Electrical work in an industrial facility

Posts from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec 31, 2009

Moderators: Suzanne, ~guin

boxhead
Posts: 5
Joined: June 4th, 2009, 11:06 pm

Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by boxhead » June 5th, 2009, 12:19 pm

Hi everybody:
6 weeks ago, I had cardiac arrest while drag racing and recieved a Medtronics Secura. As of now, I'm doing well; no zaps.
I'm back to work light-duty. Trouble is, I work as an elecrical-mechanical maint. tech in an industrial facility. We are exposed to EMF(we don't know how much yet; meters are being acquired) from large motors, electrical rooms,VF drives, ect.
I just don't know how sensitive these really are. We do have Medtronic's recommended exposure limits, but I was wondering if anyone else works around industrial electrical components.
Also, in time I'd like to race again. While it was probably going to happen sooner or later ( and I'm damn lucky it occured in front of some darn good EMT's ), it was the excitement of competing that triggered it.
I'm on Toprol now, it's been explained to me that this med should at least lessen the risk of re-occurence.
This is all new to me. I understand that a few changes may be in order, but God willing, I'd like to not have it dominate my life. Thanks, Sean

User avatar
wfd107
Posts: 51
Joined: May 16th, 2009, 6:12 pm
Location: Warwick R.I.

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by wfd107 » June 5th, 2009, 3:00 pm

I was told I can not lean over any kind of running engine, generator or alternator. My wife found a link to Medtronic with a list of things to avoid and distances to stay away from other things. Here is the link, hope it helps.
http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&pid=gm ... Fpdf&pli=1

Erik
Erik
SCA 3/16/2008
Brugada Syndrome
ICD since March 2008

User avatar
don
Senior Member
Posts: 2150
Joined: August 29th, 2005, 5:59 am
Location: Lake Jackson Texas 77566

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by don » June 5th, 2009, 4:15 pm

I think you'll have a better idea when you get the new meters. Doesn't sound like a good atmosphere to spend 1/3 of your life to me.

don

User avatar
Clint
Posts: 1128
Joined: August 13th, 2008, 12:37 pm
Contact:

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by Clint » June 5th, 2009, 6:16 pm

Hi Sean

codman69 (Craig) and I both work with extrememly high voltage. While I am in management and can avoid hands on exposure. However, I still have the very real day-to-day opportunity to be in touch with everything from 120v to 60,000v.

If you go back to some of the posts we have had over this year and last year, you'll see that we have had a number of discussions on this subject. I have called Medtronic and talked at length to two of their technicians. While, they will not give me a specific and definative answer (we live in a very litigious environment) we agreed on some general guidelines.

For me, I will not get within 3.5m or 10' anymore of any equipment operating at 480vac or better. Craig had access to some EMF meters and has done some more detailed analysis. I'll see if I can find one of his old PM he and I shared.

In your position, Erik had some pretty practical information to share. We'll kick some information back and forth here.......but the best thing to do is to get some specific data on the equipment you work around (Hz, load, volts AC or DC etc) access the Medtonic Web site and then have a follow up conversation with one of their techs.

Don't stress too hard on this - routine exposure in relatively small EMF fields should not be a problem. We have members here who routinely use an arc welder - I wouldn't but then they probably wouldn't do what I do.

I am sure that Craig will chime in on the subject. He's a sharp guy and has given this subject a great deal of attention.

Keep in touch

Clint

Image
I am trying to develop a lifestyle that does not require my presence.

User avatar
don
Senior Member
Posts: 2150
Joined: August 29th, 2005, 5:59 am
Location: Lake Jackson Texas 77566

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by don » June 5th, 2009, 8:22 pm

Clint wrote:Hi Sean

codman69 (Craig) and I both work with extrememly high voltage. While I am in management and can avoid hands on exposure. However, I still have the very real day-to-day opportunity to be in touch with everything from 120v to 60,000v.

If you go back to some of the posts we have had over this year and last year, you'll see that we have had a number of discussions on this subject. I have called Medtronic and talked at length to two of their technicians. While, they will not give me a specific and definative answer (we live in a very litigious environment) we agreed on some general guidelines.

For me, I will not get within 3.5m or 10' anymore of any equipment operating at 480vac or better. Craig had access to some EMF meters and has done some more detailed analysis. I'll see if I can find one of his old PM he and I shared.

