#149840 - 04/30/04 03:42 AM
Re: Unqualified Personnel Operation and Performing Lockout Tagout
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
Committee Scope: This Committee shall have primary responsibility for documents on electrical safety requirements to provide a practical safe working area for employees in their pursuit of gainful employment relative to the hazards arising from the use of electricity, as covered in the scope of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.
This Committee shall have primary jurisdiction but shall report to the Association through the National Electrical Code Technical Correlating Committee.
Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces
NOTICE: Information on referenced publications can be found in Appendix B.
Changes other than editorial are indicated by a vertical rule in the margin of the pages on which they appear. These lines are included as an aid to the user in identifying changes from the previous edition. Where one or more complete paragraph(s) has been deleted, the deletion is indicated by a bullet in the margin between the paragraphs that remain.
Foreword to NFPA 70E
The Standards Council of the National Fire Protection Association, Inc. (NFPA) announced on January 7, 1976, the formal appointment of a new electrical standards development committee. Entitled the Committee on Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces, NFPA 70E, this new committee reported to the Association through the Electrical Correlating Committee of the National Electrical CodeÂ® (NECÂ®) Committee. This committee was formed to assist OSHA in preparing electrical safety standards that would serve OSHAâ€™s needs and that could be expeditiously promulgated through the provisions of Section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA found that in attempting to utilize the latest edition of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC), it was confronted with the following problem areas:
(1) Updating to a new edition of the NEC would have to be through the OSHA 6(b) procedures. OSHA adopted the 1968 and then the 1971 NEC under Section 6(a) procedures of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Today, however, OSHA can only adopt or modify a standard by the procedures of Section 6(b) of the OSHA Act, which provide for public notice, opportunity for public comment, and public hearings. The adoption of a new edition of the NEC by these procedures would require extensive effort and application of resources by OSHA and others. Even so, going through the â€ś6(b)â€ť procedures might result in requirements substantially different than those of the NEC, thereby creating the problem of conflict between the OSHA standard and other national and local standards.
(2) The NEC is intended for use primarily by those who design, install, and inspect electrical installations. OSHAâ€™s electrical regulations address the employer and employee in their workplace. The technical content and complexity of the NEC is extremely difficult for the average employer and employee to understand.
(3) Some of the detailed provisions within the NEC are not directly related to employee safety and therefore are of little value for OSHAâ€™s needs.
(4) Requirements for electrical safety-related work practices and maintenance of the electrical system considered critical to safety are not found in the NEC, which is essentially an electrical installation document. However, OSHA must also consider and develop these safety areas in its regulations.
With these problem areas, it became apparent that a need existed for a new standard, tailored to fulfill OSHAâ€™s responsibilities, that would still be fully consistent with the NEC.
This led to the concept that a document be put together by a competent group, representing all interests, that would extract suitable portions from the NEC and from other documents applicable to electrical safety. This concept and an offer of assistance was submitted in May, 1975, to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, who said, â€śThe concept, procedures, and scope of the effort discussed with my staff for preparing the subject standard appear to have great merit, and an apparent need exists for this proposed consensus document which OSHA could consider for promulgation under the provisions of Section 6(b) of the Act. OSHA does have an interest in this effort and believes the proposed standard would serve a useful purpose.â€ť With this positive encouragement from OSHA, a proposal to prepare such a document was presented to the NFPA Electrical Section, which unanimously supported a recommendation that the NEC Correlating Committee examine the feasibility of developing a document to be used as a basis for evaluating electrical safety in the workplace. In keeping with the recommendation of the Electrical Section and Correlating Committee, the Standards Council authorized the establishment of a committee to carry out this examination.
The committee found it feasible to develop a standard for electrical installations that would be compatible with the OSHA requirements for safety for the employee in locations covered by the NEC. The new standard was visualized as consisting of four major parts: Part I, Installation Safety Requirements; Part II, Safety-Related Work Practices; Part III, Safety-Related Maintenance Requirements; and Part IV, Safety Requirements for Special Equipment. Although desirable, it was not considered essential for all of the parts to be completed before the standard was published and made available. Each part is recognized as being an important aspect of electrical safety in the workplace, but the parts are sufficiently independent of each other to permit their separate publication. The new standard was named NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces. The first edition was published in 1979 and included only Part I.
