NFPA 70E 2018, the newest electrical safety code by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), is now available at the association’s website, http://www.nfpa.org. The highly anticipated standard, which is updated every three years, clarifies accountability for electrical safety.
The document reflects the fact that project or building owners are responsible for safeguarding those who work on the site, as well as facility and project managers. Other changes address job planning, hierarchy of risk controls, embedded tables, and risk assessment.
The revised code seeks to clarify terms and modify several definitions. For example, in an effort to align with OSHA standards and industry practice, the new code replaces the term “accidentally contacted” with “unintentionally contacted.”
The 2018 version reduces the minimum threshold for protection when working on direct current (DC). This change reflects the re-emergence of DC use in cell phones, photovoltaic power, and other applications.
According to NFPA, the standard addresses electrical safety related work practices, safety-related maintenance requirements, and other administrative controls to safeguard employees from hazards associated with electrical energy during installation, inspection, operation, maintenance, and demolition of electric conductors, equipment, signaling, and communication conductors and equipment.
The code also includes safe work practices for employees performing tasks that can expose them to electrical hazards as well as safe work practices for:
- Installation of conductors and equipment that connect to the supply of electricity.
- Installations used by the electric utility, such as office buildings, warehouses, garages, machine shops, and buildings that are not an integral part of a generation plant, substation, or control center.