Avoiding Cost Overruns
Make Procedures Helpful, Part
NEC in the Facility
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The designations "National Electrical Code" and "NEC" refer to the
National Electrical Code®, which is a registered
trademark of the National Fire Protection Association.
Maintenance managers frequently encounter a wide range
of bids for the projects they outsource. Contractors who specialize in
maintenance support, facilities projects, and electrical upgrades often
submit bids based on project requirements that are vague and
hoping to sort it out later. These two problems have a common cause and
thus a common solution.
They also spawn a third problem: the company controller stuck with
invoices that exceed planned outlays. Project funding in any given
period is available based on approval from a previous cycle. Funding
unplanned project scope increases is problematic for the finance
department and sometimes will be declined or deferred, with your
Many companies solve this problem by having a qualified estimator
work on project requirements and request for bid documents. If the
estimator is in-house, put that person on top of the game with
appropriate estimating software. Look for features such as flexible bid
summaries, materials lists, and quote requests.
People have been complaining all winter long about the
temperature, and several instances of thermostat tampering have
compounded the problem. Worse, many people are bringing in personal
space heaters and powering them from daisy chains of surge strips and
extension cords. Breaker trips are driving everyone batty.
The HR manager told you this whole situation is becoming a real
headache and has asked you to do something about it. What are some
you should take?
Web site to see the answer.
Helpful, Part 2
Your repair procedures need to progress in linear
fashion to help a person do the right steps in the right order.
they shouldn't require people to perform every possible step in a
Doing every step that can possibly be done obviously requires more
time and money for repair completion. But the real problem in doing a
step that doesn't need doing is the added risk of human error.
So, add "step skips" wherever possible. You can say, "If X is true,
then skip to step ABC. Otherwise, go to step 123." Try to make "X" some
kind of quantity expressed in units, rather than a judgment call.
Here's the most important point to address when doing this: Keep the
end-user in mind. Ask yourself, "How easy and helpful is this procedure
to use?" Don’t do anything that defeats that goal.
NEC in the
Retrofits, upgrades, and additions can result in a
change to the "total load" used for sizing service conductors. Don't
look only at the size of your service transformer(s) when adding
equipment, upgrading HVAC, or making other configuration changes.
Service conductors that were correctly sized with load diversification
and other mitigating factors may suddenly be undersized.
Any time you add or change a load, you should recalculate the
required ampacities of the conductors for the branch circuit, feeder,
and service supplying that load. The service is the most critical, as
loss of those conductors will shut down the whole area supplied by that
To read more on this story, visit EC&M's Web
In the last newsletter, we said that hearing loss isn't
a natural consequence of aging, but it is a natural consequence of not
wearing the necessary PPE. Despite the often-repeated facts, many
neglect proper hearing protection. Inevitably, they end up with hearing
damage. It's usually profound and always permanent. Problems include
constant ringing (tinnitus) and the frustration of trying to decode
clipped and garbled speech. It also can rob you of the ability to enjoy
common sounds. Finally, don't forget to take the cost of hearing aids
and batteries into consideration.
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