By James Seffrin, Director, Infraspection Institute
When working in a new facility or plant area for the first time, infrared technicians may encounter safety rules that are new or different. Thus, it’s important for thermographers to review safety requirements with project managers prior to beginning any new work.
When contacting a project representative concerning safety, ask these questions:
- What general safety training and/or site-specific training is required?
- Is special clothing, shoes, or other personal-protective equipment required?
- Can infrared and related test equipment be used in the subject areas?
- Are respirators or additional safety equipment/monitors required?
- Will the work involve hazardous locations such as confined spaces, scaffolding, or other types of elevated platforms?
- What medical conditions might preclude a person from working in the subject area(s)?
- Are there site-specific emergency procedures, including evacuation, designated rally spots, and how to report an incident?
Once the project commences, be sure to maintain good situational awareness and always stay with your qualified assistant. Becoming familiar with area safety rules in advance of a project can help to avoid cancelled projects and embarrassment, while helping maximize safety.” MT
Electrical-Inspection Safety: It Takes Two
If you are a thermographer who performs infrared inspections of electrical-distribution systems, you are not alone—and you never should be. Working alone near exposed, energized electrical equipment is not only dangerous, it’s a violation of federal law.
Administered by OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry, 29 CFR, Part 1910 apply to most thermographers working within the United States or its territories. Specifically, 1910 Subpart R covers the operation and maintenance of electric-power generation, control, transformation, transmission, and distribution lines or equipment. Covered facilities include utilities and equivalent industrial establishments.
According to Subpart R, prior to commencement of work, medical and first-aid supplies must be provided for, including persons trained in first aid and CPR when work is on or near exposed lines or equipment energized at greater than 50 volts. Since CPR cannot be self-administered, at least two people trained in first aid and CPR must always be present when working near most exposed energized equipment.
Remember: Having a second CPR-trained person along will not only satisfy OSHA requirements, it may save your life.
Jim Seffrin, a practicing thermographer with 30+ years of experience in the field, was appointed to the position of director of Infraspection Institute, Burlington, NJ, in 2000. This article is based on two of his “Tip of the Week” posts on IRINFO.org. For more information on safety and other infrared applications, as well as various upcoming training and certification opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit infraspection.com.