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 Post subject: On-site copies of NFPA70E
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:43 am 
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Recently some of our employees went to NFPA70E training held by a reputable national training company. They were told that they need to have copies of NFPA70E at each of their facilities (onsite) and renew them every 3 years. Is this true? I cannot find any reference to this. We have corporate copies which we renew.
Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: On-site copies of NFPA70E
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:40 am 
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Onsite copies are not required.

Each new edition of NFPA70E is effective as soon as it it published and available for distribution. A new edition is released every 3 years.
There is no need to keep old editions, unless your company's Electrical Safe Work Practices specifically refers to them.


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 Post subject: Re: On-site copies of NFPA70E
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:51 am 
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JBD wrote:
Onsite copies are not required.

Each new edition of NFPA70E is effective as soon as it it published and available for distribution. A new edition is released every 3 years.
There is no need to keep old editions, unless your company's Electrical Safe Work Practices specifically refers to them.


If a worker wants to look at 70E, I think he has a right to look at it. And he can't look at it unless you have a copy.


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 Post subject: Re: On-site copies of NFPA70E
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:02 pm 
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Voltrael wrote:
If a worker wants to look at 70E, I think he has a right to look at it. And he can't look at it unless you have a copy.


True but a worker can also go online and view NFPA 70E for free on the NFPA website.

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Barry Donovan, P.E.
www.workplacesafetysolutions.com


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 Post subject: Re: On-site copies of NFPA70E
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:26 pm 
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70E is not a regulatory requirement, just as the vast majority of NFPA and IEEE standards are not mandatory with one of the most prominent exceptions of NEC (NFPA 70) which is required by regulation in all 50 U.S. States. Thus not only is 70E not mandatory but keeping with the current version is also not mandatory per se.

In my state (North Carolina), even though we are now on the 2014 edition and about to go to the 2017 edition of NEC next year, only the 2011 version so far is "law", and if the committee that handles these has their way they will drag their feet until 2019 and then approve the 2017 version, only to drag their feet again for another 6 years!

The law (regulation) is that employers need to take steps to protect their employees from RECOGNIZED hazards, and arc flash is one of those recognized hazards. If an employer followed any edition of 70E that would be strong evidence of compliance with protecting employees against recognized hazards. Documenting which version is being followed is a step in that direction, but it would raise eyebrows if an employer were to strictly follow NFPA 70E, 1986 edition for instance.

Although an employer is required in OSHA jurisdictions in the U.S. to follow NEC by state law, that doesn't mean that employers can't develop their own standards. Just because it is allowed in the NEC doesn't mean that it should be allowed. For instance I've seen far too many abuses of nonmetallic flexible conduit (blue Smurf tube) as well as intermetallic flexible conduit to allow either one to be used. And just because NEC allows NEMA 1 enclosures to be used in "dry" locations doesn't mean that they belong in many plants. And just because NEC allows both NEMA 4X stainless and fiberglass boxes does not mean that both should be allowed...depending on the environment either one may be disallowed due to corrosive conditions. Granted NEC states that everything must be suitable for the environment back in Article 110 but that doesn't mean that all contractors understand the consequences for a particular plant.

That's just NFPA 70E. For instance if you have an iron or steel plant or a refinery, FR clothing is already mandatory. There is no reason to even both worrying about 1.2 cal/cm^2 since standard workwear is already 4 cal/cm^2. Thus you can start at 4 cal/cm^2 as the cutoff for additional arc flash protection. Although NEC requires field labelling of many items, and although this might be a Code violation, many plants have a "standard" that certain types of panels such as lighting panels are assumed to have a specific incident energy without a label. Basically "unlabelled equipment" is treated as a specific rating (1.2 cal/cm^2 for non-FR plants, 4 cal/cm^2 for the ones that already have FR/arc rated clothing as a standard).

And with the new 2015 edition employers are now required to perform a risk assessment. The risk assessment was implied in previous editions and certainly required in OSHA regulations but was made explicit in the 2015 edition. This means that most plants probably should have their own task tables.

Although there is nothing to say that employees are required to have a copy of 70E, I would never ever consider not providing at least access to it if I have a copy and especially if I have older copies in the office and someone is showing more than casual interest, I won't hesitate to give them away. Frequently when electricians come to my office with questions about the right way to do things, I won't hesitate to show them copies of OSHA regulations or NFPA 70E or IEEE standards. And I won't hesitate to show them where to view any of these standards for free on the internet.

This does two things. First it adds authority to what I'm presenting and second it adds credibility to it that I'm not just making it up as I go along.


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 Post subject: Re: On-site copies of NFPA70E
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:51 am 
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Everywhere I've worked copies of 70 and 70E have been provided at least one per shop, and in one case I think they actually bought one per person. I keep both handbooks in my office, and anyone that wants to is welcome to look at them.


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 Post subject: Re: On-site copies of NFPA70E
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:26 am 
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70E has never been required to be on site.
Having stated the obvious; I would hope you would have a copy or at least have a copy of your electrical safe work practices that your company is using. I also hope it would reference 70E or something just as well thought out.
70E is sited in many cases from OSHA as not being followed (under general duty clause) and if you have people with that good of a knowledge base please send me their resume.


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 Post subject: Re: On-site copies of NFPA70E
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:56 am 
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The best practice on any standard is to have those using the practices in that standard to be conversant with the standard. If you don't make it available you probably aren't meeting that best practice. It is available online but not searchable unless you pay for the PDF but this should be understood by every worker that they can look it up. I have never seen a site that workers knew this. OSHA is easily searchable online.

Most NFPA 70E training companies provide a copy to the workers being trained to avoid copyright violation. We always do. If you provide slides with quotes from NFPA 70E and do not provide the standard you are likely in violation of copyright. Many adult learners do not "get it" the first time and making sure they have access to information is critical. We had a site which was cited by OSHA for a workplace injury but the citation on training was removed because they had a workbook from the class on site and all workers interviewed stated they had a copy of the standard and remembered the training. The supervisor of the night shift DID NOT attend the training and required dangerous energized work (opening a transformer in a rainstorm). The workers were threatened with firing and one did the requested task and died from shock. The supervisor was fired, all other supervisors were trained and workers retrained. No citation occurred for worker training but the NFPA 70E on site was one of the reasons.

One company we do extensive training for DOES NOT provide NFPA 70E, their training program is built around a 125 page company policy which is specific to the company and modified for each site and exceeds NFPA 70E so they do not provide an onsite copy. Companies can license NFPA 70E and NEC from NFPA but we have found that many do not do this correctly. You can't purchase one PDF and put it on the intranet. This is violation of the copyright. Hard for NFPA to catch but still violation of the copyright.

You also cannot purchase one PDF and print copies for all the workers. Check with NFPA licensing department.

Hugh Hoagland
e-Hazard.com


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 Post subject: Re: On-site copies of NFPA70E
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:34 pm 
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I would imagine if your arc flash stickers on your electrical equipment indicate to refer to NFPA70E for your PPE (rather than the sticker indicating exactly what to wear), then you would have a copy available on-site so they can refer to it before dressing out to the PPE level.


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 Post subject: Re: On-site copies of NFPA70E
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:24 pm 
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Much more in NFPA 70E than tables for PPE. LOTO guidance and so much more. Workers need to understand the whole standard. Definitely a must for electrical management and engineering.

Just my opinion.

Hugh


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 Post subject: Re: On-site copies of NFPA70E
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:00 am 
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We just completed qualified electrical safety training for our site. We went through somewhere around 50 employees attending the training. Each employee was given their own copy of 70E, along with a highlighter to highlight during the presentation.


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