Electrical Equipment Safety

Preventive maintenance is performed on all equipment on an 
annual basis, or more often if recommended by the 
manufacturer.  The preventive maintenance may take the form 
of biomedical engineering.
Biomedical testing will be conducted on all electrical 
equipment which comes into contact with any patient, 
employee, or staff person.  Such testing will be performed on 
an annual basis, or consistent with manufacturer's 
1.  A biomedical engineering service will be contracted to 
    perform testing of all electrical equipment used in the 
    patient care areas; such testing will be conducted on an 
    annual basis or--more often--if recommended by the 
    manufacturer.  Reports of findings will be kept on file.
2.  Biomedical service recommendations for repair will be 
    carried out by appropriate personnel.  A separate file
    will be maintained for tracking purposes.
3.  Appropriate personnel shall conduct daily inspection of 
    all electrical equipment used in patient care. When 
    applicable, prior to the start of the first surgery, the 
    monitors are turned on and the alarm system is verified 
    on each piece of alarmed equipment.
Any equipment observed to be compromised will be removed 
    from service.
    Once a piece of equipment has been observed to be
    defective, it will be tagged as 'Defective'/'Not To Be 
    Used' and removed from the immediate area.  The 
    biomedical technician will be called immediately to 
    service the equipment or the equipment will be returned 
    to the manufacturer for service.
    If equipment fails while being used on a patient or if 
    equipment known to be defective is not removed from the
    area and is used on a patient, the following actions will
    A.  Recorded as a Incident or Unanticipated Sequella
    B.  Reported to the malpractice carrier
    C.  Root Cause Analysis is performed to preclude the
        possibility of similar incidents from occurring in
        the future
    D.  Possible sentinel event will be reported. (see policy
        on sentinel event). 
4.  The following electrical safety recommendations are 
    important to remember:
    A.  Do not overload electrical circuits under any
    B.  An extension cord should be used to service only a 
        single portable lamp or a piece of portable 
        apparatus of no more than (and preferably less than) 
        15 amperes and less than 250 volts.  Extension cords 

        shall not be used in conjunction with heat-producing 
        They shall not be used in electrically susceptible 
        patient locations, in the presence of flammables or 
        in other high hazard areas.
    C.  Extension cords may not be used as a substitute for 
        permanent wiring.  They should not be hung over 
        electrical conductors, such as pipes, or placed 
        under tension or coiled while in use.
    D.  All extension cords must be made of continuous 
        lengths of heavy duty cable with no splices or tape 
        with three current-carrying conductors, one of which 
        is a ground wire. The cord should have a grounded 
        receptacle and plug cap.  Metal clad plug caps shall 
        not be used.
    E.  The following conditions should be immediately
        reported to maintenance or supervisory personnel
            -Any wire, especially a power cord, that has 
             frayed, worn, burned or cut insulation.
            -Any plug that is broken, bent or loose.
            -Switches that are loose or do not snap 
             definitely from one position to another.
            -Control knobs that are loose or do not turn 
-Switches, knobs, or other controls that do not 
             consistently produce the expected result when 
             they are operated.
            -Pilot lights that are burned out.
            -Any event which suggests to the user that a 
             is not operating properly.
   F.  The National Electrical Code suggests a ground fault 
        circuit interrupter as protection wherever portable 
        electrical devices are used in wet or damp locations.

Approved By Governing Board    
Control #182.2