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OSHA Hazard Information Bulletins
Potential Electrical Shock From Duraline "CAM LOK" Cable Connectors


September 27, 1990

MEMORANDUM FOR:

REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS

THROUGH:

  •  

FROM:

  • THOMAS J. SHEPICH
  • Director
  • Directorate of Technical Support

SUBJECT:

  • Hazard Information Bulletin - Potential Electrical Shock From Duraline "CAM LOK" Cable Connectors

The Directorate of Technical Support issues Hazard information Bulletins (HIBs) in accordance with OSHA Instruction CPL 2.65 to provide relevant information regarding unrecognized or misunderstood health and safety hazards, inadequacies of materials, devices, techniques, and engineering controls. HiSs are initiated based on information provided by the field staff, studies, reports and concerns expressed by safety and health professionals, employers, and the public. information is compiled based on a comprehensive evaluation of available facts, literature and in coordination with appropriate parties. HIBs do not necessarily reflect OSHA policy.

The Boston Regional Office has brought to our attention a potential electrical hazard associated with the use of some Duraline ship to shore "CAM LOK" connectors. These connectors are normally used outdoors as part of temporary electrical power systems or service leads.

On July 17, 1989, at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, an incident occurred where a mechanic (working in a wet environment) received an electric shock when his back inadvertently came into contact with a Duraline "CAM LOK" cable connector. The connector in this incident had colored hypalon insulation.

As a result of the above incident, Duraline laboratory tested "CAM LOK" cable hypalon and neoprene insulation materials. The company determined that the color fast agent used in colored (red, blue, and white) hypalon insulation was contaminated by silica silicate. The chemical and physical properties of this contaminant allowed for the absorption of water in the insulation. The test revealed that black hypalon and neoprene insulation materials did not contain the silica silicate coloring agents. Duraline issued a warning that insulations containing silica silicate compound do not provide adequate insulating properties when wetted or used in a wet environment. Prior to the incident the Duraline Company normally dry tested connectors before distribution. The Duraline company states that it no longer uses the silica silicate contaminated compound coloring agents in "CAM LOK" insulation.

The company recommends that all connectors currently in use in wet conditions be inspected, tested and replaced if necessary. The following actions should be taken in conjunction with the Duraline company effort to alleviate this potential hazard:

  1. Users of Duraline "CAM LOK" connectors should be advised of the potential electrical shock hazard. All users should check the connectors in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations at their facilities for potential decreased resistance. (If the reading is above 100 megohms, the "CAM LOK" was not made using the suspected insulation; if the reading is below, the "CAM LOK" should be replaced).
  2. Employees should use extreme caution when in the vicinity of energized electrical cables.
  3. If a defective cable is in service and cannot be replaced immediately, dry the cable and paint or spray urethane on the cable.

Please distribute this bulletin to all Area Offices, State Plan States, and Consultation Project Officers.

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