EConnection
Volume 8, Issue Number 2 April 1, 2003

National Electrical Installation Standards® Now Available on CD-ROM

National Electrical Installation Standards are now available on CD-ROM. This new format offers improved convenience and functionality for consulting engineers, electrical contractors, plant/facility managers, electrical inspectors and others—all the building professionals who depend on NEIS® as authoritative technical references that define the best ways to install and maintain electrical products and systems.

NEIS are the first quality standards for electrical construction. In addition to offering new features, the NEIS CD Subscription Service is a value-priced alternative to NEIS in paper book form. Here’s how it works.

Four times a year, paid subscribers will receive an updated CD, containing:

• Published NEIS — Full text and graphics of all current installation standards (20 as of April 2003). Standards are classified into six categories for easy reference.
• Standards Update — Draft installation standards in progress, for review and comment or technical reference (12 as of April 2003). Draft NEIS are available only to CD-ROM subscribers.
• Committee Lists — Subscribers can join the Technical Subcommittees responsible for developing new NEIS standards — online.
Each new NEIS CD (mailed in Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) will contain one or more new NEIS since the previous release, an updated standards in progress section, and the most current NECA newsletters. Improved functionality The new NEIS CD Subscription Service gives users new ways to use NECA’s electrical construction standards.
1. Fast and Easy to Use. Simply slip the NEIS CD into a computer (or load it on the hard drive) to have National Electrical Installation Standards at your fingertips—anytime, anywhere. Finding the technical information you need is fast. Cutting and pasting text to insert in project specifications is easy.
2. Online Convenience. And with an Internet connection, you get additional functionality, such as: NECA’s Code Question of the Day, fast-breaking industry news about NEIS, and the ability to order NECA technical and safety publications on line.
Maximum convenience at a minimum price And this may be the best news of all: Users get all the expanded benefits of electronic NEIS at a lower price than ever before. The NEIS CD Subscription Service costs much less than buying all 20 current National Electrical Installation Standards in book form. “We’re very excited about the new subscription service. It’s the right product at the right time,” says Pearl Parker, NECA manager of standards and safety publications. “Consulting engineers have been asking us about NEIS on CD-ROM for some time. Likewise, electrical contractors who use our standards on job sites have also wanted electronic versions. These days, every big construction project has Internet access. “Let’s face it, the construction industry is getting more electronic and computerized every day,” observes Parker. “The new NEIS CD Subscription Service is a great way to be responsive to user needs.”

Ordering information. The NEIS CD Subscription Service is priced at $400 ($200 for NECA members). Contact the NECA Order Desk at (301) 215-4504 tel, (301) 215-4500 fax, or orderdesk@necanet.org. and request Index No.1000-CD. Provide your name, company, mailing address and NECA member number (where applicable). All orders must be prepaid by check or credit card.

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NFPA Publishes Residential Wiring Code

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued its first compilation of residential wiring rules in a decade.

NFPA 70A-2002, National Electrical Code Requirements for One- and Two-Family Dwellings, is organized like the National Electrical Code. But it focuses exclusively on NEC requirements that apply to electrical systems of one- and two-family dwellings (including site-wiring rules for supplying mobile and manufactured homes).

NFPA 70A-2002 is excerpted directly from the NEC. It covers general power distribution, specialized systems and equipment such as air-conditioning, electric heat and swimming pools, and also the increasingly complex communications networks installed in today’s residences.

The new code is especially useful to electrical contractors, electricians, and inspectors who specialize in homebuilding. “NFPA 70A was last published in 1993, then discontinued for several years,” said Mark Earley, NFPA assistant vice president and chief electrical engineer. “It’s now been expanded and reissued in response to numerous requests for a one-stop residential wiring code, with the look and feel of the NEC.” “It was the right time to bring back NFPA 70A,” observes Brooke Stauffer, executive director for standards and safety at NECA. “I’ve been hearing requests for a residential code book like this for years.”

Ordering information. NFPA 70A, NEC Requirements for One- and Two-Family Dwellings is priced at $44.50. It can be ordered at (800) 344-3555 or www.nfpacatalog.org, NFPA Item No. B3-70A02.

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NEIS Temporary Power Standard Published

The newest addition to the National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS)® series of publications is NECA 200-2002, Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Temporary Electrical Power at Construction Sites (ANSI).

It covers the planning, installation, expansion, maintenance, cutover, and removal of temporary power systems operating at 600 volts or less. NEIS are performance and workmanship standards for electrical construction, and approved by the American National Standards Institute. ANSI-approved technical documents are generally regarded as being the “official” U.S. standard on any given subject.

Ordering information. The new standard is priced at $30, with NECA-member and quantity discounts available. Contact the NECA Order Desk at (301) 215-4504 tel, (301) 215-4500 fax, or orderdesk@ necanet.org. Provide your name, company, mailing address and NECA member number (where applicable). All orders must be prepaid by check or credit card. NECA 200 is also available in downloadable .PDF format from www.neca-neis.org/catalog.

