Would capping off live wires be considered securing a circuit.

James Lee

Member
Location
Dallas Texas
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
You can troubleshoot live with metering (properly dressed) or by observing the equipment operation powered under load, but if you were doing any component repairs, changing ballast, photocells, sockets, that would be deenergized only work and you would have been making multiple trips back and forth to the power disconnecting device repeatedly all day.

You would have had to become very familiar with the circuit isolating device location and have been using it (properly).

It's possible that the prior accidential injury to the coworker may have been something the people higher up wanted tagged locked off, for their accident inspection report, before returning the system to normal. The parking lot light is not one of the critical equipment at the site (I would guess).

The miscommunication between you and the supervisor, should you lock off or should you continue with repairs and live power testing, could be but was not part of the OP.

Receiving an instruction to "turn off power", but leaving the power on and putting wirenuts on it, that's a problem (imo). Working the wirenuts live by the prior electrician may have been the root cause of his injury. Standard safety training advises to attendant to not rush in and fall victim to the same hazard as the coworker he attends to.
Wires were left uncapped and exposed by coworker.

Thank you.
 

James Lee

Member
Location
Dallas Texas
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
The same employee was shocked weeks ago, I was on the job site with him when this happened, I told the employee he might need to change his batteries, check his meter or possibly replace his meter, after this I reported it to the supervisor which is the same supervisor writing me up on a SOCA
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
It seems appropriate to get a written warning for not doing what your supervisor told you to do, especially given the circumstances.

Whether it's is worth termination is a matter of company policy.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
I think that before someone can say that he violated any policy you need to define what securing a circuit means.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Wearing voltage rated gloves without the leather protectors, and using a non contact tester will get you written up if you worked for us.
Funny where I work the company has no written safety policy (at least not one that anyone knows about) and live work is actually encouraged when feasible.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Funny where I work the company has no written safety policy (at least not one that anyone knows about) and live work is actually encouraged when feasible.
We have a pretty strict no live work policy, putting in breakers to a live buss, not even plug in, changing switches, lights and receptacles hot, will get you in front of the CEO that YOU have to convince, in not getting fired.
 

McLintock

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician
Were I cut my teeth was in office buildings built in the 60’s. Place was remodeled so many times nothing was labeled in the panels, so we worked with a lot of stuff live, all 120v. We tried not to at all but you did not want to turn off power to some other office. The old electrician there taught me to “ALWAYS work as it is live, even when you know it’s not” which as saved tools over the years. But with that said it was not the smartest thing to do. The OP may have thought he did the right thing but should have took the time to locate the breaker. And also how was it caped off? I been in a lot of J-boxes where the caped off wire the wire nut fell off.


“ shoot low boys their riding shetland ponies”
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
We have a pretty strict no live work policy, putting in breakers to a live buss, not even plug in, changing switches, lights and receptacles hot, will get you in front of the CEO that YOU have to convince, in not getting fired.
That was the same as what we had. Hot work permits had to be signed by the buildings/facilities rep, our office manager, project manager, and the job superintendent.

Roger
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
I think that before someone can say that he violated any policy you need to define what securing a circuit means.
I seem to recall the OP defined it as capping the live wires and putting the cover plate back on. The OP stated the supervisor told him to turn off the power. By no means can he claim that what he posted that he did satisfied the directive he was given.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
I seem to recall the OP defined it as capping the live wires and putting the cover plate back on. The OP stated the supervisor told him to turn off the power. By no means can he claim that what he posted that he did satisfied the directive he was given.
Yes he did say that but it also seems that maybe no one knew where the power could be disconnected. James is saying that his write up is for not securing power, "he wrote me up on a SOCA which is a major write up saying I didn't secure power", James thinks that he did "secure power" so what does that mean? The SOCA write up did not say he refused a direct order to shut the power off, if that was the issue then that's what the write up should have said.
 

mayanees

Senior Member
Location
Westminster, MD
James, in light of the circumstances surrounding this incident, I do believe that you "secured the circuit" and "safed" it out by eliminating the exposed conductors. And if you need backing for your approach I can support that what you did was appropriate, and I'm a PE, a Master electrician, and an NFPA-Certified Electrical Safety Compliance Professional. Not everything in this profession fits into standard methods or procedures so we are forced to improvise, and given the extenuating circumstances I think what you did was appropriate. Good luck with the situation.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
James, in light of the circumstances surrounding this incident, I do believe that you "secured the circuit" and "safed" it out by eliminating the exposed conductors. And if you need backing for your approach I can support that what you did was appropriate, and I'm a PE, a Master electrician, and an NFPA-Certified Electrical Safety Compliance Professional. Not everything in this profession fits into standard methods or procedures so we are forced to improvise, and given the extenuating circumstances I think what you did was appropriate. Good luck with the situation.
I agree with you 100%. IMO the conductors were safed and the only thing that maybe should have been done was to let the supervisor know this is what was done, if further means were needed everybody would have been on the same page.

Roger
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
When we implemented the strict no live work policy, I went to the CEO and requested that all of our guys should have circuit tracers to remain in compliance. He agreed, and we supply circuit tracers to all of our service guys, and new construction foremen. We have two levels of tracers, one that traces live only, and one that traces live and dead circuits. Once they have proven themselves, they graduate to the better tracer. New hires are bad to lose their tracers right before they quit or get fired, so they get the cheap one until they appear to be a good hire.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
If he was written up for "not securing the circuit" he may well have a case that he did secure the circuit.

If he was written up for "not turning off the power" he is out of luck, IMO.

I am not sure just what the write-up says.
 
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