Electrical-related fatalities and serious injuries (FSI)* are among the noted FSIs. FSIs represent a safety and health challenge that has gained increasing visibility in the past decade as even organizations with elite environment, health and safety programs struggle to reduce FSI numbers.
NFPA 70E® training protects employees from electrical hazards in the workplace. Training is required for both “qualified persons” and “non-qualified persons.” However, many facility managers and line supervisors are uncertain or confused by these definitions.
Any organization utilizing electrical assets in their production environments or facilities will be aware of NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. This standard is what OSHA uses when assessing companies’ adherence to certain safety standards. However, NFPA 70E is further informed by the standard 1584-2018, which is developed by the IEEE.
January of 2018 saw the most recent update to 70E- the workplace electrical safety standard developed by NFPA. While the standard itself is not a law, it was developed at the request of OSHA, which uses much of its language when assessing organizations for compliance. Many organizations also follow 70E to comply with specific OSHA regulations.
The importance of safety can’t be underestimated. Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential in industries that require employees to work in harsh and hazardous conditions, from manufacturing to transportation, construction and more.
The 2018 print edition of NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® is 104 pages. Updated every three years by the 70E technical committee, this comprehensive standard covers the latest information about the effects of shock, arc flash, arc blast, dc hazards, and developments in electrical design, PPE.
Today more than ever, companies need to reduce employee injuries and incident rates and avoid the costs of downtime due to electrical equipment failures. Implementing comprehensive electrical safety programs that result in changing and improving a company’s safety culture can help make these goals a reality.
NFPA-70E®-2018 Standard for Electrical Safety for Employee Workplaces®
January 3, 2019
NFPA 70E® Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® provides requirements for establishing a workplace that is safe from unacceptable risks associated with using electricity while working. Safety processes, policies, procedures and program controls reduce the risks associated with using electricity to an acceptable level.
Working on electrical equipment exposes a worker to electric shock and arc flash hazards. Unlike many safety concerns, these hazards simply can’t be eliminated or avoided as working on or around energized equipment is often required for some tasks, such as using a meter to test for voltage or rack a breaker.
Creating a safe work environment is the sum total of many different parts. Elements such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety procedures must be viewed through the lens of environmental considerations to ensure workers are safe on a jobsite.