NFPA 70E 2015 to 2018 Edition Differences Changes & Updates

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Written by Terry Becker, P.Eng., CESCP, IEEE Senior Member, Electrical Safety Expert & Jim Pollard, Electrical Safety & Arc Flash PPE Expert

Important Notice for Use:

  1. Not all changes to NFPA 70E, 2018 Edition are included in this document.
  2. You are cautioned to consult the approved NFPA 70E, 2018 Edition prior to making any changes in any established Electrical Safety Program, and related safe work policies and practices.
  3. Written opinions by the authors are personal technical opinions. You are advised to consult the NFPA at http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/standards-development-process/tias-errata-and-fis/formal-interpretations for specific formal interpretation when required.
  4. NFPA 70E remains technically harmonized with CSA Z462.
  5. CSA Z462 Workplace electrical safety Standard includes additional Annexes that are not included in NFPA 70E and specific Clause content aligned with other applicable CSA Standards, such as CSA Z460.

Introduction:

The following list of differences may not be complete, but highlights some of the potential key differences between the 2015 and 2018 Editions of NFPA 70E. Employers should have ample quantities of printed or digital copies of 2018 NFPA 70E available for review by their employees and will need to review the changes and decide on what revisions may be required to your Electrical Safety Program, supporting Risk Assessment Procedure, including Arc Flash & Shock Risk Assessment related documentation and related Electrical Safe Work Policies, Practices and Procedures, etc.

You are NOT immediately required to train all of your workers to the new 2018 NFPA 70E. Where changes are made to your Electrical Safety Program in response to 2018 NFPA 70E, training is then required in a timely manner to ensure your safe work policies and practices reflect the application of the changes.

Employers are recommended to FIRST update your Electrical Safety Program before training your workers. Otherwise, your current documentation will not support the requirements of the 2018 NFPA 70E including any changes to the required Arc Flash and Shock Risk Assessments. Employers need to be prepared with updated documentation to support an updated Work Flow Process (see Figure 1 Application of ESP in Work Flow Process). Training on the updated NFPA 70E 2018 Edition is best coordinated with the required updates to your Electrical Safety Program. Following their training, your employees could return to work without adequate supporting documentation to allow them to perform their jobs. Training on new content, and related policies and practices will be lost and forgotten if employees are not reinforcing this knowledge on the job and in the field.

Training on the new NFPA 70E, 2018 Edition is best coordinated with the required updates to your Electrical Safety Program.

If you currently don’t have an Electrical Safety Program or need to audit your Electrical Safety Program, Danatec has available an Electrical Safety Program called “Product in a Box”, a licensed product solution comprised of several documents, appendices, forms and flow charts, which as a complete package will provide a compliant Electrical Safety Program.

This “Differences” document provides you with a useful reference for the changes between the 2015 Edition and 2018 of NFPA 70E.

2018 Change Management

Employers shall implement and document an overall Electrical Safety Program! This is a mandatory requirement of NFPA 70E, Article 110.1. As an element of the ongoing management of your ESP you need to ensure you update it with the policies and practice requirements of the latest edition of the NFPA 70E Standard.

Ask yourself the following questions as you review this document:

  • How might these changes impact the existing policies, practices, processes, and procedures used to execute justified and authorized energized electrical work tasks?
  • What new processes should be added to your Electrical Safety Program with respect to proactive management of arc flash and shock hazards?
  • Do I have field-based documentation that the Qualified Person shall complete before executing energized electrical work that documents their work task-specific Shock Risk Assessment and Arc Flash Risk Assessment?
  • Have we implemented an Energized Electrical Work Permit (EEWP) process and did we implement it correctly?Danatec Educational Services Ltd. (Danatec) can license you a complete Electrical Safety Program that is used as the basis for due diligence to OSHA Regulations and the implementation in the field of NFPA 70E’s requirements. Contact Danatec Educational Services Ltd. at 1-800-465-3366 for more information or see our website at www.danatec.com or contact Unlimited PPE our Agent at 1-905-573-0300 or at www.arctested.com.Please note that NFPA has changed how they notify you of changes from the previous edition:
  1. [triangle]shows text deletions and figure or table revisions.
  2. [bullet]show section deletions.
  3. N shows new material.

Changes & Updates Overview

The 2018 Edition of the NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace continues to evolve. The majority of the changes and updates are in Article 110, 120 and 130, some new Definitions have been added and some altered in Article 100. Some minor changes are in Chapter 2 Safety-Related Maintenance Requirements and Chapter 3 Safety Requirements for Special Equipment. Several Annexes have been modified. There is a new Annex Q Human Performance and Workplace Electrical Safety. It is important that you understand the changes made as they will affect your company’s Electrical Safety Program and how you have Qualified Person’s document and complete energized electrical work tasks.

