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The 2018 edition of 70E is now available and NFPA developed a short five-part video series featuring NFPA technical experts, Chris Coache, senior electrical engineer, and Derek Vigstol, electrical technical lead, who explain some of the key changes. The topics discussed in the series include: 70E, worker safety
  • Article 110.1(H) – Risk Assessment Procedure
  • Article 120 – How to Establish an Electrically Safe Work Condition
  • Table 130.5(C) – Estimate of the Likelihood of Occurrence of an Arc Flash Incident
  • Table 130.5(G) – Selection of Arc-Rated Clothing Using Incident Energy Analysis Method
  • Standards for Personal Protective Equipment
Learn how these changes to the code reflect new technologies, knowledge and safety advancements in the industry, and how they relate to the job you do. If you missed any of the videos, find the full series online.
At NFPA our goal is to provide you with everything you need to take your electrical safety skills to the next level. This series and additional resources related to 70E including articles, a blog series, fact sheet, 2018 online training, products and more, can be found at www.nfpa.org/70E.         

The 2018 edition of 70E is now available and NFPA has developed a five-part video series featuring our technical experts who can help explain some of the changes. In our fifth and final video, Chris Coache, NFPA’s senior electrical engineer, and Derek Vigstol, NFPA’s electrical technical lead, discuss Personal Protective Equipment (or PPE).

 

According to Chris, you’ll notice the change in how NFPA addresses PPE from the 2015 edition to this current edition. What you’ll discover is, in the 2015 edition where PPE “shall conform to the standards listed in Table 130.7(C)(14)”; in the 2018 edition it now states, “PPE shall now conform to applicable state, federal, or local codes and standards.”

 

Another change focuses on labels. Just reading a label and taking it at face value, Chris says, is not enough. Employers should consider teaching employees and/or the purchasing staff what to look for in a label (meaning: deciphering whether the gear is genuine or a knock-off). Ask yourself: do you have the confidence to know which standard is applicable to your gear? Are you secure in your knowledge that the gear has conformed to rigorous testing and has met the necessary requirements for safety?

 

At the end of the day, Derek says, we all want to do our job safely and return home. Understanding how to put practice into action when it comes to PPE is paramount if our goal is to see zero injuries on the job. What it all comes down to, they say, is education, training and understanding human error.

 

Learn more about the Standards for Personal Protective Equipment and get the full explanation from Chris below. (NOTE: This clip is part of a pre-recorded full webinar presented in July 2017).    

 

 

At NFPA our goal is to provide you with everything you need to take your electrical safety skills to the next level. Find this information and additional resources related to 70E including articles, blog series, a fact sheet, trainings, products and more, at www.nfpa.org/70E.     

As you know, the 2018 edition of 70E is now available. To help you navigate through some of the key changes, we’ve developed a five-part video series hosted by NFPA’s technical experts that helps explain some of these changes. 

In our fourth video, Chris Coache, NFPA’s senior electrical engineer, reviews Table 130.5(G) – Selection of Arc-Rated Clothing Using Incident Energy Analysis Method. 

 

Table 130.5(G), as Chris points out, used to be in the annex but is now in the mandatory text section. Why? Because when doing an incident energy analysis, employers often have been incorrectly using the PPE category table to determine the required PPE. As employers we are committed to protecting our staff from an arc flash hazard. So to help, we put this table up front to help guide you on how to select the appropriate gear for the incident energy analysis method. 

 

Want to learn more? Get the full explanation from Chris below. (NOTE: This clip is part of a pre-recorded full webinar presented in July 2017).    

Let NFPA provide you with everything you need to take your electrical safety skills to the next level with knowledge gained right from the source. Find this information and additional resources related to 70E including articles, blog series, a fact sheet, trainings. products and more, at www.nfpa.org/70E.     

