NFPA70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
In a fraction of a second, an electrical incident can claim lives and cause permanently disabling injuries. In fact, hundreds of deaths and thousands of burn injuries occur each year due to shock, electrocution, arc flash, and arc blast. Most could have been prevented through compliance with NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.
The Standard continues to evolve to address risk assessment and introduces human factors, such as human error, as part of that assessment. NFPA 70E emphasizes the need to use the hierarchy of risk controls, by moving it from an informational note into the text of the Standard. NFPA 70E now explicitly states that the priority must be the elimination of the hazard.
NFPA 70E describes how to protect electrical workers from three kinds of electrical hazards:
- Electric shock (electrocution)
- Arc-flash (electrical fireball)
- Arc-blast (electrical explosion at high energy levels)
The NFPA 70E standard doesn’t cover other construction hazards such as fall protection, safe use of ladders and scaffolds, hazardous substances, and respirators. These other subjects are covered by OSHA construction safety regulations.
Four-Step Safety Strategy
NFPA 70E outlines a four-step approach to electrical safety:
- Turn Off The Power
Work de-energized, whenever possible. This isn’t always feasible. When it is working on or near exposed live conductors and parts, NFPA 70E requires the following:
- Live Work Permit
Have the customer sign an Energized Electrical Work Permit.
- Plan The Work
Have a written plan for performing the live work safely.
- Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
This includes flame-resistant clothing, insulated tools, face shields, and flash suits.
The NFPA 70E standard is a critical tool for protecting electrical workers form shock, arc-flash, and arc-blast hazards while doing electrical construction and maintenance work. Power Distribution Solutions, LLC has only provided a brief introduction and overview to the most critical NFPA 70E concepts, but if you are interested in learning more about NFPA70E standard for electrical safety in the workplace and how it can benefit your company, give us a call at 770-732-8824 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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