In the 2018 Edition of NFPA 70E changes and updates have been made to further align the Standard with Occupational Health & Safety Management System Standards and related Risk Assessment Standards. The concept of completing a Risk Assessment Procedure for every energized electrical work task is mandatory and shall be documented as a requirement in your company’s Electrical Safety Program. An Arc Flash Risk Assessment and Shock Risk Assessment are components of the work task’s overall Risk Assessment 

Procedure. It is now mandatory that the Hierarchy of Risk Control Methods be applied to a work task to reduce risk:

  1. De-energize;
  2. Substitution;
  3. Engineering “Safety by Design;”
  4. Warning signs and barricading;
  5. Administrative controls, training and procedures; and
  6. Electrical Specific PPE, Tools & Equipment with proper care, use and maintenance.

We also need to clarify what energized electrical work is. NFPA 70E still retains its definition of “Working On,” but we need to differentiate energized “Operation” of power distribution and branch circuit electrical equipment vs energized electrical maintenance e.g. diagnostics & troubleshooting, repair and alteration, and isolation work tasks (e.g. racking in and out of power circuit breakers and installing temporary protective grounds).

Top Ten (10) Changes

  1. Low Voltage Threshold
    The 100VDC low voltage threshold in NFPA 70E 2015 Edition has been lowered back to 50VDC to align with OSHA’s requirement that has always been 50VDC. Without OSHA changing its 50VDC threshold it was clear that NFPA 70E had to change back to 50VDC. Research had indicated that 100VDC was a more reasonable low voltage threshold.
  2. Risk Assessment Procedure
    Existing Article 110.1(H) Risk Assessment Procedure (RAP) has been changed to a section of multiple Sub-Articles in the 2018 Edition as:Article 110.1(H) Risk Assessment Procedure
    Article 110.1(H)(1) Elements of a Risk Assessment Procedure
    Article 110.1(H)(2) Human Error (NEW)
    Article 110.1(H)(3) Hierarchy of risk control methods (Moved into the body from Notes)

    The Hierarchy of Risk Control Methods was moved from a non-mandatory Note to Article 110.1(H)(3) Hierarchy of Risk Control Methods. These risk control methods shall be applied to a work task’s risk assessment to reduce the Residual Risk Level to as low as reasonably practicable and must be applied in the order listed.

    1. De-energize;
    2. Substitution;
    3. Engineering Controls “Safety by Design”;
    4. Awareness, warning signs, and barricading;
    5. Administrative controls, training and procedures; and
    6. Electrical Specific PPE, Tools and Equipment and their proper care, use and maintenance.
  3. Human Error
    Existing Article 110.1(H) Risk Assessment Procedure (RAP) was expanded and now includes a new Sub- Article, Article 110.1(H)(3) Human Error. The requirement for a RAP to be completed for a specific energized electrical work task shall take human error into consideration and its potential negative impact on people, processes, the work environment, and equipment. Human error will drive up the likelihood of occurrence (probability) of the arcing fault and arc flash or shock exposure to the Qualified Person. Arc flash PPE can impact a Qualified Person’s performance and contribute to human error, e.g. green/yellow faceshields that alter colour perception, heavy weight garments can cause heat stress and disorientation, inadequate work task lighting can cause mistakes, arc flash suit hoods without a hood ventilation system or LED can negatively impact human performance, etc. Updated arc flash PPE is available that improves worker performance including true color clear grey faceshield lenses, ultra-lightweight fabrics, hood ventilation systems, hood/faceshield mounted LED lamps, etc.
  1. Job Safety Planning
    Existing Article 110.1(I) Job briefing has been changed to a section of Sub-Articles in 2018 as; Article 110.1(I) Job Safety Planning and Job Briefing (requirements before starting each job) Article 110.1(I)(1) Job Safety Planning (includes new requirements per below)
    Article 110.1(I)(2) Job Briefing (existing content)Article 110.1(I)(3) Change in Scope (existing content)Significant changes as new requirements for Job Safety Planning include:

    1. Be completed by a Qualified Person.
    2. Be documented.
    3. Must include description of the job and the individual energized work tasks.
    4. Must include identification of the electrical hazards associated with each individual energized electrical work task.
    5. A Shock Risk Assessment completed for each individual energized electrical work task.
    6. An Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed for each individual energized electrical work task.
    7. Include work procedures involved, special precautions and energy source controls.
  2. Shock Risk Assessment
    Article 130.4 Shock Risk Assessment has been updated to align with the risk assessment procedure focus by including a step in the process “to estimate the likelihood of occurrence of injury or damage to health and the potential severity of injury or damage to health”; this risk assessment language and processisnowalsoincludedwhencompletinganArcFlashRiskAssessmentforaworktask. AShock Risk Assessment shall be performed:

    1. To identify shock hazards;
    2. To estimate the likelihood of occurrence of injury or damage to health and the potential severity of injury or damage to health; and
    3. To determine if additional protective measures are required, including the use of PPE.