The second edition was published in 1981. It included Part I as originally published and a new Part II. In 1983, the third edition included Part I and Part II as originally published and a new Part III. In 1988, the fourth edition was published with only minor revisions.
The fifth edition was published in 1995. It included major revisions to Part I, updating it to the 1993, National Electrical Code (NEC). In Part II of the fifth edition, the concepts of â€ślimits of approachâ€ť and establishment of a â€śflash protection boundaryâ€ť were introduced. In 2000, this sixth edition includes a complete Part I update to the 1999 NEC, as well as a new Part IV. Part II continues to focus on establishing flash protection boundaries and the use of personal protective equipment. Also, added to Part II for 2000 are charts to assist the user in applying appropriate protective clothing and personal protective equipment for common tasks.
Essential to the proper use of Part I of this standard is the understanding that it is not intended to be applied as a design, installation, modification, or construction standard for an electrical installation or system. Its content has been intentionally limited in comparison to the content of the NEC in order to apply to an electrical installation or system as part of an employeeâ€™s workplace. This standard is compatible with corresponding provisions of the NEC, but is not intended to, nor can it, be used in lieu of the NEC.
It can be debated that all of the requirements of the NEC, when traced through a chain of events, may relate to an electrical hazard, but, for practical purposes, inclusion has not been made of those provisions that, in general, are not directly associated with employee safety. In determining what provisions should be included in Part I, the following guidelines were used:
(1) Its provisions should give protection to the employee from electrical hazards.
(2) Its provisions should be excerpted from the NEC in a manner that will maintain their intent as they apply to employee safety. In some cases it has been judged essential to the meaning of the excerpted passages to retain some material not applying to employee safety.
(3) The provisions should be selected in a manner that will reduce the need for frequent revision, yet avoid technical obsolescence.
(4) Compliance with the provisions should be determined by means of an inspection during the normal state of employee occupancy without removal of parts requiring shutdown of the electrical installation or by damaging the building structure or finish.
(5) The provisions should not be encumbered with unnecessary details.
(6) The provisions should be written to enhance their understanding by the employer and employee.
(7) The provisions must not add any requirements not found in the NEC, nor must the intent of the NEC be changed if the wording is changed.
Part I of NFPA 70E is therefore intended to serve a very specific need of OSHA and is in no way intended to be used as a substitute for the NEC. Omission of any requirements presently in the NEC does not in any way affect the NEC, nor should these omitted requirements be considered as unimportant. They are essential to the NEC and its intended application, that is, its use by those who design, install, and inspect electrical installations. NFPA 70E, on the other hand, is intended for use by employers, employees, and OSHA.
This standard addresses those electrical safety requirements for employee workplaces that are necessary for the practical safeguarding of employees in their pursuit of gainful employment. This standard covers the following:
(1) Electric conductors and equipment installed within or on buildings or other structures, including mobile homes and recreational vehicles, and other premises such as yards, carnival, parking and other lots, and industrial substations
(2) Conductors that connect the installations to a supply of electricity
(3) Other outside conductors on the premises
This standard does not cover the following:
(1) Installations in ships, watercraft, railway rolling stock, aircraft, or automotive vehicles other than mobile homes and recreational vehicles
(2) Installations underground in mines
(3) Installations of railways for generation, transformation, transmission, or distribution of power used exclusively for operation of rolling stock or installations used exclusively for signaling and communication purposes
(4) Installation of communication equipment under the exclusive control of communication utilities, located outdoors or in building spaces used exclusively for such installations
(5) Installations under the exclusive control of electric utilities for the purpose of communication or metering; or for the generation, control, transformation, transmission, and distribution of electric energy located in buildings used exclusively by utilities for such purposes or located outdoors on property owned or leased by the utility or on public highways, streets, roads, and so forth, or outdoors by established rights on private property
This standard is divided into the following four parts and two appendixes:
Part I, Installation Safety Requirements
Part II, Safety-Related Work Practices
Part III, Safety-Related Maintenance Requirements
Part IV, Safety Requirements for Special Equipment
Appendix A, Tables, Notes, and Charts [Reserved]
Appendix B, Referenced Publications
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant