Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Friday, July 14, 2006

Do You Need NFPA 70E?

This article from Maintenance Technology is subtitled, "Questions and answers about this set of guidelines for workplace electrical safety."

The article provides a brief history of NFPA 70E and discusses in general what NFPA 70E covers. It then introduces the OSHA "general duty clause" and discusses whether compliance with NFPA 70E is mandatory.

Overall this is a good article for those who need to learn about NFPA 70E and arc flash labeling. It concludes with the following points to remember:

• Several of the OSHA regulations are written in general terms leaving the details up to the employer on how to comply. The employer is expected to use consensus standards to help in the selection of the best method to achieve compliance with OSHA regulations. NFPA 70E is a "how to comply" standard for specific OSHA regulations.

• NFPA 70E is not a federal regulation; it is just a national consensus standard like hundreds of other standards that are not laws or regulations. But compliance with 70E will assure compliance with specific OSHA electrical regulations.

• Some OSHA state plans are more restrictive than federal OSHA and as such may have adopted or incorporated NFPA 70E.

• In the event of an injury or death due to an electrical accident, if OSHA determines that compliance with NFPA 70E would have prevented or lessened the injury, OSHA may cite the employer under the "general duty clause" for not using 70E to protect the employee(s)

• It is important to get training on NFPA 70E and to implement it into your electrical safety program.

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