Skip navigation
All Places > NFPA Today > Blog > Author: ccoache
1 2 3 Previous Next

NFPA Today

68 Posts authored by: ccoache Employee

70e

The Second Draft meeting for NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace has been completed. There were 45 Second Revisions developed out of the 115 Public Comments submitted. Soon these proposed revisions will be on the way to the Technical Committee for formal ballot. The result of that ballot will determine if the Second Revisions will make it into the standard. The public will be able to view the results once the ballots have been tallied. Here are three of potential major changes.

During the First Draft, Article 360 covering capacitors was added and there are several second revisions proposed for that article. Annex R (also added at First Draft) which provides guidance when working on capacitors was revised to further clarify the associated hazards. For those working with capacitors, you should review the information once the Second Draft Report is available to the public.

Although it is not a change in a requirement, as expected, what an electrically safe work condition (ESWC) is resulted in a proposed change. This dealt with the issue of “eliminating” an electrical hazard. Informational notes are proposed to be modified to clarify that an ESWC is when electrical parts are in a de-energized state for the purpose of temporarily eliminating electrical hazards for the period of time for which an ESWC is maintained.

One proposed change took me some time to comprehend. The change deals with the required arc rating of outwear worn over PPE properly rated for the hazard. Although arc-rated PPE worn over other arc-rated PPE does not directly add together to get a higher arc-rating, it also does not lower the arc-rating of either piece of PPE. So the minimum arc-rating will be the higher of the two. Since all arc-rated PPE is also flame-resistant, the concern of continued exposure to the thermal hazard of the outer layer in flame is unfounded. Therefore, an outer layer with any arc-rating will now be permitted over the appropriately rated PPE.

Only the formal ballot will determine if any of the forty-five revisions will proceed toward the 2021 edition of NFPA 70E.   Some of the changes may alter the things you do during the course of the workday. For others of you, the changes may not have any impact. However, with around three-hundred public inputs being submitted each cycle, at some time, a change will affect your personal safety and the way you perform your tasks. The call for public input on the 2021 edition will be sometime in the first half of 2021. Be ready. It is your standard. Be part of it.

For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange

Want to keep track of what is happening with the National Electrical Code(NEC)? Subscribe to the NEC Connect newsletter to stay informed of new content. The newsletter also includes NFPA 70E information such as my blogs.

Next time: Three different approaches to electrical safety with the same result.

Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development.  To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.

How do you know if equipment is ready to fail? What are signs of impending failure? Who should know what the signs of impending failure are for a piece of equipment? NFPA 70E®,Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® requires that before you operate a piece of electrical equipment that you confirm that the normal operating conditions have been met. You are put at risk of injury if any one of those conditions is suspect. I have written several blogs covering the subject and the impending failure condition confuses many people.

Typically the employer/owner is not aware of the daily condition of individual equipment in their facility. This means that the unqualified person operating the electrical equipment must be trained to recognize an impending failure since conditions can change on a daily basis. The electrical safety training provided should include recognizing potential failure modes and identifying signs of impending equipment failure. This is true whether the equipment that the employee operates is portable and cord-and-plug connected or a section of a large assembly line. However, the signs of impending failure vary greatly by the type of electrical equipment.

The smell of ozone, presence of smoke, and sound of arcing are all possible indications of potential equipment failure. Damage or discoloration of the power cord could be a sign for the portable equipment. A tripped circuit breaker or operation of a ground-fault circuit-interrupter could be another sign. For the assembly line equipment there may be warning lights or alarms. A controller may shutdown to prevent damage and should not be routinely reset. Without proper training to understand such things the employee may not recognize the risk of an injury while operating the equipment.

Electrical safety is not just for qualified persons and involves a lot more than donning PPE. Federal law mandates that an employer provide a workplace that is free from known hazards. An employee operating equipment that is exhibiting signs of impending failure is placed at risk of injury due to electrical hazards. It is only proper training that prevents an injury in that circumstance. Does your electrical safety training for unqualified persons include this important aspect? If you are the employee, do you know how to recognize a potential equipment failure that could prevent you from returning home today?

Want to keep track of what is happening with the National Electrical Code® (NEC®)? Subscribe to the NEC Connect newsletter to stay informed of new content. The newsletter also includes NFPA 70E information such as my blogs.

Next time: On July 16th - 18th, I will be in Indianapolis for the NFPA 70E meeting and the week after for the NFPA 72 meeting so this will be my only blog for the month of July. I will post something about that meeting in my August blog.

Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development.  To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.

Talk about stirring up a hornet nest. A few blogs ago, the most frequently asked question was discussed. That blog concluded by stating: I will only provide one answer in order to ensure protection of your employee. That answer is; yes, PPE is necessary for every task you authorize an employee to perform, including operating a circuit breaker or using a switch to turn a light on in an office. If you want a different answer train your employees and perform risk assessments. Many took offense to the need for PPE to turn on a light. However, if you read the blog, it states that without a risk assessment, I must make the determination that PPE is necessary to operate a light switch. This does not mean that a risk assessment is necessary every time a light switch is operated within your facility. It does not mean that PPE is necessary to turn on any light switch nor does it mean that normal operation of a light switch is not possible. It does not mean that only qualified persons can perform that task. There are many other things that statement does not mean. I have stated several times that something may be presented to prove a point in a blog. So what was the point in that blog? The point was that I have no way of knowing what is happening in your facility.

