A friend of mine was telling me he read somewhere that in the near future it would become mandatory that qualified workers would have to fill out a JSA before working on any equipment with electricity. is this true?
The simple answer is No. Unfortunately the simple answers probably requires a bit more of an in depth explanation as to why it can be a simple, no.
Now, keep in mind, I’m just another electrician working in the industry, so my answer is mostly just my opinion on things.
First it is important to understand the difference between a Code and a Standard, and how these types of documents are put to work in the construction and maintenance worlds we work in to help keep us safe.
A code may look like a legal document, but, actually, in and of itself it is not, but it contains language meant to be used by those kinds of organizations, municipalities, and agencies that have the ability to, by a legal process, adopt a Code for enforcement, and do so by setting up the consequences of failure to comply. It is this adoption process that makes the Code (in our case, the NEC, or National Electrical Code, NFPA 70) a legally enforceable document, okay?
A standard, while also containing what appears to be some pretty technical language is not a Code, and does not contain the same kind of language that can be used to adopt the same type of enforce-ability that a Code contains. This alone, the application and adoption of a Standard, sets it in a different category when you start to ask the kind of question, such as, “Will this be required, in the future…”
But that’s not all. You see, the hope, in my opinion, of the standard's scope is to create a base line for the players in our industries to create programs and procedures that can appear to be uniform, a sort of consensus, while at the same time allowing companies, city agencies, and others to still have the flexibility to tailor their programs to their specific work environment and needs.
This means, that it is certainly possible that a company you might work for in the future may require every job to be evaluated for hazards, by something like a JSA process, but that would not mean that failure to follow that process would have any consequences outside of the internal company rules. Now, if an accident occurs, OSHA may still show up and site the company for failing to provide a safe work place, but they might not, most likely will not, be able to specifically call out an employer for failure to comply with the standard, in this case, NFPA 70E.
Should NFPA 70E ever graduate to Code status (in my opinion, unlikely) then things could certainly be on different ground.
Spot on David, Thank you.
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