NC State’s goal is to minimize exposure to shock and arc flash hazards during the installation, repair, maintenance, and operation of electrical equipment, components, and systems.

Electrical power sources shall be deenergized, verified, and locked out prior to working on electrical equipment except when deenergization creates a greater hazard and a properly executed and approved Energized Electrical Work Permit (EWP) has been completed.

NC State Energized Work Policy

Electrical Shutdown FAQs – For Faculty & Staff

 

I need an outlet installed. Why does my whole office have to be shut down for that?

A: The circuit energizing the new outlet must be disconnected so the installer can avoid electrical contact. If a breaker panel cover has to be removed, the entire panel must be deenergized. Electrical contact can cause fatal injuries.

 

The worker installing the electrical equipment is willing to work hot. She’s a licensed electrician. Why can’t she do the work without shutting down my lab?
A: It is NC State policy to deenergize electrical power sources prior to working on electrical equipment. Deenergization is also required by state and federal law and by fire and electrical codes. This applies to contractors and NC State employees. Electrical contact can cause fatal injuries.

 

What if deenergizing means interrupting important operations, experiments, or research?
A: No process is important enough to risk someone’s life. It is NC State’s expectation that with careful planning and coordination, important operations can be safely stopped or interrupted for hazardous electrical work.

 

Can electrical work be done energized if it will only take a short time?
A: No. Electrical energy can be released in an instant. Any exposure above 50 volts is too great a hazard. Regardless of how long it takes to do an orderly shutdown, the work must be done deenergized.

 

What if deenergizing will cost the University too much money?
A:  No cost is great enough to risk someone’s life. It is NC State’s expectation that careful planning and coordination can be done to allow important operations to be safely stopped or interrupted for electrical work, regardless of cost.

 

What if deenergizing will stop an experiment that has been going on for years?
A: Alternative and backup energy sources can be installed to maintain the continuation of long-running experiments. This should be part of the planning for long term experiments.
Electrical Shutdown FAQs – For contractors

 

Can any work be done on energized electrical equipment?

A: Yes, but only under one of these circumstances.

1) Low voltage work: Low voltage is defined as 50 volts or lower, AC or DC. Any repair work on higher voltages must be done deenergized.

2) Testing and troubleshooting: Energized Diagnostic work, which includes only testing, troubleshooting, voltage or current measurement, and visual inspection may be done energized. It should be done remotely, if possible.

3) Power distribution work: Work done by qualified personnel working on power distribution can be done using switching orders. This work is very specialized.

4) When deenergizing creates a hazard greater than working energized. An Energized Electrical Work Permit must be completed.

 

What if deenergizing means interrupting important operations, experiments, or research?
A: No process is important enough to risk someone’s life. It is NC State’s expectation that with careful planning and coordination, important operations can be safely stopped or interrupted for hazardous electrical work./su_spoiler]

Can electrical work be done energized if it will only take a short time?
A: No. Electrical energy can be released in an instant. Any exposure is too great a hazard. Regardless of how long it takes to do an orderly shutdown, the work must be done deenergized.

 

What if deenergizing will cost the University too much money?
A:  No cost is great enough to risk someone’s life. It is NC State’s expectation that with careful planning and coordination, important operations can be safely stopped or interrupted for hazardous electrical work.

 

What if deenergizing will stop an experiment that has been going on for years?
A: Alternative and backup energy sources can be installed to maintain the continuation of long-running experiments. This should be part of the planning for long term experiments.

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