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Seminar Descriptions

1. DANESC™ Seminars on Development and Application of the National Electrical Safety Code

This seminar typically concentrates on clearances and grounding; longer seminars also additional topics such as strength requirements, NESC and OSHA work rules, etc. Some versions are general and others concentrate on an area, such as joint-use pole clearances. The range and depth of coverage varies from the one-day introduction to the NESC to 3.5 day versions that discuss and provide exercises on practical applications, including selected table footnotes and other detailed requirements.

Your instructor(s) will be Allen Clapp and/or John Dagenhart. Both have decades of experience serving on NESC subcommittees. They have instructed over 25,000 people on NESC rules and have extensive experience in utility line design and standards development.

Participants work in teams to solve exercises involving areas of the NESC that are most difficult to understand or most often involved in accidents. Participants receive a workbook, reference materials, and exercises and answers. The most popular length for in-house presentations is 2.5 days, the maximum length without requiring multiple instructors. For most longer seminars with more depth and coverage, or for more than 35 participants, two instructors are required. This seminar is intended for standards engineers, design technicians, line workers, and inspectors for power, telephone, CATV, and railroad utilities, contractors, and regulatory agencies, as well as attorneys and investigators involved in litigation.

  1. 3.5-day DA-1 is a general course, including complete coverage of grounding and clearances rules with selected coverage of other code rules (2 instructors)
  2. 2.5-day DA-1 concentrates on clearances and grounding, including complete coverage of grounding and clearance requirements for overhead, underground and supply stations (1 or 2 instructors)
  3. 2.5-day DA-2 concentrates on clearances and grounding for joint-use overhead lines and substitutes detailed practical exercises on using sag data to determine vertical spacing of joint-use facilities instead of the instruction on underground and supply stations clearances from (b) the 2.5-day DA-1 seminar discussed above. (1 or 2 instructors)
  4. 2.5-day DA-3 is a general course for joint-use line design technicians and inspectors. It includes overhead clearances and grounding/bonding requirements for joint-use lines, an introduction to the strength and loading requirements, and an interactive session viewing photographs to determine clearance issues and appropriate corrections.
  5. 1.5 day DA-3 is a shorter version that has a shortened clearance discussion and omits the grounding and strengths and loadings rules discussions.
NESC® is a registered trademark of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. DANESC™ is a trademark of Clapp Research, Inc.

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2. Tutorial on Physical Design of Joint-Use Wood Pole Distribution Lines

The original seminar in this series is the popular 3.5 day tutorial on joint-use pole design that addresses the increasing problem of line failure and clearance problems due to overloading distribution poles with larger sizes and numbers of conductors, cables, and equipment. Participants learn how to (a) properly space conductors and cables on poles and calculate required pole height, (b) calculate loads on structures and supported facilities, and (c) determine required pole strength—all using hand calculations. This seminar includes a limited discussion of using pole loading software.

A 2.5-day version that only discusses the NESC loading and strength requirements and the NESC allowable stress design calculations to calculate loads on line structures and determine required pole class has also become popular for in-house presentation.

If desired, the 2.5-day discussion of loadings and strengths can be paired with a 1 or 1.5 day tutorial on using either the O-Calc Pro or SPIDACalc pole loading software.

Your lead instructor is Allen Clapp, President of Clapp Research Associates, P.C., consulting engineers and has served on the NESC Strengths & Loadings Subcommittee since 1971 and served as its Secretary from 1973 to 2010. He has also served on the NESC Clearances Subcommittee since 1971.

This seminar includes a workbook with code references, formulas and sample exercises; an appendix book of printed reference materials, “cheat sheets” and technical discussions; excerpts from Practical Utility Safety, and exercises and answers. This workshop is especially useful for standards engineers, design engineers, design technicians, make-ready inspectors and line inspectors for utilities, contractors, and regulatory agencies.

  1. 3.5-day JU-1: 1.5 days on clearance calculations and 2 days on loading, stress, and strength calculations. Suitable for both engineers and design technicians. Attendees perform hand calculations in teams.
  2. 3.5-day JU-2: 2.5 days on loading, stress, and strength calculations and a 1-day tutorial on either O-Calc Pro or SPIDACalc pole loading software. Attendees perform hand calculations in teams and use software on their laptops.
  3. 2.5-day JU-3: 2.5 days on loading, stress, and strength calculations. Attendees perform hand calculations in teams.

