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We’ve been hearing about increased enforcement of NFPA 79© – the Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery (2015 Edition), especially in the state of Washington. While the thought of an inspector drives some people nuts, in this case maybe we can choose to see a silver lining of increased awareness and understanding of this little mentioned standard. This would be a good trend in industry as we’ve found that compliance drives:
With all these benefits, let’s cheer on NFPA 79 and its new edition update for 2015.
For those who don’t know, the selection and installation of electrical components and controls (wiring, relays, switches) of Manufactured Equipment is governed by NFPA 79. However, this doesn’t mean only equipment manufacturers need pay attention.
Said a different way – The NEC (NFPA 70) addresses how that equipment can be electrically installed; but the NEC stops at the outside of the piece of equipment. NFPA 79 picks-up INSIDE the equipment and addresses HOW the wiring and grounding of the actual piece of equipment is done.
For instance the power and grounding of the equipment in the image to the right would be covered by NFPA 70 (the NEC).
However the wiring and grounding for the control panel inside the equipment – the parts that may need maintenance or repair are covered by NFPA 79. This is why when the equipment does need maintenance or repair, you need to understand why the electrical controls and components were designed and installed the way they are so you can keep it that way. And like with other code enforcement, you may find that if you are moving equipment, you may be required to upgrade the internal electrical system to comply with current standards for the “new” installation.
Like many standards, the NFPA 79 is updated on a regular basis. This year (2015) NFPA 79© has been updated, receiving over 100 changes to bring it into alignment with other standards like ANSI/UL-codes, NEC 2014©.
So if you want to understand where NEC (NFPA 70) stops and NFPA 79 Starts, have your team repair your equipment’s electrical components correctly for safety, compliance, and longer equipment use, and build a better Preventative Maintenance procedures that can be correctly applied, then take a look at the newly update NFPA 79®. It’s a great took to have in your tool kit.
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