Note: Tables 130.4(D)(a) and 130.4(D)(b) changed the 100V low voltage threshold back to 50V.

6. Removal of the 40 cal/cm2 Limit (Myth, there never was a defined mandatory incident energy limited for energized electrical work)
Deletion of the Note that implied or were misunderstood related to 40 cal/cm2 incident energy being “dangerous and greater emphasis required” and “No PPE available”. This statement is false and no substantiation was offered. It is noted that 1.2 cal/cm2 of incident exposure to a worker when they are

 

NOT wearing arc-rated PPE is “dangerous” as any exposed skin could receive a 2nd-degree skin burn injury based on the Stoll Curve. Arc flash incident energy doesn’t directly correlate to arc blast pressure (e.g. IEEE Yellow Book, not IEEE 3007.1, 3007.2 and 3007.3, Dr. Ralph Lee research and graph). Rather the potential for arc blast pressure relates to the arcing fault current magnitude and related to the electrical equipment door been open or closed and how much copper is vaporized. Arcing fault current will be higher on low voltage electrical equipment, but there may be less copper vaporized than on low or high voltage power distribution equipment (e.g. SWGR).

1. Article 130.7(A) General, Note (3) is deleted.

7. Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Severity of Injury or Damage to Health and Likelihood of Occurrence Article 130.5 Arc Flash Risk Assessment has been altered refining the risk assessment focused process. Article 130.5 General and its Notes are now divided into eight Sub-Articles:

  1. Article 130.5(A) General
  2. Article 130.5(B) Estimate of Likelihood and Severity
  3. Article 130.5(C) Additional Protective Measures
  4. Article 130.5(D) Documentation
  5. Article 130.5(E) Arc Flash Boundary
  6. Article 130.5(F) Arc Flash PPE
  7. Article 130.5(G) Incident Energy Analysis (Method 1)
  8. Article 130.5(H) Equipment Labelling (New Content)

Article 130.5(A) General now indicates that an Arc Flash Risk Assessment shall be performed:

  1. To identify arc flash hazards;
  2. To estimate the likelihood of occurrence of injury or damage to health and the potential severity of injury or damage to health; and
  3. To determine if additional protective measures are required, including the use of PPE.

An entire new Sub-Article, Article 130.5(B) Estimate of Likelihood and Severity indicates that the determination of an estimate of likelihood or occurrence of injury or damage to health and the potential severity of injury or damage to health shall take into consideration (the old Notes are included with this Sub-Article):

  1. The design of the electrical equipment, including its overcurrent protective device and its operating time; and
  2. The electrical equipment operating condition and condition of maintenance.

Article 130.5(C) Additional Protective Measures includes the three requirements for Arc Flash Risk Assessment in the NFPA 70E 2015 Edition, but adds in the use of NEW Table 130.5(C) Estimate of the Likelihood of Occurrence of an Arc Flash Incident for ac and dc Systems.

Article 130.5(C) Additional Protective Measures
If additional protective measures are required they shall be selected and implemented according to the hierarchy risk control methods identified in Article 110.1(H)(3).

  1. Appropriate safety-related work practices;
  2. The Arc Flash Boundary; and
  3. The PPE that personnel within the Arc Flash Boundary shall use.

Table 130.5(C) may be used to estimate the likelihood of occurrence of an arc flash event to determine if additional protective measures are required.

This new Table 130.5(C) is the old Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(a) relocated and renamed, but instead of advising if Arc Flash PPE is required, it now states Likelihood of Occurrence. The work tasks list has been reordered in this new Table. A simple “Yes” or “No” column is still used, but this should be interpreted as the Likelihood of Occurrence of an arcing fault and arc flash.

  1. Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Likelihood of Occurrence Table
    The new Table 130.5(C) Estimate of the Likelihood of Occurrence of an Arc Flash Incident for ac and dc systems is a standalone table to be used as a primary reference when completing an energized electrical work task’s Arc Flash Risk Assessment and is applied first in determining the Likelihood of Occurrence of an arcing fault and arc flash. After using this table to determine that it is likely that an arcing fault and arc flash could occur related to the work task’s description and the Condition of Maintenance of the energized electrical equipment, the Qualified Electrical Worker would determine “additional protective measures”. These additional protective measures are applied against an arc flash hazard exposure to reduce risk using one of two methods (e.g. Method 1 Incident Energy Analysis, Method 2 Arc Flash PPE Category Method) to determine the Arc Flash Boundary and the arc-rated PPE to be worn for the energized work task when standing at a specific Working Distance. Safety-related work practices are still required to be followed.
  2. Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Arc Flash PPE Category Method, Typical Fault Clearing Times of Overcurrent Protective Devices
    The Arc Flash PPE Category Method to determine Additional Protective Measures in completed an Arc Flash Risk Assessment is updated to only use the existing Tables 130.7(C)(15)(A)(b), 130.7(C)(15)(B) and 130.7(C)(16), but renumbered to Table 130.7(C)(15)(a), 130.7(C)(15)(b) and 130.7(C)(15)(c). New Notes have been added to renumbered Table 130.7(C)(15)(a) Arc Flash PPE Categories for alternating current (ac) Systems indicating typical fault clearing times of overcurrent protective devices (you could have used this information previously as most of it was published in IEEE 1584 Table 1 or was available from equipment manufacturers:

a. b. c. d. e.

