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Mitigate Electric Shock From Medical Electrical Equipment with UL 2930

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August 21, 2018

Health Care Facilities can benefit from the newly published Listing Certification Outline of Investigation for Cord-and-Plug-Connected Health Care Facility Outlet Assemblies (HCOA)

All electrical equipment has some risk of electrical shock associated with it, and in the case of medical electrical equipment, the risk may be greater since patients are connected to this equipment and may not have protection that would be found in other circumstances. While electrical hazards are shared among all types of medical electrical equipment, they can be drastically reduced using safety tested and UL Certified products.

UL recently published an Outline of Investigation Cord-and-Plug-Connected Health Care Facility Outlet Assemblies (HCOA), UL 2930.

UL 2930 covers indoor-use cord-and-plug-connected health care facility receptacle outlet assemblies rated 250 V AC or less and 20 Amperes or less. UL 2930 utilizes requirements from two UL Standards, UL 1363A and UL 60601-1, providing Listing Certification to market products to health care facilities.

Previously, manufacturers were limited to the Component Recognition Certification Mark, whereby their special purpose relocatable power taps were required to be incorporated into medical equipment such as racks, tables or pedestal-mounted and are not suitable as a standalone Listed product.

HCOA are for use as a movable supply connection for cord-and-plug-connected medical electrical utilization equipment in accordance with the:

  • National Electric Code®, NFPA 70, Article 517 Health Care Facilities
  • NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, for use in Category 2 (General Patient Care) Spaces or Category 1 (Critical Patient Care) Spaces, including Patient Care Vicinities.

HCOA are provided with a patient equipment grounding point terminal or jack that is intended to be connected to the patient equipment grounding point of the health care facility. Using the patient equipment grounding point terminal or jack creates a redundancy in the grounding path. If a malfunction or insulation breakdown occurs, the grounding point terminal or jack provides a secondary path of least resistance for the current thereby reducing the potential risk of electric shock to a patient.

A patient equipment grounding point is "optional" according to NEC Section 517.19(D). Additionally, ANSI/NFPA 99 identifies the "governing body" having the overall responsibility for the operation of a health care facility, including a patient equipment grounding point. It is up to the governing body at a health care facility to conduct a risk assessment in accordance with ANSI/NFPA 99 to determine if their facilities need patient equipment grounding point within the patient care area(s) as identified in ANSI/NFPA 99, Clause 6.3.2.5.2.

HCOA are intended for cord-and-plug connection of medical utilization equipment that has been authorized by the governing body of the health care facility in which the HCOA are deployed, and that has been verified by the governing body as having a touch and leakage current categorized for patient care use.

HCOA are intended for use with equipment complying with applicable requirements:

  • UL 60601-1, "Medical Electrical Equipment, Part 1: General Requirements for Safety"
  • IEC 60601-1, "Medical Electrical Equipment - Part 1: General Requirements for Basic Safety and Essential Performance"
  • ANSI/AAMI/IEC 60601-1-2, "Medical Electrical Equipment - Part 1-2: General Requirements for Basic Safety and Essential Performance - Collateral Standard: Electromagnetic Compatibility - Requirements and Tests."

HCOA are not intended for home health care use since the branch circuit of a dwelling cannot be ensured of providing the lower resistance grounding necessary for patient care equipment.

For further information or if you wish to investigate, please contact us now!

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