I just realized, all month I’ve been talking about NFPA 70E standards, and never explained it. I’m sure some of you have been wondering just what the heck NFPA 70E is.
NFPA 70E is the standard put forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for electrical safety requirements for the workplace. This addresses electrical safety requirements for operation, repair or demolition of exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts. Pretty much everything as related to workplace safety is covered by NFPA 70E.
The entire document is a consensus on what are the absolute best practices for protection from electric arcs.
There are 3 basic steps to comply with NFPA 70E:
- Conduct a shock and flash hazard analysis, implement and document (you know, write it down so your employees know exactly what’s expected) an overall electrical safety program. Include all hazard and risk evaluations, and job briefing procedures.
- Determine what your Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) needs are based on incident energy as determined for each task. (This should have been determined with your hazard risk assessments.)
- Select the correct PPE matching the hazard to the arc rating of the garments.
You also must conduct a new hazard/risk evaluation annually. Job briefing procedures must be renewed annually as well. All of your employees must be qualified to do the work, as well as throughly trained to understand all the hazards associated within their job. Explaining possible injuries is also a must. ALL employees that will be exposed to shock hazards must have annual training in CPR.