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Topic Title: Installation & Testing
Topic Summary: Occupied Offices
Created On: 10 April 2013 09:16 AM
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 10 April 2013 09:16 AM
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SKElectrical

Posts: 910
Joined: 01 February 2009

In an office environment, I need to connect up a simple radial into a large 3ph DB. I'm comfortable working live - but in this instance I am required to write a specific method statement for the work.
1. Am I allowed to work on a live board for the sake of connecting a new circuit. (EAWR say something like : never work live unless there is no alternative)?

2. When it comes to testing, how are you supposed to do this (properly) without isolating the board for at least purpose of Ze test.?
Assume Ze is not already known.
 10 April 2013 09:21 AM
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AJJewsbury

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I think you've answered your own question - "never work live unless there is no alternative" - it doesn't seem likely that an office environment will be unacceptable to power down (what do they do during power cuts? - presumably any really critical equipment already has UPSs).
- Andy.
 10 April 2013 09:29 AM
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SKElectrical

Posts: 910
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Hmmn. The board serves about 100 computers, countless servers, alarms, AC controls and is occupied 24/7/365.
1. What if I add the new socket radial onto an existing socket radial. Can I just fill in a minor works cert?
 10 April 2013 09:44 AM
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perspicacious

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"Hmmn. The board serves about 100 computers, countless servers, alarms, AC controls and is occupied 24/7/365."

Best wait for a power cut then

Or you could ask the client for sight of his management policy with the bit about essential maintenance procedures highlighted for you

Regards

BOD
 10 April 2013 09:48 AM
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sparkiemike

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I wonder if the poor man at M&S had a similar dilemma?
Man 'electrocuted' in Tunbridge Wells M&S store
 10 April 2013 10:24 AM
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Jaymack

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Originally posted by: SKElectrical
Hmmn. The board serves about 100 computers, countless servers, alarms, AC controls and is occupied 24/7/365.

Power is not guaranteed 24/7/365! What did you (or any others), allow for when giving a price? Was your price the cheapest? Is your insurance paid up?

They should have back up facilities, the extent of these could be investigated, as well as the condition of batteries etc., and tried out at a convenient time. As a stopgap and if there is insufficient of these, they could be hired; then you can follow up later with a quote for a permanent unit or units.

Being unable to shut down the electrics, is not an excuse for working live, particularly when your methods require to be stated upfront. IMO, working live is not an excuse in this case, since there is an alternative.

What if I add the new socket radial onto an existing socket radial. Can I just fill in a minor works cert?

Yes, but you would also require to ensure that the current capacity and protection, is correct for the addition ........ in the long term.

Regards
 10 April 2013 12:08 PM
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SKElectrical

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Sadly the price is almost £700 for just 2 double sockets, tie wrapped t+e above ceiling grid and not more than 30m from board.
£10million insurance. jesus its no wonder our country is spiralling further into debt.

You really wouldn't believe just how many people have got involve din this simple installation, you really wouldn't.... or maybe you would if I told you it was for the Home Office.
It's not funny
 10 April 2013 12:11 PM
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dlane

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To me this appears to be working the wrong way around.

It is down to the company that are putting you to work to substantiate the need for live working. They are the ones that should be utilising regulation 14 of EAWR to verify why the work cannot be done dead. They may well ask for your input into the next two items of the regulation i.e. why it is reasonable to work live and what precautions you are taking.

If you have agreed to carry out the work live then yes you would issue a live working method statement and risk assessment. Most of that follows what precautions you will be taking during the live working.

As well as the health and safety risk, you may want to advise the company of the business risk associated with live working on a system supporting all those computers. If your work instigates a fault that causes a loss of supplies, you will then have an uncontrolled shutdown of all those systems. What would be the impact of that? You may also want to consider what the impact would be on your insurance as well.

When we have work like this we will carry out as much work upfront without accessing any live working conditions. The final glanding off and connection to the circuit can then be done with the minimal of downtime and may only actually require an hour to do. This final aspect can also sometimes be delayed to a more convenient time when other works are also done. e.g. when a board inspection is carried out.

