The Electrician’s Hidden Resource. NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace | 2021
By: Jerry Durham | Sep 16, 2021
If I were to tell you the new NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is available in both digital and hardcopy and includes new requirements for 2021 that are simply the bee’s knees, would you run out and get yourself a copy? Would you phone your friends and coworkers to tell them the good news?
If you are one of the few electricians that get excited when you hear news of NFPA 70E, congratulations! However, if you are in the camp of electricians who are not quite sure what NFPA 70E is, well then, you are not alone. In fact, you are not in a camp at all, it is more like a well-populated continent.
The truth is good electricians everywhere are finishing up long and successful careers with little or no knowledge of the NFPA 70E safety publication. I know one electrician who, after completing several notable projects such as wiring generators for Louisville, Kentucky boxing legend, The Greatest Of All Time, and rewiring the posh Cherokee Hill Kentucky estate where American film and stage actor Bogie Bogart once laid his head, had these profound words to say about the NFPA 70E publication, “NFPA 70, Who?”
OK, I admit it, that guy was me. And while I did meet the man who would “float like a butterfly” and “sting like a bee,” I still knew nothing of the NFPA 70E that was having such an impact on the industry that I held dear. What a shame!
NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
I am here to tell you NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace was created for YOU! It was built for electricians by the same National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that assembles our beloved National Electrical Code (NEC). And if you look at the cover of your NEC right now, you will see its official title is NFPA 70. You see, the NFPA 70E publication that I speak of is an extension of the electrical discussion taking place in the National Electrical Code, and it is the foremost recognized OSHA-compliant safety standard in the business.
So, what will you find in NFPA 70E? NFPA 70E is not comprised of prescriptive regulations for the installation of electrical materials and equipment; that is the job of the NEC. However, it is loaded with work practices recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as safe methods for working on and around energized electrical equipment.
One of the most dangerous aspects of being an electrician is the potential to work around energized circuit parts and conductors. NFPA 70E is designed to keep you safe in these demanding working conditions. Not only does NFPA 70E recognize the electrician and electrical worker in these environments, but other types of workers needing to perform their work around energized equipment.
Let’s face it, adherence to the NFPA 70E safety standard is a voluntary submission. However, compliance with OSHA safety standards is not voluntary for any employer or their employees doing business in the United States. The NFPA 70E publication is a leading standard, recognized by OSHA, by which employers and workers can attain this compliance.
NFPA 70E—The Breakdown
NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is split into two specialty areas to provide Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices for those engaged in work around electricity, and Safety-Related Maintenance Requirements for professionals performing strictly maintenance. The safety requirements from OSHA, represented in NFPA 70E, are often different when a task is performed under the umbrella of maintenance, versus new work.
The Complex Lockout Tagout Procedure can save the lives of electricians working around electrical equipment.
What JADE Learning Offers
Now that you have some idea of the purpose of NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, I am happy to tell you about JADE Learning’s new electrical continuing education course that covers the 2021 edition of NFPA 70E and breaks down the relevant information that electrical workers should know about this safety publication. This state-approved online electrical continuing education course can provide you up to 8 hours of continuing education. Upon completion, you will have a thorough knowledge of the NFPA 70E safety standard written for electricians.
So, when you renew your electrical license for this renewal cycle, take the opportunity to learn the safety standard that was built just for you!
NFPA 70E keeps electricians safe!!