Chapter 8


Approved by M.A. Scott
Revised 03/14

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8.1 Introduction

In the United States, 4,000 nondisabling and 3,600 disabling electrical contact injuries occur in the workplace annually. A total of 2,000 workers are sent to burn centers with electric burns each year. Most of the burn victims become permanently disabled from their injuries. Typically, the victims’ lives are forever restricted due to sensitivity to cold weather, mobility, or other physical barriers. Every day one person dies from an electrical incident.

This chapter contains general requirements and information for all electrical work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). All employees of Berkeley Lab, participating guests, students, and all subcontractors working at LBNL must comply with the requirements in this chapter.

8.2 Definitions and Acronyms

Definitions of terms used in this chapter are included as Appendix C. Many terms used in this chapter have meanings unique to electrical safety. All such terms will be printed in small capitals. Acronyms used are as follows:

AHD: Activity Hazard Document

AHJ: Authority Having Jurisdiction

ANSI: American National Standards Institute

BSO: Berkeley Site Office

CCR: California Code of Regulations

CFR: Code of Federal Regulations

CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

DOE: Department of Energy

EEWP: Energized Electrical Work Permit

EH&S: Environment, Health & Safety

ESC: Electrical Safety Committee

FR: Flame retardant

GFCI: Ground fault circuit interrupter

J: Joules (watt-seconds)

LBNL: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

JHA: Job Hazards Analysis

JHQ: Job Hazards Questionnaire

LOTO: Lockout/Tagout

mA: Milliamperes

NEC: National Electrical Code. See also NFPA 70

NESC: National Electrical Safety Code

NFPA: National Fire Protection Association

NFPA 70: National Electrical Code. See also NEC

NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace

NRTL: Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory

OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration

PI: Principal investigator

PPE: Personal Protective Equipment

R&D: Research and development

SAC: Safety Advisory Committee

SME: Subject Matter Expert

UL: Underwriters Laboratories

UPS: Uninterruptible power source

V: Volt

W: Watt

8.3 Scope

The purpose of this chapter is to ensure the electrical safety of every employee, visiting guest, and subcontractor at Berkeley Lab by:

  1. Defining safe work practices and use requirements for all people who work with electrically energized equipment as part of their normal job duties
  2. Establishing training requirements for qualifying and authorizing LBNL employees who work on or near energized electrical circuits and components
  3. Establishing a process for evaluating the electrical hazards of every energized electrical work task and for providing commensurate hazard controls
  4. Establishing a formal process for controlling energized electrical work through an approval process

This chapter applies to:

Reading this chapter does not qualify the reader to perform electrical work. Guidelines that are beyond the scope of this document must be established at each work area. They should include, as a minimum, the safety concerns outlined herein.

This chapter is not to be construed as a synopsis of all electrical requirements, nor as a substitute for formal study, training, and experience in electrical design, construction, and maintenance.

8.4 Policy

It is the policy of LBNL that:

