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Be careful not to leave anything behind after testing

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    Be careful not to leave anything behind after testing

    Last week I was doing a IR inspection for an acceptance project and when I showed up on the jobsite the foreman handed me a pair of jumpers and said that they were left behind by another technician from my company who had tested the equipment prior to my arrival.

    The not so funny part is he found the jumpers left inside the equipment after the tech had left the job!

    Fortunately someone noticed them before the equipment was energized and avoided what could have been a very hazardous situation. Moral of the story: always triple check your apparatus after testing to be sure you haven't left anything behind.

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    Also not a bad idea to have a check list of equipment being used while testing so you can go back to it at clean up time

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  5. SecondGen's Avatar
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    It is extremely important to account for all of your tools before and after every job. The last thing you want to do is leave a wrench inside a switchgear or transformer. There is a NETA world article titled "Electrical Safety You Learned in Kindergarten" by Paul Hartman that covers this subject in some detail. Here are some tool counting techniques that I found relevant to this topic from the article, which is also attached as a PDF below:

    When do you account for tools?

    1) On a one day (or night) job, count the tools before the job starts and then verify the count prior to re-energizing any equipment. For instance, if it is a total building shutdown then count before the utility shuts down the building and verify the count prior to the utility re-energizing the building. If the job has one shutdown and several energization intervals throughout, where equipment is energized in stages, then the recount is performed several times, once before each stage is re-energized.

    2) On multiday projects (like long acceptance testing jobs), count the tools at the beginning of every shift and recount at the end of the shift. In the instance where a crew is working on multiple pieces of equipment in a day, it is best to do a recount every time the crew moves from one piece of equipment to another. This prevents having to search through several different switchboards in the event of a missing tool at the end of the day.

    3) For trouble calls (typically real short duration projects), usually a technician is working by himself using his own personal tools. When working alone, it takes self discipline to perform a tool count every time. However, it is just as important on the small jobs as it is on the larger projects.

    How do you count tools?

    1) Template toolbox (my favorite): This involves a toolbox such as a multidrawer rollaway where every tool has a specific slot where it belongs. Every socket, wrench, and screwdriver has a cutout that the tool fits into. Each cutout is labeled, identifying which tool belongs where. A nice touch for this type of toolbox is to have the bottom of each cutout painted red so that when the tool is not in the box there is an obvious red space. This is by far the most efficient way of accounting for large quantities of tools.

    2) Toolbox inventory check sheet: This is used for something like a large gang box or hand-held portable box. Every item in the box is listed on an inventory sheet that is attached to the box. At the beginning of a job, the actual inventory is compared to the inventory list and any discrepancies noted.

    3) Photo inventory: Taking a picture of the tools in a drawer or toolbox works well as long as the printed photo is large enough to clearly see all of the tools. Multiple photos may need to be taken to ensure that each tool is included.

    4) Written tool list: This type of tool accountability is for the other items such as lights, vacuums, grounds, cords, and anything else that may be used on a particular job. Usually written on a lined piece of paper, it needs to have a clear detail and quantity of each device. In the event that there are multiple units of the same device on a job, it is best to list each one separately. For instance if there are three ground sets then list “ground set #1”, “ground set #2” and “ground set #3”. This prevents a checkmark being placed next to ground sets when only one or two of the sets have been returned.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    A method I picked up from my time in the Navy is any time you put a jumper or temporary connection inside a panel or switchboard place a tag or sign on the OUTSIDE of the enclosure stating a jumper was installed. This way anytime you look at the enclosure you'll (hopefully) read the tag. Only remove the tag or sign after the jumper is removed. It isn't fool proof, but it has saved me a few times.

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    It is very stressful driving home from a job thinking to yourself "did I remove those jumpers?" and then having to pull over and check the back of your truck for peace of mind. Keep a small note pad in your breast pocket to write stuff down or hang a sign like nagrii suggests.

    Quote Originally Posted by nagrii View Post
    A method I picked up from my time in the Navy is any time you put a jumper or temporary connection inside a panel or switchboard place a tag or sign on the OUTSIDE of the enclosure stating a jumper was installed. This way anytime you look at the enclosure you'll (hopefully) read the tag. Only remove the tag or sign after the jumper is removed. It isn't fool proof, but it has saved me a few times.

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    That face when you get home and realize you left your jumpers on the job...

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    Quote Originally Posted by madMAX View Post
    It is very stressful driving home from a job thinking to yourself "did I remove those jumpers?" and then having to pull over and check the back of your truck for peace of mind. Keep a small note pad in your breast pocket to write stuff down or hang a sign like nagrii suggests.

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  13. Jay Knight is offline
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    Don't forget to put the DE-energized tap changer back where you found it after testing transformers. I had this happen once while acceptance testing a 500 KVA pad-mount the day before they were going to energize. It was a long day of testing and I started rushing to pack everything up and forgot to check the tap. Later that evening while looking at my reports I had no notes for Transformer Tap AL so then I got nervous. The next morning I had to call the customer and ask him to check the tap before they energized the transformer, it was embarrassing but the electrical contractor was cool about it.

    Moral of the story: Hang a sign if you change the DE-energized tap changer when testing transformers.

    Quote Originally Posted by nagrii View Post
    A method I picked up from my time in the Navy is any time you put a jumper or temporary connection inside a panel or switchboard place a tag or sign on the OUTSIDE of the enclosure stating a jumper was installed. This way anytime you look at the enclosure you'll (hopefully) read the tag. Only remove the tag or sign after the jumper is removed. It isn't fool proof, but it has saved me a few times.

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