Look at the normal operating conditions that permit operation of a piece of equipment. Now consider what could be happening on-site. There is no one verifying compliance with National Electrical Code® (NEC®) installation requirements. Installations are done with materials available in-house to quickly get the job done whether the material was specified or not. The 15-ampere switch is used beyond its ratings and is protected by a 30-ampere fuse. The conductors are 14 AWG and are improperly installed to the switch box. The switch is also inappropriately used as a motor controller. The switch is improperly installed so that the yoke is not grounded. The faceplate is damaged thereby exposing energized parts. The metal box for the switch is not grounded. There is visible arcing when the switch is operated. With the misuse of the switch, there is visible discoloration. The employee has not been trained to understand normal operating conditions or to recognize signs of impending failure. An employee is at risk of injury by simply flipping that switch. Although an arc flash is not likely to occur there are several signs that a shock hazard may be present. Even though the restricted approach boundary is avoid contact, the employee is required to make contact with the switch. The yoke, the faceplate screw (or faceplate itself if metal) or the box could be energized. The employee does not know to avoid contact with any metal part and is put at risk of electrocution

My answer is for conditions that I do not personally verify. When pushed to provide an answer to the question; is PPE necessary for a specific task to be conducted on specific equipment, my answer will always be; yes, PPE is required unless YOU determine otherwise. I will always consider that an employee is exposed to a hazard. For me to do otherwise may put that employee at risk of injury. You may determine that the normal operation of light switches or anything else in your facility does not require the use of PPE. It is not typical for such tasks to require PPE. This is true at our facility. Hopefully, it is true at yours as well. 

For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange

Want to keep track of what is happening with the National Electrical Code® (NEC®)? Subscribeto the NEC Connect newsletter to stay informed of new content. The newsletter also includes NFPA 70E information such as my blogs.

Next time: Impending equipment failure.

Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development.  To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.

You are reading this blog so you must be concerned with electrical safety in the workplace. Did you submit a public input to NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® last year? Have you gone to the NFPA 70E website to see what happened to that public input? The public comment closing date has passed. Whether your public input resulted in a first revision or was not included in the standard, has anyone in the world submitted a public comment to re-address your input at the second draft meeting? Soon you will be able to see what the public had to say about the public inputs and the proposed changes that occurred during the first draft stage. 

There are 115 public comments submitted that will be addressed at the second draft meeting. A quick review of the distribution of submitted comments shows that Section 120.5 has received the most comments. Every comment will be addressed at the second draft meeting. NFPA meetings are open to the public which means you are invited whether or not you submitted a public input or public comment. The public is invited to Indianapolis, Indiana on July 16th-19th, 2019 to witness what happens at thesecond draft meeting. I look forward to seeing you in Indy.

For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on XchangeNext time: Operation of a light switch and the need for personal protective equipment.

 

Want to keep track of what is happening with the National Electrical Code® (NEC®)? Subscribe to the NEC Connect newsletter to stay informed of new content. The newsletter also includes NFPA 70E information such as my blogs.

Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development.  To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.

While I prepare for the second draft meeting of NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®, I also begin to prepare for the next edition of the handbook. I review the questions received over the three year revision cycle to determine what needs to be further explained to help NFPA 70E users increase electrical safety at their company. Questions are varied but there have been three main recurring themes. In honor of National Electrical Safety Month this May, I thought I would go over those with you. The first is; does personal protective equipment (PPE) have to be used to perform this task? Second is; is this employee qualified to do this task? The third is; how is a risk assessment performed? The first two themes are not technical questions. It is expected that I will provide a definitive answer to remove the need for a decision by the questioner. The third theme although more technical is not addressed by NFPA 70E. There are hundreds of valid methods of performing a shock and arc flash risk assessment for the thousands of tasks that could be conducted on the millions of pieces of equipment available. 

So what is the most frequently asked question? It is whether PPE is or is not necessary when operating a circuit breaker. To those reading this; NFPA staff cannot make a determination of conditions that require a visit to the facility. I am not able answer the question if PPE is not necessary for any task that you permit to be conducted as justified energized work. (Which begs the question; is energized work justified?) You are the one who does the required risk assessments for the tasks conducted on your equipment. Your risk assessment determines the need for PPE for any task an employee is scheduled to do. However, my answers to this question attempt to provide some education to those asking the question. This typical covers the broad application of NFPA 70E and refers to sections within Article 130.

The first thing is that circuit breakers are used in many pieces of equipment and the operation of a circuit breaker varies greatly with each application. A blanket statement regarding the need for PPE when operating a circuit breaker is not possible. Also, NFPA staff does not determine that the manual operation of any specific breaker in any specific equipment is acceptable. Which leads to a second point. The permission to operate equipment exists if the equipment is under normal operating conditions. I have addressed this several times. Refer to my blogs: The things needed before normal operation is consider safe (PART 1), the things needed before normal operation is consider safe (PART 2), normal operation and you, and is your equipment properly installed. If the equipment is under a normal operating conditions and is being operated properly, PPE is typically not necessary to perform the task. It is your risk assessment that determines that the equipment meets these requirements. It is not something that NFPA staff is able to do for you.

The next point is the requirement that equipment must be placed into an electrically safe work condition (ESWC) whenever an employee is within the limited approach boundary or is interacting with the equipment in a manner that increases the likelihood of an injury even if energized parts are not exposed. Energized parts must be exposed in order for there to be a limited approach boundary. Your risk assessment determines this. If the qualified employee will be within the restricted approach (or arc-flash) boundary then appropriate PPE is necessary. If the equipment is not under normal operating conditions, there typically will be an increased likelihood of injury. Operation of the equipment in such a state puts an employee at risk of injury. Your risk assessment may also determine that even if the equipment is under normal operating conditions that opening the circuit breaker raises the risk of an incident above a level that is acceptable to you. Your risk assessment would therefore identify the PPE necessary to perform the task.

