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Best Practices for Complying with NFPA 70E

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on January 7, 2021 at 10:23 PM

Every business in the manufacturing industry should be familiar with NFPA 70E. It provides the basis for electrical safety and fire prevention inside the workplace. Needless to say, it’s a critical part of workplace safety, which also means that it contains a lot of rules and regulations that must be followed. Otherwise, companies can get into trouble with OSHA while also putting the health and safety of employees at risk.

As many companies learn at some point, complying with NFPA 70E is easier said than done. Let’s face it, it’s not the easiest thing to say either. The key is to be careful and meticulous with the way you go about things, always taking the task seriously. In addition, here are some of the best practices for making sure you become and remain compliant with NFPA 70E.

Assess Shock Hazard

The first step in NFPA 70E compliance is assessing the risk of electrical shock for employees. Are the regular tasks of employees requiring them to open electrical panels and be exposed to circuit parts of conductors? If so, are employees wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) while performing these tasks? Equally important, are there warning labels that help employees perform the work safely and let them know of the risks?

Assess Arc Flash Hazard

After assessing the shock hazard, the next step should be assessing any risk of arc flash. If you are utilizing single-phase equipment, there usually isn’t a huge concern for arc flash. However, that risk changes for three-phase electrical equipment that operates at certain voltages. If this is the case, an electrical engineer should be called in for an incident energy analysis. Much like the shock hazard, there should be appropriate warning labels so that employees know how to approach their job duties and what PPE they need.

Have the Appropriate Equipment

Once you’ve assessed the risk of shock and arc flash, the next step is to make sure you have the right PPE for your employees. For example, depending on the voltage level, employees will need access to rubber or leather gloves that are properly insulated for electrical work. Safety glasses, ear protection, and special hard hats and face shields may also be appropriate depending on the circumstances. As mentioned, following the assessment, there should be warning labels present reminding employees of the PPE required to perform electrical tasks.

Train Employees

Outside of having the right equipment, the most important aspect of NFPA 70E compliance is giving employees proper training. Electrical safety training should be given to all qualified employees and should be well-documented for the company’s records. The most important aspect of the training is that employees need to know that they shouldn’t be working without proper PPE. Second, they should understand how to identify any potential electrical hazards. The training sessions need to be in-depth and expansive so that anyone working with electricity has a strong understanding of shock hazards and arc flash hazards.

Help with Audits and Documents

One final aspect of NFPA 70E compliance is conducting regular audits that need to be documented. Supervisors should regularly observe every employee who’s involved in electrical work. This will help to ensure compliance while also giving company leaders feedback on if employee training is effective or not.

To help with NFPA 70E compliance and every other form of OSHA compliance, consider using EHS Insight’s comprehensive safety software. It’s one of the best ways to expedite all inspections and audits while also tracking which employees have undergone proper safety training. Our software can save managers and supervisors time while making sure that no safety details are forgotten or overlooked, which is particularly critical with NFPA 70E compliance.

If your company can benefit from our software, get in touch with us and we can have everything set up in a few short weeks.

Topics: OSHA, Workplace Health and Safety, Risk Management, Compliance, EHS Management, Incident Management, Safety Management, PPE

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