Overview of NFPA70E 2015

By Z Jooma, e-Hazard.com


Published in:

Electricity+Control, December 2014 (pages 24 – 26)

Enquiries: Tel. 016 89 4311 or email Zarheer@e-hazard.com


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The NFPA70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace covers the management systems and work practices to ensure the safety of personnel against electrical arc flash and electrical shock when work is being performed. NFPA70E most recent editions included 2004, 2009, 2012 and the latest 2015 edition. The review cycle has reduced to three yearly driven by the rapid improvements and expansion in the field of electrical safety.

NFPA70E is used to ensure compliance to electrical safety systems in the United States of America (USA). In the USA NFPA70E 2015 is used to issue citations (or fines) to non-complying organisations. In other countries, such as Africa and the Middle East, NFPA70E 2015 is used as a best practice guideline and in certain instances NFPA70E 2015 may be required by local statute to identify hazards and mitigate the risks to electrical safety associated with such hazards.
This article is limited to Chapter 1 of NFPA70E 2015. The context within which the text is quoted can be used to determine if the quote is referenced from the 2012 or the 2015 edition. This article is not substituting NFPA70E 2015. It strongly recommends that NFPA70E 2015 be read before attempting to achieve compliance.

The list of changes discussed in this article is aimed for persons knowledgeable in the NFPA70E 2012 revision and is not aimed at substituting the reading and understanding of the NFPA70E 2015 revision. Reading the latest revision of NFPA70E 2015, combined with attending accredited training on electrical safety by a professional engineering association is not only a requirement of NFPA70E 2015, but is also seen as best practice and a legal requirement to ensure electrical safety in South Africa.


Take note

  • NFPA70E 2015 is the latest best practice standard for electrical safety in the workplace.
  • NFPA70E 2015 emphasises a risk-based approach to electrical safety.
  • NFPA70E 2015 provides guidelines as to how risk assessments for electrical safety should be performed.