Many still want an answer to the question; is PPE necessary to operate a circuit breaker? As stated above, I am not at your facility. I must consider the worst case situation where your equipment is not properly installed, is not properly maintained, and is used beyond the manufacturer’s requirements. Equipment covers are missing, equipment doors are open, the listing of the equipment is violated, and the equipment is exhibiting signs of impending failure. I will ponder that your employee is not properly trained even if you consider them to be qualified or to be an unqualified worker with proper training for the task. I will accept that you have no documented electrical safety program or procedures. I will assume that you and your contract employer have not discussed electrical safety issues. I will contemplate that the equipment is not being operated properly. I will not take your word that any of my assumptions are incorrect to provide you a definitive answer. I will only provide one answer in order to ensure protection of your employee. That answer is; yes, PPE is necessary for every task you authorize an employee to perform, including operating a circuit breaker or using a switch to turn a light on in an office. If you want a different answer train your employees and perform risk assessments.

For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange

Want to keep track of what is happening with the National Electrical Code® (NEC®)? Subscribe to the NEC Connect newsletter to stay informed of new content. The newsletter also includes NFPA 70E information such as my blogs.

Next time: Second Draft Meeting for NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.

Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development.  To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.

May is National Electrical Safety Month, an annual campaign sponsored by Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), which works to raise awareness of potential home electrical hazards and electrical fire safety on the job. As we consider this month of safety, as an industry professional, what do you think of when you hear the phrase “electrical safety”? 

The first thing that comes to mind may be avoiding a shock or electrocution. Some will jump to the safety of a person interacting with installed electrical equipment. Often this means following the manufacturer’s operating instructions on equipment that is properly installed, properly maintained, closed and secured doors, covers in place and secure, and with no sign of impending failure. Many in the electrical industry may think of personal protective equipment (PPE) and establishing an electrically safe work condition as electrical safety issues. Did anyone think of the design of an electrical system or of the electrical equipment itself? If so, was the equipment operator the only one considered for product liability issues or did you include the person who will maintain the equipment? 

An example of designing for electrical safety for abnormal conditions is a ground-fault circuit-interrupter. For more than a century, people were being electrocuted by accidental contact with energized circuits or parts. A design group developed a device that would limit the potential of an electrocution by opening the circuit before the current level approached an electrocution risk. It is impossible to estimate the lives saved by this device. The design of electrical systems or equipment does play an important role in providing electrical safety. However, many product standards only address safety of the equipment when it is under normal operation conditions. Equipment evaluated under these standards does not typically have a limit to the voltage, current or energy level contained within the enclosure.

The risk of serious injury greatly increases when someone must open the enclosure for any reason. This must be able to be safely performed. As the equipment designer did you consider this highly probable situation? Did you design electrical safety into the equipment to protect maintenance personnel? Even when equipment is going to be placed into an electrically safe work condition (de-energized, locked out), there is a risk in verifying that all energy sources have been successfully removed. You, the equipment or system designer, can save lives by considering electrical safety for tasks conducted over the life of the installation. Sectionalizing equipment, isolating higher voltage, current or energy level circuits, providing disconnect devices in strategic locations, opting for a different circuit design, using insulated terminal blocks or designing-in mitigation systems are examples of means of providing safety for maintenance personnel. When designing an electrical system the same considerations are beneficial. A current-limiting overcurrent device, a separate disconnect box, an arc-flash mitigation device, or an energy-reducing maintenance switch are some methods of protecting the maintenance person.

A designer of electrical equipment or systems needs to consider the electrical hazards inherent in their design for anyone who might be exposed. A person is not only at risk by using the equipment but while maintaining the equipment. There are ways to mitigate the hazards and associated risks in the design. Once the equipment is produced or the system is installed the possibilities for providing protection are greatly decreased. 

During National Electrical Safety Month, let’s take the time to address electrical safety in the design stage; doing so will provide protection for all and will serve to make the workplace a safer electrical environment.

For more information on 70E, check out our 70E blog series here on Xchange. Additional information can be found on NFPA's website or by subscribing to our monthly NEC Connect Newsletter.

Last August I wrote a blog about using the hierarchy of risk controls when the policy is to establish an electrically safe work condition (ESWC). That blog closed out by asking why go through the additional steps of the hierarchy when the hazard will be removed. The example provided was that I am aware of situations where equipment has an incident energy higher than what currently available PPE is rated to provide protection from. Hopefully, this situation will not occur at your facility for any newly installed equipment since you plan to address this hazard early on. But I have been asked what should be done in the cases where equipment is already installed and installation practices cannot be employed to reduce the hazard or risk. In other words elimination, substitution and engineering controls from the hierarchy cannot be employed (at this time.) The work has to be conducted but it is not possible to safely establish an ESWC.

Many simply use the “theory” that since the policy is to eliminate the hazard through an ESWC that the hierarchy need not be used to lower the risk or hazard. The equipment is installed and nothing can be done regarding the installation. They will use this “theory” every time the employee is put at risk of injury performing that same task on that installed piece of equipment. Safe installation and normal operation of the equipment does not have a limit on the voltage, current, or energy levels present in that equipment. Those levels are generally a concern once an employee is exposed to them under conditions that are not normal operation. After all these years I do not condone ignoring electrical safety of the employee during design and installation. Every case is different and this blog should in no way be used as a basis for a policy. Some of the examples may seem extreme but remember, this is about not injuring the employee. This will discuss establishing an ESWC when hazards are excessive since very few situations actually qualify as justified energized work. 

