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Don't fail at ladder and fall safety
Don't fail at ladder and fall safety
There is a reason why OSHA heavily promotes fall safety. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction. In 2013, there were 291 fatal falls to a lower level out of 828 total fatalities in construction.
Is code compliance good design?
Is code compliance good design?
Many people approach the NEC as if it limits what they can do. That's not accurate. It's a basic principle of the NEC that this is not the case. The NEC doesn't stop you from making something safer. Its purpose is to provide the minimum requirements to...
Safety first if solar, fire mix
Safety first if solar, fire mix
Bill Doughman arrived at the Westmere Volunteer Fire Department in June with a solar panel and a thick, 3.7-pound tome with 910 pages of rules. The solar panel was to help Doughman teach firefighters what do when fires involve solar panels.
Energy Department announces $25 million to accelerate integration of solar energy into nation...
Energy Department announces $25 million to accelerate integration of solar energy into nation...
As part of the Energy Department's ongoing efforts to modernize the nation's grid through the Grid Modernization Initiative, the Energy Department today announced $25 million in available funding through an effort called Enabling Extreme Real-Time ...
Designing medium-voltage electrical systems
Designing medium-voltage electrical systems
Engineers should know how nominal system voltages were established, what constitutes a medium-voltage electrical system, and what range of systems are considered appropriate for medium voltage. We are used to viewing electrical power just like any othe...
DOE announces $25 million for integration of solar into electrical grid
DOE announces $25 million for integration of solar into electrical grid
As part of the Energy Department’s ongoing efforts to modernize the nation's grid through the Grid Modernization Initiative, the Energy Department has announced $25 million in available funding through an effort called Enabling Extreme Real-T...
Southwire recalls voltage detectors due to shock and burn hazards
Southwire recalls voltage detectors due to shock and burn hazards
Southwire is recalling voltage detectors due to a shock and burn hazard. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says the detectors can give a false "no voltage" reading when testing live wires, causing a shock, electrocution, and burn hazard. The compa...
Clean energy to take bigger share of electricity market by 2030
Clean energy to take bigger share of electricity market by 2030
Renewable energy will account for 40 percent of electricity output capacity by 2030, almost double today's market share, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. The expansion will be due to lower technology costs. The real challenge for...
The steps in a safe test and measurement sequence
The steps in a safe test and measurement sequence
Using a digital multimeter (DMM) to verify that a circuit is de-energized is a good safety practice. Let's walk through the steps to take before replacing a motor starter.
10 arc flash safety facts to protect your people
10 arc flash safety facts to protect your people
An arc flash is the explosive energy released when an electrical fault — for instance, a short circuit — causes an arc. The dangers associated with an arc flash event include heat, flying debris, sound, UV radiation and more. Here are nine ...
5 tips to keep on top of cashflow
5 tips to keep on top of cashflow
A drop in orders, a shortage of work, rising costs, slowing demand, weak margins. All these things can damage a small business. But ultimately, the only reason to board up the door and bring in the receivers is a lack of cash. To avoid that happening t...
Safety equipment testers are the only thing coming between SRP linemen, 40,000 volts of electricity
Safety equipment testers are the only thing coming between SRP linemen, 40,000 volts of electricity
Safety gets lots of attention at electric utilities because while mistakes happen in every industry, they often are fatal when they occur on the electrical system. OSHA uses a standard incident rate to compare injury statistics across industries, and i...
Is that cooling air doing any cooling?
Is that cooling air doing any cooling?
Dirt, dust, chemicals, snow, oil, vegetation, and process waste can clog the ventilation ducts of an open-frame motor. So can insect nests, rodent nests, and associated droppings. All of this nasty stuff also may help form a thermally insulating coatin...
3 overtime rule concerns for employers and how to tackle them
3 overtime rule concerns for employers and how to tackle them
The overtime rule is here, and its challenges have been long documented. After months of speculation, the Department of Labor officially set the new FMLA overtime exemption salary at $47,476. The rule will force many employers to choose between rai...
Proposed underwater electricity cable for New York City
Proposed underwater electricity cable for New York City
Empire State Connector Corp has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for authority to negotiate agreements with customers for transmission service on a 260-mile long high voltage direct current ("HVDC") electric transmiss...
Time to review your drug testing policy
Time to review your drug testing policy
BusinessInsurance.com says OSHA's Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule does not ban employee incentive programs or drug testing of employees, but it does prohibit employers from using drug testing or the threat of it as a form of a...
Stop short-cycling those motors
Stop short-cycling those motors
You probably know that motors require more current to start than they do to run. What this means is motors have more heat generated in them when they start than when they are running. It takes time to dissipate the extra heat. The important thing is to...
16 ways contractors can improve how they find and hire workers
16 ways contractors can improve how they find and hire workers
Here, based on research, National Pavement Expo seminars, and conversations with industry contractors and consultants are 16 of the most-common mistakes contractors make before, during and after the hiring process — and tips on how those mistakes...
Utilities, greens still miles apart on solar valuation, new report shows
Utilities, greens still miles apart on solar valuation, new report shows
Across most of the nation, it's clear solar power is taking off. But still some states are lagging behind and are holding on to policies that cramp growth instead of nurturing it, according to a new report.
9 sure ways to screw up a switch installation
9 sure ways to screw up a switch installation
All non-utility switch installations in residential, commercial, and industrial settings must meet National Electrical Code requirements where enacted.
Pay attention to power quality
Pay attention to power quality
Looking for power quality issues typically is not done until such issues are suspected in a troubleshooting situation. If an area of the plant has power quality problems, but the equipment failure rates don't seem unusually high, a typical maintenance ...
Discrimination prevents electrical failures
Discrimination prevents electrical failures
Discrimination is the practice of selecting protective devices and adjusting their settings in order to limit interruption to electrical installations under fault conditions. When the devices in a distribution path are "coordinated" it reduces nuisance...
Construction site worker injuries: What to know about protecting yourself
Construction site worker injuries: What to know about protecting yourself
One in 5 of all worker fatalities in 2014 were on construction sites, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That is 874 deaths in 2014. While federal, state and private enterprise regulations have reduced construction site inj...
Think modular when laying out those lighting circuits
Think modular when laying out those lighting circuits
What if your production area undergoes fairly frequent reconfigurations? After each one come the inevitable complaints about the lighting, followed by an abundance of task lights plugged in all over the place. The task lighting does solve the immediate...
Work without pay: Good for contractors?
Work without pay: Good for contractors?
Are loss leaders (products or services sold at a loss to gain customers) sound business strategy — or an unnecessary drain on profitability that encourages bad behavior from design and construction clients? Does it make sense for contractors to p...
Linemen suit up for safety program
Linemen suit up for safety program
Not long ago, a limited number of vendors designed and created flame-resistant (FR) garments for electric utility linemen. As such, much of the clothing was stiff, heavy, scratchy, hot and uncomfortable, and linemen had a slim selection to choose from ...
Survey: Productivity takes precedent over employee health and safety,
Survey: Productivity takes precedent over employee health and safety,
Employees in high-risk industries are choosing productivity over their own health and safety, according to survey results from the National Safety Council. Of the 2,000 employees surveyed across the nation, 60 percent of those in the construction indus...