To those in the electrical field, NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is “the source” when it comes to keeping workers safe on the job. In the 2018 edition, the standard takes safety one step further by introducing human error as a factor in assessing the likelihood of an incident.
At NFPA’s 2018 Conference & Expo, Paul Zoubek of Zoubek Consulting, LLC, and an NFPA member, explains that to assess risk, qualified persons must be familiar with human performance concepts as they pertain to risk, as well as other factors that affect the likelihood variable. One of the great features to the 2018 edition of 70E, he says, is the creation of a simplified matrix that exists in one of the Annexes that guides workers through this process with the goal of establishing a safe work condition. Zoubeck explains it this way:
Mr. Zoubek went on to say that in previous editions of 70E, emphasis was placed on job briefings, but the 2018 edition puts the focus on job planning. Understanding the risk before being on the job, Zoubek says, helps determine the likelihood of an arc flash taking place and provides employers and employees an opportunity to put controls in place with the ultimate goal of eliminating employee exposure to electrical hazards. When it comes to establishing an electrically safe work condition, the standard, he says, just keeps getting better and better. Hear why Zoubek believes everyone in the electrical industry should consider the requirements in the 2018 edition of NFPA 70E:
Ultimately, said Zoubek, there will always be risk on the job, but the key is how much we are willing and able to mitigate it. The 2018 edition of 70E provides the means to which we can ultimately help save lives.
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