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Electrical Industry Demands Withdrawal of ICC Electrical Code

The electrical industry has officially proposed withdrawal of the ICC Electrical Code.

A package of 11 Public Proposals to accomplish this was submitted for the upcoming International Code Council hearings in Nashville, TN. They propose deletion of the ICC Electrical Code, and adding references to NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, in other ICC documents. The Public Proposals were submitted by NECA on behalf of a coalition of industry organizations that supports the National Electrical Code as the national standard for safe electrical installations:

• Edison Electric Institute (EEI)
• International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI)
• International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
• Independent Electrical Contractors Association (IEC)
• National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
• National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)

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OSHA Inspections Rose in 2002

Recently-released figures show that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) exceeded its inspection targets for fiscal year 2002.

Both citations and penalties assessed against employers also increased. As of September 30 last year, OSHA had inspected 37,493 workplaces, 1093 more on-site visits than had been forecasted for that period. The average penalty for serious violations rose from $930 a year earlier to $977 in 2002, indicating that violations found by OSHA inspectors were serious, with higher penalties attached. Serious violations of workplace safety and health laws accounted for 70 percent of all citations issued.

The most frequently cited OSHA standards dealt with scaffolding, hazard communications, fall protection, and respiratory protection — all commonly found on construction job sites. NECA Safety Publications. NECA publishes many educational and training materials that help electrical contractors comply with OSHA jobsite safety regulations. Visit www.necanet.org/store, scroll halfway down the page, and click on “Safety.”

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OSHA Shows No Mercy to Slow Learners

Here’s more proof why it’s so important to comply with OSHA’s fall-protection rules: the agency takes them seriously — and so do the courts.

A federal court recently found a construction company’s failure to provide fall protection so “utterly cavalier and inexcusable” that it refused to review the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission’s decision against the company, and also allowed the penalty previously assessed by an administrative law judge to be doubled. On a high-rise construction project in Jersey City, New Jersey, formwork subcontractor MJP Construction Company was cited for failure to provide fall protection for its own employees and for those of other contractors in violation of 29 CFR 1926.501(b). The company protested the citation but an administration law judge upheld it after affirming 29 instances of serious violations based on the inspection and citation history of another company previously owned and operated by MJP Construction’s principals.

History of violations doubles penalty On appeal, the OSHRC affirmed that decision but determined that the administrative law judge had erred in assessing a total penalty of $42,000 (rather than separate penalties of $42,000 each) for two failures to provide fall protection for employees stripping and bracing the building’s exterior columns. The Commission observed that MJP Construction’s owner and supervisor had refused to provide fall protection even after repeated warnings from an OSHA compliance officer. OSHRC also noted that the predecessor company, Politis Construction, had a history of safety violations.

Of the 29 times it had been inspected, 22 inspections had resulted in OSHA citations, including numerous fall protection violations. MJP Construction appealed the commission’s decision. However, the court of appeals denied the employer’s petition for review, ruling that the OSHRC decision had been reasonable in light of the evidence submitted.

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Cooper Lighting Warns About 500-watt Halogen Bulbs

Cooper Lighting Inc., in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is warning consumers that nearly 600,000 “Regent” 500-watt halogen bulbs may pose a fire hazard if used in torchiere floor lamps or other indoor residential fixtures. <br/ ><br/ >

These bulbs generate very high temperatures compared to incandescent and lower wattage halogen bulbs and can start a fire if they come in contact with curtains, clothes or other flammable material. They are intended for use in outdoor work lights and flood lamps. While Cooper hasn’t received any reports of fires or injuries, CPSC is aware of at least 290 fires and 25 deaths since 1992 involving halogen torchiere floor lamps.

To meet the current Underwriters Laboratories standard, halogen torchiere floor lamps must be equipped with a protective glass or wire guard and use a halogen bulb rated 300 watts or less.

Current packages for the Regent bulb, with model numbers WM500Q and BP500Q, do not contain a warning label that reads: “Warning: Fire Hazard! Do Not Use In Torchieres Or Other Indoor Residential Fixtures.” Cooper has asked retailers to add the label to bulb packaging currently on store shelves; new bulbs will feature the label. Wal-Mart, Lowes, and other retail outlets nationwide sold these bulbs between January 1999 and October 2002 for about $4.

Consumers currently using these bulbs in a torchiere or indoor residential fixture should remove them immediately. Consumers can continue to use the 500-watt bulbs in work lights, flood lamps, and similar outdoor fixtures. For more information, consumers can contact Cooper Lighting at (800) 954-7145 anytime or log on to the company’s website at www.cooperlighting.com

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Skil Drill Battery Chargers Recalled

Robert Bosch Tool Corporation has recalled about two million Skil Warrior battery chargers, in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). <br/ ><br/ >

The transformer inside the charger can overheat, potentially melting or deforming the charger housing and igniting flammable materials nearby. Bosch has received one report of a charger causing a fire that resulted in property damage, and 160 reports of chargers overheating. These chargers were sold with or as accessories for Skil Warrior drills.

