Hospital Grade Power Strips
Question: I know Certified (Listed) relocatable power taps are not intended for use in health care facilities and that Certified (Listed) medical carts or equipment may incorporate relocatable power taps when the equipment to be plugged into the power tap is restricted to the items identified on the Certified (Listed) medical cart. Is there another Certified (Listed) multiple receptacle cord-and-plug-connected option for use in a healthcare facility, what some call hospital grade power strips?
Answer: Yes. To address the need for cord-and-plug-connected multiple receptacle devices to provide power to medical equipment in patient care areas of health care facilities, UL Certifies (Lists) hospital grade power strips as cord-and-plug-connected health care facility outlet assemblies (HCOA’s). These devices are Certified (Listed) in the UL product category Cord-and-Plug-connected Health Care Facility Outlet Assemblies (KEVS). You can access the UL guide information and Certifications (Listings) on UL Product iQ™ at productiq.ul.com; enter KEVS at the keyword search.
UL Certifies hospital grade power strips as HCOA’s
The KEVS category covers indoor-use cord-and-plug-connected health care facility receptacle outlet assemblies (HCOAs) rated 250 V ac or less and 20 A or less.
HCOAs are intended for use as movable connections to the power supply for cord-and-plug-connected medical electrical utilization equipment in health care facilities in accordance with Article 517 of ANSI/NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) and ANSI/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.
HCOAs are not intended for home health care use because the branch circuit of a dwelling may not provide the lower resistance grounding necessary for patient care equipment.
HCOAs include 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 to create 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 and reduces the 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 as having the overall responsibility for the operation of a health care facility, including a patient equipment grounding point. It is the responsibility of the health care facility governing body to conduct a risk assessment in accordance with ANSI/NFPA 99 to determine whether a specific facility needs patient equipment grounding points within patient care vicinities as identified in ANSI/NFPA 99, Clause 126.96.36.199.2.
HCOAs are intended for cord-and-plug connection of medical utilization equipment that has been authorized by the health care facility governing body and that has been verified as having touch and leakage current suitably low for patient care use. HCOAs are intended for use with medical equipment complying with the applicable requirements of:
- UL 60601-1, the Standard for Safety of 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
HCOAs are intended to be mounted to benches, carts, stands and other areas, and are not intended to be placed on the floor. In addition, they do not incorporate devices such as manual or automatic switches, supplementary protection devices, or circuit-interrupter devices that disconnect power from HCOA receptacle outlets.
Hospital grade power strips are investigated to UL 2930, Outline of Investigation for Cord-and-Plug-Connected Health Care Facility Outlet Assemblies
The basic requirements used to investigate HCOAs are contained in UL 2930, Outline of Investigation for Cord-and-Plug-Connected Health Care Facility Outlet Assemblies.
A Certified (Listed) HCOA can be identified by the UL Certification Mark on the product that includes the UL symbol, the words CERTIFIED and SAFETY, the geographic identifier(s), and a UL file number. Alternatively, products may carry a UL Listing Mark that includes the UL symbol together with the word LISTED, a control number, and the product name Health Care Facility Outlet Assembly or HCOA.
Reprinted with Permission from IAEI News, November/December 2019.