If the work can be delayed, a full electrical shutdown by the utility during a facility closure is an option. Even if the facility does not normally close there may be slow times when it is ideal to have the electric supply removed to protect the employee. The utility has policies, practices and procedures that deal with electrical hazards beyond what is typically present on the load side of the service point. Remember this is for the purpose of establishing an ESWC. This typically does not take days or even hours. Once the ESWC is established for that equipment, the remainder of the facility could be brought back online. If this is not an option, the individual equipment may provide guidance on how to perform the task. All loads should be removed. Although non-contact methods are not permitted to verify an ESWC at lower voltages, they may be used to indicate that the voltage has not been properly interrupted thereby avoiding an unexpected outcome. Higher incident energies may also be associated with higher voltages where non-contact methods are acceptable. With arc-flash boundaries at higher incident energies often exceeding 10 feet, it is difficult to remain outside the arc-flash boundary when verifying an ESWC. However, it may be possible to use probes while not standing directly in front of the equipment and away from the arc-flash direction. This could be via remote control or special probes. It may be possible to design a mobile arc-flash barrier to allow closer approach while verifying the ESWC. I would brainstorm solutions with a group. I would exhaust all possible ideas, concepts, and approaches to verifying the ESWC in these cases. I would not condone having an employee don an 80 calorie rated suit while subjected to a possible 200 calorie incident energy. Whatever solution I came up with to deal with this situation, I would probably perform the task myself. If I was not comfortable with the solution I would never put another person at risk.

This goes back to my blog discussing installation and electrical safety of future employees. These should not be independent considerations. I would use this out of the ordinary solution once. Now is the time to use the hierarchy of risk controls to mitigate this dangerous situation in the future. As a safety professional I would feel obligated to better protect the employee the next time this task must be conducted. This may involve modification of the installation. If not now, when? It would be remiss to not correct a known hazard exposure for the employee. At the very least, I would work to have the voltage and incident energy values lowered to ones where appropriate protection is available. At the best, I would strive to have the levels lowered to the least practicably possible. I might also consider installing a permanently mounted test device. 

No matter what you decide to do in these situations consider the outcome. If an employee is injured or killed under the current policy permitting high incident energy levels, how will you justify why you had them do what they did? If an injury happens the third or fourth time that you expose them to these elevated levels, what will be your reason for not addressing it the first time? For that matter, you might want to use this concept anytime an employee is put at risk. What will you say you did to protect that employee from a hazard you had the possibility of mitigating?

For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange

Want to keep track of what is happening with the National Electrical Code® (NEC®)? Subscribe to the NEC Connect newsletter to stay informed of new content. The newsletter also includes NFPA 70E information such as my blogs.

Next time: The NFPA 70E question asked the most often.

Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development.  To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.

 

Why do so many of us get wrapped around the axle? We are all committed to electrical safety. We all know that removing an electrical hazard is a good thing. But is removing the hazard the same as eliminating the hazard? Can a hazard only be permanently eliminated? If so, does this mean a hazard can only be temporarily removed but not temporarily eliminated? I might be an instigator of this confusion because I never expected it to be an issue. I do believe that a hazard that never exists should be the goal. I have often stated that “full elimination of the hazard is often not an option for installed equipment. Although elimination also can be achieved by applying other controls such as through establishing an electrically safe work condition (ESWC), these other controls introduce a potential for human error. Therefore, the initial attempt should be full elimination of the hazard.” I do not believe such a statement alters meaning of the word elimination. I was not aware that elimination has a time component for many of you. I haven’t found a definition of elimination that includes a time base. Here is the problem.

 

Many in the electrical safety industry consider the hierarchy of risk controls to first eliminate the electrical hazard. This is such that there is no electrical hazard at any time. I agree. NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® states that it includes installation of electrical equipment but such work is typically not conducted while energized. I believe the electrical safety of employees should be addressed at design and installation regardless whether NFPA 70E applies at that time or not. Under this belief, I have stated that full elimination of the hazard should be considered at design of the equipment as well as the design of the electrical system. I hold on to that belief since attempting it will protect future employees by making electrical installations safer. I would then consider the rest of the hierarchy for the installation to further control hazards and risks while the system design, equipment selection and installation are being considered.

 

For many of users of NFPA 70E, a problem comes with requirement in 105.4 that hazard elimination be the first priority. Another issue is many reference another standard where elimination only means “total elimination.” That fixed idea may not be applicable to elimination within NFPA 70E. It is typically not possible to permanently eliminate the hazard using work the practices required by NFPA 70E. Once equipment has been installed my concept of hazard elimination shifts but my definition of elimination does not. When using the hierarchy of risk controls for work practices on installed equipment, I run down the list again. Full elimination, substitution, and engineering controls are typically not possible. This brings me to the other controls (administrative, awareness, personal protective equipment (PPE). Under NFPA 70E these lead to establishing an ESWC which temporarily removes (or eliminates) electrical hazards in a specific location for a finite period of time. This leads many to believe that they have not met the goal of “elimination” of the hazard as a first priority. Many consider only full removal of the hazard as in the first context (previous paragraph) to be elimination, therefore removal of the hazard in this second context cannot also mean elimination.

 

I must be missing something. A sports team is eliminated from the playoffs, they are not eliminated from the league. It is a temporary thing. When a hazard is verified as not being present, it has been removed or eliminated regardless of time. There are many intricacies of requirements in a standard that you must handle on your own. NFPA 70E is no different and elimination is one of those. NFPA 70E does not mention permanent or temporary elimination of a hazard, it is simply elimination. To my knowledge I have never stated that the only elimination of a hazard is permanent elimination. I have said that the process of establishing an ESWC is not the elimination control but it results in the elimination of the hazard. There is a difference. But it is just what the standard required by eliminating the hazard through work processes. The employee will not be injured since there is no electrical hazard present where the task is being performed. You will not convince me that permanent elimination should not be considered first. However, if permanent removal of the hazard is not possible then removal of the hazard on a temporary basis is a very effective method of protecting an employee. I also do not believe that an ESWC be a default work practice without further considering ways to mitigate the hazard or risk.