In your position, Erik had some pretty practical information to share. We'll kick some information back and forth here.......but the best thing to do is to get some specific data on the equipment you work around (Hz, load, volts AC or DC etc) access the Medtonic Web site and then have a follow up conversation with one of their techs.

Don't stress too hard on this - routine exposure in relatively small EMF fields should not be a problem. We have members here who routinely use an arc welder - I wouldn't but then they probably wouldn't do what I do.

I am sure that Craig will chime in on the subject. He's a sharp guy and has given this subject a great deal of attention.

Keep in touch

Clint

Image
Thank you Clint

Very wise advice. I worked with very high voltages all my life. That said, I was already retired from injuries before I had my ICD installed. I tend not to follow the guidelines that we have been given. I understand that the guidelines have to be extremely limiting because of the litiguous society we live in. Practical advice has to come from someone who has been there. I really don't see as much danger as the manufacturer would have us believe. But that's just me. Once again I stress that I am not a very complient patient. I generally do what I choose and take responsibility for the outcome.



don

JakesDad
Posts: 7
Joined: May 15th, 2008, 5:11 pm

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by JakesDad » June 5th, 2009, 8:49 pm

Hi Sean,

Glad everything has worked out for you so far,
hopefully things keep on getting better. :D

I've had had my ICD for over a year now (implanted 5/7/08), and have been able to work as an electrican, without changing that much of my routine.

At first, I'd write down the times & dates of anything new, or questionable I had to do (first day back to work, I was running a hammer drill into metal decking, standing on a 10 foot ladder :( ).

My ICD (Biotronik Lumax VR-T) has a monitor that receives info from it every night,
so I'd bring my notes to my appointments, and cross check it with the info the box sent the network.

To this day, NOTHING has ever shown up.
Spending all day working in electric rooms, spending days at a time working 277v live (I wear gloves), power drills, hammer drills, grinders, working on running engines/equiptment, even welding (thin sheetmetal) all day at home, nothing.

About 6 months ago, I got even got an electric shock at work (120v).
I pulled off of it very quickly, and even that went unnoticed by the box.

I also use a nextel phone for work.
I mention this, becuse the radio in my car goes nuts when it chirps, so it can't be great for the box in my chest,
but still, no issues.

(My ICD has been tested twice, and it's functioning fine).

I'm not telling you any of this is OK, but I am saying I was able to start this stuff a little at a time, carefully taking notes, and it has never triggered an artifact, or a bad reaction from my ICD.

In the year that I've had it, the only thing recorded by the device is 2 episodes of my heart rate getting up into the 180's.
Both times were overnight last year (June 08 IIRC), and it has not happened since.


FWIW, I'm 40 years old now.
My cardiac arrest happened at home, in bed (5:15 am).

I didn't have a heart attack, I have no blockages, no heart disease, no brain tumor, and no underlying cause at all could be found after a week in the hospital (which is why they decided on the ICD).

The year since has been uneventful.
Except for the bump on my chest, the defibulator burns on my chest (that finally went away), and missing a month of work, you'd never know anything when wrong.
Cardiac Arrest 5/2/08 5:20am (unknown reason)
ICD: 5/7/08

User avatar
don
Senior Member
Posts: 2150
Joined: August 29th, 2005, 5:59 am
Location: Lake Jackson Texas 77566

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by don » June 5th, 2009, 9:46 pm

JakesDad wrote:Hi Sean,

Glad everything has worked out for you so far,
hopefully things keep on getting better. :D

I've had had my ICD for over a year now (implanted 5/7/08), and have been able to work as an electrican, without changing that much of my routine.

At first, I'd write down the times & dates of anything new, or questionable I had to do (first day back to work, I was running a hammer drill into metal decking, standing on a 10 foot ladder :( ).

My ICD (Biotronik Lumax VR-T) has a monitor that receives info from it every night,
so I'd bring my notes to my appointments, and cross check it with the info the box sent the network.

To this day, NOTHING has ever shown up.
Spending all day working in electric rooms, spending days at a time working 277v live (I wear gloves), power drills, hammer drills, grinders, working on running engines/equiptment, even welding (thin sheetmetal) all day at home, nothing.