0.5 cycle fault clearing time is typical for current limiting fuses when the fault current is within the current limiting range.
1.5 cycle fault clearing time is typical for moulded case circuit breakers rated less than 1000V with an instantaneous integral trip.

3.0 cycle fault clearing time is typical for insulated case circuit breakers rated less than 1000V with an instantaneous integral drip or relay operating time.
5.0 cycle fault clearing time is typical for relay operated circuit breakers rated 1kV to 35kV when the relay operates in the instantaneous range (i.e. “no intentional time delay”).

20 cycle fault clearing time is typical for air frame and insulated case circuit breakers with a short time fault clearing delay for motor inrush.

 

f. 30 cycle fault clearing time is typical for air frame and insulated case circuit breakers with a short time fault clearing delay without instantaneous trip.

See IEEE 1584-2002 Table 1 for further information regarding Notes b through d.

10. Equipment Labeling no Longer Required
For “industrial” workplaces with supervision you no longer need to install Equipment Labels for arc flash and shock, as long as you provide access to the incident energy analysis data or results of using the Arc Flash PPE Category Method in “Results Tables”, “spreadsheets”, on single line diagrams, or the hazard information could be included on a Work Order related to specific electrical equipment and the identified protective device, load or line side. An example of a generic Equipment Label and Related Results Table are included below:

 

  1. Throughout the document all mathematical symbols are replaced with alphanumeric values.
  2. Words and phrases changed throughout the document:
    1. Accident to incident.
    2. Accidental to unintentional.
    3. cal/cm2 used over joules/cm2.
    4. In the document and specifically in the Arc Flash PPE Category Tables, short circuit current is changed to available fault current. New definitions have been added for “Fault Current” and “Fault Current, Available” and a single line diagram included illustrating locations where “Available Fault Current” could be calculated.
  3. The words maintains, maintain and maintained have been changed to other applicable works.
  4. All training requirements have been located in a single Article, Article 110.2.
  5. All auditing requirements have been located in a single Article, Article 110.1(K).
  6. Article 120 has been reorganized to more user-friendly.

Article 90 Introduction

Article 90.2 Scope has not changed from the previous edition. Please be advised that all industry sectors are reviewing and referencing NFPA 70E and OSHA or your State Government’s department in your jurisdiction may provide informational references to NFPA 70E and may use it in an incident investigation even though OSHA or the State have not formally adopted NFPA 70E into OH&S law.

The word “removal” was added under Article 90.2(A) Covered.

One important item to note is the 100V threshold for application and specific requirements in NFPA 70E has now been lowered back to 50V to align with OSHS.

Chapter 1 Safety-Related Work Practices, Article 100 Definitions

In Article 100 Definitions, additional clarification is provided with several new definitions added or updates to existing definitions that are used within the NFPA 70E Standard.

New Definitions:
Electrical Safety Program
Fault Current
Fault Current, Available
Figure 100.0 Available Fault Current Maintenance, Condition of
Working Distance

Updated Definitions:
Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible) Arc Flash Hazard
Boundary, Arc Flash

Project Reference: ESP Change Management Document:

 

Boundary, Restricted Approach Electrical Hazard Electrically-Safe Work Condition Electrical Safety

Enclosed
Enclosure
Grounding Conductor, Equipment (EGC)
Qualified Person
Risk Assessment
Shock Hazard
Some global changes to terms or phrases have also been implemented as noted above.

Chapter 1 Safety-related work practices

2.1

This Chapter and related Articles in NFPA 70E provides details on the recommended general requirements for safe work practices to follow. The key requirements of NFPA 70E are provided in this Chapter related to Article 105 Application of Safety-Related Work Practices and Procedures, Article 110 General Requirements for Electrical-Safety-Related Work Practices, Article 120 Establishing an Electrically-Safe Work Condition and Article 130 Work Involving Electrical Hazards.

Chapter 1 Safety-Related Work Practices, Article 105 Application of Safety-Related Work Practices and Procedures
New content added as Article 105.3 Responsibility, further details on Employer and Employee responsibilities.

New Article 105.4 Priority, states the employee shall place hazard elimination as the first priority in the implement of electrical safe work practices.

