to
    use those new devices for any temporary wiring installed after they do
    become available.

    [much deleted to stay under the 10k limit]

    The assured equipment grounding conductor program in the
    construction standard relies on the definition of "competent person"
    in Sec. 1926.32(f).\19\ The assured equipment grounding conductor
    program in this final rule also requires one or more competent persons
    for implementation. Consequently, the Agency is bringing the definition
    of "competent person" from OSHA's construction standards into final
    Sec. 1910.399.
    Last edited by Bob D.; 08-02-2007, 09:00 PM. Reason: Corrected the compliance date from Aug 17 to August 13, 2007.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
    ---------
    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
    ---------
    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

  • #2
    Re: 480V GFCIs

    Leave it to OSHA to screw with the rules. If they can discount the NEC what's to say that they can not pick anc choose any code reference and discount it.

    Assured Grounding has always been the norm until the GFCI's came on the scene, and still is. The only problem is when all the trades are working at the same time, the Electrical department is responsible for all the extension cords to be in proper working order. And all you need is one plumber to come along with a 2 conductor cord and the Electrician gets fined for not enforcing the rule.

    The OSHA fines are big time too. This is more useless government regulations that don't need to be.

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