Author(s): Angelo Verzoni. Published on November 1, 2017.

Staying Current

Upcoming trainings will focus on important changes to the 2018 edition of NFPA 70E

BY ANGELO VERZONI

In September, a 28-year-old worker at Butterball, a turkey processing company, was electrocuted and killed at the company’s facility in Mount Olive, North Carolina. The employee “was replacing a light above a drop ceiling when apparently the circuit was energized and the male was electrocuted,” a company spokesperson told CBS North Carolina.

The incident underscores the importance of NFPA 70E®, Electrical Safety in the Workplace®. The standard complements other NFPA electrical codes and standards—including NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®, and NFPA 70B, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance—to establish safety processes that reduce the risk associated with the use of electricity in the workplace to an acceptable level.

The 2018 edition of NFPA 70E, which was just released, includes a number of notable changes.

The risk assessment procedure, for example, now requires users to address human error and its negative consequences on people, work environments, and equipment, and an annex titled “Human Performance and Workplace Electrical Safety” has been added to the standard. The hierarchy of risk control methods, formerly part of an informational note in the standard, has been moved to the mandatory text portion and now explicitly states that a user’s first priority must be the elimination of the hazard, with each subsequent method considered less effective than the one before.

A number of other NFPA 70E sections and tables have been moved or revised to increase their prominence and clarity.

NFPA will hold classroom training on a number of codes and standards, including the new NFPA 70E, from November 27 to December 1 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Throughout December, NFPA 70E trainings will also take place in Orlando, Florida, and Anaheim, California. Visit NFPA's website for a full list of upcoming trainings.

For more information about NFPA 70E, and for free online access to the standard, visit the NFPA 70E document information page.

ANGELO VERZONI is staff writer for NFPA Journal. Top Photograph: Thinkstock