eps magazine february 2012

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February 2012 Issue of EPS Magazine

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  • 0212EPSpC1:Layout 1 2/10/12 7:32 AM Page C1

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  • PUBLISHERDanny J. Salchert

    OFFICE MANAGERAnita Salchert

    ASSOCIATE PUBLISHERJerry DiChiara

    jerryd@epsmag.net

    CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Gaylard

    CONTRIBUTING WRITERSKeith Van Kerckhove Mark Nelson

    Muey Saephanh

    CIRCULATION DIRECTORPam Fulmer

    PRESIDENT Danny J. Salchert

    Executive and Advertising Offices3591 Cahaba Beach Road

    Birmingham, AL 35242toll free: 800.981.4541 phone: 205.981.4541

    fax: 205.981.4544www.epsmag.net danny@epsmag.net

    Electrical Products & Solutions is publishedtwelve times a year on a monthly basis by ABDCommunications, Inc., 3591 Cahaba Beach Road,Birmingham, Alabama, 35242, USA. ElectricalProducts & Solutions is distributed free to qualifiedsubscribers. Non-qualified subscription rates are$57.00 per year in the U.S. and Canada and $84.00per year for foreign subscribers (surface mail). U.S.Postage paid at Birmingham, Alabama and addi-tional mailing offices.

    Electrical Products & Solutions is distributed toqualified readers in the electrical contracting industry.Publisher is not liable for all content (including edito-rial and illustrations provided by advertisers) of adver-tisements published and does not accept responsibilityfor any claims made against the publisher. It is the ad-vertisers or agencys responsibility to obtain appro-priate releases on any item or individuals pictured in anadvertisement. Reproduction of this magazine inwhole or in part is prohibited without prior written per-mission from the publisher.

    POSTMASTER: Send address changes toABD Communications, Inc., P.O. Box 382885

    Birmingham, Alabama 35238-2885

    P R I N T E D I N T H E U S A

    FEATURES6 Code Update:

    NFPA 99 Enters a New EraBy Keith Van Kerckhove

    22 Photopic and Scotopic: Seeing is BelievingBy Mark Nelson

    16 Success Story:Catoosa School DistrictBy Muey Saephanh

    DEPARTMENTS

    2 Electrical Products & Solutions February 2012

    CONTENTS

    6

    26 Industry News32 Product Focus40 Ad Index

    ON THE COVERPhoto courtesy of PG LifeLink

    CASE STUDY22

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  • mission will likely implement the revisedrequirements in their survey regimes as wellby 2013.

    Since it was first issued in 1982, as acombination of 12 separate hospital stan-dards, this document has provided practi-cal guidance on the design, application, andmaintenance of health care facilities in-cluding electrical, mechanical, and otherbuilding systems. However, over the yearsmany have complained of its disjointedstructure and increasingly obsolete refer-ences. Regular revision cycles have madesome slight improvements to keep pacewith new technology and practices, butfailed to address the underlying fundamen-tal issues. This latest edition represents a

    6 Electrical Products & Solutions February 2012

    FEATURE PG LifeLink

    concerted effort on the part of the health-care engineering community to fully rewriteand modernize this standard into a cohesiveset of relevant and effective requirements.

    The broadest change made during thisprocess was to transform the way in whichthe document is applied in order to matchcurrent delivery methods for health care ser-vices. The previous occupancy based struc-ture has been replaced with a more intuitive,risk based approach in which safety systemsand procedures are employed consistentwith the relative risk level of a given proce-dure. In other words, the potential for harmto a patient, staff member, or visitor due toa system failure is the most important factorto consider, not just the

    Beginning in 2012, organizations in-volved in the design and construction ofhealth care facilities will notice some majorchanges. After a six year revision processthat spanned two complete cycles, the Na-tional Fire Protection Association finally re-leased a revised edition of NFPA 99 in thefall of 2011. This publication, NFPA 99 Health Care Facilities Code 2012 Edi-tion is a major event due in part to the el-evation of this document from a guidelinestandard to an enforceable code, thus al-lowing various jurisdictions to adopt the re-quirements directly into local buildingordinance. National accreditation organi-zations, including the Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Services and The Joint Com- Continued on page 8

    CodeUpdate: NFPA 99Enters a New Era

    By Keith Van Kerckhove

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  • 8 Electrical Products & Solutions February 2012

    and simply deemed all such areas as dry.In many instances, this decision was madesolely by executive staff without consulta-tion of other relevant stakeholders.

    The reality is that many critical care areasincluding surgical, ICU, cardiac, labor anddelivery, and trauma rooms play host tomany medical procedures which routinelyresult in substantial volumes of fluid con-tacting both the patient and attending staff.Blood and other bodily fluids, antisepticsand sanitizers, intravenous fluids, conduc-tive gels, and saline irrigation liquid all re-duce the bodys natural electrical resistanceand can create a path for dangerous electri-cal current to flow through the body in theevent that a ground fault develops onnearby electrically powered medical equip-ment. This is no surprise to physicians,nurses, and others intimately familiar withthese areas.

    These facts were supported by an inde-pendent study commissioned in 2010 by theNFPAs affiliated Fire Protection ResearchCouncil to analyze and quantify the electri-cal hazards associated with fluid spills inhospital operating rooms. The subsequentreport, entitled Evaluation of Health Care

    Operating Rooms as Wet/Dry Locations1

    provides the results of it research. Amongthe studys key findings are the following: Cardiovascular, thoracic, obstetrical, and

    orthopedic surgeries are the most preva-lent surgical procedures performed today.2

    These routine procedures involve verylarge volumes of blood loss and or irriga-tion solutions, up to several liters in someinstances.3

    Their research confirmed that fluids canpool in the work area during surgical pro-cedures, and that significant spills ofblood and irrigation fluid can occur.4

    Blood run off has been estimated to poolaround the shoes of surgical team mem-bers in up to 13% of all operations.5

    Splashes of blood and fluid are observedmore than 50% of the time for many com-mon surgical procedures.6

    In a common sense response to this situ-ation, the 2012 edition of NFPA 99 at-tempts to address some of the ambiguity ofthe previous version and

    type of building or department. The risksassociated with surgical and other criticalmedical procedures are the same whetherthey are performed in a large urban hospitalor a small outpatient surgical center. For-mal risk assessments are essential to prop-erly determining the necessary safetyprecautions throughout all types of healthcare facilities.

    Among the many revisions to the Elec-trical Systems Chapter, one of the most im-pactful is related to the determination ofwet procedure locations. Confusion andmisinformation has circulated around thistopic for years. The previous standard(2005 edition) provides a vague definitionof wet [procedure] locations and places theresponsibility for designation on the gov-erning body of the facility. The intentionwas that those individuals with firsthandknowledge of the procedures themselvesshould apply the definition. However, it of-fers no guidance on how to properly evalu-ate and apply this definition, nor does itrequire any documented justification. Con-sequently, without any true mandate, manyfacilities have felt it unnecessary to under-take a serious review of the relevant risks

    FEATURE PG LifeLink Continued from page 6

    Continued on page 12

    Operating Room protected by an IsolatedPower Panel

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  • 12 Electrical Products & Solutions February 2012

    we are interested in sprays, spills, and fluidaccumulation that come in physical contactwith patients or attending personnel. Giventhat the severity of this contact is very highin the presence of electrically powered med-ical equipment, the main parameter to con-sider is the likelihood that fluid contact isestablished. There are two factors that willdetermine this, the probability of a spill oc-curring, and size and position of the spill inrelation to individuals in the area. Fre-quency data on fluid splashes and spills dur-ing m