Chapter 1 General Requirements for Electrical-Safety-Related Work Practices

In the 2018 Edition further emphasis has been placed on ensuring your company has in place an Electrical Safety Program with supporting documentation.

The following Articles have been changed or are new:

Article 105.4 Specific focus has been placed on hazard elimination and de-energization as the first priority in the implementation of safety-related work practices.

Article 110.1(B) has been added to identify that your company’s Electrical Safety Program should include a provision that new or modified electrical equipment or systems have to comply with the inspection requirements of the applicable installation Codes and Standards prior to being placed in service.

Article 110.2(G)(2) is new and advises that the work task’s Risk Assessment Procedure (added as a mandatory requirement in the 2015 Edition) shall consider the impact of human error and its negative consequences on people, processes, the work environment and equipment. With respect to additional information on Human Performance Behavior, A NEW ANNEX Annex Q Human Performance and Workplace Electrical Safety was added in the 2018 Edition.

In the Example Electrical Risk Assessment Matrix below, Probability (Pr) would be comprised of three parameters that need to be validated before the energized electrical work task in completed to ensure that the Residual Risk Level is as low as reasonably practicable:

  1. Qualified & Competent Worker assigned the work tasks.
  2. Human Performance of the worker is normal.
  3. Condition of maintenance of the electrical equipment is “Normal.”Example Electrical Risk Assessment Matrix

Likelihood of Occurrence Parameter

Severity (Se)

Risk Class (Rc)

Frequency (Fr)

Probability
(Pr)

Avoidance (Av)

Consequence

4-5

6- 10

11- 15

16-20

21-23

Arc Flash – Irreversible: Trauma; death

8

Hourly 5

Common 5

Arc Flash –

Permanent Third-degree burn

6

Daily 5

Likely 4

Arc Flash –

Reversible Second-degree burn

3

Weekly 4

Possible 3

Impossible 5

Arc Flash –

Reversible First-degree burn

1

Yearly 3

Rare 2

Possible 3

No Injury

0

Less Often 2

Negligible 1

Likely 1

NEW Article 110.1(G)(3) Hierarchy of Risk Control Methods, with respect to the work task’s Risk Assessment Procedure the hierarchy of risk control methods is now included as a mandatory Article rather than a note. When you implement a work task’s Risk Assessment Procedure, the risk control methods shall be applied in the following order to achieve an acceptable Residual Risk Level:

  1. Elimination, de-energize;
  2. Substitution;
  3. Engineering Controls “Safety by Design;”
  4. Awareness, use warning signs & barricading;
  5. Administrative controls, training and use procedures; and
  6. Electrical Specific PPE, Tools & Equipment, ensuring proper care, use and maintenance.

Article 110.1(I) Job Safety Planning and Job Briefing shall now be completed and documented by a Qualified Person. As noted above Job Safety Planning is NEW CONTENT and detailed requirements are included.

 

Article 110.1(J) Incident investigations has been added and now requires that your Electrical Safety Program include elements to ensure electrical incidents are investigated.

Article 110.1(K)(3) moved from Chapter 2 and requires that a company’s Lockout program and procedure be audited at least annually to identify and correct any deficiencies.

In Article 110.2 Training, the information presented has been reorganized; first, the training requirements for Qualified Persons is provided, then training frequency, type of training and the requirement for training documentation to be retained is provided. Lockout procedure training requirements have been moved to this Article from Chapter 2.

Chapter 2 Establishing an Electrically Safe Work Condition

This Chapter and Articles has been totally reorganized and as noted above the training and auditing requirements have been moved to Chapter 1, Article 110.

New requirements have been added in Article 120.5 Process for Establishing and Verifying an Electrically Safe Work Condition (title of Article updated as well). Two new steps have been added:

  1. Release of stored energy (Step 4).
  2. Release or block stored mechanical energy (Step 5).

As well, an exception has been added, Exception 2 for power systems >1000V, non-contact test instruments may be used to test each phase conductor. This could include a permanently mounted test device that complies with applicable industry Standards.

Additionally, a new Exception 1 has been added that would allow an adequately rated permanently mounted test device to use to verify the absence of voltage of the conductors or circuit parts as the work location, provided the device meets all of the following requirements:

  1. Is it permanently mounted and installed in accordance to manufacturer’s instructions and tests the conductors and circuit parts at the point of the work;
  2. The device is listed and labelled for the purpose of verifying the absence of voltage;
  3. The device tests each phase conductor or circuit part both phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground; and
  4. The device is verified as operating satisfactorily on any known voltage source before and after verifyingthe absence of voltage.

Note: At the time of publishing only on manufacturer had an approved product, Panduit’s Verisafe.

