Every three years, NFPA 70E is updated to incorporate the latest in electrical safety research, risk assessments, work practices, design considerations, and personal protective equipment (PPE) in an effort to minimize of the risk of deaths and injuries caused by shock, arc flash, and arc blast. This voluntary how-to guide to assist in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance can play an invaluable role in helping plants mitigate their electrical hazards, protect workers, promote safety requirements, and keep their facilities up and running.
In 1979, OSHA requested an electrical safety standard from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The early version only addressed the electrical installation requirements related to electrical safety. Over the years, the NFPA 70E has continued to improve upon the way workers interact with and behave around voltage. It wasn’t until the 1995 edition that arc flash hazards were addressed, and numerous workplace safety requirements have since been added.
As the safety standard evolves, so must the companies and electrical workers who use it. The 10th and latest release, NFPA 70E 2015, contains some significant differences from its 2012 predecessor. It is essential to understand these changes and why they matter in order to remain compliant with OSHA, avoid risking lives, reduce liability, and prevent unexpected and costly downtime.