Bunge North America – Bellevue Plant

Performing an Electrical Arc Flash Hazard Assessment, implementing an Electrical Safe Work Practices program and providing training, are daunting tasks for any company. Bunge North America is looking to their Bellevue, Ohio facility as a stellar example of how it can all be done.

Many facilities in the US have had multiple owners and the Bellevue division of Bunge North America is no exception. The inevitable changes made with each ownership transition left many questions about electrical distribution and the resulting Electrical Safe Work Practices came into question. The responsibility for developing an Electrical Safety Program was assigned to John Fehl, Reliability and Maintenance Engineer Electrical Projects, Lead for Bunge North America. When John contacted JDRM Engineering, he had two documents as examples to reference: an existing five-page manual and a 60-page written safety program.

JDRM’s Electrical Safety group tapped into their resources, incorporated items from Bunge’s existing program, and successfully compiled a comprehensive program. Most importantly, this document was developed only after an Electrical Hazard Analysis (Arc Flash Assessment) was completed identifying, quantifying, and classifying the electrical distribution system throughout Bunge’s Bellevue operation.

The primary electrical hazards are shocks, burns, and fires.  JDRM identified the hazards then programmed action items to protect Bunge’s people, fulfill OSHA requirements, and ensure compliance with the NFPA 70E Standard.

Electrical safe work practices training followed with open rapport between our trainer, Bunge’s management, and team members in the plant. “The plant manager opened every training session, then John and I made sure people felt very comfortable with what we were addressing so they could ask questions,” explained Bob Nicholson, JDRM Engineering’s Electrical Safety Specialist. “We drew out many questions and placed all concerns on a flip chart. While the vast majority of the items were addressed in our training, some of the concerns required more research and they became what John calls his ‘parking lot’ list.  That is John’s way to be sure ideas are captured and that those ideas come in from the ‘parking lot’ and are addressed.  It is a great system and it is working well to keep things rolling.”

JDRM Engineering works hard to customize all of our Electrical Safe Work services to each individual firm, location and process.

“JDRM’s Bob Nicholson is one of the ‘best of the best’ on this topic,” stated Mel Holder, Plant Manager. “He is JDRM’s arc flash and electrical safety trainer and is often called upon by OSHA for their clarification and understanding.  OSHA recognizes Bob as the area expert on the NFPA 70E Standards.  Bob’s state of the art arc flash safety training modules are thorough and captivating for any audience level. ”

JDRM Engineering compares Electrical Safe Work practices to a three-legged stool. The three legs include arc flash hazard analysis, a tailored electrical safe work practices program and electrical safety training. This combination provides the stability of a “three legged stool” and completes the electrical safety circle. Ensuring a true safety-enabled work force is the goal of this holistic approach and Bunge North America corporate personnel are reviewing the Bellevue facility safety model for use throughout their operations.

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