Appendix L: Safe Work Rule Description


  1. Positively ensure the correct circuit is identified before lockout and tagout: Almost every week, some electrician or technician is hurt in the United States because the breaker he/she locked out was the wrong one. This is type of accident is so easily preventable, yet it is far too common. Before you lock out a circuit breaker or power disconnect switch, check that you are locking out the correct breaker --- the one that controls the equipment on which you will be working. Breaker off, the equipment stops. Breaker on, the equipment runs. Then, and only then, lock it out!
  2. Whenever possible de-energize the equipment before testing: Conduct tests with the electrical equipment deenergized, or, if there is no other way to perform the test, with reduced hazard.
  3. The employee in charge must conduct a briefing before all energized electrical work: Before starting any energized electrical work the supervisor or his/her designee, must conduct a job briefing with the employee(s) performing the work.
  4. Identify hazards and anticipate problems: Think through what might go wrong and the consequences of that action. Do not hesitate to discuss any situation or question with your supervisor and coworkers.
  5. Resist “hurry-up” pressure: Program pressures should not cause you to bypass thoughtful consideration and planned procedures.
  6. Don’t hesitate to use the Stop Work Policy: LBNL has a stop work policy (PUB 3000, Chapter 1.5) Do not hesitate to use it if you see a fellow worker performing unsafe acts.
  7. Always consider electrical equipment energized unless positively proven otherwise: When working on electrical equipment, treat the equipment as live until it is tested, locked, tagged, shorted, and/or grounded, as appropriate.
  8. Use suitably rated electrical devices only as intended: Electrical devices shall be fully rated for the system to be tested, and must not be modified beyond the intent of their design.
  9. Remove or cover all jewelry before performing energized electrical work: This includes rings, watches, or metal pendants and chains that could inadvertently fall into the work. Metal-framed glasses must be restrained when working around electrical equipment.
  10. Know how to shut down equipment in an emergency: Know the location, and operation of, emergency disconnects for all sources of power to equipment before beginning energized work.
  11. Know LBNL emergency procedures: All persons working in areas of high hazard (with high-voltage power supplies, capacitor banks, etc.) must be trained in emergency response procedures, which should include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.
  12. Design for safety: Consider safety to be an integral part of the design process. Protective devices, warning signs, and administrative procedures are supplements to good design—not a substitute for it. Engineering controls are always preferable to administrative controls. Completed designs should include provisions for safe maintenance.
  13. Reset circuit breakers only after the trip problem has been corrected: When a circuit breaker or other over current device trips, it is usually due to an overload or fault condition on the line. Repeated attempts to re-energize the breaker under these conditions may cause the breaker to explode. Do not attempt to reset a circuit breaker unless the problem has first been identified and corrected or isolated.
  14. Maintain the protection of covers, barriers and shielding: When you remove a panel or cover for access (a barrier), replace it with a temporary barrier to restore at least some of your protection. This could be a transparent Lexan sheet, a rubber sheet or blanket, etc., place over the portions of the equipment under test to which you do not need access.
  15. Never drill into a wall or floor slab without Facilities approval. See Admin 053 Facilities Penetration Policy. When drilling into a wall or floor, wear suitable PPE for the working conditions (dirt, slurry, debris) in case of an unknown electrical hazard. At a minimum, this will include safety glasses, hard hats, all leather shoes, and fully rated gloves.
  16. Never modify or penetrate premises wiring conduit or enclosed wireways: Only qualified and authorized Facilities Department personnel are allowed to work on premises wiring, conduits or enclosed wiring. See Section 8.8.4.

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