  1. LBNL shall comply with Department of Energy (DOE) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70, National Electrical Code (NEC), NFPA 70E (Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace), American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C2, National Electrical Safety Code (NESC), and other established safety standards to reduce or eliminate the dangers associated with the use of electrical energy.
  2. All electrically energized equipment will be used in a safe manner as intended by the manufacturer and the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) listing or the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) acceptance criteria.
  3. All electrical wiring and equipment installations will comply with the NEC, OSHA regulations, and other consensus industry standards for electrical safety and engineering.
  4. All employees have a responsibility to ensure they and others around them are working in a safe manner with the proper equipment and hazard controls. LBNL has a Stop Work Policy, (PUB-3000, Chapter 1, Work Process C [Stopping Unsafe Work]). It is the responsibility of everyone to exercise this policy when observing unsafe work conditions or practices.
  5. All research or test devices operating at a voltage greater than 50 volts (V) with the ability to produce 5 milliamperes (mA) or more of current, or having capacitors greater than 1 joule (J), or 1000 J if less than 50 V, must be protected by an enclosure with secured or interlocked covers, or isolated in a manner that will prevent inadvertent contact with exposed live parts.
  6. Fabrication of research and test equipment will be done following prescribed LBNL design and engineering requirements.
  7. Any potentially electrically hazardous work will be performed following Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) rules as described in PUB-3000, Chapter 18 (Lockout/Tagout and Verification).
  8. Work will only be performed on electrically hazardous electrical circuits or components when it can be demonstrated that de-energizing introduces additional or increased hazards or is infeasible due to equipment design or operational limitations. Energized parts not considered electrically hazardous shall not be required to be de-energized if there will be no increased exposure to electrical burns or to explosion blasts due to electric arcs. Approval is required per Section 8.7.1 before approaching nearer than the limited approach boundary or arc-flash protection boundary.
  9. When work on electrically hazardous electrical circuits or components is justified and approved, controls (guards, covers, shields, insulated tools and probes, remote methods) must be used to reduce the potential for contact with energized components.
  10. All employees who work within the limited approach boundary or arc-flash protection boundary of electrically hazardous electrical circuits or components must be qualified and authorized by a Job Hazards Analysis (JHA), Activity Hazard Document (AHD) (see PUB-3000, Chapter 6, Appendix D [Activity Hazard Document (AHD) Process]), or an Electrical Qualification and On-the-Job Training (OJT) Form (see Appendix Q [Electrical Qualification and On-the-Job Training (OJT) Form] of this chapter) prior to performing such work. All subcontractors wishing to perform this work must first be approved by the LBNL Electrical Safety Group by submitting their company-specific energized electrical work program.
  11. Safety-related work practices and procedures for employees who work within the limited-approach boundary or arc-flash protection boundary of electrically hazardous electrical circuits or components will be done in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.
  12. Subcontract employers shall ensure their employees comply with NFPA 70 and NFPA 70E when their work is covered by the respective code or standard. LBNL points-of-contact for the subcontractor shall inform the subcontracted employers of any additional information needed by the subcontracted employers to perform an adequate electrical hazard analysis for their employees and ensure an approval of their company-specific plan has been accepted by the LBNL Electrical Safety Group and that an Energized Electrical Work Permit (EEWP) is completed. More information for subcontractors can be found in Appendix R (Subcontractors and Vendors: What You Need to Know about Performing Electrical Work and Lockout/Tagout at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory).

8.5 Electrical Hazards

8.5.1 Electrical Shock

Accidental contact with exposed electrical parts operating at a voltage greater than 50 V to ground and having a current greater than 5 mA can cause serious injury or death. Fatal ventricular fibrillation of the heart can be triggered by a current flow of as little as several milliamperes. Severe injuries, such as deep internal burns, can occur even if the current does not pass through the vital organs or nerves.

8.5.2 Delayed Effects

Damage to the internal tissues may not be apparent immediately after contact with the current. Delayed internal tissue swelling and irritation are possible. Prompt medical attention can help minimize these effects and avoid death or long-term injury.

8.5.3 Arc Flash

When an electric current passes through the air between two conductors, the temperature can reach 35,000°F. Exposure to these extreme temperatures can result in life-threatening burns. The majority of hospital admissions due to electrical accidents to qualified workers are from arc-flash burns, not electrical shocks. Arc flashes can and do kill at distances in excess of 10 feet. Equipment that presents an arc-flash hazard should be marked with a label describing the available incident energy and level of personal protective equipment (PPE) required for work within the arc-flash boundary when the equipment is energized.

LBNL has concluded that 120 V, single-phase AC power does not constitute a significant arc-flash hazard. Although an arc can occur at 120 V, it is unable to develop enough energy to generate expanding, burning plasma. Therefore, the minimum arc-flash PPE required when working within the limited approach boundary (42 inches) of an exposed energized 120 V AC circuit is: safety glasses, leather gloves, a 100% natural-fiber long-sleeve shirt, and long pants. No synthetics shall be worn beneath the natural fiber outer layer. A copy of the analysis can be found in Appendix A (120-V Arc Flash Hazard Analysis).

