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2017 National Electrical Code and Updates Your Business Needs


2017 National Electrical Code and Updates Your Business Needs

The 2017 National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Convention & Trade Show was the site where changes to the NEC® (National Electrical Code) were revealed. “Electrical installations, both in new construction and renovations are subject to compliance with NEC requirements,” said NECA executive director standards and chairman of the NEC Correlating Committee. “Electrical contractors need to know the latest NEC revisions to attain compliance with safety installation rules that apply to the latest technologies and methods,” he continued.

Updates to NFPA 70

The NEC® (National Electrical Code) is updated every three years in keeping with the latest technological and regulatory/installation requirements. In 2017, NFPA 70® noticeably raised the bar for electrical safety in commercial, residential, and manufacturing properties and industries.

The revised code defines the latest regulations for electrical wiring, equipment installation, and overcurrent protection. Electrical Contractor’s Jim Phillips says, “Around 2,500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with the saying, ‘The only thing that is constant is change.’ Who knew this ancient proverb would apply to NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace? . . . From both minor and major revisions to new additions and major reorganizations, this 11th edition contains many changes.” Hazard identification and reduction are key.

These are some, but by no means not all of the changes:

Definitions Revised (Article 100)

  • Arc Flash Hazard: The term “dangerous condition” was changed to “a source of possible injury or damage to health.
  • Boundary, Arc Flash: The revised definition changes “at a distance” to “approach limit,” and changed “second degree burn” to read, “at which incident energy equals 1.2 cal/cm2.” The revised informational note references Stoll’s skin burn injury in arc flash hazard analysis.
  • Electrical Hazard: “Arc” was added to blast for “arc blast.”
  • Electrical Safety: “Recognizing” hazards was changed to Identifying hazards.” The text “so that hazards do not cause injury or death” was updated to: “to reduce the risk associated with those hazards.”
  • Electrically Safe Work Condition: “Ensure” was changed to “verify.”
  • Qualified Person: “Identify and avoid the hazards involved” was changed to “identify the hazards and reduce the associated risk.”

New Definitions (Article 100)

  • Fault Current: The amount of current delivered at a point on the system during a short-circuit condition.
  • Fault Current, Available: The largest amount of current capable of being delivered at a point on the system during a short-circuit condition.
  • Working Distance: The distance between a person’s face and chest area and a prospective arc source.

Additional, Notable Changes

  • 105.3 Responsibility: This section was revised/subdivided into “Employer Responsibility” and “Employee Responsibility.”
  • 105.4 Priority: This new addition emphasizes that hazard elimination will be the first priority in implementing safety-related work practices.
  • 110.1(H)(2) Human Error: This addresses the potential for human error and its negative consequences on people, processes, the work environment and equipment.
  • 110.1(J) Incident Investigation: This new section requires the electrical safety program to include elements to investigate electrical incidents.
  • 110.2(C)(2)(d) First Aid, Emergency Response, and Resuscitation: The reference to refresher training occurring “annually” was changed to “at a frequency that satisfies the requirements of the certifying body.”
  • 120.2(A) General: This states the requirements of Article 120 must be met in order to have an electrically safe work condition.
  • 130.2 Electrically Safe Work Condition: New text, “operating at voltages equal to or greater than 50 volts,” was added.

Why It’s Important to Stay Up-to-Date

There is a lot of information to process in the 2017 National Electrical Code. With the stronger emphasis on investigating and preventing potential hazards, employees who are knowledgeable about the changes in code can lead the effort to lower the human margin of error. Some of the revisions your employees should be aware of include:

  • New labeling requirements
  • New minimum space clearances
  • Revised provisions for AFCI (Arc-fault circuit interrupter) and GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) electrical and fire safety in residences

Your business can’t afford the risks of not knowing what could be a relatively minor piece of information that could make a huge difference in safety compliance. From everything as simple as installing a new security camera to setting overloads on a motor starter, NEC code compliance is mandatory.

Training for Safety Compliance

Telling your employees to “download and read” the .pdf files online isn’t going to cut it. Understanding the 2017 National Electrical Code® and NEC® Applications is a 3-day course that provides the latest information and practical application exercises, effective for new employees as well as experienced electricians seeking Code updates.

National Technology Transfer (NTT) delivers some of the best hands-on safety and skills seminars in the U.S. Register today for a seminar near you by calling 855.712.7375 or 303.649.9980. Contact us to learn more about a company-specific seminar held onsite for an even more in depth learning experience.

2017 National Electrical Code and Updates Your Business Needs

For more information about National Technology Transfer or any of our programs click here: http://www.nttinc.com or http://www.nttinc.com/seminar-list-catalog/.

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