Electrical Shock Hazard

Effective Date: 11/16/1999

U.S. Department of the Interior
Minerals Management Service
Gulf of Mexico OCS Region

Safety Alert No. 183
November 16, 1999

Contact: Jack Leezy

Electrical Shock Hazard

Recent MMS inspections have revealed that some portable electrical steam cleaning pressure-washing units are not wired as prescribed by the National Electrical Code. An electrical hazard exists in these 3-phase, 440-volt units if they are not provided with a separate external ground. This separate external ground must be in addition to the ground used inside the extension cord (power cord) supplying electrical power to the unit. Failure to attach a separate ground to the unit poses a potential threat of electrical shock to the user.

Operators are advised to review the installation of all portable electrical units to ensure that they are installed in accordance with the National Electrical Code and that they are operated according to the manufacturer’s recommended safe-operating procedures. Consideration should be given to the location of these steam pressure-washing units relative to the proximity of production process equipment, as these units present an ignition source and may not be suitable for service in classified areas.



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