Chapter 3 Work Involving Electrical Hazards

Several changes and updates were made to the Chapter 3 Articles for the NFPA 70E 2018 Edition. An important deletion was a note that indicated that if the incident energy level is greater than 40 cal/cm2 greater emphasis is required. This note has been deleted as there was no substantiation to this statement. In reality, an incident energy exposure of 1.2 cal/cm2 to exposed human skin tissue can cause the onset of a 2nd degree skin burn based on the Stoll Curve. Arc blast pressure is not correlated to incident energy, it is correlated to magnitude of arcing fault current, open or closed door on electrical equipment and amount of copper vaporized.

 

At the time we wrote this paper there have been no documented fatalities related to arc blast pressure. Another important item of note is the change from a 100V threshold to a 50V threshold for the requirement to de-energize, re-aligning this to OSHA’s requirements.

Article 130.2(A)(4) Normal Operating Condition has added a sixth item that needs to be considered: The equipment is used in accordance with instructions included in the applicable listing and in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

Article 130.2(B) Energized Electrical Work Permit, minor wording changes and indicating the EEWP needs to be documented.

Article 130.4 is now Shock Risk Assessment and has been reworded and aligned with risk assessment language similar to Arc Flash Risk Assessment. A Shock Risk Assessment shall be performed to:

  1. Identify if an assigned work task will expose you to a shock hazard;
  2. Estimate the likelihood of occurrence of injury or damage to health and the potential severity of injuryor damage to health; and
  3. Determine if additional protective measures are required, including the use of PPE.

Additional protective measures are now determined as part of the work task’s Risk Assessment Procedure and based on the Hierarchy of Risk Control Methods as documented in Article 110.1(G) Risk Assessment Procedure.

Article 130.5 Arc Flash Risk Assessment

This Article had been updated and significant changes have occurred with respect to completing a work task’s Arc Flash Risk Assessment. The required work flow process requirements are completely different than the 2015 Edition of NFPA 70E and truly make this a complete risk assessment process.

To complete an Arc Flash Risk Assessment, you must complete three steps:

  1. Identify arc flash hazards related to the assigned work task;
  2. Estimate the likelihood of occurrence of injury or damage to health and the potential severity of injuryor damage to health; and
  3. Determine if additional protective measures are required, including the use of PPE.

Within the process of completing a risk assessment for an energized electrical work task and specifically the Arc Flash Risk Assessment the 2015 Edition Table 130.7(C)(15(A)(a) has been removed from the Arc Flash PPE Category Table Method, renumbered, and renamed as Table 103.5(C) Estimate of the Likelihood of Occurrence of an Arc Flash Incident for ac and dc systems and modified such that work tasks listed are assessed based on the Likelihood of Occurrence of an arcing fault and arc flash occurring based on the work task description and the condition of maintenance of the energized electrical equipment.

Table 130.5(C) is included within Article 130.5 Arc Flash Risk Assessment and it is applied as a first step in completing a work task’s Arc Flash Risk Assessment.

If the Likelihood of Occurrence in Table 130.5(C) is determined to be “Yes” then you should proceed to decide what additional protective measures (e.g. work practices, PPE and the Arc Flash Boundary distance) are required using the Incident Energy Analysis Method (Method 1) or the Arc Flash PPE Category “Table Method” (Method 2).

The format of the table has been updated to group the work tasks based on assessed equipment operating condition “Any”, “Normal” or “Abnormal”. Table 130.5(C) also includes a definition for “Normal”.

  1. The equipment is properly installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and applicable industry codes and standards;
  2. The equipment is properly maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and applicable industry codes and standards;
  3. The equipment is used in accordance with instructions included in the listing and labeling and in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions;
  4. Equipment doors are closed and secured;
  5. Equipment covers are in place and secured; and
  6. There is no evidence of impending failure such as arcing, overheating, loose or bound equipment parts,visible damage or deterioration.

NFPA 70E Table 130.5(C) Estimate of the Likelihood of Occurrence of an Arc Flash Incident for ac and dc systems – Layout:

Table 130.5(C) provides this explanation related to Likelihood of Occurrence:

* As defined in this Standard, the two components of risk are the likelihood of occurrence of injury or damage to health and the severity of injury or damage to health that results from a hazard. Risk assessment is an overall process that involves estimating both the likelihood of occurrence and severity to determine if additional protective measures are required. The estimate of the likelihood of occurrence contained in this Table does not cover every possible condition or situation, nor does it address severity of injury or damage to health. Where this Table identifies “No” as an estimate of likelihood of occurrence, it means that an arc flash incident is not likely to occur. Where this Table identifies “Yes” as an estimate of likelihood of occurrence, it means that additional protective measures are required to be selected and implemented according to the hierarchy of risk control identified in Article 110.1(H)(3).

The text below is NFPA 70E Article 110.1(H)(3).