The drills are black with red trim, and red lettering that reads: “SKIL.” The chargers have their voltage rating written in red lettering. The recall includes 9.6-, 12-, 14.4-, and 18-volt chargers. The chargers were included with tool model numbers 2375, 2380, 2475, 2480, 2482, 2580, 2582, and 2882. Chargers also were sold separately with model numbers 92950, 92970, 92980, and 92990. The model numbers are written on labels found on the back of the plug or on the side of the chargers. Home centers, hardware and discount department stores sold these chargers nationwide from July 1994 through February 2003, for between $21 and $30. Users should unplug the charger immediately. Replacement drills and chargers will be provided at no cost to purchasers.

For more information, contact Bosch at (800) 661-5398 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (central time), seven days a week.

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Architects Blast Proposed MasterFormat Changes

Hillier, one of the largest U.S. architectural and planning firms, has protested the latest round of proposed revisions to CSI’s MasterFormat model specification system.


Martin M. Bloomenthal, FAIA, CSI, CCS, is director of specifications at the company’s headquarters in Princeton, NJ.

In a February 27 e-mail to CSI’s executive committee and board of directors, he warned that the organization is “making a huge mistake” with its proposed Draft 3 for the next edition of CSI MasterFormat, scheduled for publication in 2004.

Go to www.ibs-16.org and click on News Flash to read the full text of Bloomenthal’s remarks.

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EMT Fittings NotLlisted as “Raintight”

New compression-type fittings for electrical metallic tubing (EMT) are not listed as “raintight,” and cannot be used for outdoor applications.

At the recent UL Annual Meeting, it was reported that no EMT compression fittings manufactured in the last year have been listed as “raintight,” because this type of fitting cannot consistently pass UL’s wet locations test and prevent water from entering raceways.

Listed EMT fittings manufactured prior to 2002 are considered raintight. The term “Raintight” on the carton indicates that fittings are listed for these applications, and can be installed in outdoor or indoor wet locations, per NEC 358.10(C).

EMT fittings are listed by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. in category FKAV. For more information see the 2002 UL White Book, p. 31.

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InBRIEF

I

AEI celebrates 75th anniversary This year is the 75th anniversary of the Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI). To celebrate, the organization is holding a Diamond Jubilee Anniversary meeting and trade show in Orlando, September 7-13, 2003. This event will take the place of the traditional six separate Section meetings held at different locations around the country. For more information about the Diamond Jubilee meeting in Orlando, contact IAEI at 901 Waterfall Way, Suite 602, Dallas, TX 75080, (972) 235-1455, www.iaei.org/anniversary.

NFPA electrical staffer honored Jeff Sargent, a senior electrical specialist with the National Fire Protection Association, has received the organization’s Percy Bugbee Award. The honor, named for NFPA’s first president, is an outstanding achievement award based on nominations by fellow employees. Jeff Sargent provides technical support and training for the National Electrical Code and other NFPA electrical standards. He is also an author/editor of several NFPA technical publications including the National Electrical Code Handbook and Electrical Inspection Manual. Textbook by NECA codes director Brooke Stauffer, NECA’s executive director for standards and safety, is also the author of User’s Guide to the National Electrical Code, an official reference from the publisher of the NEC.

It provides an overview of how the Code book is organized, the best ways to use it, and describes how the general requirements of Chapters 1-4 apply to all electrical installations. User’s Guide was written as a textbook for technical-vocational school students, first-year electrical apprentices, freshman engineering students, and other users being introduced to the NEC for the first time. Stauffer has been a member of three Code-Making Panels, and currently serves on CMP-1.

Ordering information. User’s Guide to the National Electrical Code is priced at $49.50. It can be ordered at (800) 344-3555 or www.nfpacatalog.org, NFPA Item No. GDNEC02.

NEMA vice president nominated for IEC post The U.S. National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has nominated NEMA vice president of engineering Frank Kitzantides as vice president of the IEC and chairman of the Standardization Management Board. IEC is a Geneva-based global organization that develops technology standards. Kitzantides has been active in IEC since 1979 and been a member of the Standardization Management Board for the last 16 years. He currently serves as international chairman of IECEE, the worldwide system for conformity testing and certification of electrical equipment.

TIA revises telecom grounding standard The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has just released a new joint standard with the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS). J-STD-607-A, Commercial Building Grounding (Earthing) and Bonding Requirements for Telecommunications is a revision and update of TIA/EIA-607-1994.

The standard can be purchased from Global Engineering Documents at (800) 854-7179 or www.global.his.com.

American assumes ISO presidency Oliver “Ollie” Smoot has been named president of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a worldwide federation of national standards bodies with representatives from 145 countries. He previously served in numerous leadership positions at the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and is vice president for technology and standards at the International Industry Technology Council, a computer manufacturing trade organization headquartered in Washington, DC. Smoot is the second American to hold ISO’s top job within the past decade.

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