Several surveyors have cited healthcare facilities for not “inspecting” the automatic transfer switches during their weekly inspections.
NFPA 110 only states, “EPSSs, including all appurtenant components, shall be inspected weekly and exercised under load at least monthly.” The “all appurtenant components” portion of paragraph 8.4.1 includes the automatic transfer switch (ATS).
However, there is no paragraph in NFPA 110, nor 99, indicating how to actually inspect the ATS.
Most manufacturers manuals will include instructions on how to inspect the ATS for corrosion buildup, connections, and any evidence of overheating or excessive contact erosion. HOWEVER, this requires opening the switch cabinet and is not recommended for untrained individuals.
Arc-flash is a severe threat that can severely burn or worse, cause death. Opening any cabinet requires proper PPE (personal protective equipment) and training preferably by the manufacturer.
I don’t think the CMS, TJC, or DNV surveyors would want to put anyone in danger, and I believe the hospital’s insurance carrier would not want procedures performed that would place the hospital in a non-compliant position with OSHA regulations.
I have some gruesome pictures of an arc flash incident where a person was burned to death in a hospital electrical closet when he opened a door/panel without the proper PPE. Three people lost their job, and the hospital paid out an enormous sum to settle out of court. OSHA also extracted hefty fines as well as posting the news on their website…including the name and location of the hospital.