National electrical safety code to be opened for comment

A pre-print of the 2017 national electrical safety code (NESC) will open for comment 100 years after the NESC was first introduced. IEEE-SA will publish and open commentary on the preprint of proposed changes to the 2017 Edition of the NESC beginning Sept. 1, 2014.


Mike Hyland. Courtesy: IEEEAlmost 100 years ago, the National Bureau of Standards, the original NESC secretariat, published the first national standard safety practices for electric supply and communication utility systems.  Now, the NESC is published by the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), and is adopted or used worldwide. In order to remain relevant and useful, the NESC must constantly be refined to address rapidly evolving developments and technologies. As a result, the code has continually evolved and is revised every five years.

The NESC leadership holds visioning sessions to evolve its code. At these sessions, all stakeholders discuss the future of the NESC from both a technical and procedural perspective. The first session, held in February 2014, focused on the ever-growing use of renewables, such as wind and solar. Additional vision sessions are planned for 2014, where stakeholder comments will be invited to continue developing the NESC's areas of focus for the 2017 revision and beyond.

A pre-print of the 2017 NESC will open for comment 100 years after the NESC was first introduced in August 1914. The revision process is an open invitation to businesses and industries that rely on the NESC, giving interested parties the opportunity to review, affirm, or suggest additional changes to the code proposals. IEEE-SA will publish and open commentary on the pre-print of proposed changes to the 2017 Edition of the NESC beginning Sept. 1, 2014. An eight-month-long open commentary period ensues, and the period closes May 1, 2015.

With future revisions, the NESC aims to evolve and enhance the safety of public and electrical professionals. The goal of these standards is to increase electrical safety awareness, follow electrical safety guidelines, and use tools and technology designed to address electrical hazards.

Mike Hyland, PE, is the senior vice president of Engineering Services for the American Public Power Association in Washington, D.C. He is currently chair of the National Electrical Safety Code. 

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