8.5.4 Arc Blast

The tremendous temperatures of the arc cause an explosive expansion of both metal and the surrounding air in the arc path. For example, copper expands by a factor of 67,000 times when changed from a solid into a vapor. The dangers of this explosion are of high-blast pressure wave, high decibel levels of sound, and high-velocity shrapnel. Finally, the material and molten metal is expelled away from the arc at speeds exceeding 700 miles per hour. Arc blasts often cause severe injuries and death.

8.5.5 Other Burns

Other burns suffered in electrical accidents are of two basic types: electrical burns and thermal-contact burns. In electrical burns, tissue damage (on the skin or deeper) occurs because the body is unable to dissipate the heat caused by the current flow. Typically, electrical burns are slow to heal. Thermal-contact burns are those normally experienced from skin contact with the hot surfaces of overheated electrical conductors.

8.6 Hazard Controls When Performing Electrical Work

The following hazard-control hierarchy will be used to mitigate electrical hazards before approaching within the limited approach boundary or arc-flash protection boundary of energized electrical conductors or circuit parts:

  1. Placing the electrically hazardous conductors or circuit parts into an electrically safe work condition (see PUB-3000, Chapter 18 [Lockout/Tagout and Verification])
  2. Applying supplemental physical controls, such as panels, shields, or barriers, to isolate employees from the energized components
  3. Administrative controls, such as the Energized Electrical Work Permit, assignment of a Safety Watch, and qualification training
  4. PPE to isolate workers from exposed hazardous electrical conductors, or circuit parts
  5. Safe work practices (safe work rules and electrical safety considerations) to support the development of safe working habits

8.6.1 Establishing an Electrically Safe Work Condition

Electrically hazardous conductors or circuit parts are considered safe when the practices described in PUB-3000, Chapter 18, have been applied and verified using the following procedure:

  1. Determine all possible sources of electrical supply to the specific equipment and the flash-protection boundary and incident energy for each source.
  2. After properly interrupting the load current, open the disconnecting device(s) for each source.
  3. Wherever possible, visually verify that all blades of the disconnecting devices are fully open.
  4. Apply lockout/tagout devices in accordance with PUB-3000, Chapter 18.
  5. Use an appropriately rated voltage detector to test each phase conductor or circuit part both phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground to verify they are de-energized. Test the voltage detector on a known live source both before and after the zero-voltage verification.
  6. Where the possibility of induced or stored electrical energy exists, apply grounding devices.

8.6.2 Supplemental Physical Controls and Administrative Controls

Where it is infeasible or where a greater hazard would be introduced by de-energizing electrically hazardous conductors or circuit parts, additional physical and administrative measures to protect the worker shall be incorporated into the work process. Examples to be considered include (but are not limited to):

8.6.3 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Qualified workers who are potentially exposed to electrical hazards that cannot be controlled through some engineering means must be provided with and use PPE that is appropriate for the specific work to be performed and the associated hazard level. NFPA 70E defines PPE requirements. PPE is required for any work within the restricted approach boundary or arc-flash protection boundary.

8.6.4 Safe Work Rules

Note: A summary of the LBNL electrical safe work rules is provided below. For a more thorough description of the safe work rules, see Appendix L.

  1. Positively ensure the correct circuit is identified before lockout and tagout.
  2. Whenever possible, de-energize the equipment before testing.
  3. The employee in charge must conduct a briefing before all energized electrical work.
  4. Identify hazards and anticipate problems.
  5. Resist “hurry-up” pressure.
  6. Do not hesitate to use the Stop Work Policy (PUB-3000, Chapter 1, Work Process C [Stopping Unsafe Work]).
  7. Always consider electrical equipment energized until positively proven otherwise.
  8. Use suitably rated electrical devices only as intended.
  9. Remove all conductive jewelry before performing energized electrical work.
  10. Know how to shut down equipment in an emergency.
  11. Know LBNL emergency procedures.
  12. Design for safety.
  13. Reset circuit breakers only after the trip problem has been corrected.
  14. Maintain the protection of covers, barriers, and shielding.
  15. Never drill into a wall or floor slab without Facilities Division approval. See the Facilities Division penetration policy, ADMN-053, LBNL Surface Penetration Procedures.
  16. Never modify or penetrate premises wiring, conduits, or enclosed wireways. Only qualified and authorized Facilities Division personnel are allowed to work on premises wiring, conduits, or enclosed wiring. See Section 8.8.4.

