DoD Electrical Safety Special Interest Initiative

In May of 2009, the Department of Defense (DoD) began an electrical safety project to identify, capture and socialize electrical safety data and best practices as a safety special interest item across the Joint Services spectrum. HS-32 is following this effort closely in order to share information with the DOE electrical safety community.


Justification/Mishap Data:

DoD Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) chargeback for 2004-2008 was over $11M due to electrical injuries and 2 fatalities, with a total of 437 reportable mishaps. There have been 18 Iraq electrocutions to U.S. personnel due to improper wiring by third country labor forces, contact with power lines, maintenance-related with power washers and generators in bathing showers, a swimming pool and with repair to an AC unit. With extensive Congressional hearings and DoD IG investigations, there has been high visibility on electrical injuries. In addition, there have been several arc flash/high voltage electrocutions to public works forces, contractors, and afloat sailors. A need exists to identify root causes with recommendations for improved policies, procedures, engineering controls, personal protective equipment, training and other process improvement interventions that will make working with electricity less hazardous. OSHA and NIOSH electrical safety information need to be reviewed. This project had broad application on installations, industrial workplaces, ships and deployable units. Risks are significant and distinguishable from other mishap categories, in that any/all reported (and non-reported) cases had the potential to be fatal. OSHA required lock-out/tag-out/try-out standards are not consistent throughout DoD.


Metrics and Outcome:

Identify key data, best practice solutions to electrical hazards/process issues utilizing Service safety Centers, safety and occupational health professionals, community leaders, electrical SME’s and a team contractor. Decrease the number of fatalities/injuries and resulting lost workdays and property damage costs, if data is available. Root causes need to be identified with recommendations to improve policies, procedures, engineering controls, personal protective equipment, training and other process improvement interventions that will make working with electricity less hazardous. OSHA, NFPA, ANSI, and NIOSH electrical safety standards and technical criteria must be reviewed with the latest information added to UFC 3-560-01 for facility/base operations. Additional guidance/solutions may be needed for root causes identified from data analysis, as well as lessons learned from contractor oversight.

Period of Performance:
12 months

Business Case:
Electrical hazards are considered a high hazard safety category with the potential to disable or kill personnel as well as to cause extreme property damage.

Summary of Technical Approach:

· Review all mishap scenarios to determine the types of electrical hazards and causal factors exist within DoD.
· Solicit electrical safety programs and best practices from as many DoD activities as possible.
· Review the OSHA standards/website tools, citations in NFPA and ANSI, and the NIOSH website/research work.
· Conduct a gap analysis of the typical mishaps, the standards and the existing programs.
· Draft a document and coordinate with the Defense Safety Oversight Council (DSOC) Installations and Industrial Operations (IIO) Task Force (TF).

Transition Plan:
· Finalize the document and post on websites for local download after completion of the project.
· Submit policy or procedure changes through the IIOTF to DSOC Executive Secretary for further action.

Forecasted ROI: Implementation of identified solutions/best practices suggests a potential to reduce fatalities and injuries by 75 percent for both military and civilian personnel.

Six Initiative Goals:

1. Develop a report template for a DoD electrical accident that is based on FACE and migrate existing mishap data into a developed template and post on a website.
2. Conduct one investigation of a DoD electrical fatality with NIOSH support.
3. Perform a Mishap Data Analysis & possible business case study.
4. Document Arc Flash Analysis and marking requirements following current regulatory bodies.
5. Create new/updated DoD instructions, policies, or procedures.
6. Create training in three levels and degrees of magnitude. Change the safety culture and educate hierarchy.

Electrical Safety Products





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