Steve Benton

Electrical Equipment Labeling- QR Code

Discussion created by Steve Benton on May 7, 2019

Imagine being asked to have a look at a piece of equipment that is having some issues or perhaps you might just be doing periodic maintenance and inspections. The equipment could be any number of types but I’ll focus on electrical equipment because that is what I’m trained and qualified to work on. Most often when an worker approaches a piece of electrical equipment he does so with very little information provided to him other that “it’s not working, It’s not working properly, or we want it to work differently”. It is up to the electrical worker to quickly identify the hazards, assess the risk, and develop a solution to resolve the request. Generally, one of the first things I would ask of the requester is “How is it supposed to work, and do you have any drawings?”


As a career electrical worker and problem solver I have learned that the most important asset I have that would enable me to safely and accurately diagnose and resolve a problem, or manage a change is to have all of the available information before I start. Hazard specifics, PPE requirements, system configuration, lock out points, one line diagrams, control schemes, maintenance records…the list goes on. Wouldn’t be nice if we didn’t have to work on equipment without full knowledge of the specific hazards? How do we quickly arrive at a proper diagnosis without spending more time looking for drawings that it would take to fix an issue if we had them from the start?


I have for some time pondered the exception allowed in NFPA 70E (2018) 130.5(H), exception No. 2 which states, "In supervised industrial locations where conditions of maintenance and engineering supervision ensure that only qualified persons monitor and service the system, the information required in 130.5(H)(1) through 130.5(H)(3) shall be permitted to be documented in a manner that is readily available to persons likely to perform examinations, servicing, maintenance, and operation of the equipment while energized."  


I have seen QR code labels on containers containing chemicals that once swiped with a scanning device (smart phone) accesses the the safety data sheet for that product. Have any of you the readers of this forum had any actual experience with developing such a program, and if's that working out for you?