As an employer in the electrical field, NFPA appreciates your dedication to one of the most rewarding professions. Safety is a top priority for you and everyone on the job and NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrically Safety in the Workplace, can help you make good decisions when it comes to your team.   
As many of you know, the 2018 edition of 70E was recently released. To help you navigate through some of the top changes, we’ve developed a five-part video series hosted by NFPA’s technical experts. In our third video, Chris Coache, NFPA’s senior electrical engineer, reviews Table 130.5(C) – Estimate of the Likelihood of Occurrence of an Arc Flash Incident.  
Table 130.5(C), as Chris points out, is a helpful tool in estimating the probability of an arc flash incident occurring. Scenarios include:  
  • Installing and removing circuit breakers 
  • Taking voltage readings at panelboards and distribution equipment
  • Operation of circuit breakers and disconnecting means 
Chris adds that because of this revision to the table, it can now be used for both the PPE category method and for the incident energy evaluation analysis method when assessing an arc flash risk. Want to learn more? Get the full explanation from Chris below. (NOTE: This clip is part of a pre-recorded full webinar presented in July 2017).    
Let NFPA provide you with everything you need to take your electrical safety skills to the next level with knowledge gained right from the source. Find this information and additional resources related to 70E including articles, blog series, a fact sheet, trainings. products and more, at www.nfpa.org/70E.     
As an employer in the electrical field, we know that safety is your top priority. In response, NFPA is pleased to offer a new comprehensive online training series that can help you maintain that high-level standard of safety your employees have come to expect. Based on the 2018 70E: Standard for Electrically Safety in the Workplace, this training series is perfect for those employers who can’t commit time to a classroom setting but still want to take advantage of the latest learnings. What’s more, the training is easily accessible online, it can be viewed on a laptop anywhere, and it's available 70E, worker safetywhenever you have the time. 
If you’ve never taken one of our online training classes before, as an electrical industry professional, you’ll want to participate in this one. The series is professionally narrated, provides real-world examples, and includes vital information about the 2018 edition of the 70E.    
  • When you participate in this six-part training series, you: 
  • Will gain insight and a complete understanding about the importance of establishing a safety program for you and your team
  • Will recognize the required elements of a risk assessment and know the difference between electrical hazards vs. risk
  • Will be able to identify the information needed to complete a shock hazard analysis
  • Will be able to cite the intent and limitations of PPE prescribed by NFPA 70E
  • Will identify and implement elements of a procedure for establishing an electrically safety work condition
  • Are eligible for 0.7 CEUs (based on successful completion of the course; each one-hour course qualifies you for 0.1 CEU)
...and more   
Interested, but need to know more? Try one of our free interactive demonstrations to get a feel for how the training works. Our catalog provides additional details about the series and its cost.    
No matter how you slice it, NFPA is devoted to helping you do your job better throughout your entire career. Our online training series is just one of the many great tools that will get you there. Get all of our 70E related products and resources on our webpage and start enjoying the benefits today.   
As an employer in the electrical field, NFPA appreciates your dedication to one of the most rewarding professions. Safety remains a top priority for you and everyone on the job, and NFPA’s 70E: Standard for Electrically Safety in the Workplace can help you make the best decisions for your team.  
As many of you know, the 2018 edition of 70E was recently released. To help you navigate through some of the top changes, we’ve developed a five-part video series hosted by NFPA’s technical experts. In our second video, Chris Coache, NFPA’s senior electrical engineer, reviews Article 120 – Establishing an Electrically Safe Work Condition
The article, according to Chris, does not have changes to the requirements or the process, but rather it provides you with a more logical sequence for setting up a program first. Want to learn more? Get the full explanation from Chris below. (NOTE: This clip is part of a pre-recorded full webinar presented in July 2017).    
If you missed our first blog/video of the series that addressed risk assessment procedure, you can find it on our NFPA Today blog in Xchange.  
Let NFPA provide you with everything you need to take your electrical safety skills to the next level with knowledge gained right from the source. Find this information and additional resources related to 70E including articles, blog series, a fact sheet, trainings and products, and more, at www.nfpa.org/70E.        

The 2018 edition of 70E is now available! NFPA is pleased to offer a free fact sheet that provides an overview of the standard along with answers to some of the questions you have about it. They include:

 70E, worker safety

  • The purpose of NFPA 70E
    • The relationship between NFPA 70E and other codes and standards
    • The relationship between OSHA’s standards and 70E
    • The role 70E plays with both employer and employee regarding electrical safety
    • Five of the top changes in the 2018 edition
    … and more

 

NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrically Safety in the Workplace is an important resource that shapes the way employers and employees approach electrical safety to help save lives and avoid losses due to the hazards that are present when working on or near electrical systems. If you’ve wanted to learn more about 70E, the changes in the 2018 edition, and how the standard impacts your job (but haven’t had the time), this fact sheet is a great first start.

 

Download the fact sheet and start using it today. Get more information and related 70E resources by visiting our website at www.nfpa.org/70E.

wildfire

A series of Santa Ana wind-driven wildfires have been burning in Southern California since Tuesday prompting the National Weather Service to call this, “the strongest and longest duration Santa Ana wind event we have seen so far this season.”


