10 Steps That Must be Completed to Comply with the New 2018 NFPA 70E Job Safety Plan

As currently proposed in the new edition of the 2018 NFPA 70E Standard, Sec. 110.1(I)(1)

Written by David Weszely, Training Manager at Lewellyn Technology | August 1, 2017

 

Before starting an electrical job that involves working on or with electrical equipment, a “Qualified Electrical Worker” must complete a written Job Safety Plan.  Once the plan is completed, the “Qualified Electrical Worker” is required to complete a Pre-Job Safety Briefing with the employees that are involved in that job.  The following steps are required to meet the new, “Job Safety Plan” under the new proposed standard.

(1) The Job Safety Plan and Pre-Job Safety Briefing must be documented (written down)

(2) A description of the job (everything that needs to be completed)

(3) A description of each individual task (what the task involves)

(4) Identification of the electrical hazards associated with each task (electrical hazards only)

(5) A Shock Risk Assessment

Estimate the likelihood of the occurrence and severity of shock to determine if any additional protective measures are required.

To estimate the likelihood of getting shocked while performing a job, a risk assessment matrix can be used.  A risk assessment matrix focuses on three main variables that can be used to help determine an acceptable risk level you are willing to take.

Likelihood of a worker to get shocked:

  • Frequent: Most likely to get shocked
  • Probable: Very Likely to get shocked
  • Occasional: Likely to get shocked
  • Remote: Not likely to get shocked
  • Improbable: May assume that shock will not happen

 

Severity/Consequences of being shocked:

  • Negligible: First aid or minor medical treatment only
  • Marginal: Minor injury, (could be an OSHA lost workday incident)
  • Critical: Disability for more than 3 months
  • Catastrophic: Death or permanent disability

Risk Level

  • Low: Risk level is acceptable (below 50 volts)
  • Medium: Utilize the appropriate “hierarchy of control methods”
  • Serious: High priority action – utilize the “hierarchy of control methods” at the top level
  • High: Operation not permissible – must de-energize (High voltage)

 

Use the “Hierarchy of Risk Control Methods” to determine what protective measures can be used to reduce hazards

Once the initial level of risk is determined, the new edition of the standard will direct workers to apply the hierarchy of control methods, found in Section 110.1(G), to mitigate risk.

These methods include:

1) Elimination — This step focuses on eliminating the hazard to create an electrically safe work condition.

2) Substitution — Workers can opt to substitute less hazardous equipment, such as non-electrical or battery operated tools.

3) Engineering Controls — These options can automatically reduce risks, such as a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection and installed barriers.

4) Awareness — This step requires that people be alerted to the hazard which can include installing permanent or temporary signs, labels, and barricades.

5) Administrative Controls — This method involves planning processes, training, permits, job planning, and work procedures intended to create safer work conditions.

6) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) — This needs to be available when needed.  The last resort method is PPE, which includes insulated tools, clothing, and gloves, and is intended to reduce the severity of injury if an electrical event were to occur

  • Address the potential for “Human Error”

When a “root cause analysis” is performed on electrical incidents, “human error” is often the key factor. Understanding human performance factors and having methods in place to address these issues will improve workplace safety.

 

Examples of human error factors are:

  • High-stress environments
  • Unfamiliar situations
  • Becoming too familiar with one’s job and not recognizing the risk anymore
  • Overestimating one’s individual capabilities
  • Taking short cuts

Note: When a worker gets that “gut feeling” that something is wrong their needs to be a set process in place to be able to stop work.

(6) An Arc Flash Risk Assessment

Estimate the likelihood of the occurrence of shock, and the severity, to determine if any additional protective measures are required.

To estimate the likelihood of an arc flash occurring while performing a job, a risk assessment matrix can be used. A risk assessment matrix focuses on three main variables that can be used to help determine an acceptable risk level you are willing to take.

Likelihood of an arc flash to occur:

  • Frequent: Most likely for an arc flash to occur
  • Probable: Very likely for an arc flash to occur
  • Occasional: Likely to have an arc flash
  • Remote: Not likely to have an arc flash
  • Improbable: May assume that an arc flash will not happen (below 1.2 cal/cm2)

Severity/consequences of being shocked:

  • Negligible: First aid or minor medical treatment only (below 1.2 cal/cm2)
  • Marginal: Minor injury/burns, (could be an OSHA lost workday incident)
  • Critical: Severe burns and disability (more than 3 months)
  • Catastrophic: Death or permanent disability (high cal/cm2 level above 40)

Risk Level

  • Low: Risk level is acceptable (below 50 volts)
  • Medium: Utilize the appropriate “hierarchy of control methods”
  • Serious: High priority action – utilize the “hierarchy of control methods” at the top level
  • High: Operation not permissible, must de-energize (high voltage)
  • Use the “Hierarchy of Risk Control Methods” to determine what protective measures can be used to reduce the hazard

Address the potential for “Human Error”

When a “root cause analysis” is performed on electrical incidents, “human error” is often the key factor.  Understanding human performance factors and having methods in place to address these issues will improve workplace safety.

 

Examples of human error factors are:

  • High-stress environments
  • Unfamiliar situations
  • Becoming too familiar with one’s job and not recognizing the risk anymore
  • Overestimating one’s individual capabilities
  • Taking short cuts

Note: When a worker gets that “gut feeling” that something is wrong their needs to be a set process in place to be able to stop work.

(7)  Specific safe work procedures involved with each task (putting on appropriate PPE, using insulated tools, verifying the absence of voltage with a voltage meter, etc.)

(8)  Go over any special precautions that may be necessary (using a second person as a spotter, having a rescue hook available, etc.)

(9) If any energy source controls are necessary, equipment may need to be locked out and tagged

(10) Give a pre-job briefing before work begins with employees involved (this is a verbal meeting with all workers involved to go over the “job safety plan”)

Note: (Lewellyn Technology recommendation) Have workers involved in the job, sign their name acknowledging that they understood the “Job Safety Plan” and will comply with all safety requirements.

 

 

How can Lewellyn Technology help with your Job Safety Plan and NFPA 70E requirements?

The NFPA 70E puts the responsibility on the “Qualified Person” to complete and explain the Job Safety Plan to facility workers.  A qualified person is required to have training (needs documentation) to be able to understand and develop a job safety plan.  Lewellyn Technology provides this type of training and information in its electrical safety courses.  If you’re a “Qualified Worker”, check out our catalog to learn about our Electrical Safety Work Practices training course.

Download our Electrical Safety Training Catalog Here

 

 

If you have any questions about electrical safety services and training, please contact Jay Smith below:

Jay Smith
Arc Flash Expert
jsmithjr@lewellyn.com
Phone: (800) 242-6673 ext. 251
Cell: (812) 699-2461