The Next 70E
Tracking the evolution of a new edition
NFPA Journal®, January/February 2010
My last column discussed the process by which changes for the next edition of NFPA 70E can be proposed to the technical committee. By the time you read this, the committee will be preparing to act on the proposals at their Report on Proposals (ROP) meeting to be held from February 8 to 12 in Memphis, Tennessee.
The evolution of each new edition of an NFPA code or standard is dynamic and involves a lot of preliminary work on the part of the technical committee members. For a highly visible standard such as NFPA 70E, a number of significant technical issues arise between editions, and technical committee members participate in task groups before the ROP meetings to address them.
For the NFPA 70E ROP meeting, Committee Chair David Dini defined the task of seven groups, which met via teleconference. This preliminary work will allow the committee to hit the ground running in February.
The Task Group on Article 100, Definitions, is to identify definitions that need to be updated to be consistent with the latest document from which they were extracted, that do not comply with the NEC® Style Manual, and that need to be improved or modified to enhance usability and accuracy. The task group will also review and recommend actions on all proposals related to Article 100.
The Task Group on Article 120, Establishing an Electrically Safe Work Condition, will identify the need for improvements or modifications to enhance the usability and accuracy of Article 120. The group will also review and recommend action on all proposals related to Article 120.
The Task Group on Article 130, Work Involving Electrical Hazards, is responsible for all of Article 130, except Tables 130.7(C) (9), (10), and (11), and will review Section 110.8, Working While Exposed to Electrical Hazards. The group will identify the need for modifications to enhance usability and accuracy of Article 130 and will review and recommend action on all proposals related to Article 130 and Section 110.8, except Tables 130.7(C) (9), (10), and (11).
The Task Group on Tables 130.7(C) (9), (10), and (11) will review the current tables and determine whether they provide accurate, usable, and all-inclusive information to adequately protect workers from the risk of an electrical hazard. If not, the group will recommend changes to NFPA 70E and generate proposals to ensure that workers are adequately protected.
The Task Group on Article 320, Safety Requirements Related to Batteries and Battery Rooms, will identify any installation requirements in the current standard and generate proposals to remove them because such requirements are outside the scope of NFPA 70E and may be more appropriate for Article 480 of the National Electrical Code®.
The Task Group on Annexes A through O is to identify the need to improve or modify the annexes to enhance their usability and accuracy.
Finally, the Task Group on Direct Current (dc) will determine if the current edition adequately addresses hazards that result from exposure to direct current (dc) sources. If it does not, the group is to identify recommended changes and generate proposals that will ensure workers are protected from dc hazards.
As you can see, the NFPA 70E Technical Committee is already hard at work preparing for the 2012 edition. This effort, combined with the public proposals received from the standard’s ever-growing user community, will help ensure that the next edition provides those exposed to electrical hazards in the workplace with the best available information on how to mitigate and protect themselves from those hazards.
Be sure to review the committee’s work when the NFPA 70E ROP becomes available in mid- to late June 2010.
Jeffrey Sargent is NFPA’s senior electrical specialist and is staff liaison for NFPA 70E.