Focus on NFPA 70E®: Clearing Confusion About Definitions in Requirements

Article Originally Featured in Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN)

Author: Jay Smith, SEAM Group Director – Electrical Safety Services

Let’s clear up confusion about definitions in NFPA 70E training requirements

NFPA 70E® training protects employees from electrical hazards in the workplace. Training is required for both “qualified persons” and “non-qualified persons.” However, many facility managers and line supervisors are uncertain or confused by these definitions.

A “qualified person” as defined in 70E® is a person who demonstrates necessary skills and knowledge relating to the construction and operation of electrical equipment and installations. Qualified persons are trained to identify hazards and mitigate associated risk. Overhead power lines, damaged tools and equipment, inadequate wiring and overloaded circuits, exposed electrical parts, improper grounding (the most common OSHA electrical violation), damaged insulation and wet conditions are the most common electrical hazards in a work environment.

NFPA 70E® training requirements for qualified persons include using precautionary techniques for working around hazards; proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE); proper use of insulating tools and test equipment; determining nominal voltage; distinguishing exposed, energized conductors and circuits from other parts of equipment; understanding the approach distances and determining factors that shape the distance of shock and arc flash boundaries; being able to plan jobs safely; identify electrical hazards; assess associated risk, and select appropriate risk controls.

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