Note: For a listing and description of other electrical safety considerations, see Section 8.13.

8.7 Energized Electrical Work Requirements

Energized electrical work is any activity inside the LIMITED APPROACH BOUNDARY or FLASH PROTECTION BOUNDARY of ELECTRICALLY HAZARDOUS electrical conductors or circuit parts. Conductors or circuit parts are considered ELECTRICALLY HAZARDOUS if they operate at a level that could cause injury to a worker through contact or exposure to an ARC FLASH HAZARD. Verification of absence of voltage for LOTO is considered to be energized electrical work. Authorization is required for all energized electrical work, but the method of authorization differs according to the task.

It is LBNL policy to de-energize electrically hazardous parts, whenever possible, before an employee works on or near them (see PUB-3000, Chapter 18 [Lockout/Tagout and Verification]). This is the preferred method for protecting workers from electrical hazards. Workers are permitted to work on or near exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts only if it can be demonstrated that de-energizing would introduce additional or increased hazards or is infeasible due to equipment design or operational limitations. Energized parts that are not electrically hazardous need not be de-energized if there will be no increased exposure to electrical burns or to explosion blasts due to electric arcs.

8.7.1 Electrical Work Authorization LBNL Employees

All inspection, testing, and troubleshooting of exposed electrically hazardous equipment are authorized by an Electrical Qualification and On-the-Job Training Form (Appendix Q), an Activity Hazard Document (AHD), or an approved equivalent. All other hazardous electrical work and exposures are authorized through an EEWP. An EEWP application can be submitted by using the following online link:

Any electrically hazardous work that is not specifically authorized in an Electrical Qualification and On-the-Job Training (OJT) Form (Appendix Q), AHD, or approved equivalent requires authorization through an EEWP. Whichever authorization method is used, approval always requires specific effective controls for both shock and arc-flash hazards.

An Electrical Qualification and OJT Training Form is initiated by filling out the application form on the following Web site:

Electrical AHDs are initiated by accessing the AHD database, and selecting “Electrical” as a hazard. An electrical hazard schedule containing the hazards and controls to be described is provided in the AHD forms. Some elements of the electrical schedule may not apply to particular work operations. The Electrical Safety Subject Matter Expert (SME) is available to assist in identifying the type and severity of hazards, as well as developing appropriate controls.

Proposed equivalent methods shall be submitted to the Electrical Safety SME for review. If found acceptable, the equivalent method shall then be forwarded to the EH&S Division Director for final approval. Once approved, the equivalent process will be listed in the Appendices of this chapter.

All proposals shall include the following required elements:

  1. Specific reasons that the Electrical Qualification and OJT Form or AHD is not a feasible way of authorizing this work
  2. Identification of the “Owner” (responsible individual) of the authorization process
  3. Names, titles, or job descriptions of persons who are to be authorized under this process
  4. The hazards analysis system (e.g., task hazard analysis) that will be used
  5. Means by which technical qualifications are established
  6. Description of circuit(s) and equipment to be worked on, including location
  7. Shock hazard analysis methodology
  8. Arc-flash hazard analysis methodology
  9. Safe work practices to be employed
  10. Determination of shock protection boundaries (see Appendix N)
  11. Determination of arc-flash protection boundaries
  12. Description of the necessary PPE to safely perform the assigned task
  13. Means employed to restrict the access of unqualified persons from the work area
  14. Requirements to complete a job briefing, including a discussion of any job-specific hazards
  15. Description of line management roles and responsibilities with respect to energized work authorization
  16. Method of auditing the equivalent process Subcontractors

LBNL subcontractors performing any exposed electrically hazardous work, including voltage testing, shall submit their energized electrical work programs for approval. After this approval, an EEWP  shall be submitted for approval. EEWPs are required for all exposed electrical work, including testing, troubleshooting, and inspection. The EEWP is job specific and needs to be resubmitted for any change in work scope.

