Important Safety Standards for the Electrical Construction Industry

Multiple standards exist in the electrical industry to ensure that electrical systems are designed, installed, operated, and maintained in a safe manner to protect people, property, and the environment from electrical hazards.

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) focuses on fire protection and prevention, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) focuses on worker safety, and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) focuses on establishing consensus standards for various industries including electrical.

While it may seem overwhelming to keep track of multiple safety standards, each document plays a critical role in promoting the best practices. It is important to stay informed about updates and changes to these standards to maintain a safe working environment.

NFPA 70E

NFPA 70E is an electrical safety standard from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). It aims to keep workers safe when they are working with or near electrical systems and circuits. The standard requires employers to establish and implement an electrical safety program. The program should include policies and procedures for safely using electrical equipment, risk assessments, job planning, and PPE selection and service.

NFPA 70E Annex H - Provides guidance on selecting protective clothing and other personal protective equipment (PPE). The annex is intended to provide a template and sample language for local jurisdictions adopting the National Electrical Code.

NFPA 70E Annex M - Covers the layering of protective clothing and total system arc rating. NFPA 70E requires that all electrical workers wear arc flash clothing when operating within the Flash Protection Boundary. The Flash Protection Boundary is the distance from exposed live parts where a person could receive a second degree burn if an electrical arc flash were to occur.

NFPA 70E Article 250 - Sets the guidelines for the grounding and bonding of electrical systems. By definition, as well as by function, grounding and bonding are not the same thing. However, they do work closely together to help ensure safety in electrical systems.

Related: NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace

ANSI Z535.4

Defines a product safety sign or label as a sign, label, cord tag, or decal affixed to a product that provides safety information about that product. The American National Standard consolidates graphic approaches into a national and national common design to present product hazard and safety information in a visually consistent, uniform system.

Related: Navigating ANSI Z535.4

OSHA 29 CFR 1910

A collection of regulations that detail safe work practices for general industry, OSHA 29 CFR 1910 is also known as OSHA’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards. These regulations apply to most worksites unless specifically prohibited or preempted by a different standard.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.132 - Provides general requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE includes items such as hard hats, goggles, face shields, steel-toed shoes, respirators, aprons, gloves, and full body suits.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.145 - Covers accident prevention signs and tags. This section applies to all accident prevention tags that identify hazardous conditions and provide a message to employees.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.146 - Outlines practices and procedures to protect employees from the hazards of entering permit spaces. Employers must evaluate their workplaces to determine if spaces are permit spaces.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.147 - Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout). This standard outlines procedures for disabling machinery or equipment to prevent the release of hazardous energy during maintenance or servicing.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.331 - Defines electrical safety practices for both qualified and unqualified workers. These regulations cover the scope, content, and requirements for training. They also define qualified and unqualified employees

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.332 - Requires employers to train employees on safety-related work practices for their job assignments. This includes training on electrical safety practices for employees who face a risk of electric shock or other electrical hazards. OSHA’s 1910.332 also lists the training that an employee must receive to be considered qualified. Qualification is largely a function of safety training.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.333 - Covers the selection and use of work practices. The standard requires that live parts be deenergized before a potentially exposed employee works on or near them.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.334 - Defines the proper use of electrical equipment. The regulation states that portable equipment should be handled in a way that does not cause damage. For example, flexible electric cords should not be used to raise or lower equipment.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.335 - Electrical safety practices for employees who are at risk of electrical shock. This standard requires employers to use alerting techniques, such as safety signs and tags, barricades, and attendants, to protect employees from hazards that could cause injury from electric shock, burns, or failure of electric equipment parts.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200 - OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), also known as the “Right to Know” law. The standard requires employers to provide information and training to employees about hazardous chemicals. The information must be available and understandable to workers. The standard requires chemical manufacturers and importers to classify the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Subpart D - Standard for walking-working surfaces. This standard includes requirements for ensuring that work surfaces are clean, dry, and properly maintained.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I - Provides guidance for employers on personal protective equipment (PPE) in general industry.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Subpart J - General environmental controls. The general standards in 29 CFR 1910 apply to most worksites. However, specific standards that are directly related to employee activities may preempt them.

Related: OSHA 29 CFR 1910

OSHA 29 CFR 1926

The regulations found in OSHA 29 CFR 1926 focus on the construction industry and identify the specific work-related risks associated with it.

OSHA 29 CFR, Part 1926, Subpart C - Covers general safety and health provisions for the construction industry.

OSHA 29 CFR, Part 1926, Subpart E - Defines the standards for personal protective equipment in the construction industry. Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes articles such as eye, face, head and extremity protection;, protective clothing; respiratory devices; protective shields; and barriers for mechanical, chemical, radiological or other workplace environmental hazards.

OSHA 29 CFR, Part 1926, Subpart L - Covers safety and health regulations for construction. It includes standards for scaffolds and aerial lifts used in construction.

OSHA 29 CFR, Part 1926, Subpart M - Provides regulation for fall protection in construction workplaces. It applies when workers are working at heights of 6 feet or more above a lower level. Employers who can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use conventional fall protection systems must develop and follow a fall protection plan.

OSHA 29 CFR, Part 1926, Subpart X - Defines the standards for stairways and ladders used in construction, alteration, repair, and demolition workplaces. It includes standards for stairways and ladders, as well as training requirements.

Related: OSHA 29 CFR 1926

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This is awesome! Thank you for posting!
Each member of our team has been asked to put together a short safety presentation for an upcoming safety day revolving around MV Safety Awareness.

Would anyone here already have a presentation/ slides/ power point etc. I could use to help me in building my own presentation? Ty

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