SAFETY SOLUTIONS: OSHA Electrical Safety and Training
Electrical safety and the NFPA 70E electrical requirements
are fast becoming a very hot issue in the OSHA world. It
is my opinion that most companies are not ready for the
new OSHA electrical safety regulations or NFPA 70E.
At the present time, everyone I talk to is out buying Arc Flash
clothing and conducting their Arc Flash Analysis thinking this is
all they have to do to comply with OSHA. But they are missing
the most important part of the OSHA standard.
What is it? Safe, written work procedures and training
according to Subpart S Electrical safety rules.
What is the connection between NFPA 70E and OSHA?
NFPA 70E was originally developed at OSHA’s request to
address electrical hazards in the workplace. OSHA bases its
electrical safety requirements on the comprehensive information
in NFPA 70E. OSHA considers NFPA 70E to be an effective
how-to manual for OSHA regulation compliance.
How does NFPA 70E complement OSHA regulations?
OSHA requires the use of protective equipment when working
where potential electrical hazards exist, although the
agency does not specify how to select personal protective
equipment. OSHA requires the employer to assess workplace
hazards and the need for personal protective equipment. This
assessment must be completed by a competent person. (See
OSHA 1910.132 standards for this requirement)
In lieu of detailed OSHA regulations, OSHA recognizes, and
in some cases refers to, industry consensus standards such as
NFPA 70E as a tool for assisting with regulatory compliance.
NFPA 70E provides practical solutions to satisfy the requirements
of OSHA subpart S for general industry and subpart K
for construction. It identifies the hazards and describes measures
that can be taken to prevent electrical injuries.
Can you avoid OSHA citations by complying with NFPA
Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act,
otherwise known as the general duty clause, requires an
employer to furnish “employment and a place of employment
which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or
are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.”
The clause enables OSHA to issue citations when unsafe
conditions are identified for which a regulation does not exist.
Industry consensus standards such as NFPA 70E may serve
as evidence that a hazard is recognized and that there is a
feasible means of correcting the hazard.
Do I have to train my employees in OSHA electrical
standards and 70 E?
The answer is YES.
What is NFPA 70E Training?
FPA stands for the National Fire
Protection Association. It is the authority
on fire, electrical and building safety.
The designation “70E” labels the
latest book edition of training from the
NFPA. This edition teaches modern-day
electrical safety in the workplace. It
warns workers of potential electrical
hazards and helps them understand
the codes and laws of working with and
NFPA 70E is the standard used by
the OSHA (Occupational Safety &
Health Administration) detailing the
“how tos” behind compliance with
OSHA 1910 Subpart S and OSHA
1926 Subpart K.
As an employer, using NFPA 70E
training, or arc flash training, will educate
your employees on potential electrical
hazards while helping increase
safety on the job. The appropriate training
can help save lives by teaching
workers how to deal with and/or avoid
shock, arc flash, arc blast and electrocution.
These four hazards are responsible
for hundreds of worker deaths and
thousands of injuries per year in the
United States alone.
When it comes to electricity, ignorance
can injure or kill. The more you
and fellow employees know, the safer
your workplace will be. Also, keep in
mind that some types of electrical work
require various levels of training
according to the law, and you must
abide by OSHA standards.
If your company employs quite a few
workers and managers that need to
take NFPA 70E training, you can hire
experts like Podojil & Associates, Inc.
The classes usually have an introduction
to NFPA 70E, and the agenda typically
includes increasing arc flash
awareness and learning about NFPA
70E standards as well as OSHA 1910
Subpart S regulations. They’ll be
trained in PPE selection maintenance,
safe work practices, labelling for equipment
and the dangers of transients.
Meter safety, lockout/tagout and other
electrical safety principles are taught.
Classes also include safety videos and
several tests for students.
Providing NFPA 70E training can protect
lives by decreasing the risk of electrical
injuries on the job. Use online
resources to learn more about arc flash
training, and give the gift of electrical
safety to your employees and to yourself!
Stay safe. If you have questions on
safety or the regulations, please email
me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Ray Enama, a senior consultant
for Podojil & Associates, Inc.
Mr. Enama has more than 40 years
experience in high and low voltage
electrical systems. Mr. Enama also
teaches part time for the OSHA training
For more information,