More information for subcontractors can be found in Appendix R. An EEWP Application can be found at:

8.7.2 Job Briefing

Before starting a task that might expose a worker to an electrical hazard, a person in charge shall brief the worker of the hazards involved, necessary PPE, work practices required, and other information necessary to minimize the possibility of an electrical injury. The extent of the briefing depends on the risk and complexity of the task. If the work is authorized under an Electrical Qualification and On-the-Job Training (OJT) Form or an AHD, the briefing will usually consist of simple direction by the supervisor noting any unique hazards associated with the assignment.

Work authorized by an EEWP requires a more extensive briefing (see Appendix B for a Job Briefing Checklist that can be used as an aid). The training and qualification currency of the worker should be verified and any potential emergency response actions discussed. Work should be released only when the supervisors and all workers know the scope of the work, hazards associated with the work, appropriate controls to manage the identified hazards, and all are confident that the work can be done safely.

8.8 Qualifying and Authorizing Personnel

Only those persons who are both qualified and authorized may install, fabricate, repair, test, calibrate, or modify electrical or electronics wiring, devices, systems, or equipment.

A qualified and authorized person is an individual formally recognized by Laboratory Management as:

A person can be considered qualified and authorized with respect to certain equipment and methods but not authorized for others.

8.8.1 General Guidelines for Qualification

Qualification for electrical or electronics work is determined by the employee’s supervisor and is based on a combination of LBNL classroom training (including required periodic retraining); formal electrical trade, military, college or other training; work experience; and on-the-job training. Formal training can be the completion of an apprenticeship or comparable training. Experience may be a combination of, or include, formal technical-related education courses and hands-on field or classroom laboratory work that may or may not result in licenses or certifications.

Ongoing electrical and electronics training must include an annual review of this chapter and all appendices pertinent to the employee’s work assignment, Chapter 18 (Lockout/Tagout and Verification), and an annual update of the employee’s JHA, Electrical Qualification and On-the-Job Training (OJT) Form, and/or AHD(s). For specific work requirements, the supervisor may add classes to the employee’s training course list not required by the JHA, but deemed important by the supervisor.

8.8.2 General Guidelines for Authorization

Authorization to perform electrical or electronics work by an employee is determined by the employee’s line management and supervision, and is based on the skills, knowledge, and ability of the employee to perform a specific task safely and correctly.

8.8.3 Specific Qualification and Authorization Criteria On-the-Job Training

On-the-job training for specified equipment or classes of equipment must be documented to ensure that training is adequate and consistent for all employees with similar tasks. This documentation must be reviewed and approved by a person who is knowledgeable in safe electrical work practices and familiar with the hazards involved in the apparatus. This training shall cover: Task-Specific Training Criteria

Supervisors shall use the following guidelines to determine whether an individual is qualified to perform specific electrical work. Different subsets of these criteria shall be selected according to the exact nature of the task; however, some analysis must always be performed, no matter how minor the job. Tasks that are performed less often than once per year shall require retraining before the performance of the work practices involved.

The supervisor shall authorize the employee to perform the work task only if he/she is satisfied that all relevant criteria are met. If the supervisor cannot verify an employee's qualifications, assistance from the Engineering Division or EH&S Electrical Safety Engineer should be obtained. As a minimum, the documentation of an employee’s qualifications should address:

If the individual will be permitted to work within the limited approach boundary of exposed energized parts operating at 50 V or more, the individual shall at a minimum be additionally trained in all the following:

8.8.4 Electrical Distribution Systems (Premises Wiring)

Only qualified and authorized Facilities Division or approved subcontract personnel are allowed to perform electrical wiring or other work directly connected to any facility electrical distribution system (premises wiring as defined by the NEC). Premises wiring includes that portion of utilization equipment (see Section 8.8.5 below) that is permanently connected (hard-wired) to the facility electrical distribution system, viewed from the utilization equipment’s first disconnect (or circuit breaker) looking backward into the premises wiring.

Connection to and diagnosis and repair of circuit breakers in building electrical panels may only be done by specified qualified electrical workers.

If there is a question about what differentiates a facility system from utilization equipment, consult the Electrical Safety Engineer or Facilities Electrical Shop Supervisor.

