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ENSURING COMPLAINCE WITH NFPA 70B and NFPA 70E UPDATES

Prior to 2023, NFPA 70B offered suggestions for compliance. However, these recommendations have now transitioned into mandatory requirements. This significant shift means that countless facilities are non-compliant with the updated NFPA 70E and NFPA 70B standards. Is your facility one of them?

Fortunately, with Knobelsdorff’s comprehensive portfolio of services including Electrical Preventative Maintenance Program (EMP), Arc Flash/Coordination Studies and Employer Training, you can rest assured that your facility not only meets current safety regulations but also remains compliant in the ever-evolving landscape of electrical hazards.

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UNDERSTANDING NFPA 70B AND NFPA 70E REQUIREMENTS

NFPA 70B: Standard for Electrical Maintenance

This standard encompasses the preventative maintenance of electrical, electronic, and communications systems and equipment. It aims to practically safeguard individuals, property, and processes against the risks stemming from failure, breakdown, or malfunction, establishing a condition of maintenance for electrical equipment and systems to ensure safety and reliability. The transition of NFPA 70B from recommended practice to a standard emphasizes its importance and allows OSHA to use it an an industry consensus document similar to NFPA 70E.

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Failure rates of electrical equipment increase by 300% without an EMP (Ieee.org).

Chapter 4

General Requirements

  1. Adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions and relevant codes and standards for maintaining electrical equipment.
  2. Implement and document an Electrical Maintenance Program (EMP).
  3. Designate an EMP coordinator responsible for determining maintenance tasks and developing a plan.
  4. Conduct planned inspections per the EMP.

Chapter 6

Single-Line Diagrams and System Studies

  1. Ensure all single-line diagrams are current.
  2. Perform short-circuit, coordination, and arc flash studies every five years.

Chapter 10

Hazardous Classified Location Electrical Equipment

  1. Regularly inspect, test, and service electrical equipment designed for hazardous (classified) locations as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  2. Maintain readily available documentation identifying classification, group, temperature code specification, and extent of classified areas.
  3. Note: Classification drawings are mandatory per Article 235 in NFPA 70E.

Chapter 9

Maintenance Intervals

Reference the Frequency of Maintenance for Common Electrical Equipment chart 9.2.2.

  1. The manufacturer’s recommendations shall be followed.     
  2. Equipment included in the EMP shall be assessed in accordance with 9.3.1.1, 9.3.1.2, and 9.3.1.3.

Condition 1: Shall be assigned where all the following criteria apply:

  1. Equipment appears new
  2. Enclosure is clean, free from moisture and tight.
  3. No unaddressed notification from the continuous monitoring system has occurred.
  4. No active recommendations from predictive techniques.
  5. Previous maintenance has been performed in accordance with the EMP.

Condition 2: Equipment Physical Condition 2 shall be assigned where all of 9.3.1.1 apply, and where any of the following criteria apply:

  1. Maintenance results deviate from past results or have indicated more frequent maintenance in accordance with manufacturer’s published data.
  2. Previous maintenance cycle has revealed issues requiring the repair or replacement of major equipment components.
  3. There have been notifications from the continuous monitoring system since the prior assessment.
  4. There are active recommendations from predictive techniques.

Condition 3: Equipment Physical Condition 3 shall be assigned where changes in operation are noted or where any of the following criteria applies:

  1. The equipment has missed the last two successive maintenance cycles in accordance with the EMP.
  2. The previous two maintenance cycles have revealed issues requiring the repair or replacement of major equipment components.
  3. There is an active or unaddressed notification from the continuous monitoring system.
  4. There are urgent actions identified from predictive techniques.

Equipment Condition Assessment 9.2.2

Chapter 9 outlines essential scopes of work and maintenance intervals categorized by product type. These guidelines are based on an equipment condition assessment, as referenced in table 9.2.2. It’s important to note that these maintenance intervals are not intended to override manufacturer guidelines; rather, they offer direction when manufacturer information is unavailable. If testing has not been completed previously, follow the schedule below, starting with year 1.

NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace

Covers electrical safety-related work practices and procedures for employees exposed to electrical hazards and provides safe working conditions for employees regarding electricity-related hazards.

Chapter 1

Safety-Related Work Practices

  1. Establish, document and implement the safety-related work practices and procedures required by this standard and provide employees with training.
  2. Establish an electrically safe work condition. Each employer shall establish, document and implement a LOTO program. The program shall specify LOTO procedures to safeguard workers from exposure to electrical hazards.
    1. De-energize as first option if 50 V or more.
    2. Only diagnostic work allowed energized.
    3. Don’t confuse inconvenient with infeasible.
  3. Work Involving Electrical Hazards Article 130, including:
    1. Energized work permits
    2. Electric shock risk assessments
    3. Arc Flash Risk Assessments

Chapter 2

Safety-Related Maintenance Requirements

This chapter addresses the requirements that follow
safety-related maintenance for electrical equipment
and installations.

Every employee has the right to a hazard-free workplace; employers must conduct hazard assessments and provide appropriate PPE.

CLOSING TAKEAWAYS

BE NFPA 70B COMPLIANT

  1. Establish an EMP and follow it in accordance with 70B
  2. Test your electrical equipment
  3. Identify an EMP coordinator
  4. Assure maintenance personnel are qualified
  5. One-line drawings are accurate and legible

BE NFPA 70E COMPLIANT

  1. One-lines are up to date
  2. Arc flash is up to date
  3. Electrical safety and energized work program is established
  4. Training for qualified and unqualified individuals to recognize hazards
  5. Risk assessment completed

Schedule a consultation with Knobelsdorff to ensure compliance with updated NFPA 70B and 70E standards.

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