To date, according to officials, there has been zero containment on the two most destructive fires in the area, the Thomas and Creek, and a third fire, the Bel-Air Fire has shut down the northbound 405 freeway near the Getty Center as of this morning. These Santa Ana winds, which are seasonal dry winds caused by high pressure over the Great Basin, are not expected to die down until Thursday.

 

Thousands of residents have been evacuated since Tuesday with more evacuation notices expected.

 

NFPA and its wildfire partners remind residents to: 

* Stay alert. If you are near the fire activity or in an area with a Red Flag Warning - where conditions are ripe for

wildfire - stay tuned to news and official reports and be ready to leave; don’t wait for an official evacuation order.
* Prepare a plan. If your community is not in immediate danger from the fires but you live in a surrounding area, it’s still very important to construct a plan for (and with!) your family in case you need to evacuate.
* Create a “go-kit” for every member of the family and for your pets. The bag should contain essentials you will need in case you’re away from home for a few days.

 

NFPA has a number of valuable resources including checklists and tip sheets that will help get you started and prepared. Find them all at www.nfpa.org/wildfire. 

 

The Southern California fires come on the heels of the deadliest and most destructive fires in the state's history in Northern California wine country in early October that killed 44 people and destroyed nearly 9,000 structures.

As an employer in the electrical field you have dedicated yourself to one of the most rewarding professions. Safety remains a top priority for you and everyone on the job.    
To this end, NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrically Safety in the Workplace continues to evolve and shape the way employers and employees approach electrical safety to help save lives and avoid losses due to the hazards that are present when working on or near electrical systems. As an employer, it also assists you in complying with OSHA guidelines.   
NFPA knows that electrical professionals who remain committed to safe work practices need access to the latest code and 70E resources and information to allow workers to do the job as safely and efficiently as possible. For example, the 2018 edition has emphasized performing an arc-flash risk assessment as a critical part of every task being performed. Chris Coache, NFPA’s senior electrical engineer, explains it this way:   
The risk assessment procedure now specifically requires you to address human error and its negative consequences on people, work environments, and equipment. To assist in implementation, new Informative Annex Q (Human Performance and Workplace Electrical Safety) has also been added.
Get the full explanation from Chris in our short video below; it’s the first of our five-part series that explains some of the top changes in the 2018 edition. (NOTE: This clip is part of a pre-recorded full webinar presented in July 2017).   
Want to learn even more about this particular change? NFPA’s Electrical Technical Lead, Derek Vigstol just wrote about it in his latest “In Compliance” column in the November/December issue of NFPA Journal.   
Let NFPA provide you with everything you need to take your electrical safety skills to the next level with knowledge gained right from the source. Find this information and additional resources related to 70E including articles, blog series, fact sheet, trainings and products, at www.nfpa.org/70E.      

nfpa 241

The energy was palpable this morning, the second day of the “Compliance through Collaboration” forum held at NFPA this week. More than 60 professionals including facility managers, enforcers, contractors, designers, inspectors, installers, and fire service personnel from across the country came ready to engage in discussions on the building process, and to learn from their colleagues.


The morning kicked off with a group of passionate, engaged panelists who addressed safety on construction sites, most notably hot work safety, a problem found in many jurisdictions, and the related standards: NFPA 241: Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alterations and Demolition Operations, and NFPA 51B: Standard for Fire Prevention During Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work. This included an emotional address from Deputy Fire Chief/Fire Marshal, Jack Dempsey, from the Boston Fire Department, who spoke about the tragic loss of two firefighters in the 2014 Back Bay fire, and the subsequent evolution of NFPA 241 and creation of the Boston Hot Work Safety Certificate Program, after this incident.


Later discussions looked at construction site safety from the role of fire prevention project and safety managers tasked with training, implementing and communicating safety plans to all those working on a project. Safety managers from such building companies as Gilbane, Lee Kennedy and Suffolk gave compelling and informed presentations, pointing to the lessons they have learned (even the hard ones) and stressing the importance of designing a program/plan to keep everyone safe, working together and successful.


Regardless of what area of the building process these participants hail from or at what point they are engaged in a building project, the overall theme of this morning’s presentations was clear: there’s always something more we can do, more lessons we can learn, and we can always do better. Still, participants agree that they are seeing progress and it’s encouraging. Forums such as these, they say, are helpful in raising awareness and educating people on the most important issues. And as the name of this particular forum suggests, we're reminded of just how powerful collaboration can be.


Find more information about construction fires at www.nfpa.org/constructionfires. Up tomorrow: a panel discussion on energy storage.