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3. Investigation, Documentation & Civil Litigation of Utility Public Contact Accidents (UPCA Series)

These UPCA Series seminars concentrate on accidents on power and communication utility facilities that involve public contact. A separate series concentrates on utility employee and utility contractor employee accidents—see the UEA Series below.

  1. Appropriate information must be obtained, documented and analyzed properly on a timely basis.
  2. The litigation team must present evidence and arguments in a manner that can be both fully understood and believed.

Your lead instructors are Allen Clapp and/or John Dagenhart.They have investigated well over 1300 utility accidents and testified in state and federal courts as expert witnesses on the NESC and utility design standards. They have taught NESC and OSHA requirements to over 25,000 people. They will help you understand effective ways to investigate and document accidents in a manner that will aid and promote effective litigation decisions. At the end of the seminar, attendees are divided into teams to review a real accident scenario and prepare (a) lists of measurements and other data to be gathered and (b) present arguments to be made for each side, based on information provided in class.

In over 1300 accident investigations, we have seen some of the best and worst investigations, documentations, and litigation preparations imaginable. We started this series in 1990 out of frustration, because we had seen so many instances where (1) incomplete investigations limited the ability of technical experts and trial counsel to adequately analyze and present a case, (2) inadequate understanding of available information by trial counsel resulted in either incomplete or inadequate presentations and arguments in litigation, (3) inadequate understanding of the available information led managers to take the wrong case to trial or appeal the wrong case, or (4) combinations of the above.

Two versions of the UPCA seminars are available: The UPCA-1 Investigation & Documentation series concentrates on investigating and documenting public contact accidents on power and communication utility facilities. Both a one-instructor 2.5 day length and a multiple-instructor 3.5 day length are available in the UPCA-1: Investigation & Documentation series. The UPCA-2 Analysis & Litigation series concentrates on preparing accident information in useful form, analysis and assignment of responsibility for accidents, and accident litigation issues. The UPCA-2 seminar requires multiple instructors (engineer, attorney, burn surgeon, and human factors specialist).

The 2.5 day UPCA-1 seminar concentrates on NESC and OSHA requirements, investigation techniques, documentation techniques, and limited analysis techniques often involved in public contact accidents. It uses a case-study approach to help users understand what information to document, how to correctly measure, photograph, and document required information, how to preserve and control evidence, how to recreate accident conditions and clearances using photographs and measurements, how to use injury information to determine placement and actions of the injured, how to present information in usable and understandable terms with appropriate exhibits and reports, how to separate facts from conclusions, and how the information will be used in litigation. Both winning techniques and potential pitfalls are presented. The seminar culminates with a class exercise based upon a real accident. Attendees will be given a small amount of information like that typically available when initially called to an accident site and then split into groups to develop information required from all parties. After presenting the required information to the class, attendee groups are given pertinent information that was available and then analyze that for facts useful for and against the interests of each party.

The 3.5 day UPCA-1 includes all subjects of the 2.5 day program, some of which is given in expanded form, plus discussions of additional accident types, treatment of electrical injuries, required safety signs for utilities and for construction work, and an outdoor exercise in making accurate measurements of clearances and distances in difficult terrain with hand tools.

UPCA-2 is an advanced extension of the UPCA-1 series that uses case studies to emphasize analysis and determination of responsibilities of multiple parties associated with accidents. Included are in-depth discussions of OSHA work regulations, OHSA requirements for avoiding penalties on the basis of employee misconduct, and the OSHA Directive for assignment of responsibilities on multi-employer work sites. These requirements are excellent tools for analyzing the relative responsibilities of personnel involved in an accident—even if OSHA regulations do not directly apply to the actions at issue. Also included are discussions of electrical burn injury and treatment and human factors issues often involved in such accidents, how to present information in usable and understandable terms with appropriate exhibits and reports, and how to prepare witnesses to help managers and other understand the impact of utility standards and procedures on safety, It is helpful (but not required) if attendees have attended one of the UPCA-1 courses or have extensive knowledge of its subjects.

Participants receive a workbook containing discussions of various codes, standards and regulations; sample accident reports and calculation sheets; investigation “cheat sheets” for various kinds of accidents; accident investigation tips; examples of good and bad exhibits; and other useful materials; as well as exercises and answers and excerpts from Practical Utility Safety.


