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Report on Portable Generators

Date: Fri, 02 Apr 1999
From: Mary Bento

Subject: Generators
Report on portable generators through the RX2000 net.


Forwarded From: David Norton

Below is an excerpt from our Occupational Safety Director regarding the use of portable generators to power critical equipment...such as freezers containing medical research specimens...beginning on Jan 1,'00, in response to my question to her regarding the use of such devices by the University research staff. She didn't totally disallow the use of such devices if located outside (a research window, for example), but stipulates restrictions. To aide our researchers in the preparations of their individual lab Contingency Plans we will very shortly be preparing a DO & DON'T DO list, and the use of personal/ portable generators will be on the DON'T DO list.
Both OSEH (Occupational Safety & Environmental Health dept.) and the Fire Marshal will not permit the use of generators inside University buildings. There are also a number of concerns with the use of generators outside the buildings that would have to be addressed before being allowed:
1. Extension cords run through windows and doors from the outside would have to be approved for outdoor use, and be protected from damage by window sills, doorways, foot or vehicle traffic, etc.
2. Refueling must only be done with the generator shut off and sufficiently cooled down to prevent a fire hazard. OSHA standards apply for grounding/bonding during refueling.
3. Fuel must be stored in a approved containers and location and in accordance with OSHA and NFPA codes
4. From a security standpoint, the researchers may have to stay with the generators if there is a widespread interruption of power to prevent theft.

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