Electrical Safety is More than the Right Equipment

Electrical safety is an important issue for a variety of construction workers.  Safety managers, facility managers, electricians, maintenance personnel, plant managers and contractors need to realize the seriousness of electrical safety.  Most feel if the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is readily available, life’s good.  But, having the right PPE is only part of the issue.  Workers must have training to ensure they properly understand NFPA 70E-STANDARD for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.  The document, NFPA 70E, is what OSHA uses to evaluate electrical safety programs.  Learn more about the key points of this safety document and the importance of training workers.

Key Points of NFPA 70E

  • The employer must assess the workplace for hazards that are present or likely to be present. The employer must provide the use of PPE for the hazards.  If a hazard is present or likely to be present the employer then must:
  • Ensure the use of the correct PPE to protect the employee from the hazard.
  • Ensure the use of electrical protective equipment for the specific body parts that need protection from the electrical hazards.
  • Educate about the hazards of electrical shock and electrical arc flash.  It’s important workers know that contact with electricity can be fatal.  And, that burns that are fatal can happen as far as 10 feet.
  • Proper boundaries should be established before a job is started.  This is determined by analyzing for shock hazards and arc flash.
  • Training for NFPA 70E provide knowledge in electrical shock and arc flash hazards.  It also includes protection boundaries, approaching circuit parts, voltage and cal ratings, and energized electrical conductors.  Knowing the proper PPE is also part of the training.

The proper safety training is what could save a worker from an electrical accident.  It only takes a split second for something to go wrong to cause a major construction accident.  Don’t assume it could never happen to you.  The cost of electrical safety training is minimal compared to the cost of a fatal accident.