National Electrical Safety Month Offers Electrical Safety Education Opportunities to Keep the Connected World Safer
Can you imagine what the past year would have been like if we didn't have electricity? In my estimation, the world would likely have come to a standstill. Without electricity, the devices that we have depended on for work, school, and social interaction would have been powered off. Now, more than ever, it is easy to see just how electrically connected our world is. In dealing with this pandemic, our focus has been on our own personal safety and the safety of those around us. While we look forward to the victory over this pandemic and returning to our normal lives, safety will always need to be at the forefront of our minds. For example, with our world in perpetuity being plugged-in to electricity, it is crucial that we use and work around electricity safely.
May is National Electrical Safety Month (NESM) and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) has designated “Connected to Safety” as the theme. ESFI is a non-profit organization that focuses on promoting electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace. The goal of NESM is to educate individuals on electrical safety to help reduce fires, injuries, and fatalities. The efforts of this year’s NESM is focused on emerging technology that makes a home both safe and efficient. ESFI and NFPA are aligned in our efforts to ensure electrical safety for people and property. Two of our most utilized standards at NFPA around electrical safety are NFPA 70, National Electrical Code® (NEC®) and NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®. Within the first few pages of each document their purposes are clearly stated around electrical safety. It takes the combined efforts of organizations like ESFI, NFPA, and others to bring electrical safety education, awareness, and procedures to the world. As NFPA’s mission suggests, it’s a big world and we all must protect it together.
Purpose of the NEC: The purpose of this Code is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity. This Code is not intended as a design specification or an instruction manual for untrained persons.
Purpose of NFPA 70E: The purpose of this standard is to provide a practical safe working area for employees relative to the hazards arising from the use of electricity.
Aside from the information being provided, it also takes the efforts of individuals to acquire and implement this knowledge. Looking to sources like ESFI and NFPA to gain electrical safety knowledge is the first step to ensuring a safer world around us. With May being a national focus on electrical safety, there isn’t a better time to start acquiring, and implementing, that knowledge. For starters, ESFI has some great resources available on its landing page. Here at NFPA, we are doing our part as well.
As part of our virtual, yearlong NFPA 125th Anniversary Conference Series, we host a program on May 18 titled, “Empowering Electrical Design, Installation, and Safety.” This well-rounded session offers insight on electrical design, installation, and new technologies together with related electrical safety information, all taught by industry experts. Some of the included electrical safety sessions are: “How OSHA Uses NFPA 70E”; “Data Doesn’t Lie: A Look at Electrical Incident Data and How We Can Change the Future”; and “Advancing the Safety Culture – Insights from the Contracting, Energy, and Manufacturing Industries.” There will also be a live electrical safety session where you can get your questions answered by NFPA staff, NFPA 70E committee members, and other subject matter experts in the field of electrical safety. As an added bonus, attendees can earn up to 10 continuing education units (CEU’s). Register today for the information you need to more efficiently and effectively advance electrical safety for yourself and for others, not only in the month of May, but all throughout the year.
NFPA 70, National Electrical Code® (NEC®), and NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®, are now available on NFPA LiNK™, your custom on-demand code knowledge tool, brought to you by NFPA. Find out more about NFPA LiNK™, and sign up for your free trial, here: www.nfpa.org/LiNK.