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4. Investigation, Documentation & OSHA Litigation of Utility Employee & Utility Contractor Employee Accidents (UEA Series)

The UEA Series seminars concentrate on accidents of employees of utilities or utility contractors while working on power and communication utility facilities; A separate seminar series concentrates on accidents resulting from public contact with power and communication utility facilities—see the UPCA Series above.

Two things are critical to successful accident investigation and litigation:

  1. Appropriate information must be obtained, documented and analyzed properly on a timely basis.
  2. The accident analysis and litigation team must present evidence and arguments in a manner that can be both fully understood and believed.

Your lead instructors are Allen Clapp and/or John Dagenhart.They have investigated well over 1300 utility accidents and testified in state and federal courts as expert witnesses on the NESC and utility design standards. They have taught NESC and OSHA requirements to over 25,000 people. They will help you understand effective ways to investigate and document accidents in a manner that will aid and promote effective litigation decisions. At the end of the seminar, attendees are divided into teams to review a real accident scenario and prepare (a) lists of measurements and other data to be gathered and (b) present arguments to be made for each side, based on information provided in class.

In over 1300 accident investigations, we have seen some of the best and worst investigations, documentations, and litigation preparations imaginable. We started this series in 1990 out of frustration, because we had seen so many instances where (1) incomplete investigations limited the ability of safety trainers, technical experts, managers, and trial counsel to adequately analyze and present a case, (2) inadequate understanding of available information by company managers or trial counsel resulted in either incomplete or inadequate presentations and arguments, (3) inadequate understanding of the available information led managers to take the wrong case to trial or appeal the wrong case, or (4) combinations of the above.

Both a one-instructor 2.5 day seminar and a multiple-instructor 3.5 day seminar are available in the UEA -1: Investigation, Documentation, and OSHA Litigation series.

The 2.5 day UEA -1 seminar concentrates on NESC and OSHA requirements, investigation techniques, documentation techniques, and limited analysis techniques often involved in employee accidents. Included are in-depth discussions of OSHA work regulations, OHSA requirements for avoiding penalties on the basis of employee misconduct, and the OSHA Directive for assignment of responsibilities on multi-employer work sites. These requirements are excellent tools for analyzing the relative responsibilities of personnel involved in an accident to help identify methods of avoiding such accidents in the future—even if the user represents a party that was involved in an accident but is not subject to an OSHA citation.

The 2.5 day UEA-1 seminar uses a case-study approach to help users understand what information to document, how to correctly measure, photograph, and document required information, how to preserve and control evidence, how to recreate accident conditions and clearances using photographs and measurements, how to use injury information to determine placement and actions of the injured, how to present information in usable and understandable terms with appropriate exhibits and reports, how to separate facts from conclusions, and how the information will be used in litigation. Both winning techniques and potential pitfalls are presented. The seminar culminates with a class exercise based upon a real accident. Attendees will be given a small amount of information like that typically available when initially called to an accident site and then split into groups to develop information required from all parties. After presenting the required information to the class, attendee groups are given pertinent information that was available and then analyze that for facts useful for and against the interests of each party.

The 3.5 day UEA -1 includes all of the 2.5 day program, some of which is given in expanded form, plus discussions of additional accident types, treatment of electrical injuries, required safety signs for utilities and for construction work, how to present information in usable and understandable terms with appropriate exhibits and reports, and preparation of witnesses to help managers and others understand the impact of utility standards and procedures on safety and focus on appropriate future actions. Accident analysis receives expanded treatment.

Participants receive a workbook containing discussions of various codes, standards and regulations; sample accident reports and calculation sheets; investigation “cheat sheets” for various kinds of accidents; accident investigation tips; examples of good and bad exhibits; and other useful materials; as well as exercises and answers and excerpts from Practical Utility Safety.


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5. Follow-Up Seminar for users of the DANESC™ Video Series

Special one-day live seminars are available for users of the NESC Video Training available from Clapp Research, Inc. Presentations structured around questions supplied in advance by participants are given in the morning. The actual questions and written answers are discussed in the afternoon.


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6. Occupational Safety and Health Administration Regulations

Some PCUTC instructors are authorized to teach OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour courses on construction regulations. Instruction on OSHA regulations applicable to electric or communication utility personnel is normally combined with NESC work rules in special seminars.


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In-house seminars