8.8.5 Research Apparatus (Utilization Equipment)

Only qualified persons may fabricate, modify, install, or repair electronic or electrical equipment used at LBNL. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that only qualified persons under their supervision are assigned to work on electronic or electrical equipment at LBNL. The supervisor shall ensure the qualifications of these employees are documented. Any Laboratory worker or researcher who performs any electrical work must complete the EH&S course Basic Electrical Hazards and Mitigations (EHS 260) as a prerequisite to further specific qualifications.

8.8.6 Electrical Two-Person Rule

Certain work requires two qualified persons. This occurs when work is considered electrically hazardous, as established by the conditions in Appendix P or by the work supervisor. When the Two-Person Rule is required, both workers must be present at the work site, and each worker must be aware of the other worker's tasks and must:

Note: Both workers may perform separate work tasks so long as safety is not compromised. Exemption to Two Qualified Persons

Under limited conditions, the electrical Two-Person Rule may allow for a second person that is not a qualified person. All of the remaining requirements of Section 8.8.6 above apply, and in addition the following must be met:

  1. Management must approve this exemption.
  2. During the briefing process, the qualified person will assess the qualifications of the second person to determine that the work may proceed safely.
  3. The second person must be trained in first aid and CPR.
  4. The second person may not enter the limited approach boundary or the flash protection boundary.
  5. The electrical disconnecting means must be located outside of the limited approach boundary and the flash protection boundary.
  6. The electrical disconnect must be located within 50 feet of the second person.
  7. The second person must be briefed in emergency procedures and the electrical work being performed.

Note: This exemption only applies to the Two-Person Rule, and shall not be used when a Safety Watch is required.

8.8.7 Electrical Safety Watch

A Safety Watch is a more stringent hazard control measure than the Two-Person Rule and must be implemented when there are grave consequences from a failure to follow safe-work procedures. This occurs when work is considered high-hazard electrical work, as established by the conditions in Appendix P or by the work supervisor. When a Safety Watch is required, the Safety Watch must be a qualified person who is responsible for monitoring the qualified person(s) doing the work. A Safety Watch must:

8.8.8 Service or Maintenance Contracts (Equipment Subcontractors)

Any subcontractor that will be performing work involving a potentially hazardous electrical exposure shall submit his or her company’s energized electrical work program for approval two weeks prior to beginning work at LBNL. In addition, the specific electrically exposed tasks shall be authorized by an EEWP or LOTO permit.

8.9 Roles and Responsibilities

8.9.1 Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)

ELECTRICAL SAFETY decisions are made by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). NFPA 70 defines the AHJ as “an organization, office, or individual responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard, or for approving equipment, materials, an installation or a procedure.” In a research and development (R&D) environment, there are frequent situations where facilities, equipment, and work practices are not adequately addressed by codes or standards, and interpretations are necessary for work to proceed safely. DOE has granted electrical AHJ authority to the UCOP Associate Vice President for Laboratory Operations, who has delegated this authority to the LBNL Chief Operating Officer (COO), who has further delegated this authority as described below.

Facilities and Premises Wiring
The AHJ responsibility for the infrastructure power distribution and premises wiring of the Laboratory is delegated from the COO to an appropriately qualified person in the Facilities Division. The AHJ for the facilities and premises wiring interprets the NEC (National Electrical Code, NFPA 70) and other codes and approves electrical construction, electrical installations, and installed facilities electrical equipment for code compliance. The Facilities Division Director may appoint an appropriately qualified electrical engineer to execute this authority.

Research and Scientific Equipment
A qualified member of the Engineering Division is delegated the responsibility by the COO as AHJ to ensure compliance with appropriate ELECTRICAL SAFETY requirements for the design, installation, maintenance, and repair of R&D and scientific equipment and apparatus. The Engineering AHJ will apply criteria from ANSI, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), NFPA, and other standards as appropriate to establish the safety of equipment. LBNL specific criteria may also be developed based on established engineering principles.

Electrical Safety—Work Practices and Workplace Conditions
A qualified member of the Environment, Health & Safety Division is delegated the responsibility for ensuring compliance with all ELECTRICAL SAFETY requirements that pertain to maintaining safe electrical work practices and workplace conditions and thereby for protecting Laboratory employees, contractors, and subcontract personnel from injury or death as a result of electrical hazards.

