NFPA 70e Compliance Checklist - Electrical Safety Tips

By R.W. Hurst, The Electricity Forum

Implementation of NFPA 70e regulations is a major challenge. The arc flash analysis without training and tools to implement the program fails the intent of OSHA, Title 29, Section 1910 (Comm32). Therefore, what can companies do to begin establishing an NFPA 70e Compliance Checklist based on the new electrical safety standards? Companies might adopt the following strategy:

Short-Term Action

  • Do Not Work on Hot/Live Equipment! Wear All-Cotton Clothing
  • Electricians, maintenance mechanics and facilities repair workers should work as much as possible on de-energized equipment.
  • Always wear cotton clothing.
  • Use interim hazard warning labels on electrical equipment.

Long-Term Action

  • Train electrical workers and affected personnel in Arc-flash Hazard Awareness.
  • Review existing LOTO procedures to make certain they include all control panels.
  • Assess previous employee LOTO training to determine if employees need to be retrained.
  • Conduct tool audits to assure employees have safe tools for the job and whether new tools need to be purchased.
  • Require clothing appropriate for electrical work and provide appropriate PPE with the expectation that the PPE may have to be replaced when better information is obtained.
  • Conduct arc-flash hazard analysis to determine flash protection boundary on switchboards, panel boards, industrial control panels, motor control centers, other similar equipment. Request for funding for this analysis has been submitted by System Capital Planning and Budget.
  • Determine PPE requirements once the appropriate boundaries have been determined.
  • Label electrical equipment. By this time, campuses should be capable of understanding the specific labeling requirements, and label the equipment on their own.

 

7-Step NFPA 70E Compliance Checklist

1. Develop an overall electrical safety program NFPA 70E

(Guideline: 110.3 (A) - Electrical Safety Program)

2. Perform arc flash assessment surveys, provide a single line diagram, and label equipment to identify and control risks

(NFPA 70E Guidelines: 130.5 - Arc Flash Hazard Analysis; 120.1 - Process of Achieving an Electrically Safe Work Condition; 205.2 - Single Line Diagram; 130.5 (C) - Equipment Labeling)

3. Educate and qualify employees through an ongoing training program

(NFPA 70E Guidelines: “105.3 - Responsibility; 110.2 - Training Requirements, 110.2 (E) - Training Documentation; Qualified Person)

4. Provide protective clothing (PPE), insulated equipment, and voltage-rated tools

(NFPA 70E Guidelines: 130.7 (A) - Personal and Other Protective Equipment.)

5. Develop a proactive preventive maintenance program for equipment and assets

(NFPA 70E Guidelines: 130.5, Article 205; 205.3 - General Maintenance Requirements and Overcurrent Protective Devices)

6. Implement mitigation solutions to design out arc flash hazards

7. Establish continuous change management to ensure user adoption and regularly update safety and preventive maintenance programs

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