 

Photo (left to right): Dennis Mullen, Safety Director, Gilbane Building Company; Doug Standbridge, Safety Manager/FPPM, Suffolk; Jack Dempsey, Deputy Fire Chief/Fire Marshal, Boston Fire Department; Tom O'Donnel, CFPS, Associate Inspection Engineer, Inspectional Services Division, City of Boston; Paul Fitzpatrick, Construction Safety Unit, Boston Fire Department; Jason Edic, CSP, Lee Kennedy Company, Inc.; Ken Colgate, Vice President, Construction, WS Development, and Matt Bourque, Fire Protection Program Manager, WS Development.

NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrically Safety in the Workplace continues to evolve and shape the way employers and employees approach electrical safety to help save lives and avoid losses due to the hazards that are present when working on or near electrical systems. Having the right tools to help guide you and your employees through this process is key. And that’s where the 2018 70E Handbook comes in.   
70E, worker safetyNot sure how the Handbook can help? Try and think of it this way: As an employer, you need to comply with OSHA guidelines, right? So, OSHA is the “what” you need to do and NFPA 70E is the “how” you do it. The newly published 2018 70E Handbook goes one step further and gives you the all-important “whys” and support when you need it.    
You may ask, “Can a Handbook really do all that?” YES! The 2018 edition includes more than 150 full-color photos, charts and illustrations that really bring these safety concepts to life. And we’re pleased to announce two new features you’ll want to take advantage of and share with staff. They include:   
  •  “Worker alerts,” which highlight crucial electrical safety information specifically designed for the employee 
  • OSHA Connection" information, which shows how OSHA's electrical safety standards correspond with certain NFPA 70E requirements 
Other great features of the Handbook include: 
  • The entire 2018 NFPA 70E text plus exclusive commentary that explains requirements and their intent, and it breaks down tasks. The Handbook also addresses different equipment and scenarios. 
  • Commentary on major updates, such as the modification of arc flash hazard identification table [Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(a)] to the new Table 130.5(C) that helps determine the likelihood that an arc flash could occur regardless of the chosen risk assessment method.  
  • Case studies to help examine “what went right” and “what went wrong” with real examples of how NFPA 70E applies in the workplace. 
  • Supplements that include a list of requirement headings from the 2017 NEC that directly impact the implementation of safety-related work practices. You’ll also find extracted material from NFPA 70B: Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance on electrical equipment maintenance, and guidance for writing a safety procedure. 
Read more about the “power” of handbooks and how they can really help on the job, and provide your team with the tools they need to get the job done safely and efficiently. Learn more about 70E, purchase the Handbook and find other 70E-related resources at www.nfpa.org/70e.   

Just as Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina begin the long task of recovery in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the country now braces for Hurricanes Jose and Maria, which are bringing extreme rain, wind and flooding back to the Caribbean and along the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts over the next few days.

 

During this hurricane season that runs through November 30, many coastal areas from the Atlantic to the Gulf and over to the Pacific can expect to see tropical storms, hurricanes or typhoons (the names of these events differ based on the area where you live). According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), even if you don’t live directly on the coast, these storms can cause flooding hundreds of miles inland and can persist for several days after it has dissipated. Storm surges, which are defined by NOAA as abnormal rises of water generated by a storm’s winds, are the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the U.S. and not only cause massive destruction along the coast, but can travel several miles inland, affecting bays, rivers and estuaries. So it's important to be prepared to evacuate when authorities tell you to do so.

 

If you live in an area prone to these types of severe storms or know someone who does, NFPA provides action steps for residents to take before, during and after an event. The resources are free to download and can be shared easily. For first responders, electrical professionals and others who work with communities on preparedness activities and post-event recovery, NFPA also provides a number of resources to aid you in your efforts.

 

Find these resources and much more visit www.nfpa.org/disaster.

 

NFPA’s thoughts are with the residents of communities affected by these recent hurricanes. Please stay safe!

 

Photo: courtesy of the National Hurricane Center/NOAA

campus fire safety

If you’re a facility manager, building owner or enforcement official in charge of emergency preparedness for a college or university campus, you know a one-size-fits-all emergency management plan won’t cut it when it comes to the safety of students, faculty, staff and your facilities. You need a plan specifically tailored to your school’s needs and priorities with the ability to review and revise the plan as needed.

