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NFPA 70E – Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace Dan Lazorcak Will Rogers. Objectives. NFPA 70E – Overview and Background NFPA 70E –vs- OSHA compliance NFPA 70E Safety Related Work Practices & Definitions Implementation – 3 Step Process Labeling and Permits Case Study.

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NFPA 70E – Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace Dan Lazorcak Will Rogers

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Nfpa 70e standard for electrical safety in the workplace dan lazorcak will rogers l.jpg

NFPA 70E – Standard for Electrical Safety in the WorkplaceDan LazorcakWill Rogers


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Objectives

  • NFPA 70E – Overview and Background

  • NFPA 70E –vs- OSHA compliance

  • NFPA 70E Safety Related Work Practices & Definitions

  • Implementation – 3 Step Process

  • Labeling and Permits

  • Case Study


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What is NFPA 70E?

  • A document that addresses electrical safety standards for employees who install, maintain or repair electrical systems

  • 2004 Edition has an introduction, 4 Chapters and 13 Annexes

  • Chapter 1 – Safety-Related Work Practices is the core of 70E

  • Chapters 2-4:

    • 2 - Safety-Related Maintenance Requirements

    • 3 - Safety Requirements for Special Equipment

    • 4 - Installation Safety Requirements

  • Annexes A – M: Lots of good information and examples


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NFPA 70E – A little background…

  • First published in 1979 as a joint effort between NFPA and OSHA

  • 1995 Edition (5th edition) – included many of the current workplace safety requirements

  • 2000 Edition (6th edition) added requirements for Flash Protection Boundaries & Flame Retardant Clothing

  • 2004 Edition (7th edition) emphasizes Safe Work Practices


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NFPA 70E – A little background…

  • OSHA bases its electrical safety mandates, found in 1910 and 1926 on the information found in NFPA 70E

  • NFPA 70E is recognized as the tool that illustrates how an employer might comply with OSHA standards re: electrical safe work practices

  • Relationship can be described as:

    • OSHA is the “SHALL”

    • NFPA 70E is the “HOW”


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Is Compliance with 70E Mandatory?

  • Simple answer: NO!

  • 70E is a national consensus safety standard published by the NFPA to assist OSHA in preparing electrical safety standards

  • BUT……OSHA has proposed to use the 2000 edition of 70E as the basis for future revisions to its electrical safety-related work practices (4/5/04 Federal Register)


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Can I be cited for failing to comply with the requirements of NFPA 70E?....

  • YES!....

  • In the event of an electrical shock or arc flash burn incident, history has shown OSHA will cite under:

    • 1910.335, which requires the use of PPE when working where a potential electrical hazard exists

    • 1910.132, which requires the employer to assess the workplace for hazards and the need for PPE

    • General Duty Clause


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Is Compliance with 70E Mandatory?

  • Bottom line….The employer is expected to use consensus standards to help achieve compliance with OSHA regulations

  • In a 2003 Standards Interpretation letter, OSHA stated that 70E can be used as evidence of whether or not an employer acted reasonably


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NFPA 70E Details & Definitions


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Definitions

  • Flash Hazard: A dangerous condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc

    • Can result in temperatures up to 35,000 degrees F

    • 4 times hotter than the surface of the sun

    • Can produce fatal burns up to 5ft. from the arc and severe burns up to 10ft. away


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Definitions

  • Arc-Blast: Results from the rapid heating of air and the vaporization of metal

    • Creates a pressure wave that can damage hearing

    • Causes a concussion resulting in memory loss

    • Can result in flying metal, some of which may be molten and/or toxic


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Definitions

  • Flash Hazard Analysis: A study investigating a workers potential exposure to arc-flash energy.

  • Conducted for:

    • Determination of Injury Prevention

    • Determination of Safe Work Practices

    • Appropriate levels of PPE


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Definitions

  • Flash Protection Boundary: An approach limit (distance from exposed live parts) which a person could receive a second degree burn if an electrical arc flash were to occur

  • Incident Energy: Amount of energy impressed on a surface, a certain distance from the source, generated during an electrical arc event (cal/cm2)


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Chapter 1: Safety-Related Work Practices

  • Training requirements for Qualified and Unqualified persons

  • Requires an Electrical Safety Program and specifies its content

  • Stresses the need to work on equipment that is de-energized via Lockout/Tagout

  • OSHA only allows work on live electrical parts under 2 special circumstances:

    • When continuity of service is required

    • When de-energizing equipment would create additional hazards


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Chapter 1: Safety-Related Work Practices

  • Electrical Hazards Analysis for Shock and Flash

    • Approach Boundaries for Shock

    • Arc-Flash Boundaries

  • Selection of PPE for Working on Energized Electrical Equipment

  • Energized Electrical Work Permits


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NFPA 70E - Implementation


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Three Step Process…

  • Conduct both a shock and flash hazard analysis to determine incident energy potential within the Flash Protection Boundary

  • Determine PPE clothing needs based upon the incident energy level associated with the task

  • Select PPE matching the hazard to the arc rating of the garment/equipment


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Step 1: Conduct a Hazards Analysis - Shock Hazard Analysis

  • Determines the voltage to which personnel will be exposed, boundary requirements and PPE necessary to minimize electrical shock

  • Approach boundaries specified in Table 130.2(C)


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Step 1: Conduct a Hazards Analysis – Flash Hazard Analysis

  • Determine the Flash Protection Boundary (FPB) based upon calculations found in Section 130.3(A)

  • Determine the necessary Protective Clothing and PPE to be used for work performed within the FPB

    • Based upon the incident energy exposure of the worker


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Step 1: Conduct a Hazards Analysis – Flash Hazard Analysis

  • PPE for use inside the FPB can be determined two ways:

    • Method A: Estimates the incident energy level by determining hazard risk category classifications from tables of common work tasks (Table 130.7(C)(9))

    • Method B: Estimates the incident energy level based on knowledge of the electrical system and work practices (Annex D)

    • Note: Annex H Lays out a suggested simplified two category FR clothing system that provides 2 PPE clothing categories


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You could memorize 100’s of equations, use 200+ variables, and pages and pages of calculations…


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...it seems complex, but several freeware Excel templates make it a little easier.