 

I expect that much of the second draft meeting will be spent addressing the meaning of the word elimination. If full elimination or an attempt to mitigate a hazard is not addressed, many of you will ignore the hierarchy and only establish an ESWC on all equipment. On the other hand, if elimination only means an ESWC, the safety of future electrical employees will continue to be jeopardized by not mitigating the exposed hazard during the process of establishing the ESWC. Since the concern has been raised, we are getting wrapped around the axle on meaning of the word elimination. But I am not sure how many do not understand what it means and how to use it in regards to NFPA 70E. The solution may be worse than the problem it is trying to solve.

 

For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange

 

Want to keep track of what is happening with the National Electrical Code® (NEC®)? Subscribe to the NEC Connect newsletter to stay informed of new content. The newsletter also includes NFPA 70E information such as my blogs.

 

Next time: Equipment that has electrical hazards beyond what safety equipment is designed for.

 

Please note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development. To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.

As you know, NFPA 70E®Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® does not determine what normal operation of your equipment entails. NFPA 70E details the normal operating conditions necessary before someone can safely operate that equipment. So, in that regard, which of these do you consider to be normal operation of the equipment?

  1. Flipping a light switch in an office.
  2. Placing a light bulb into a socket.
  3. Opening a motor disconnect.
  4. Placing an ammeter into a circuit to measure current.
  5. Operating a circuit breaker in a panelboard after opening the hinged cover.
  6. Placing a fuse into a fuse holder.
  7. Replacing a ballast in a luminaire.
  8. Placing an appliance plug into a receptacle.
  9. Pushing an emergency stop on equipment.
  10. Racking a circuit breaker out of a cabinet.
  11. Plugging a circuit breaker into a panelboard.
  12. Replacing a damaged receptacle.
  13. Pulling conductors through rigid metal conduit.
  14. Programming a variable frequency drive.

Remember that the tasks you consider to be “normal operation” of the equipment should be able to be done while energized and without the need to use personal protective equipment (PPE). If you are required to use PPE it generally means that the equipment is not under normal operating conditions and therefore, the task is not normal operation. Opting not to wear PPE while performing a task does not make the task “normal operation.” Here in the United States of America, it is not believed that equipment meeting the normal operating condition requirements is inherently unsafe to the person properly operating the equipment. No interaction would be permitted with any electrical equipment if it were. Pulling the trigger on a hand tool, using a computer, charging a cell phone, or playing a video game would pose risks and hazards that could cause injury. Such a condition would require PPE for all of those tasks. Only qualified persons could perform those tasks. Luckily, society has agreed that such precautions are not necessary. 

All the tasks listed are necessary for the equipment to function as designed. I am pretty sure you will find manufacturer’s instructions that include the above tasks or the equipment is specifically designed to permit performance of the task. And if it is in the instructions or if the equipment is designed to do it, does that make the task normal operation of that equipment? Your decision to deem something to be “normal operation” plays a big part in protecting employees from injury. I am not going to state which of the above tasks are normal operation. That is not my call. That is not NFPA 70E’s call. It is your call.

For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange

Want to keep track of what is happening with the National Electrical Code® (NEC®) Subscribe to the NEC Connect newsletter to stay informed of new content. The newsletter also includes NFPA 70E information such as my blogs.

Next time: Elimination of an electrical hazard.

Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development.  To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.

There still seems to be a misunderstanding about the responsibility of the purchaser when is comes to personal protective equipment (PPE). As explained in my blog, Who verifies that personal protective equipment (PPE) meets the correct standards, it is and always has been your responsibility to verify PPE meets all standards. From the purchaser to the manager to the wearer of the PPE, as well as the safety manager, facility manager, supervisor, etc. failure to make this determination places the employee at risk of injury. You have the responsibility of obtaining assurance that the PPE complies with the applicable standard. You are responsible for assuring that PPE that makes false claims or that is knock-off or counterfeit is not issued to the employee. It is your responsibility to provide equipment that is suitable for the installation or in the case of NFPA 70E®Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®, that the PPE has been evaluated to protect an employee.

There are many pieces of equipment, including PPE, in the electrical industry that are not required to be evaluated (listed) by a third party. Just as in previous editions, the 2018 Edition of NFPA 70E requires that PPE conform to the applicable standards without actually requiring the manufacturer submit the PPE to testing. This is because NFPA 70E is a work practice standard that PPE manufacturers do not have to follow. Since evaluation of PPE to any product standard is not a requirement in many codes and standards that address electrical safety, NFPA 70E took steps in the 2018 edition to provide some guidance to assist you in verifying the manufacturer’s claim of compliance to applicable standards. These are self-declaration, self-declaration under a quality management system, and certification (listing) by a third party. Let’s look at what these mean starting from the most understood to possibly the least understood claim.

Certification by a third party is a common way for equipment to be deemed suitable by a purchaser, authority having jurisdiction, or user of the equipment. This is referred to a Listing in NFPA standards. Within the United States of America (USA), OSHA has a process for accrediting organizations for performing evaluations using specific standards. An evaluation of equipment by an independent party to a published standard removes many apprehensions of someone tasked with approving equipment for use or purchase. It allows for a quick determination that equipment is indeed suitable for the use and that it complies with the minimum requirements of the applicable standard. As part of listing, the independent party also audits manufacturing sites to have continued assurance that equipment built over a period of time is identical to what was originally listed. If materials, manufacturing processes, or drawings are different that submitted for the certification, the listing of the equipment may be withdrawn until the “new” version is determined to comply with the standard. Equipment may be listed as complying with many standards. It is also your responsibility to verify that the equipment purchased has met the correct standard.

