Know the Changes: NFPA 70E -2018

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Know the Changes: NFPA 70E -2018

Safety+Health published an article this month highlighting changes in NFPA 70E - 2018.

Some of those changes:

  • The Hierarchy of Controls, emphasizing risk identification and mitigation before the job begins, is mentioned 17 times in this update (as compared to 4 times in a previous version).
  • The revision adds a quick reference guide for arc flash personal protective equipment.
  • An annex discusses the concept of human performance “to identify and address human error and its negative consequences on people, programs, processes, work environment, equipment or an organization.”

Also read what three electrical safety experts, including Hugh Hoagland, have to say about these changes.

Table 130.5(G) Selection of Arc-Rated Clothing and Other PPE When the Incident Energy Analysis Method is Used

This additional Table in the standard offers a guide to specific PPE needed at two different ranges of incident energy exposure: exposures from 1.2 cal/cm² up to 12 cal/cm², and exposures greater than 12 cal/cm².

While employers are not required to provide PPE for exposures less than 1.2 cal/cm², Hugh advises that workers wear “non-melting clothing if any chance of an arc flash event exists.”

During a recent webcast, Hugh said, “Assess the circumstance; see if you think there’s any likelihood of occurrence or enough energy that it would cause clothing ignition.”

Looking Ahead

As Lanny Floyd says in the Safety+Health article, “You can’t just be focused on what’s in the standard. Somebody has to be looking ahead and looking at who’s doing the things that may appear radical today but one day will be the norm.”

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