Article 110.1(H)(3) Hierarchy of Risk Control Methods
The risk assessment procedure shall require that preventive and protective risk control methods be implemented in accordance with the following hierarchy:

Work Task

Equipment Condition

Likelihood of Occurrence*

Work task description

Any

No

Work task description

Any

Yes

Work task description

Normal Abnormal

No Yes

  1. elimination;
  2. substitution;
  3. engineering controls;

Notes:

  1. Elimination, substitution, and engineering controls are the most effective methods to reduce risk as they are usually applied at the source of possible injury or damage to health and they are less likely to be affected by human error. Awareness, administrative controls, and PPE are the least effective methods to reduce risk as they are not applied at the source and they are more likely to be affected by human error.
  2. See ANSI/AIHA Z10, American National Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management for more information regarding the hierarchy of risk control methods.
  3. The risk assessment procedure may include identifying situations where more than one person is required to be part of the process, as well as the training and equipment that should be provided to evaluators.
  4. For an example of a risk assessment procedure, see Informative Annex F.

This new Table 103.5(C) Estimate of the Likelihood of Occurrence of an Arc Flash Incident for ac and dc systems is now the starting point of completing an Arc Flash Risk Assessment.

After the Likelihood of Occurrence is determined as “Yes” then the Qualified Person determines specific additional protective measures e.g. work practices, the Arc Flash Boundary distance and arc flash PPE for the specific work tasks using an Incident Energy Analysis Method or Arc Flash PPE Category Method (Table Method).

Article 130.5(F) Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Arc Flash PPE

This Article has been reworked and the existing 2015 Edition Annex H, Table H.2 has been relocated to this Article and is now Table 130.5(G) Selection of Arc-Rated Clothing and Other PPE When the Incident Energy Analysis Method is Used (new text in Article 130.5(F) to use this Table). Two methods of determining additional protective measures for arc flash are still available. Article 103.5(F) identifies that for incident energy analysis, only procure and provide arc-rated clothing choices for the Qualified Person to select from:

  1. Engineering Incident Energy Analysis Method (Annex D provides methods of calculation; a Qualified Person will not complete the calculations); and
  2. Arc Flash PPE Category Method, using Tables 130.7(C)(15)(a), 130.7(C)(15)(b) and 130.7(C)(15(c).

The Clause also clarifies that you CANNOT identify arc flash PPE by an Arc Flash PPE Category number when engineering incident energy analysis has been completed.

The new NFPA 70E Table 130.5(G) Selection of arc-rated clothing and other PPE when the incident energy analysis method (NFPA 70E 2015 Edition Annex H, Table H.2) is used for a two “system” or two “level” arc flash PPE clothing choice.

NFPA 70E Table 130.5(G) Selection of Arc-Rated Clothing and Other PPE When the Incident Energy Analysis Method is Used

Table 103.5(G) Selection of Arc-Rated Clothing and Other PPE When the Incident Energy Analysis Method

is Used

Incident energy exposure equal to 1.2 cal/cm2 up to 12 cal/cm2

Incident energy exposures greater than 12 cal/cm2

 

There is a note to Table 130.5(G) with respect to arc flash protection for the hands:

Rubber insulating gloves with leather protectors provide arc flash protection in addition to shock protection. Higher class rubber insulating gloves with leather protectors, due to their increased material thickness, provide increased arc flash protection.

Renumbering of Arc Flash PPE Category Method Tables:

With respect to Table 130.7(C)(15)(a) it was the 2015 Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(a); it changed the reference of maximum short-circuit current to maximum available fault current. Additionally, the Notes have been updated to advise of typical fault clearing times of overcurrent protective devices to reference when verifying the Table 130.7(C)(15)(a) parameter of maximum fault clearing time.

Chapter 1, Article 130.5(H) Equipment labelling

This Article has been updated with individual unique sub-clauses to add clarity. A new option is available for supervised industrial installations. Equipment Labels do not have to be used as long as the information is provided in a manner that is readily available to the Qualified Person e.g. posted “results table” from engineering study or generic spreadsheet of information, information included on single line diagrams, or information printed out on Work Orders for specific electrical equipment protective device, line and load side. See details above.

NFPA 70E 2015 Edition

NFPA 70E 2018 Edition

Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(a)

Table 130.7(C)

Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(b)

Table 130.7(C)(15)(a)

Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(c)

Table 130.7(C)(15)(b)

Table 130.7(C)(16)

Table 130.7(C)(15)(c)

 

Chapter 2 Safety Related Maintenance Requirements, and Chapter 3 Safety Requirements for Special Equipment

Chapter 2 Safety related maintenance requirements, minor wording changes.
Chapter 3 Safety requirements for special equipment, changes to research and development laboratories.

Annexes:

Annex A Informative Publications. Minor changes.

Annex B Reserved

Annex C Limits of Approach.

  1. Change accident to incident.
  2. Clarify EEWP “As applicable, have.”
  3. Table reference.

Annex D Incident Energy and Arc Flash Boundary Calculation Methods

  1. Minor changes.
  2. Clarified IEEE 1584-2002. Note the IEEE 1584 will most likely not be updated based on IEEE NFPAArc Flash Phenomena Project until 2018-2019.

