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Every year, approximately 3,600 workers are permanently disabled, and on average, one worker per day is killed, as a result of electrical incidents in the workplace.* To prevent these types of electrical injuries and deaths, building owners and managers should apply the safeguards included in NFPA 70E, the standard utilized by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for building electrical assessments. OSHA utilizes the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace to provide improved safety procedures for workers through proper warning labels, restricted access notification, personnel training and personal protective equipment (PPE). OSHA compliance will minimize workplace injuries, accidents, illnesses, equipment damage, production losses, and legal costs, which are all avoidable and unnecessary factors in any business.

*Source: National Fire Protection Association, 2011, www.nfpa.org.

What is the NFPA 70E Standard?

The National Fire Protection Association has been in the forefront for establishing Life Safety Standards that are utilized throughout the world to improve all areas of safety, especially fire and electrical safety. Quoting the National Fire Protection Association's 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace Article 90.3: states "The purpose of this standard is to provide a practical safe working area for employees relative to the hazards arising from the use of electricity." NFPA 70E Article 130.3 states "A flash hazard analysis shall be done in order to protect personnel from the possibility of being injured by an arc flash. The analysis shall determine the flash protection boundary and the personal protective equipment that people within the flash protection boundary shall use."

What is a Flash Hazard Analysis?

A Flash Hazard Analysis is the first step for a facility to meet compliance with the NFPA 70E Standard. A flash hazard analysis (also referred to as a NFPA 70E Assessment) consists of:

  • Electrical system(s) site survey
  • Determination of short circuit fault current (amps) available at accessible points in the system
  • Modeling of electrical system protective devices
  • Checking protective devices for sequential fault operation
  • Quantifying Arc Flash Hazards
  • Providing written NFPA 70E Assessment
  • Documentation of electrical system deficiencies
  • Recommendations for system improvements
  • Installation of warning labeling on equipment

For building owners and building managers to apply the NFPA 70E Standard is more than just a compliance issue. NFPA 70E is also a sound business decision built upon proven practices. When you protect your workers and contractors, you also protect your investment in facilities, equipment and, ultimately, your entire business. EFI Global can provide building owners and managers the guidance and leadership to ensure compliance to NFPA 70E, thereby reducing potential long-term liabilities to your employees and your business.

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EFI Global is a full-service Engineering, Fire Investigation, Environmental, Health and Safety, and specialty consulting firm. Over the last four decades, they have grown from a boutique firm to become a recognized leader in engineering failure analysis, origin and cause investigations, and environmental consulting. This expertise coupled with the extensive coverage of our 27 national offices, more than 400 professionals, and global work abroad capability allows EFI Global to deliver timely responses that consistently meets their clients' expectations.

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