by Jeffrey Sargent, NFPA senior electrical specialist
From the new issue of NFPA Journal®
Establishing an electrically safe work condition is the only personal protection method that guarantees there is no electric shock or arc-flash hazard. No electric power equals no electrical hazard, which means that workers are protected from accidental activation of equipment and subsequent injury or death. Article 120 of NFPA 70E covers the process of establishing an electrically safe work condition, a key component of which is controlling hazard electrical energy — or, as it is more commonly called in the industry, lockout/tagout.
The 2009 edition of NFPA 70E provides three methods of controlling hazardous electrical energy, one of which is the use of an individual qualified employee control procedure to ensure that the source of electrical energy is disconnected to establish an electrically safe work condition.