At a Learning Lab session Monday on the Expo floor, Wesley Wheeler, Director of Safety, National Electrical Contractors Association, discussed the new regulations surrounding NFPA 70E and employers’ and contractors’ responsibilities.
He explained the hierarchy of control in dealing with electrical hazards. In an inverted pyramid diagram, he showed PPE is the least effective, and elimination (physically removing the hazard) is the most effective. Substitution, replacing the hazard, and engineering controls, isolating people from the hazard, are the second and third most effective with administrative controls (changing the way people work) only one step above PPE.
He said electrical safety-related work practices include restricted and limited approach boundaries, arc flash boundaries and PPE equipment categories. He said management oversight and NFPA 70E requires that you should:
• Establish a policy
• Coordinate efforts with host employers
• Develop a written electrical safety program
• Training including first aid, CPR and AED
• PPE equipment/clothing
• Maintenance program
• Special equipment
• Audit program