Machine Safety
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Machine Safety: NFPA 70E and international requirements

Machine Safety has several different focused areas of potential hazards. One of the areas getting a lot of attention is Arc Flash and NFPA 70E. A recent article published by Control Engineering earlier this month had some startling results. An alarming 72% of respondents (302) “always” plus “mostly” regularly violate NFPA 70E while working on control panels.

January 30, 2012


Machine Safety has several different focused areas of potential hazards. One of the areas getting a lot of attention is Arc Flash and NFPA 70E. A recent article on control panel safety published by Control Engineering earlier this month had some startling results. An alarming 72% of respondents (302) “always” plus “mostly” regularly violate NFPA 70E while working on control panels.

  Ouch – this is amazing! And, there are a few more amazing realities in my opinion.

Poll asking respondents if they regularly violate NFPA 70E rules while working on electrical panels.

 

   In my experience it’s mainly the large companies that are most compliant with safe work practices and standards like NFPA 70E. Is that your experience also?

   And another amazing reality – have any of you seen arc flash regulations in any of the international standards like IEC or ISO? In all these years I can’t recall coming across any international safety requirements similar to NFPA 70E. Aren’t they missing the boat? Let’s assume for the moment that most of the respondent comments in the Control Engineering article are representative of the whole. Then perhaps a slightly different approach needs to be considered where industry can more easily comply with the regulations and provide safety for the employees. Assuming this projection is entirely possible, why wouldn’t the international body of safety experts writing safety standards have already accomplished this more easily compliant approach? Is there something striking by its international absence?

JB Titus, CFSE   Your comments or suggestion are always welcome so please let us know your thoughts. Submit your ideas, experiences, and challenges on this subject in the comments section below. Click on the following text if you don't see a comments box, then scroll down: Machine Safety: NFPA 70E and international requirements

   Related articles:

How safe are your electrical work practices?

Codes and Regulations: Electrical Controls’ Dirty Little Secret: We Don’t Follow NFPA Rules

Machine Guarding: Do I need to follow codes and regulations like NFPA?

Updating Minds About Machine Safety

 

Contact: www.jbtitus.com for “Solutions for Machine Safety”.



For more than 30 years, J.B. Titus has advised a wide range of clients on machine functional safety solutions, including Johnson & Johnson, Siemens, General Motors, Disney, Rockwell Automation, Bridgestone Firestone, and Samsung Heavy Industries. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Oklahoma University in industrial management and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in marketing and finance. He is a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and is OSHA-certified in machine guarding. Titus is also TUV-certified as a Functional Safety Expert and serves on several American National Standards Institute, National Fire Protection Association, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association national safety and health standards committees. Reach him at jb(at)jbtitus.com and via www.jbtitus.com.