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How to fix a vague definition and missing information in NFPA-70e?

Question asked by eric.byers@cirris.com on Jan 7, 2019
Latest reply on Jan 13, 2019 by rcramereleceng

I'm running into problems with users of the NFPA-70e guidelines.  The problems are arising due to the poor definition of "Electrical Hazard" (page 13, Article 100, definitions) and the complete lack of informed guidance regarding current vs voltage.  

 

Two core issues.  First is the lack of a definition of Electrical Shock within the Electrical Hazard definition.  Without this definition, your guidelines require safety placards and other safety measures throughout any facility on every wall, on every cubicle and every location where there is carpet and or any risk of the generation of static electricity.  A common static discharge on a door knob during the winter is an "electrical shock" with approximately 4,000 volts.  

 

Second, there is no guideline regarding voltage and current which in turn leads users to be concerned with devices which pose no risk of injury due to a lack of current.  

 

According to 130.2, "energized electrical conductors and circuit parts operating at voltages equal to or greater than 50 volts shall be put into an electrically safe work condition before an employee performs work if any of the following conditions exist:  1-The employee is within the limited approach boundary.  2-The employee interacts with equipment where conductors or circuit parts are not exposed but an increased likelihood of injury from an exposure to an arc flash hazard exists."  This is being mis-interpreted by your users to mean that any device that outputs in excess of 50 volts meets 130.2.  Now, if indeed this is the intent of 130.2, then there is some clarification that needs to be made for complete understanding of the guidance as you have not accounted for current.   Even 4,000 volts is not dangerous, as in a static shock on a door knob, if not accompanied by current.  

 

This has created a false sense of fear for many safety departments using your manuals resulting in expensive and unneeded modifications to work areas.  

 

Who is available to talk to about getting some corrections and clarifications put in place? 

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