The AHJ for ELECTRICAL SAFETY is the Electrical Safety Engineer in the EH&S Division, or a qualified alternate designated by EH&S Management. The AHJ for ELECTRICAL SAFETY provides interpretations to ELECTRICAL SAFETY requirements in 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910 Subpart S, 29 CFR 1926 Subparts K and V, NFPA 70E  (Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace), and other standards and codes for worker electrical safety. The AHJ for Electrical Safety will additionally apply the requirements of NFPA 70 in evaluating workplace conditions. The AHJ for Electrical Safety is responsible for coordinating the electrical equipment acceptance process.

8.9.2 Appeals

This section is blank pending revision.

8.9.3 Responsibilities Individual Employees

Individual employees are responsible for their own and their coworkers’ safety. Each employee will: Supervisors

Supervisors of electrical workers have the primary responsibility of ensuring a safe working environment. They must: Division Directors

Division directors, by virtue of the delegation of responsibility for all aspects of occupational health and safety through line management, are responsible to the Laboratory Director for ensuring compliance with all electrical safety requirements as defined in the procedure and pertaining to all programs, activities, and facilities within their respective divisions or areas of responsibility. Division Directors with AHJ Responsibilities

The division directors in Engineering, EH&S, and Facilities have management responsibilities for their respective AHJ programs. They are responsible for ensuring that proper support, oversight, and assurance is provided.  In addition, through their membership in an Electrical Safety Oversight Board, they ensure that proper communication and coordination between the AHJs is occurring and that each of the AHJs has proper access to higher levels of management. Engineering Division

Section has been deleted, and is blank, pending future revision. Environment, Health & Safety Division Director

Section has been deleted, and is blank, pending future revision. Electrical Safety Committee

The Electrical Safety Committee (ESC) is a subcommittee of the LBNL SAC. The ESC has the responsibility to develop and maintain the LBNL Electrical Safety Program. The ESC will:

The ESC may also be requested to review electrical and electronic equipment and their installations at LBNL. Composition

The ESC should comprise members who are knowledgeable in electrical safety, electrical systems, electrical equipment, and electrical requirements and standards (e.g., federal OSHA, NFPA, NEC, and ANSI, as appropriate). See Appendix K.

8.10 Training

8.10.1 LBNL Training Courses

8.10.2 Training Matrix by Job Task


LOTO – EHS 358 and 258

LOTO – EHS 359 and 369

NFPA 70E – EHS 268

First Aid Safety – EHS 116

Adult CPR – EHS 123

Basic Electrical Safety – EHS 260

Qualified Electronic Techs – EHS 249

Qualified Electrician – EHS 250

Facilities Electricians








HVAC, Plant Maintenance Technicians & Lighting Technicians









Electronic Technicians









Other General Lab Population Performing Authorized Electrical Work above 50 V









8.11 Recordkeeping

8.12 Standards

8.13 Electrical Safety Considerations

8.13.1 General Considerations

8.13.2 Clearance Around Electrical Equipment

Maintain access and working clearance space around power and lighting circuit breaker panels, motor controllers, and other electrical equipment, in accordance with OSHA or the latest edition of the NEC, whichever is most stringent. For most equipment, this will be a space 30 inches wide by 36 inches deep.

Clearance space must not be used for storage or occupied by bookcases, desks, workbenches, or similar items—not even a wastebasket.

8.13.3 Flexible Cords

Because cord and plug connections are generally well understood, this instruction does not cover portable hand-operated power tools, small kitchen appliances, office equipment, electronic instruments, personal computers, and other similar equipment.

Allowed Uses

Flexible cords and cables may be used for:

  1. Pendants
  2. Wiring of fixtures
  3. Connections of portable lamps or appliances
  4. Elevator cables
  5. Crane and hoist wiring
  6. Connecting stationary equipment that requires frequent interchange
  7. Preventing transmission of noise or vibration
  8. An appliance or equipment with fastenings and mechanical connections specifically designed to permit removal for maintenance and repair, and intended or identified for flexible cord connection
  9. Power cables (AC) for data-processing equipment
  10. Connecting moving parts

When flexible cords and cables are used in conditions 3, 6, or 8, above, they must be equipped with an approved attachment plug and energized from a receptacle outlet. Only qualified persons may install cord caps (the attachment plugs) on cords.

