Machine Safety: NFPA 70E and international requirements

Machine Safety has several different focused areas of potential hazards. One of the areas getting a lot of attention is Arc Flash and NFPA 70E. A recent article published by Control Engineering earlier this month had some startling results. An alarming 72% of respondents (302) “always” plus “mostly” regularly violate NFPA 70E while working on control panels.

01/30/2012


Machine Safety has several different focused areas of potential hazards. One of the areas getting a lot of attention is Arc Flash and NFPA 70E. A recent article on control panel safety published by Control Engineering earlier this month had some startling results. An alarming 72% of respondents (302) “always” plus “mostly” regularly violate NFPA 70E while working on control panels.

  Ouch – this is amazing! And, there are a few more amazing realities in my opinion.

Poll asking respondents if they regularly violate NFPA 70E rules while working on electrical panels.

 

   In my experience it’s mainly the large companies that are most compliant with safe work practices and standards like NFPA 70E. Is that your experience also?

   And another amazing reality – have any of you seen arc flash regulations in any of the international standards like IEC or ISO? In all these years I can’t recall coming across any international safety requirements similar to NFPA 70E. Aren’t they missing the boat? Let’s assume for the moment that most of the respondent comments in the Control Engineering article are representative of the whole. Then perhaps a slightly different approach needs to be considered where industry can more easily comply with the regulations and provide safety for the employees. Assuming this projection is entirely possible, why wouldn’t the international body of safety experts writing safety standards have already accomplished this more easily compliant approach? Is there something striking by its international absence?

JB Titus, CFSE   Your comments or suggestion are always welcome so please let us know your thoughts. Submit your ideas, experiences, and challenges on this subject in the comments section below. Click on the following text if you don't see a comments box, then scroll down: Machine Safety: NFPA 70E and international requirements

   Related articles:

How safe are your electrical work practices?

Codes and Regulations: Electrical Controls’ Dirty Little Secret: We Don’t Follow NFPA Rules

Machine Guarding: Do I need to follow codes and regulations like NFPA?

Updating Minds About Machine Safety

 

Contact: www.jbtitus.com for “Solutions for Machine Safety”.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Water use efficiency: Diminishing water quality, escalating costs; Lowering building energy use; Power for fire pumps
Building envelope and integration; Manufacturing industrial Q&A; NFPA 99; Testing fire systems
Labs and research facilities: Q&A with the experts; Water heating systems; Smart building integration; 40 Under 40 winners
Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.