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Safety Articles

NFPA releases 2009 Edition of NFPA 70E®

By W. Jon Wallace, CSP, MBA

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) issued the revised 2009 edition of NFPA 70E®: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace with an effective date of September 5, 2008. The 2009 edition of NFPA 70E® contains numerous revisions. Listed below is a summary of the major changes:

  • Contractor Relationships: Article 110.5 requires host employers inform contractors of known hazards covered by NFPA 70E® related to the contract employer’s work. The contract employer shall ensure that each of his/her employees is instructed in the hazards provided by the employer.

  • Training Requirements – Emergency Procedures: Article 110.6 requires employees exposed to shock hazards that are not reduced to a safe level by applicable electrical installation requirements be trained in approved methods of resuscitation, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The training shall be certified annually by the employer.

  • Electrical Safety Program Audit: Article 110.7 requires the written electrical safety program be audited on a frequency established by the employer.

  • Arc Flash Hazard Analysis: Article 130.3 requires the arc flash hazard analysis be updated whenever a major modification or renovation takes place. In addition, the analysis shall be reviewed periodically, not to exceed five years.

  • Arc Flash Protection Boundary: The criteria for the 4 feet arc flash protection boundary for voltage levels between 50 and 600 volts has been modified based on upstream protection device clearing time of maximum 2 cycles (0.033 seconds) and available bolted fault current of 50 kA or any combination not exceeding 100 kA cycles.

  • Equipment Labeling: Article 130.3 (C) states equipment shall be field marked with a label containing the available incident energy or required level of PPE.

  • Selection of Personal Protective Equipment: Article 130.7 contains several revisions with respect to arc flash PPE requirements. For example: Table 130.7 (C)(9) has been expanded to include additional job tasks such as performing infrared thermography as well as other non-contact inspections outside the restricted approach boundary. Additional categories of equipment, such as arc-resistant switchgear, have been added to the revised table. Table 130.7 (C)(10) has been revised and placed an a more user-friendly format.

  • Annex Revisions: The following annexes have been significantly revised – Annex F (Hazard/Risk Evaluation Procedure); Annex H (Simplified, Two-Category, Flame-Resistant [FR] Clothing System).

Please remember this article is intended as an overview and not a comprehensive summary of changes to the 2009 edition of NFPA 70E®.

If you have any questions concerning this article or other safety issues, please contact W. Jon Wallace at 919.933.5548 or e-mail.



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