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Protecting Against Electrical Hazards

nfpa, osha, electrical hazards, arc flash, ppe, personal protective equipment

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media, with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is protecting against electrical hazards.

The second most common area for violations and citations from OSHA - or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - concerns electrical hazards, which are a real concern in the maintenance and engineering profession. The nature of tasks technicians perform places them at risk of electrocution and arc-flash burns.

Recently, OSHA revised its electrical safety regulations to provide employees greater protection, and standard 70E from the National Fire Protection Association - or NFPA - goes even further to protect employees. In particular, the updated standards serve to protect employees from arc-flash hazards.

To better protect maintenance and engineering technicians, OSHA and NFPA 70E recommend the following hazard-control initiatives:

    • a permit for energized electrical work
    • pre-work job briefings
    • the use of PPE, or personal protective equipment
    • the use of insulated tools
    • a written electrical-safety program
    • qualified personnel training
    • flash-hazard labeling.

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