What Is NFPA 70e

By R.W. Hurst, The Electricity Forum

Electrical Safety Procedures

WHAT IS NFPA 70E?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E is an American standard that provides a standard for best electrical safety work practices to help protect industrial electricians from electric arc flash and arc blast explosions, which often result in potential injury and death. As a result, OSHA has referenced the NFPA 70e. In fact, many organizations have now designed an NFPA 70E Compliance Guide to help protect their electrical personnel from the hazards associated with arc flash.

OSHA acting by adopting the NFPA 70e regulations for safe electrical work practices in 1990, and has proposed a revised standard that meets the most recent edition of NFPA 70E. 

NFPA 70e governs employees who work on or near exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts. This includes electrical maintenance personnel, operators, troubleshooters, electricians, linemen, engineers, supervisors, site safety personnel or anyone exposed to energized equipment of 50 volts or more.

The goal of the standard is to keep electrical workers free from the hazards of shock, electrocution, arc flash and arc blast. In support of this goal, NFPA 70e, and the NEC require or recommend facilities provide:

OSHA adopted regulations on safe electrical work practices based on NFPA 70E, and is proposing a revised standard that conforms to the most recent editions of the standard. Given that the NEC (National Electrical Code) and OSHA have both started referring to it in their documents, citations are now being written based on the electrical safety standard.

NFPA 70e applies to employees who work on or near exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts. This includes electrical maintenance personnel, operators, troubleshooters, electricians, linemen, engineers, supervisors, site safety personnel or anyone exposed to energized equipment of 50 volts or more.

The goal of NFPA 70e is to keep electrical workers free from the hazards of shock, electrocution, arc flash and arc blast. In support of this goal, NFPA 70E and the NEC require or recommend facilities provide:

Changes and updates in the NFPA 70e help reduce risks and accidents:

  • New requirement for a signed authorization for energized electrical work
  • New language concerning multi-employer relationships requires all contractors on a project to be aware of hazards, PPE, safe work practices, and emergency evacuation procedures.
  • Installation requirements correlate with the 2002 National Electrical Code.
  • New and revised definitions clarify electrical safety issues such as arc rating, incident energy, and restricted approach boundary.
  • Updated PPE requirements reflect the latest technology.
  • Organized like the NEC, this edition's format and organization save time and help eliminate errors!
  • The discussion of Safety Related Work Practices has been moved to Chapter 1, to emphasize the topic's importance.
  • Chapter 1 has been totally reorganized, with all related provisions grouped together in logical progression.
  • New Annexes for a Sample Energized Work Permit, General Categories of Electrical Hazards, and a Sample Job Briefing Form, plus an updated Sample Arc Flash Calculations Annex, help you work smarter.

 

Chapter 1 Safety-Related Work Practices

  • 100 Definitions
  • 105 Application of Safety-Related Work Practices
  • 110 General Requirements for Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices
  • 120 Establishing an Electrically Safe Work Condition
  • 130 Work Involving Electrical Hazards

Chapter 2 Safety-Related Maintenance Requirements

  • 200 Introduction
  • 205 General Maintenance Requirements
  • 210 Substations, Switchgear Assemblies, Switchboards, Panelboards, Motor Control Centers, and Disconnect Switches
  • 215 Premises Wiring
  • 220 Controller Equipment
  • 225 Fuses and Circuit Breakers
  • 230 Rotating Equipment
  • 235 Hazardous (Classified) Locations
  • 240 Batteries and Battery Rooms
  • 245 Portable Electric Tools and Equipment
  • 250 Personal Safety and Protective Equipment

Chapter 3 Safety Requirements for Special Equipment

  • 300 Introduction
  • 310 Safety-Related Work Practices for Electrolytic Cells
  • 320 Safety Requirements Related to Batteries and Battery Rooms
  • 330 Safety-Related Work Practices for Use of Lasers
  • 340 Safety-Related Work Practices: Power Electronic Equipment
  • 350 Safety-Related Work Requirements: Research and Development Laboratories

Annex A Referenced Publications

  • Informative Annex B Informational References
  • Informative Annex C Limits of Approach
  • Informative Annex D Incident Energy and Arc Flash Boundary Calculation Methods
  • Informative Annex E Electrical Safety Program
  • Informative Annex F Hazard Analysis, Risk Estimation, and Risk Evaluation Procedure
  • Informative Annex G Sample Lockout/Tagout Procedure
  • Informative Annex H Guidance on Selection of Protective Clothing and Other Personal Protective Equipment
  • Informative Annex I Job Briefing and Planning Checklist
  • Informative Annex J Energized Electrical Work Permit
  • Informative Annex K General Categories of Electrical Hazards
  • Informative Annex L Typical Application of Safeguards in the Cell Line Working Zone
  • Informative Annex M Layering of Protective Clothing and Total System Arc Rating
  • Informative Annex N Example Industrial Procedures and Policies for Working Near Overhead Electrical Lines and Equipment
  • Informative Annex O Safety-Related Design Requirements
  • Informative Annex P Aligning Implementation of This Standard with Occupational Health and Safety Management Standards
  • Index

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