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Here’s a couple of examples…


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And more . . .


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Let’s do one real quick. But first we’ll need to define a couple of variables.


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Definitions: (with the freeware, you only need to know a few things to get started)

  • Distance

    • Seems obvious, but the standard is 18”

  • Arc Duration

    • From fuse manufacturer (.0084 sec) or

    • Breaker manufacturer (.25 sec)


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Definitions (continued)

  • Impedance (%Z) at transformer

    • Usually labeled on transformer

  • Bolted Fault

    • This is where TRW needed help. We used the MVA method with our EE.

    • The available amps - NOT a bolted fault


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MVA method was best for TRW


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Think of a large pipe filled with water…


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OK, let’s do a live example


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“Nutshell” version

  • Get the bolted fault for major systems

  • Determine your time (breaker or fuse)

  • Decide your approach distance (18”?)

  • Plug it in – get cal/cm2

  • Determine PPE

  • Apply labeling


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Why do we do it?...

  • It seems like a lot of trouble

  • It takes too long

  • It costs money

  • It’s not exactly stimulating

  • It not actually the law (yet)

  • You’ll get a LOT of resistance

  • …so, WHY?


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Just a moment

(.0084 seconds to be exact)


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Step 2: Determine PPE based on Hazards Analysis

  • There are 5 Hazard/Risk Categories with 0 being the least hazardous and 4 being the most hazardous

  • The Hazard/Risk Category is determined by the incident exposure level you calculated in Step 1

  • Compare the Hazard/Risk Category with Table 130.7(C)(11) to determine Protective Clothing needs


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Step 3: Select Protective Clothing

  • Garments are based upon their ability to protect against electric arcs

  • Standard requires that garments have a minimum Arc Rating (maximum incident energy resistance)

  • General reminder…Clothing made from meltable fibers (such as acetate, nylon, polyester, etc…) are not permitted in fabric underlayers (underwear) next to the skin


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Flame Retardant Clothing – Pants/Shirts/Cover-alls

Voltage Rated Gloves w/ Leather Protectors

Hearing Protection

Hardhat

Arc-Rated Faceshield

Leather Work Shoes

Flash Suits

Safety Glasses

Step 3: Select Protective Clothing


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PPE Label Example

PPE LEVEL 3

Caution: Arc Flash

and Shock Hazard

Minimum PPE Required: FR pants,

FR long sleeve shirt, hard hat,

safety glasses, arc-rated faceshield,

hearing protection, voltage-rated

gloves with leather protectors,

leather work shoes

NFPA 70E


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Labeling – 2002 NEC 110.6

  • Requires all switchboards, panel boards, industrial control panels and motor control centers to be field marked.

  • Equipment installed after 2002 needs to be labeled.

  • Equipment installed prior to 2002, must be labeled if ANY modifications or upgrades take place.


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Energized Electrical Work Permit

  • Required when working on live electrical equipment >50V

  • Permits shall include the requirements of Article 130(A)(2)

  • Example in Annex J

  • Exemptions for qualified persons performing troubleshooting, testing, voltage measuring, etc…


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Case Study


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Case Study: Ford Motor Co.

  • Electrical incident in Buffalo NY Stamping Plant– Sept. 1999

  • Electrical apprentice sustained serious burn injuries while attempting to sever cables feeding through a junction box

  • Employee cut into a live 460V cable


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Case Study: Investigation found…

  • Employee did not lockout all energy sources or perform voltage check prior to cutting

  • Ford provides FR coveralls; doesn’t require them to be worn under 600V

  • Ford doesn’t require insulated gloves, faceshields or non-conductive headwear under 440V

  • Employee wearing safety glasses, non-conductive footwear and non-FR coveralls

  • Employee was not wearing insulated gloves, faceshields or non-conductive headwear


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Case Study – Citations

  • Ford violated1910.335(a)(1)(i) by not requiring employees to wear FR clothing and insulated gloves

  • Ford violated 1910.335(a)(1)(v) by not providing or requiring electricians to wear appropriate face protection. Full faceshields should have been used.

  • Fined $14,000


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Case Study – Outcome

  • Ford agreed to develop, document and implement hazard analysis evaluating plant specific tasks that create the potential for exposure to electrical hazards performed by one or more of Fords 4,000 electricians

  • Agreement covers all 37 manufacturing and distribution centers in the US.

  • Agreed to use NFPA 70E to develop the Hazard Analysis


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In Closing, Ask Yourself:

  • Are my employees adequately protected when dealing with energized electrical components?

    • If yes, what means have you used to determine adequacy?

  • Do my employees have the necessary PPE available?

    • If yes, do they know why, when and where to use it?

  • If the answer to either of these questions is NO, you may want to look into NFPA 70E


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