About 6 months ago, I got even got an electric shock at work (120v).
I pulled off of it very quickly, and even that went unnoticed by the box.

I also use a nextel phone for work.
I mention this, becuse the radio in my car goes nuts when it chirps, so it can't be great for the box in my chest,
but still, no issues.

(My ICD has been tested twice, and it's functioning fine).

I'm not telling you any of this is OK, but I am saying I was able to start this stuff a little at a time, carefully taking notes, and it has never triggered an artifact, or a bad reaction from my ICD.

In the year that I've had it, the only thing recorded by the device is 2 episodes of my heart rate getting up into the 180's.
Both times were overnight last year (June 08 IIRC), and it has not happened since.


FWIW, I'm 40 years old now.
My cardiac arrest happened at home, in bed (5:15 am).

I didn't have a heart attack, I have no blockages, no heart disease, no brain tumor, and no underlying cause at all could be found after a week in the hospital (which is why they decided on the ICD).
Wh
The year since has been uneventful.
Except for the bump on my chest, the defibulator burns on my chest (that finally went away), and missing a month of work, you'd never know anything when wrong.
Thank you for you input. I think it's very important to understand that we are all different and our experiences are different. One of my last jobs was as an electrical superintendent on an industrial plant. When I went to work there the plant was approximately 100 years old. There were a combination of the old with the new. There were sections of the plant that were the old delta systems, as well as other sections of the plant that were the new Y systems. There were voltages from 440 vac to 12000 vac. There were systems that were very straightforward, old time and simple electrical hookups. On the other end of the plant there were things such as variable frequency drives that were the state of the art at the time.

So, my point is that we can't make decisions of others based on our own experiences. Different situatations require different approaches to them. My personal experience is that I have had no bad esperience with electrical interferrence from outside sources. That said, I can't with good conscience advise another to ignore the possible dangers. We are all different and have to make up our own minds what dangers we are willing to experience. Hopefully we will all educate ourselves and make a wise decision.

don

JakesDad
Posts: 7
Joined: May 15th, 2008, 5:11 pm

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by JakesDad » June 6th, 2009, 12:29 am

don wrote: Thank you for you input. I think it's very important to understand that we are all different and our experiences are different. One of my last jobs was as an electrical superintendent on an industrial plant. When I went to work there the plant was approximately 100 years old. There were a combination of the old with the new. There were sections of the plant that were the old delta systems, as well as other sections of the plant that were the new Y systems. There were voltages from 440 vac to 12000 vac. There were systems that were very straightforward, old time and simple electrical hookups. On the other end of the plant there were things such as variable frequency drives that were the state of the art at the time.

So, my point is that we can't make decisions of others based on our own experiences. Different situatations require different approaches to them. My personal experience is that I have had no bad esperience with electrical interferrence from outside sources. That said, I can't with good conscience advise another to ignore the possible dangers. We are all different and have to make up our own minds what dangers we are willing to experience. Hopefully we will all educate ourselves and make a wise decision.

don
Agreed. 8)-
Cardiac Arrest 5/2/08 5:20am (unknown reason)
ICD: 5/7/08

User avatar
codman59
Posts: 1054
Joined: September 20th, 2008, 6:58 am
Location: NB, Canada

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by codman59 » June 6th, 2009, 7:22 am

Hi & welcome, Boxhead, from Eastern Canada. By the way, I love that username...

Anyway, my job background has been in power plant operations for the last 28 years, and suddenly I had a whole new bunch of concerns when I got the icd implanted August of last year. After talking to the safety department of my company, who had access to the measuring devices, measurements for electrical and magnetic interference were taken at several locations throughout the plant (at motors of various voltages and horsepowers) and under overhead power lines.

I stress as some others have that you have to stick with what makes you feel safe and what you consider acceptable risk, as far as avoiding electrical equipment. I don't give it a second thought now except for variable frequency equipment and excitation equipment for generators; but that's me. I will PM you a copy of a message I had sent to another member on this, including the values that were measured. My company also puts a disclaimer in there that their readings can only be considered for this location (it's kind of expected that they would put a statement to that effect in there).

I don't want to put it in this thread as it may be a little lengthy, but if you have the Medtronics guidelines, you may at least get some idea.
Cardiomyapathy (reason unknown; suspect viral infection 1998), chf, gout, diabetes, asthma, bad hair.
Medtronics Virtuoso VR implanted Aug 28/08, single lead.

