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OSHA Hazard Information Bulletins
Faulty Electronic Component in QO-GFI - Series 1, Square D, Two-Pole Circuit Breakers


June 28, 1989

MEMORANDUM FOR:

REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS

THRU:

  • LEO CAREY
  • Director
  • Office of Field Programs

FROM:

  • EDWARD J. BAIER
  • Director
  • Directorate of Technical Support

SUBJECT:

  • Safety Hazard Information Bulletin: Faulty Electronic Component in QO-GFI - Series 1, Square D, Two-Pole Circuit Breakers

The Dallas Regional Office has brought to our attention possible ineffective Square D, two-pole QO-GFI circuit breakers due to a faulty electronic component.

The manufacturer, Square D Company, has discovered that an electronic component of the two-pole, QO-GFI circuit breakers, series 1 may fail prematurely. While the unit continues to function as a switch, the failure of the electronic component renders the ground fault interrupting feature inoperable. This condition gives the user of the two-pole QO-GFI circuit breaker false sense of protection and may expose workers to electrical shocks from faulty equipment.

Square D had issued a product recall notice to contractors. The notice identified the two-pole QO-GFI circuit breakers manufactured between March 1982 and December 1986 as the defective ones. Square D, in its recall notice, listed the following "Quick Open" and "Quick Open Bolted" circuit breakers with amperage from 215 to 230:

QO 215 GFI   QOB 215 GFI
QO 220 GFI   QOB 220 GFI
QO 225 GFI   QOB 225 GFI
QO 230 GFI   QOB 230 GFI

The two pole QO-GFI circuit breaker occupies two positions in the panel board. It is easily recognized by the yellow "Push to Test" button and a trip indicator. There is no Square D symbol next to the "Push to Test" button for the series 1 circuit breakers. Square D wants all two pole QO-GFI series 1 circuit breakers returned.

The recall was completed on June 30, 1988 and Square D has indicated that most faulty QO and QOB-GFI circuit breakers have been returned. However, some may still be in use. We recommend that compliance and consultation personnel be aware of the hazard addressed in this bulletin.

Please disseminate this information to Area Offices, State Plan States, and Consultation Project Offices.

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