 

Self-declaration (Declaration of Conformity (DoC)) is possibly the second most understood of the conformity allowances. This is simply a statement by the manufacturer that the equipment meets a standard. You must be competent enough to know if the specified standard is applicable to the final product. Some standards evaluate fabric only, not the final product (i.e., shirt, pants) that is made of the fabric. A separate standard may be necessary to address the testing of the final product. There is no external oversight of the testing, manufacturing or raw material procurement process under this system. The manufacturer may or may not be able to conduct tests or evaluate the final product for compliance with the applicable standard. Neither prohibits them from supplying this DoC. Outside of the USA, a DoC is a legal document declaring that the equipment complies with the specific laws of the governing country. Some of those DoCs may only cover recycling of the equipment. Those DoCs do not typically address USA standards including the National Electrical Code® (NEC)®. There are substantial liabilities, fines and imprisonment for falsifying those DoCs. However, within the USA, the DoC is not tied to a legal system although the USA is a highly litigious country. The DoC is as good as the credible company backing it with their reputation.

 

The least understood of the conformity methods is a DoC under a registered quality management system and product testing by an accredited laboratory. A registered quality management system (typically IS0 9000 series) requires documentation of many company functions. Documentation of an engineering change order system for document revisions, of test and inspection procedures, and of returned equipment are examples of topics addressed. This quality system typically does not address required safety standards for the equipment being manufactured but only that documentation is in place to have a manufacturing process followed. The accredited laboratory portion of this method is not necessarily an independent testing laboratory. Many registered quality management companies have an accredited on-site laboratory to conduct evaluations and testing of their products by company employees. The credibility of the manufacturer is once again an important factor with this type of DoC.

 

Delivery of one of these conformity methods does not absolve you of the responsibility for determining the validity of a claim. You must be competent to understand the standard applicable to the purchased PPE, the correctness of the claim, the validity of the test results, or verification of a listing mark. No matter which conformity assessment you request there will be non-compliant PPE or counterfeit versions of a credible manufacturer’s PPE. False claims may be made. A transient company may market PPE and provide a false listing or DoC to take advantage of a growing market. A company producing counterfeit PPE will provide an apparently valid DoC or listing mark. The “same” arc-flash suit that is substantially less expensive than from a reputable manufacturer or distributor can be purchased from some online party. Caveat emptor (buyer beware) is the rule for anything you purchase but it is even more important when someone’s life is at risk. The approved vendor or distributor, reputable manufacturer, DoC and product listing organization is there for a reason. For the protection of your employee you must do some homework before purchasing the PPE. That requirement has not changed.

 

For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange, or sign up for NFPA's electrical newsletter.

 

Next time: A normal operation quiz.

 

Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development. To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.

 

NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® has been processed through the First Draft stage and will soon be open for public comment. The first draft will be posted on or before February 27, 2019 allowing you to review what occurred during the First Draft. When the first draft is posted it will be available at https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=70E&tab=nextedition.

 

The 332 submitted public inputs resulted in 86 revisions being made to the standard. A majority of revisions added informational notes to help explain requirements that many were having trouble understanding or to provide additional guidance on where to find pertinent information.

 

If your submitted input received a reply of Reject But See from the technical committee it means that your idea or concept was included but it was not possible to use the wording as you had submitted. Also, the information from all public inputs on a single requirement are addressed as one revision. This often requires combining the concepts proposed by several inputs to develop a single requirement. This also results in a Reject But See response to all affected public inputs since each may have had different changes. The first revisions created by such inputs should be reviewed to make sure the concept of your input was incorporated in a way to resolve your concern with the standard or the requirement.

 

Remember that the first draft only contains the changes made to the standard. There were 332 proposed changes submitted for consideration. You should review the public inputs, including those from others, to see if there was something submitted that did not result in a change. Sometimes a submitted comment provides necessary information or further clarifies a concern or requirement. It is not unusual for a comment on a rejected public input to lead to a second revision due to this additional information. Note that without a submitted comment on a particular public input, this second draft stage will be your last chance to have that public input reconsidered.

 

As a final note, essentially new information or a new requirement cannot be added during the Second Draft stage. However, this does not mean that changes cannot be made. Anything added in the second draft process must be based on something that occurred during the first draft. Changes may also be made if a first revision made another subsequent change necessary during the second draft.

 

You and your colleagues have ideas on how to better protect yourself or your employees from the electrical hazards faced during a work day. You are the ones who need to understand how to apply the requirements. Everyone wants to make it home safely today. As previously stated in my blogs before - it is your standard. Be a part of it.

 

For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange.

 

Next time: Verification of manufacturer’s PPE ratings.

 

Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development. To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.

 

What do you think of when you hear the phrase protective equipment? Many of you likely went right to clothing but protective equipment is anything used to protect the employee from injury. Clothing, hard hats, multi-meters, hand tools and insulating blankets are all equipment that provide protection for the employee. For each of these to achieve that goal they must be properly maintained. An employer is responsible for assuring that appropriate protective equipment is provided to the employee. It is relatively easy for the employer to purchase and verify that equipment is compliant and suitably rated. What happens after the equipment is issued for use is more difficult to track. However, all that equipment must be verified to provide the necessary protection whether the equipment was purchased yesterday or ten years ago.


An employer must have a well-documented policy for the handling of each piece of protective equipment. It is equally important to provide proper inspection training for employees using the equipment. How to inspect an arc-rated suit is entirely different from inspecting voltage rated gloves. Transportation, on-site conditions, and rugged use necessitate an inspection immediately prior to use. A general rule is that protective equipment be inspected before each use. Visual inspection often provides the first sign that protective equipment may not perform as necessary. If the equipment is defective or suspect in any way it must be brought back into compliance before use.


