Accidents involving electricity are common on construction jobsites. What can you do to prevent electrical injuries? There are two options: using ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) or an assured equipment-grounding conductor program (AEGCP).
So, what is the difference between the two?
A GFCI will detect an imbalance between the energized conductor and the return neutral conductor. An imbalance occurs, for instance, when the current leaks from a tool through the body of a person who is grounded. At this point, the GFCI would trip and immediately stop the flow. GFCIs are available as portable devices or can be installed in a circuit. This is essentially a hardware requirement.
When a GFCI cannot be used due to design or because it creates a greater hazard by interrupting power for temporary wiring methods or extension cord sets providing power to portable electric tools, then a documented Assured Equipment-Grounding Conductor Program (AEGCP) is required to be maintained and implemented.
An AEGCP is a written company procedure that requires periodic testing of all equipment-grounding conductors of cord sets and of those connected to receptacles to ensure no faults will occur. The company must keep records of the continuity and terminal connection tests. Moreover, a designated competent person must continuously enforce the AEGCP at the site.
Here are some links from OSHA’s website that might be useful in helping you meet all electrical safety requirements:
- Construction e-Tool: Electrical Incidents
- Construction e-Tool: Assured Equipment Grounding Conductor Program
- Construction e-Tool: Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)
This information is provided as a service to you by Compliance Consultants, Inc.