Kind regards

Donald Lane
 10 April 2013 05:04 PM
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Parsley

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Originally posted by: SKElectrical

Sadly the price is almost £700 for just 2 double sockets, tie wrapped t+e above ceiling grid and not more than 30m from board.

£10million insurance. jesus its no wonder our country is spiralling further into debt.



You really wouldn't believe just how many people have got involve din this simple installation, you really wouldn't.... or maybe you would if I told you it was for the Home Office.

It's not funny


Twin and earth & offices possible high fault currents and touch voltages hope you checked that I2t < K2S2.

Regards
 10 April 2013 07:14 PM
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robuck

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This might help.

Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 states: No person shall be engaged in any work or test activity on or so near any live conductor (other than one suitably covered with insulating material so as to prevent danger) that danger may arise unless:
(a) it is unreasonable in all the circumstances for it to be dead; and
(b) it is reasonable in all the circumstances for him to be at work on or near it while it is live; and
(c) suitable precautions (including where necessary the provision of suitable protective Equipment) are taken to prevent injury.

Rod
 10 April 2013 09:04 PM
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aligarjon

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I know i'll get slated for this but some of us work in the real world where it is unreasonable to shut down a whole installation so that we can remove a distribution board cover. What is the point in buying safety works equipment such as fiber steps/insulating screwdrivers/ mats and the like if every time we go near something live we have to flip the main switch. You should be the judge of whether you are competent and experienced enough to carry out this sort of work and be able to judge each job on its merrit after a risk assessment.

There is obviously the other risk of accidently knocking off circuit breakers with the lid with some of these poorly constructed boards these days.


Gary

-------------------------
Specialised Subject. The Bleedin Obvious. John Cleese
 10 April 2013 09:13 PM
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daveparry1

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I won't give you a slating for it Gary, I couldn't agree more with what you're saying,

Dave.
 10 April 2013 09:22 PM
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perspicacious

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Some regulars will be familiar with my two quotes:

Confess and blame

Risk and reward.

It would appear that the potential installer will confess to live working in their submission documentation and should the job have consequences, the blame can thus be readily allocated.

Secondly, the risk the installer takes is as above and the reward (if I've read it correctly) appears to be £700 for a short day's work to include £50 materials.

Perhaps the client is happy to find someone to do the job on their terms (see above) and price isn't such a concern?

Regards

BED
 10 April 2013 09:52 PM
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Jaymack

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Of course the other point to continually bear in mind, is that of the dreaded HSWA inspector charging around £100 an hour, to investigate any incident! Where can I apply for this milch cow?

You can ignore your responsibilities, but you can't ignore the consequences of ignoring your responsibilities.

Regards
 10 April 2013 10:01 PM
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SKElectrical

Posts: 910
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Originally posted by: perspicacious

Secondly, the risk the installer takes is as above and the reward (if I've read it correctly) appears to be £700 for a short day's work to include £50 materials.


Alas, it's not £700 in my pocket.
Subbying on day rate and besides, it's hard to fathom how many people have got involved in this job now.
 10 April 2013 10:50 PM
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robuck

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Joined: 21 May 2002

Has the client excluded in writing isolation to allow you to carry out this work.

Perhaps others have told him it needs an isolation.

Have you offered to do the job out of hrs (for more money) when an isolation may be more acceptable.

Rod
 10 April 2013 11:00 PM
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Martynduerden

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Twin & earth in offices and you don't already know the Ze ?

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 10 April 2013 11:10 PM
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SKElectrical

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Joined: 01 February 2009

Originally posted by: Martynduerden

Twin & earth in offices and you don't already know the Ze ?


Why what's the problem?




By the way I will be isolating. And offices are new. Current circuits 50% wired in t+e
 10 April 2013 11:25 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: SKElectrical

Originally posted by: Martynduerden

Twin & earth in offices and you don't already know the Ze ?


Why what's the problem?

By the way I will be isolating. And offices are new. Current circuits 50% wired in t+e


Possible Undersized cpc.

Don't assume the previous installer knew what they were doing.

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 10 April 2013 11:50 PM
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SKElectrical

Posts: 910
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I'm going to bed now. But how low should the Ze be to worried?
Or are we more concerned about a very high PFC (being 3ph)?
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