"The generation that would change the world is still looking for its car keys" - "The Rainmakers"

Craig

User avatar
Clint
Posts: 1128
Joined: August 13th, 2008, 12:37 pm
Contact:

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by Clint » June 6th, 2009, 9:31 am

Hey Craig...PM me with the specs too. I must have deleted the original. Thanks

Clint
I am trying to develop a lifestyle that does not require my presence.

Chuck
Posts: 6
Joined: May 24th, 2009, 10:19 pm
Location: Portland Oregon

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by Chuck » June 6th, 2009, 9:49 am

Hi Sean
I to work as a facility technician, have a St Jude ICD going on 5 years now. I work in a Silicon Wafer plant that has a lot of high energy systems as well as RF generators. Most of our motors run on VFD's the only system I tend to stay away from is our large emergency generators using induction coupling UPS's, truth be told I have gone into the room and worked on them running before with no effect. I know not smart!!!!. I also routinely work in the switch gear building with multiple 12kvA feeds and have had no trouble. Remember this is my experience and not a doctors advice, just wanted you to know that life doesn't have to change to drastically for us. Wish you well.
Chuck
Born 8/31/04 ST. Jude ICD also have HCM

boxhead
Posts: 5
Joined: June 4th, 2009, 11:06 pm

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by boxhead » June 6th, 2009, 12:02 pm

I want to thank all of you for your replys; I feel better about the whole issue already. I'd heard of all the warnings before implantation; I thought anything that buzzed, whirred or clicked could be emanating evil for an ICD! Now I realize that it may well be not that bad after all.
We will measure to ensure, and I will approach with caution.
Just one more question: Would a thin metal shield possibly block or reduce EMF or Gauss transmission to an ICD? I really do miss welding, and wondered if such a device could keep potential interference from welding or other sources within Medtronic's limits. I guess I could build such a device, and have friends test it by striking an arc between it and a meter. Just food for thought; I'm not ready to try it yet!
Anyway, This Forum is very helpful. I wish all of you well! THANKS, Sean

User avatar
melland
Posts: 225
Joined: December 23rd, 2008, 10:14 am
Location: Endicott, NY
Contact:

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by melland » June 7th, 2009, 7:27 pm

I'll chime in here and state that like the others I work in a large manufacturing environment with many potential devices to interfere with my ICD. I'm in maintenance engineering these days, so I don't have to be out on the floor everyday, like when I was a maintenance technician. I purchased a device called 'Pace Alert' from Osun Technologies. It is supposed to alarm if you wander into a spot that is emitting too much electrical, RF, or magnetic energy. I have found very few spots that make it alarm. Mostly when you are almost on top of a large motor. I haven't noticed the freq drives particularly bothered anything. Certainly didn't set off the device and haven't bothered me.

We have two large copper plating lines with high amp high frequency pulse rectifiers. They have pacemaker warning labels from their manufacturers on them. These I have made sure I stayed away from. Another worker who had a pacemaker walked by these and told me he felt strange, so I don't need to test this with an ICD and get a unnecessary shock.

As far as welding goes, I don't think placing a shield over your device will solve this issue. I believe the problem comes from induction into your leads from the welding cables.

Your mileage may vary!
Tim

ICD = I Can't Die

Medtronics Concerto - October 23, 2008 reached end of service 13 December 2013
Medtronics Viva S - 13 December 2013

Fishing is not a matter of life or death, it is much more important than that!

User avatar
Clint
Posts: 1128
Joined: August 13th, 2008, 12:37 pm
Contact:

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by Clint » June 7th, 2009, 11:10 pm

Tim

That's good info...thanks

Clint
I am trying to develop a lifestyle that does not require my presence.

karslake

Re: Electrical work in an industrial facility

Post by karslake » June 8th, 2009, 12:08 am

Can't remember welcoming you, Sean - anyway, welcome now, from Western Australia.
I'm afraid I can't help you re; electrical appliances, apart from the fact that my Cardio told me "No arc welding.' (Naturally that spoiled all my ambitions!!! - I always wanted to be an arc-welder!)
Eve & Blabbermouth 111

Post Reply