Electrical equipment and devices are changing constantly. To help keep workers and workplaces safe, the National Fire Protection Agency's (NFPA) 70E is updated every three years. This code is a companion piece for OSHA's rules in Part 1910 Subpart S and Part 1926 Subpart K. The key changes for 2018 are now available in a short, five-part video series produced by the NFPA.
Importance of NFPA 70E
Following NFPA 70E is a crucial part of performing electrical work safely. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, in 2016, 53% of all fatal electrical injuries occurred in the construction industry. Other occupational groups that account for the most fatal electrical accidents are installation, maintenance and repair, transportation and other maintenance and management occupations.
“There is a potential for injury anytime an employee is interacting with electrical equipment, not just when they are working on electrical equipment,” said senior electrical engineer Chris Coache, an NFPA technical expert featured in the videos.
Changes to the NFPA 70E code reflect new technologies, knowledge and safety advancements in the industry, and how they relate to job safety. This series focuses on five elements to reduce on-the-job exposure to electrical hazards:
- 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
Utilizing NFPA 70E
This NFPA video series is available on YouTube and can be used as part of any facility’s training program. Safety managers can give workers a better understanding of NFPA 70E by keeping them up to date on arc flash and other electrical hazards. NFPA 70E requires employers to conduct an arc flash risk assessment and to label the nominal system voltage, arc flash boundary, and type of PPE that will be in use during specific tasks within the boundary.
The details on a label for compliance with NFPA 70E will very depending on the type of equipment, the overall installation, and even the type of maintenance work needed. For information at the point of need, apply labels on site after assessing the risks of work using an on-site custom label printer.