The Fire Protection Research Foundation report, "Operating Rooms as Wet/Dry Locations Risk Assessment” authored by Brenton Cox, Exponent, Inc. has just been published.
The recent movement toward using risk based approaches in assessing safety risks around the world has caused the NFPA Technical Committee on Health Care Facilities (responsible for NFPA 99) to incorporate requirements related to risk analysis in NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code. As the result of the Foundation project Evaluation of Health Care Operating Rooms as Wet/Dry Locations, NFPA 99 Section 18.104.22.168.8.4 states, “Operating rooms shall be considered to be a wet procedure location, unless a risk assessment conducted by the health care governing body determines otherwise.” This means that operating rooms shall be provided with special protection against electric shock unless a risk assessment proves otherwise.
The previously mentioned Foundation study includes a methodology framework for this type of quantitative risk assessment. However, the current version of NFPA 99 does not incorporate any guidance on performing a risk analysis. This supplemental report provides user guidance including worked examples.