Annex E Electrical Safety Program

1. Change E.2 Typical Electrical Safety Program Controls (6) to read “Tasks to be performed within the Limited Approach Boundary or Arc Flash Boundary of exposed energized electrical conductors and circuit parts are to be identified and categorized.

Annex F Risk Assessment Procedure changed to Risk Assessment and Risk Control

  1. Complete rewrite of this Annex.
  2. Significant changes to this Annex, less detail and higher level. Flow charts complexity reduced. Veryhigh level and specific example may not be interpreted correctly, only focusses on “energy” e.g. arcflash.
  3. Points to ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management – Principles and Guidelines for more detail and moredetails on building a Risk Assessment Procedure.
  4. Changes provide a simplified description.
  5. New Figure F.1 Risk Management Process – Adapted from ISO 31000 Figure 3. This is a simplifiedflow chart compared to the existing flow chart.
  6. New text doesn’t provide guidance on a electrical hazard specific risk assessment process that is

currently in the existing Annex F.
7. High level guidance to align to risk assessment with OHSMS.

a. Leadership.b. Policy. c. Plan. d. Do.e. Check. f. Act.

  1. Very high-level content in new Annex F.
  2. Over simplified risk assessment matrix provided. Illustrates comparison of specifically energy and this may be miss interpreted by the user as the only harm to assess.
  3. Also references ISO 31010 Risk management – Risk assessment techniques and ANSI/AIHA Z10-2012 Occupational Health & Safety Management System for further information regarding risk assessment methods.

Annex G Sample Lockout / Tagout Procedure

  1. Changed from procedure to program.
  2. Added to 5.7 and 5.8 “on a known source of voltage.”
  3. Minor changes.

Annex H Guidance on Selection of Protective Clothing and Other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  1. Changed “available short circuit current” to “available fault current.”
  2. Change Table H.3(a) to Table H.3 and delete Arc Flash Hazard PPE, it is moved in the Articles.
  3. Added text to clarify specific incident energy values: example “greater than or equal to 1.2 cal/cm2 (5J/cm2) and less than or equal to 8 cal/cm2 (33.5 J/cm2).”
  4. New H.4 Conformity Assessment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) added.
  5. Table number changes.

Annex I Job Briefing and Planning Checklist
1. Text changes to align with Arc Flash Risk Assessment and “Any evidence of impending failure?”

Annex J Energized Electrical Work Permit

  1. Minor wording fix to “Detailed description of the job procedures to be used in performing the above detailed work.”
  2. Flow chart to include voltage information for decision process “greater than or equal to 50V” or “less than 50VDC.”

Annex K General Categories of Electrical Hazards

  1. Significant rewrite.
  2. Statistics quoted that put more focus on electrical shock, than arc flash.
  3. Quoted that electrical incidents that lead to fatal injuries in 20 year period for 98 percent related to electrocutions, with the larger percentage of these from non-electrical workers.
  4. Shock, electrical fatalities 40% overhead power lines. Quotes ratio of electrical incidents that lead to fatalities is 1:13 and for fall injuries 1:325.
  5. Arc Flash, only 60 fatalities in 20 years of data as noted in 2015 NFPA Report.
  6. Arc Blast, no new information added.
  7. References provided for statistics.

 

Annex L Typical Application of Safeguards in the Cell Line Working Zone 1. No changes.

Annex M Layering of Protective Clothing and Total System Arc Rating

1. J/cm2 added.
Annex N Example of Industrial Procedures and Policies for Working Near Overhead Electrical Lines and Equipment

  1. “Accidents” changed to “incidents.”
  2. “Accidental” changed to “unintentional.”

Annex O Safety-Related Design Requirements

  1. Shunt-trip text added for open-fuse relay that switches 800A and greater reduces incident energy by opening the switch immediately when the first fuse opens.
  2. Safety-by-Design Methods section content added. List of 12 items.

Annex P Aligning Implementation of This Standard with Occupational Health and Safety Management Standards

1. No changes.
Annex Q Human Performance and Workplace Electrical Safety [NEW Annex]

1. New Annex from CSA Z462 2015 Edition.

Disclaimer:

Please be aware that this document doesn’t provide an all-inclusive review of all changes in the 2018 Edition of NFPA 70E. You are advised to reference the published document and confirm how any changes will affect your existing Electrical Safety Program and its documented policies and practices. Additionally, any comments that are provided in this document that are interpretive opinions are based on a subject matter expert’s professional experience and opinions.

If you require additional specific information and to purchase your printed or digital copy of 2018 NFPA 70E contact NFPA at www.nfpa.org, NFPA, 1 Batterymarch Park, PO Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269-9101.

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