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ASSE’s New Illustrated Guide to Electrical Safety Book Provides a Comprehensive View of the Updated National Electrical Code

Posted in , on Wed, Nov 16, 2011

DES PLAINES, IL (November 15, 2011)The American
Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has just published a new Sixth Edition of An Illustrated Guide to Electrical Safety,
an easy to use reference to navigate through recent changes to 29 CFR 1910
Subpart S, Part 1, “Design Safety Standards for Electrical Systems” and Part 2,
“Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices” in an effort to further prevent
deadly incidents. The new edition also synchronizes the requirements of OSHA to
the NEC® and National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 70E, as well as
requirements for construction.

The first part of OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Subpart S regulates electrical safety in the
workplace, and gives employers a number of responsibilities that must be
adhered to. Updates that have been made to Subpart S include;

  • Added sections from the NEC for
    deteriorating agents, mechanical execution of work and mounting and cooling of
    equipment.
  • Updated working clearances and guarding for
    both low and high voltage installation.
  • Additional regulations for branch circuits,
    overcurrent protection (including cord-and-plug connected equipment
    requirements), GFCI’s and grounding.
  • Updated wiring methods.
  • Significant updates to classified
    locations.
  • Significant updates and additions to
    special systems.

Electrical-related incidents make up a small percentage of work place injuries. However, a greater
percentage of these injuries are fatal. According to a seven-year study by the
U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2,576 U.S. workers
died and another 32,807 sustained injuries that resulted in a loss of an
average of 13 days away from work from electrical shock or burn injuries.
“Wiring methods, components and equipment for general use” was the fifth most
cited standard for the year ending September 2011, with fines totaling nearly
$2.5 million.

A study by the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers found that an
arc flash is the cause of a majority of these injuries.  An arc flash is an electric current that is
passed through the air when insulation or isolation between electrified
conductors is not sufficient to withstand the applied voltage, resulting in an
immediate electric flash.

Edited by electrical safety specialist Michael Kovacic, and former OSHA electrical
safety instructor John “Grizzy” Grzywacz, the new publication not only provides
the text changes, but 130 illustrations to help explain the revised OSHA
requirements, and a cross reference to find new and renumbered sections within
the code. Both Kovacic and Grizzy are voting members of the American Society
for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee F18 on Electrical Equipment for
Workers.

“Readers are going to have the text of all of the changes that were made, and comments
of the people involved,” explained Kovacic. “They are going to get a background
on why OSHA made these changes, and what it will mean to electrical safety in
the workplace.”

Founded in 1911 the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the
oldest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people,
property and the environment.  Its more
than 33,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members
lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation
and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, healthcare and education.  For more information, please go to www.asse.org
and to view the ASSE – Celebrating a Century of Safety film go to www.asse.org/assecenturyofsafety.



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