A Better Understanding of NFPA 70E: Setting Up an Electrical Safety Program (Part 9 – Safety Planning)
Section 110.5(I) in NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® requires that an electrical safety program (ESP) include that both a job safety plan and job briefing be completed before a task is performed. A safety plan will vary by task and equipment. The briefing will vary based on the plan. An employee should not be directed to follow NFPA 70E when conducting the planning and briefing. NFPA 70E addresses what is required to be addressed but does not detail what is necessary for a specific task. The ESP will contain specifics on what is necessary in a facility.
A job safety plan must be completed by a qualified person. The ESP will detail the qualification and training necessary to complete the documented plan. A plan must include details of the equipment and task, results of the risk assessments, and the documented procedures and the equipment necessary to conduct the task. The job planning procedure should address if the person planning the job is solely responsible or if other employees will provide information needed to complete the plan. The plan should identify who and what qualifications are necessary to conduct the proposed task. The plan will identify other employees possibly affected by the work. The documented planning procedure must address other concerns specific to the facility, task, and equipment.
The ESP must require that a job briefing be held before the task begins. The documented procedure should address when and if the employee conducting the task may conduct their own briefing. Perhaps, a lead employee is responsible for giving the briefing for any task under their purview regardless of the one assigned the task. The ESP should address whether the person conducting the briefing has the authority to alter the plan or if the person who set the plan needs to approve it. How are safety concerns raised during the briefing addressed and documented? If anything changes once the task has begun, the procedure must address how a change in scope must halt work until the planning and briefing address the change. It is the documented procedure not NFPA 70E that will provide these necessary details.
A well-developed procedure for job safety planning and briefing is crucial. These are typically the last opportunities for anyone to address safety before a task has begun. Planning and briefing may not only expose shortcomings but also introduce improvements for the planning procedure or the assigned task. Make sure your ESP contains the details necessary to protect employees from electrical hazards.