Personal Protective Grounding /Bonding (PPGB) is one of the most important yet often misunderstood topics in High Voltage (>600 volts) electrical work (author’s opinion). PPGB refers to techniques used to provide shock protection for electrical workers by connecting de-energized equipment on which work is to be performed to the earth. PPGB is a paradox in that, if it is done correctly, it is by far the most effective means of protecting electrical workers from electrical shock. However, if PPGB is done incorrectly, it can precipitate arc-flash events of unimaginable magnitude. This technical paper will explain the purpose of PPGB and proper methods for installing PPGB on typical industrial equipment. Although every effort has been made to put this topic into layman’s terms, PPGB is a very technical topic and it will be best understood by readers who possess a good understanding of basic electrical concepts such as Ohm’s law and Series and Parallel circuitry.
Why PPGB Is Necessary
The techniques of PPGB were developed because High Voltage (HV) workers were being killed on lines and equipment that either were mistakenly thought to be de-energized or accidentally became energized through some external means1.The “external means” could include the following:
With the recent publishing of the new ANSI/ASSE Z359 family of standards, many forwardthinking companies are adopting elements of the standard to create a safer work environment. Specifically, the ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 standard titled "Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program" provides valuable guidance to companies regarding the key elements of a successful program. The program elements outlined in the ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 include: - Policies, duties and training - Fall protection procedures - Eliminating and controlling fall hazards - Rescue procedures - Incident investigations - Evaluating program effectiveness. These elements are foundational for creating a program that reduces risk and enhances employee safety. When one or more of these elements is missing, a program can become stalled or be deemed ineffective.
Historically, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for American workers. Nearly 25% of worker fatalities occur from vehicle collisions each year. Yet, driver safety rarely receives the same level of attention as other areas of employee safety. Since the ANSI Z15.1 standard on driver safety was published, awareness of driver safety has been elevated. That's great news, since the problem must be recognized before it can be corrected.
Safety policies, procedures, programs, processes and standards all play a vital role in the effort to send people home safe. They represent the organization’s comprehensive safety strategy, reflecting the collective wisdom and experience of those who authored them: experts, regulators, and safety staff and line leaders in the organization. So, when something goes wrong and someone is injured, the odds favor someone correctly noting, “If the procedures had been followed, this never would have happened.”
They might as well have said: “We failed to execute.”
In cases where following what was already prescribed and in place would have prevented an injury, logic dictates finding “inadequate execution” as the root cause. The appropriate corrective action should be “improve execution.” Experience predicts a different outcome: more or different policies, procedures, programs, processes and standards.
While it’s always easy to come up with “more” or “different” as the solution to problems, in situations such as these the goal of sending people home safe would be better served were leaders in safety and the line to ask: “Why don’t people execute the plans that we have put in place?” and “What should we do to improve our execution?”
Execution is doing – and doing it exactly the way it’s supposed to be done. Imagine a world in which every safety policy, procedure, program, process and standard was carried out exactly as planned, and the enormous power locked up in execution can be appreciated.
Policy, procedure, program, and process are a written expression of intention, and without fail, good intention. Execution, by contrast, determines what actually happens – and what doesn’t. As the step in the process of managing safety that converts words into action, execution is the difference that makes the difference,
Execution is so critical to success in any effort that it should be the first thing any leader – safety or line – thinks about improving. It’s often the last. Why is that? What is it about execution, particularly as it relates to safety, that makes it such an uninviting target for a leader’s attention?
Once the value of execution is fully recognized, the most important question becomes this: What can be done to improve the level of execution?
The Problem of Execution
The first thing to understand about execution is that it isn’t just a safety problem. Execution is a universal problem affecting all aspects of business performance. In business after business, poor execution costs customers, sales, profits – and injuries.
Despite its pervasive presence and impact, the problem of execution seldom gets the attention it deserves. Ram Charan, co-author of Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, described the problem this way: “Execution is the great, un-addressed issue in the business world today. Its absence is the biggest single obstacle to success and the cause of most of the disappointments that are mistakenly attributed to other causes.” (Bossidy & Charan, 2002) One measure of this lack of visibility is the relatively little in the way of writing and research on management execution.
While it is true that the nature of those industries includes exposure to more risk, it is also true that these types of industries put a much higher emphasis on hazard recognition and safety and health training than do other industries, and that many of them employ safety directors or trainers to help mitigate the problem. Why, then, are the accident/injury rates still so high? Federal and state laws require that workers in most high-risk industries receive some sort of basic safety and health training in addition to the skills training they need to do the work, yet miners and loggers, roughnecks and fishermen, iron workers and construction workers are still getting hurt and killed on the job. Companies involved in high-risk work often have well-designed safety programs, spending valuable resources on protecting their employees. Yet we still cannot seem to approach the elusive goal of zero occupational fatalities or injuries.
The author has more than ten years experience in the DNA industry working with child support enforcement agencies and the courts to resolve questions of paternity, and with family law attorneys in establishing familial relationships in immigration cases and estate settlement. She has also assisted in training law enforcement on the types of biological specimens that can be tested, and proper collection techniques of biological evidence collected at a crime scene. The objective is to improve the preservation of genetic material, thus optimizing the outcome of the DNA result in the laboratory. In 2006, the author along with her colleague, Lisa Wennersten, identified a need to make available to corporate America and multinational corporations a combination of science that has been used by the military, government agencies and law enforcement for decades. This biotechnology is known as bio identity preservation, which combines both DNA profiling with biometrics.
Academicians often find a need to conduct surveys as a means to gather data whether it is for a research study or a program assessment. With today's computer technology, mail surveys have become, for the most part, a thing of the past. Internet surveys have grown in popularity due to perceived lower costs and time savings. Development tools such as Student Voice and Survey Monkey make developing and administering online surveys relatively easy for faculty. While many see the positive aspects of conducting online surveys, there are also some potential drawbacks.
One of the most common challenges of safety and health professionals that deliver safety training is how to keep refresher training interesting year after year. A 2008 survey of over 600 safety trainers showed this to be one of the highest challenges for more than half of all respondents. In many cases, this training is only repeated because "OSHA says so" and the Trainer and the trainees end up showing equally poor interest. A summary of training that must be delivered annually according to OSHA can be found in Appendix B. The activities presented in this paper are intended to keep your refresher training fresh but in most cases they can also be used with classes that you are designing and delivering for the first time. All of these activities are based on the principles of accelerated learning.
Deaths of workers in confined spaces are a recurring occupational tragedy. According to NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), approximately 60% of deaths involve would-be rescuers. With the proper equipment and training, the vast majority of these fatalities can be prevented. The danger of toxic gas hazards is a very real and daily threat that people face in numerous occupations. In the state of Kentucky, one police officer and two sewer workers died in an attempt to rescue a third sewer worker who had been overcome by H2S gas at the bottom of an underground pumping station.