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Since first introduced in 1979, do you believe NFPA 70E has become:
Too administrative
Too technical
Both too administrative and technical
Neither - It is a Good balance as is
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 Post subject: NFPA 70E – Complicated?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:00 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
It is hard to imagine but the 2024 revision cycle for NFPA 70E is well underway. Thinking about the evolution of this important electrical safety standard which was first published back in 1979 (I was still in college) I have had discussions with various individuals about its trajectory. Let me explain.

The standard originally began with the intent of clarifying OSHA requirements to protect electrical workers in the field and was written from the workers perspective. Over time, more and more administrative requirements have been added as well as more technical details. The discussion that I have had with many people over time is about their concern that NFPA 70E may be getting too slanted towards a management perspective and too complicated for use by the electrical worker.

This week’s question:

Since first introduced in 1979, do you believe NFPA 70E has become:
• Too administrative
• Too technical
• Both too administrative and technical
• Neither - It is a Good balance as is

Your thoughts are encouraged and welcome!


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 Post subject: Re: NFPA 70E – Complicated?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:28 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:24 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA
Personally, when first introduced to NFPA 70E back in 2005, I have to admit it was a little confusing to me due to my background in the electric utility industry.

For example, common OSHA terms used in the electric utilities such as MAD, clearances, enclosed spaces, etc. were non-existent in 70E and yet new and strange words associated with "boundaries" such as prohibited, restricted, limited and flash boundaries and terms like incident energy, working distance, HRC, etc. were used throughout the standard, to name just a few differences.

However, over time as I continued my training in, use of and exposure to 70E, I developed a deeper understanding and practical use of this very important electrical safety standard and how it relates to both the OSHA standards and other NFPA codes and standards, such as the NEC and 70B. And even it's application to certain areas within electric utilities, especially in generation plants, even though we're technically "not covered" per article 90.2(B).

Nearly two decades later in 2021, I'm much more comfortable with 70E and it's contents. However, one of my biggest frustration regarding 70E is with the revisions every three years. Just when I start becoming quite accustomed to the articles and tables by number, the new version pops into the picture and changes the numbering and the contents of the articles and tables (not everything), so the learning curve starts all over again. I certainly agree with updating the contents and information (most of the times) but the renumbering of familiar articles from the previous edition was and is a little frustrating to this 'old dog'. ;)

However my NUMBER ONE GRIPE with 70E isn't about the standard but with NFPA itself and primarily resides with their bad business decision to stop providing their customers with pdf copies of their standards and forcing us to their new and not so user friendly Link online platform. NFPA under the leadership of Jim Pauley is focused on nothing more than greater financial profits while claiming they're a "non-profit" organization which is nothing more than duplicity in my opinion.

I'll stop there because the topic of NFPA pdfs is covered by another post by Jim but I couldn't resist venting a little about NFPA's foolishness. :evil:


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