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Training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Could Have Saved a Life

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According to OSHA, in November 2014, the father of a young daughter was testing transformers when he was electrocuted. He was rushed to the hospital, but did not survive. As reported by Sandy Smith in EHS Today magazine, OSHA investigators found that this death might have been prevented if his employer had supplied adequate personal protective equipment, followed safety procedures and provided training.

“In seconds, a family was altered forever, and a young girl is now fatherless,” said Bill McDonald, one of OSHA’s area directors. “Companies that operate with high-voltage electricity must train workers to recognize hazards and use proper procedures to prevent electrical shock. No one should die on-the-job.”

The employer was cited for one willful and 14 serious safety violations. In 2013, there were 71 worker fatalities due to electrocution, and 29 CFR 1910.305, OSHA’s electrical standard, is one of the top ten most frequently violated OSHA standards. In one of the citations against this employer, OSHA noted, “The employer did not assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).”

OSHA also said that this particular employer “did not establish a program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training and periodic inspections to ensure that before any employee performs any servicing or maintenance on a machine or equipment where the unexpected energizing, startup or release of stored energy could occur and cause injury, the machine or equipment was not isolated from the energy source and rendered inoperative.” The company faces penalties of $106,400.

Facility managers and employees need to work around potentially dangerous electrical equipment every day. They need to know what they can and can’t do — and when to call in the experts. Potomac Testing is that expert, whether on-site, or in Potomac Testing’s classroom space, the Potomac team provides structured training for employees. A must for new employees, Potomac also offers courses as a refresher for veteran team members or to introduce the latest technology and techniques. Ask us about scheduling a class to meet your requirements.
This story was originally reported in EHS Today Magazine.

Posted in Real Electrical Disasters |


Potomac Testing, Inc. Hosts PEARL Standards Review Meeting

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Between September 26-28, 2012, Potomac Testing, Inc. hosted  the  PEARL  (Professional Electrical Apparatus Recyclers League) Standards Review Committee Meeting at their headquarters in Crofton, Maryland. Robert Wrobel, Project  Manager, at Potomac Testing is currently the President of the Standards Review Committee. This meeting, as well as several planned in the very near future, are being conducted in preparation for ANSI Certification as it relates to distribution equipment refurbishment procedures. This certification will allow the industry to standardize use of the term “refurbishment”.

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Potomac Testing,Inc. Welcomes Erik Pollock

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Potomac Testing, Inc. a NETA Accredited Company, welcomes Erik Pollock from the Center for Applied Technology(CAT) South as the newest addition to our testing and engineering family.  Currently enrolled as a senior at South River High School/CAT South, Erik will be working in our Circuit Breaker Refurbishment/Upgrade Shop under the direction of George Riddle.  In this position he will be exposed to the techniques required in the trouble shooting and repair of low and medium voltage Air Circuit Breakers to include the teardown and reassembly, as well as the retrofitting and testing in our PEARL (Professional Electrical Apparatus Recyclers League) Certified shop.

In partnership with Tammy Diedrich, the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at CAT South, we hope to continue providing workplace opportunities for students in Anne Arundel County that want to experience classroom electrical and mechanical theories being applied in real world situations.

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Safety Meetings

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Safety Meeting

Potomac Testing’s new offices come complete with classroom space. The Potomac team meets monthly for Safety Refresher courses and to learn the latest technology and techniques. But we also invite our clients in for Safety Training Classes. If you’re interested, ask us about the next date. Facility managers need to work around potentially dangerous electrical equipment every day. You need to know what you can and can’t do — and when to call in the experts. A Safety Class is a Must for new employees — and a Refresher is a great idea for veterans on your team as well. Click here to schedule a safety meeting for your team.

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Potomac Participates in PowerTest Panel

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Testing and Analysis of Power Cables

The backbone of electrical power systems is the medium-voltage power cable. Tom Lillis from Potomac joined a panel of industry experts to discuss issues related to the testing and analysis of electrical power cables. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions, share experiences, and interact with the panel about real-world situations.

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