In honor of Campus Fire Safety Month this month, now is a great time to revisit that current plan or learn how to create one for the first time for your facility. Not sure where to start? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is hosting a one-day training (in October and December) that will have you feeling confident and ready for the task at hand. Through interactive discussions and scenario-based instruction you’ll learn why it’s important to implement an emergency management plan and the best way to do so. What’s more you’ll get a good grasp of how to identify components of mitigation, response, continuity and recovery, and how to perform a resource needs analysis. In addition, you’ll learn how standards such as NFPA 1600: Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity/Continuity of Operations Programs can be an invaluable tool throughout the entire process. 

Once you’ve completed the training, you'll be fully prepared to critically review your facility's current plan to identify areas that need improvement and/or be ready to develop a new plan based on the strategies, tools and resources you receive at the training.

Let Campus Fire Safety Month be the jumpstart you need to start focusing on facility safety and preparedness at your school. Visit NFPA’s training page for more information including locations and dates, and to register.

As floodwaters recede and communities in Texas and Florida begin the slow task of rebuilding neighborhoods and businesses in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, President Jim Pauley has affirmed NFPA support to residents and first responders as they engage in recovery efforts.

 

 

NFPA offers a number of resources for residents, including tips, toolkits and emergency planning information, in addition to key action steps they can take when returning home to help reduce the risk of injury from electrical hazards due to the submersion of electrical systems and appliances in floodwaters. These steps include:

  • If your home has experienced flooding, it’s important to keep your power off until a professional electrician has inspected your entire home for safety, including appliances. Water can damage the internal components in electrical appliances like refrigerators, washing machines and dryers, and cause shock and fire hazards. Have a qualified electrician come visit your home and determine what electrical equipment should be replaced and what can be reconditioned.
  • If you smell gas in your home or neighborhood, notify emergency authorities immediately. Do not turn on lights, light matches or engage in any activity that could create a spark.
  • Treat all downed wires as if they are live even if you don’t see any sparks, and especially if there is standing water nearby. Alert authorities immediately if you see downed wires in your area.
  • In the event that electricity may not be available to your home yet and you have not experienced any water in your home, generators are a viable option to power some of your small appliances. However, if used improperly they also pose a fire hazard, risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and electrocution. Tips for safe use of generators.

 

NFPA also provides guidelines for electrical professionals to help prevent equipment failures and worker injuries when they are tasked with recovering electrical equipment after a disaster:

 

Additional disaster-related safety information and resources include:

 

Find these and other NFPA tips and resources by visiting www.nfpa.org/disaster.

Fort McMurray Fire, wildfire, wildfire hazards

The wildfire disaster that struck Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada in May 2016 destroyed more than 2,400 structures and created insured losses of more than $3.5 billion. The incident captured the hearts and minds of the media and citizens the world over, and all eyes were focused on how Canada was coping with one of the most destructive wildfires ever. To that end, Canada's Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) set out on a mission to investigate why some homes survived the fire while others were vulnerable to ignition.

According to Alan Westhaver, principal of ForestWise Environmental Consulting, Ltd., who reported on the investigation in his session at NFPA’s 2017 Conference & Expo in June, the root of the problem was home ignition by embers. This is not a new problem as post-fire data from other large wildfires (check out my post about CAL FIRE) have shown us that it’s not the big flames that engulf a house and burn it to the ground; it’s those tiny little embers flying through the air for a mile or more that land on homes and yards, and ignite all that is flammable in its path.
Westhaver explains that embers act very much like how snow falls. Hear his description of ember showers in this clip from my interview with him.
After listening to Westhaver's explanation you realize it makes sense, right? And yet, not only are people unaware of the kinds of activities that can help counteract the destruction that embers cause, but according to Westhaver, wildfire safety advocates are also not pushing this message hard enough.
Westhaver shared this and other lessons he and his colleagues learned from the Fort McMurray Fire. He even compared the data of this fire to two other large-scale fires in Canada: Slave Lake and Kelowna. Given the studies conducted by all three fires, Westhaver told his audience that they now have a better understanding of the cause of home ignition, home attribute and fire pathways, and he believes this information can (and does) help inform more effective approaches to wildfire risk mitigation.
As a firefighter, a public safety professional, a homeowner, planner, policymaker or municipal leader you'll want to hear the entire audio presentation, which provides the full scope of the investigation and lots more insight into the great work Canada continues to do around wildfire safety and preparedness. Once you've listened to it, let us know what you think.
Did you know that NFPA Conference & Expo attendees and NFPA members get full access to all the 2017 NFPA C&E education session audio & video files? Browse the full list of education sessions - with attached audio/video - here.

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