2012 NFPA 70E Code Changes

Development and Enforcement of Electrical Safe Work Practices
The newly released 2012 version of NFPA 70E requires the development and enforcement of an Electrical Safe Work Practices (ESWP) policy. It also defines the requirements for safe work practices and requires audits and revisions to keep the safety policy up to date.
 
Section 110.3 (H) Electrical Safety Auditing
 

Employee Training
Per NFPA 70E, a qualified person is defined as “one who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and systems, and has received safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved.”
 
While the NFPA 70E standard has required a “qualified person” for many years, the 2012 edition expands upon the requirement by stating the employer must verify the worker is complying with safe work practices by auditing and supervising employees on an annual basis.
 
Section 110.2 (D) Employee Training
 

Required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
All PPE must now be classified as Arc Rated (AR). Flame Resistant is no longer acceptable.
 
Article 100
 
A new section has been added to the 2012 edition titled “hearing protection” and states that hearing protection must be worn inside the Arc Flash Hazard boundary.
 
Section 130.7(C)(5)
 
In addition, the 2012 standard clarifies that leather gloves must be “heavy duty” or Arc Rated.
 
Section 130.7(C)(10)(d)
 
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Equipment Labeling
Labeling the electrical equipment with the findings from the Arc Flash hazard analysis is paramount to ensure workers are aware of the safety precautions they must take if work needs to be done while energized. The 2012 requirements state the equipment shall be field-marked with a label containing all of the following information:
 
1) At least one of the following:
  • Available incident energy and corresponding working distance
  • Minimum arc rating of clothing
  • Required level of PPE
  • Highest Hazard/Risk Category (HRC) for the equipment
2) Nominal system voltage
3) Arc flash boundary
 
Exception: Labels applied prior to September 30, 2011, are acceptable if they contain the available incident energy or required level of PPE

Section 130.5(C)

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