Equipment that is used infrequently must be maintained just as equipment that is used daily. Insulation properties can be effected by time, storage method or atmospheric conditions. Annual calibration of a multi-meter typically does not verify proper insulation. Some equipment may be kept in a common area for use by several employees, some may be issued to individual employees, some may be purchased by the employee, and some may be leased. All this equipment requires appropriate scheduling to be properly maintained in order to protect the employee. For the most part, proper maintenance is directed by the equipment manufacturer. Who performs the maintenance is often the choice of the purchaser. The selection is critical since an employee will be at risk of injury if the equipment is not properly maintained.


What about the protective clothing? More expensive gear like an arc-rated suit may be purchased and maintained by the employer. But every day arc-rated shirts and pants may be the employee’s responsibility to purchase as well as maintain. Rips and tears must be properly repaired. Contaminated gear may be prone to catastrophic failure. Laundering must be done in the correct cycle and temperature as well as with appropriate detergent. If anything is done incorrectly, the protection may not be there when needed. An employer is responsible for protecting an employee. This is true regardless of who is maintaining the protective gear. What is your company’s policy and procedure for the maintaining equipment used to protect you?


For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange.


Next time: NFPA 70E Second Draft.


Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development. To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.

An employer using NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®can be either a host or contract employer. If an employer is using in-house workers it is obvious who has the responsibility for 130.2(A). When a contractor is working for a host employer it may become less obvious for the application of 130.2(A). However, consider that both the host and contract employer have responsibilities set forth in Article 110. Each is responsible for assuring proper protection for their own employees.
In a host/contractor situation, the host may determine that energized work is justified or simply that they don’t want the system to be turned off. However, the contract employer should fully understand the reason behind the energized work and has the responsibility of protecting their employees from electrical hazards. If the contract employer feels their employees are at undue risk, there is no requirement that they perform the proposed task. On the other hand, the contract employer may decide that their employee can handle energized work or may determine that energized work is justified. However, if the host employer feels the contract employer will use unsafe work practices there is no requirement that the contractor be used to perform the work.
From an NFPA 70E viewpoint, both the host employer and contract employer should have a fully developed electrical safety program. For the host employer, the program should address both in-house and contract work. Using contract workers does not absolve the host employer of their obligation to provide a work environment that is federally mandated to be free of recognized hazards. In order to do so, the host employer must notify a contract employer of known hazards. The contract employer’s electrical safety program should not only address common electrical safety issues but also conditions anticipated for the specific tasks conducted at a host employer site. The contract worker must be qualified to perform the assigned task on the specific equipment present at the host employer site.
If electrical work is to be performed there will almost always be known hazards. This is true whether an electrically safe work condition (ESWC) will be established or energized work will be justified. A documented meeting between the host and contract employer is therefore required. The meeting should cover many things. Before any work has begun it is first necessary to determine that the equipment is indeed in a normal operating condition. Anything otherwise can pose risks not anticipated. Inspection, maintenance, and failure logs should be reviewed. A risk assessment is necessary for the assigned task on the specific equipment. This could be a review of the risk assessment provided by the host employer or a previous risk assessment by the contract employer. It could be the first assessment for that task on that equipment. It may require verification of the parameters on the equipment label.  
If an ESWC is to be established, it is possible that each employer has a procedure. One procedure may be more thorough or stringent than the other. The host and contract employers must agree on the procedure to be used. A contract worker may not be familiar with the host’s procedure, and training should be provided to that worker. A detailed record should be developed if a task will be conducted while energized. The host employer is typically responsible for the safety of anyone present in their facility. A contract employer has a responsibility to protect their workers at a contract site. In no case should an employee be subjected to unjustified, exposed, energized electrical hazards.
There are many other things that a host and contract employer must reach agreement on before a contract worker begins a task. Who decides that the equipment is under normal operating conditions? Whose PPE will be used? Who will provide any specialized equipment? Who is responsible for verifying that all PPE is suitable for the assigned task? How will affected host employees be notified of the task? Who will be responsible for establishing and enforcing the approach boundaries? What happens when the procedure will include a complex lockout program? A host employer occasionally feels that they have no obligations or responsibility for safety of a contract worker. A contract employer sometimes feels as if they know better than the host employer. The rules of electrically safety apply regardless of a host or contract employee conducting the task but someone must make sure that the rules are followed. This needs to be determined before any task has begun. 
The host and contract employer relationship is unique. Both employers are responsible for the safety of a contract worker at risk of an injury. There must be open and honest dialog between the two employers for there to be a true safety culture for a contract worker. The host employer may look at things differently if they treat the contract worker as one of their own. The contract employer may benefit by considering employee safety above all else. The welfare of the employee should always be in the forefront of any decision and revenue for either party should not be part of the safety discussion.
For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange
Next time: Maintaining protective equipment.
Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development. To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitfor instructions.
It has been over a year since I summarized the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) fatal electric injury statistics. You can read my blog about it here. To refresh your memory there currently is an annual average of 192 fatal electrical injuries (U.S.A.). This accounts for about 12% of the fatalities in the occupations generally covered by NFPA electrical standards. An American employee is killed by electricity every day and half of work. Luckily, many more of you make it home than do not. However, that does not mean that you returned home unscathed. You made it home but where you uninjured? Here are some non-fatal injury statistics between 2012 and 2016. You can read the summarized NFPA report online.
About 9,760 (2012-2016) of you in the U.S. were injured through direct and indirect exposure to electricity. “Direct exposure to electricity” is contact with a power source, such as touching a live electrical wire. “Indirect exposure to electricity” refers to injuries resulting from contact with material that is unintentionally conducting electricity. This is an average of 1,952 injuries per year which due to a downward trend is lower than the decade average of 2,155 per year (2007-2016). Although you escaped being a fatality, nearly eight of you are injured every work day. This does not mean you returned to work the next day. Nearly one half of your injuries resulted in 6 or more days away from work. Putting it another way, your reported electrical injuries resulted in considerable lost work time (41% of injuries required more than two weeks away from work).
