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The Legal LowDown of NFPA 70E

Is NFPA 70E the Law?

A frequently asked question is, "Are employers legally required to offer NFPA 70E training?" The short answer is no, but it's not so simple. Except for contractors to the U.S. Department of Energy, NFPA 70E training is not required bylegal law, but meeting OSHA requirements for electrical safety training is.

According to this article by e-Hazard.com,

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that operates under the U.S. Department of Labor. The mission of OSHA is: "to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance." (Source: OSHA.gov)

Furthermore, the general duty clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 states that an employer "shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees."

To address those hazards related to electrical safety, OSHA relies upon the consensus standards established by NFPA in its 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. OSHA refers to these standards when developing regulations for the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) pertaining to federal labor laws. For example, OSHA requires that employees be trained to recognize and protect themselves from specific electrical hazards. So while the NFPA 70E standard itself is not law, it establishes the safety guidelines which enable employers to comply with OSHA laws dealing with electrical workplace safety and required employee training.

Workers who fail to meet the several federal regulations regarding electrical safety in the workplace are subject to penalties, fines and citations. NFPA 70E training aids employers in meeting the requirements for electrical safety made by OSHA.

For more information on this article by e-Hazard.com, click here.

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