Flexible cord and cable, attachment plugs, and receptacles must be of the proper type, size, and voltage and current rating for the intended application.

Branch circuits that feed cord-and-plug-connected equipment must be designed, have overcurrent protection, and be grounded in accordance with the NEC.

All cord-and-plug-connected equipment must be grounded with a correctly sized and identified equipment-grounding conductor that is an integral part of the AC power cord or cable. Exception: Listed equipment that is protected by a double insulation system or its equivalent.

Forbidden Uses of Flexible Cables

Flexible cords and cables may NOT be:

  1. Substituted for the fixed wiring of a structure
  2. Run through holes in walls, ceilings, or floors
  3. Run through doorways, windows, or similar openings
  4. Attached to building surfaces
  5. Concealed behind building walls, ceilings, or floors
  6. Installed in electrical raceways, unless specifically allowed by NEC provisions covering electrical raceways

Except for the temporary wiring provisions of NEC, the NEC does not allow the cord-and-plug connection of equipment to be energized from extension cords. Extension cords are not legal substitutes for the fixed wiring of a structure such as a receptacle outlet.

In industrial locations, a suitable guard or cover must protect the interface between attachment plug and receptacle from intrusion of process waste or other foreign material, such as cutting oils and machining chips.

8.13.4 Extension Cords

Extension cords provide a convenient method of bringing AC power to a device that is not located near a power source. They are used as temporary power sources. Extension cords are involved in more electrical-code and safety violations than any other device at the Laboratory. They are stepped on, stretched, cut, overloaded, and, in general, used improperly.

Guidelines for the Safe Use of Extension Cords:

Avoiding Misuse of Extension Cords: Observe the following restrictions to avoid misuse of extension cords:

8.13.5 Relocatable Power Taps/Power Strips

A relocatable power tap (also referred to as a power strip) is a variation of an extension cord, where the cord terminates in a row or grouping of receptacles. Relocatable power taps are commonly used in offices to provide multiple receptacles to office equipment. In general, all rules pertaining to extension cords also apply to relocatable power taps.

Additional considerations are:

8.13.6 Heating Tapes and Cords

Many experiments at LBNL use heating tapes or cords, including many high-vacuum apparatuses. The heating tapes or cords pose an electrical shock hazard if not used properly. This section also applies to heating pads, wraps, or similar components intended to be applied directly to a laboratory apparatus. Exemptions to the below requirements must be approved by the EH&S Division Electrical Safety Engineer.

General Electrical Safety Requirements for Use of Heating Tape

Heating Tape Power Source Requirements

Unusual Conditions

  1. Circuit Breaker Trip

    If a circuit breaker trips during a heating operation, this is usually because the circuit is overloaded. Disconnect an appropriate number of the heat tapes and reset the breaker. If the breaker trips again, call an LBNL qualified electrical worker, the Facilities Division Electrical Shop (ext. 6023), or the EH&S Division Electrical Safety Engineer (ext. 4694) for help.

  2. GFCI Trip

    If a GFCI trips during the heating operation, it is permissible to reset the GFCI one time. Personnel must remain clear of equipment when the GFCI is reset. If the GFCI trips again, all of the heating tapes must be disconnected and thoroughly inspected for damage. If the problem persists, call an LBNL qualified electrical worker, the Facilities Division Electrical Shop staff (ext. 6023), or the EH&S Division Electrical Safety Engineer (ext. 4694).

  3. Variable Transformer Issues

    If the fuse blows in the device, replace the blown fuse only with a fuse rated for the device. Using a higher-current fuse than rated for the device will allow overheating and may cause a fire. Variable transformers and other control devices for heat tape control should be periodically checked by a qualified electrical worker for receptacle tension and proper fusing.

For more Information, please contact an LBNL qualified electrical worker, the Facilities Division Electrical Shop staff (ext. 6023), or the EH&S Division Electrical Safety Engineer (ext. 4694) with any questions.


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