Electrical Safety – Changes and Challenges for 2015

The time to take action to update your electrical safety program is now! The 2015 version of NFPA 70E (and OSHA) will bring to facility managers several new compliance challenges. OSHA has updated their standards, and has set an effective date of January 1, 2015 where “employers must make reasonable estimates of incident energy”. By April 15th, 2015, employers must provide protective clothing and other protective equipment meeting arc flash protection requirements.

Since the 2009 version of NFPA 70E, guidelines have been in place to identify the hazards of electrical components. Thus, the OSHA designated effective date represents a significant milestone. Further, NPPA 70E designates that “the results of the arc flash risk assessment shall be documented”.

NFPA 70E, 2015 also defines that the specific responsibility of electrical equipment risk assessment is assigned to the “owner” of that component. This clears up the uncertainty between the building owner and the tenant as to which party is responsible for meeting compliance requirements for the arc flash risk assessment.

Additionally, NFPA 70E 2015, significantly raises electrical equipment “condition of maintenance” as a priority. 70E language in this area includes:

  • The electrical safety program shall include elements that consider condition of maintenance of electrical equipment and systems.
  • An arc flash risk assessment shall take into consideration, the design of the overcurrent protective devices and its opening time, including its condition of maintenance.
  • Maintenance, tests, and inspections shall be documented.

For additional information, updates on other 2015 changes, and a complimentary evaluation of your electrical safety program, please contact Chuck Fox of ASG Electric 608-212-0508, email at Click to Email