Jim Friesen, estimator and project manager for Prime Electric, has been a journeyman electrician for more than 25 years and sent this picture to my attention.

This switch had a damaged handle release mechanism that would not allow the access door to be opened, even in the "off" position. When the electrician removed the cover plate above the switches, he found that the "A" phase line side jaws on the switch were so badly damaged that a pair of vise grip pliers was used in an effort to restore service.

The shopping mall maintenance supervisor said the pliers had been in place for about six months while they waited for the contractor who installed them to come up with a price for a permanent repair. This dangerous misuse of vise grip pliers should never have been permitted. Section 110-12(c) was violated here. "There shall be no damaged parts that may adversely affect safe operation or mechanical strength of the equipment such as parts that are broken, bent, cut or deteriorated by corrosion, chemical action or overheating."