Electrical injuries are experienced by all occupations including those not necessarily associated with exposure to electrical hazards While employees in installation, maintenance, repair, and construction occupations account for the largest number of injuries, a substantial number of injuries involve other occupations, including service, production, transportation and material moving, and sales and related occupations. Electrical parts and materials accounted for 59% of the injuries. Furniture or fixtures (5%), and hand tools (5%) are on the other end of the specified injury source list. 26% (2,540) of exposure injuries involved a voltage of 220 volts or less and 14% (1,400 injuries) involved a voltage of greater than 220 volts. Voltage was unspecified in the remainder of the injuries. An interesting statistic is that 16% of the injured were female whereas that group suffered 1% of the fatal electrical injuries. 
A much higher share of injuries from direct exposure to electricity resulted from contact with parts and materials (67%) than for indirect exposure (41%). This is the primary statistic that NFPA 70E strives to reduce. In the workplace, direct contact to exposed, energized parts is specifically addressed in NFPA 70E. First, it must be justified for you to cross the restricted approach boundary while the circuit is energized rather than in an electrically safe work condition. Second, if you do cross the boundary you must be properly insulated from the energized part by PPE. This requirement, if followed, would have prevented many of your direct contact injuries. Properly maintained equipment under normal operating conditions, as required for general electrical safety, may have had addressed many of your indirect exposure injuries.
Shock and electrocution have been a known electrical hazard since the beginning. Insulation as protection from electrical shock has existed since the start. It is troubling that 120 years later these injuries are still occurring. Yes, some of these injuries were completely unexpected. However, an injury should not be seen as unexpected when you are knowingly exposed to electrical hazards. It is very probable that many of you were injured because you were not provided proper training or an inexpensive, properly insulted tool when performing properly justified energized tasks.
These injuries are only those that are reported. Shocks and near-death experiences are very often not reported. Unreported injuries would be a magnitude or two higher than these reported injuries. Electrical injuries can be reduced through the use of proper safety procedures, training, personal protective equipment, and other methods. It’s important for you to receive appropriate training for the tasks assigned to you. You may have returned home today but were you injured or have a near-death experience?
For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange
Next time: Are you a host employer or a contract employer.
Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development. To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.
If the National Electrical Code® (NEC®)covers the installation of electrical equipment and provides for the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity and NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®addresses electrical safety-related work practices for employee workplaces then how does someone span the gap between the two? That statement may surprise many of you. There’s a gap between the two standards? How can that be? From the questions I receive regarding both standards, there is a difference between what could be done and what is required to be done. 
The NEC covers the installation of electrical equipment. When electrical equipment is installed in compliance with the NEC, properly designed electrical equipment does not normally pose a risk to a person interacting with the equipment under normal operating conditions. NFPA 70E also covers a person interacting with the equipment under normal operating conditions but not from the installation aspect. NFPA 70E approaches safety from the procedural aspect of interacting with the equipment. NFPA 70E furthermore covers electrical safety when an employee is exposed to electrical hazards or the equipment is not under normal operating conditions. Neither of these conditions are addressed by the NEC. Again from NFPA 70E this is from a procedural viewpoint. So where is the gap between the two? It is in how many people approach electrical safety. Often the safe installation is completed then an electrical safety procedure is developed to address situations when an employee is exposed to electrical hazards.
Should it be that installation is installation and employee electrical safety is employee electrical safety and never the twain shall meet? Since the NEC and NFPA 70E are not always utilized by the same person and since the use of the NEC is often legislated, many consider electrical installations and electrical safety programs to be separate and distinct from one another. Something not required for a NEC compliant installation is historically not done. The NEC provides installation requirements for equipment operating at kilovolts, kiloamps and kilojoules. Correctly installed there are no exposed electrical hazards. Installation is not presumed to be energized work therefore the NEC does not address safe work practices. NFPA 70E addresses how to protect an employee when those electrical hazards are exposed. So if everyone is protected where is that gap?
I receive many questions regarding electrical safety. When descriptions of some designs and installations are given, if the question is regarding NFPA 70E, I often ask why is it being done that way. The answer usually is because the installation is permitted. I often mention that since employees will be exposed to electrical hazards when performing justified energized work, there are ways the exposure might possibly be eliminated or reduced. The reply is often that such an installation is not required. That is the gap I am talking about. There are those who install equipment in a safe manner and those who must work in a safe manner while exposed to electrical hazards. Safe work practices are not part of a de-energized installation and installation is not a work practice for exposed electrical hazards. 
For electrical safety to progress for anyone interacting with electrical equipment, electrical safety should to take a holistic approach. There are thousands of ways to install a piece of equipment while complying with the NEC requirements. One method is selected but all would result in a safe installation. The equipment will be operated safely. However, the decision to install in a particular manner can have a great effect on someone responsible for maintaining that equipment. That installation decision has a lasting impact on electrical safety for the life of that equipment. These decisions need to be made prior to installation in order to be effective. Touch safe terminals, fast-acting overcurrent devices, or some other engineering controls are installation decisions that can have a significant impact on the safety for future employees. 
Both installation and work practices impact electrical safety but they are separate and distinct electrical industries. There is no limit to the amount of energy that a safe installation can contain. However, once an employee is exposed to those hazards hindsight regarding the installation decision is too late. Electrical safety procedures are written to address the resultant electrical hazards when the safe installation is moved into a maintenance situation. In a holistic approach to electrical safety, the installation considers justified employee exposure to hazards and methods of controlling them. Under that condition, the future employee exposed to the hazards is not only protected by the installation but by the work practices. Do your electrical installations consider the future?
For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange
Next time: Non-fatal injury statistics.
Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development. To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpifor instructions.

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: