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NFPA 70E Certification

NFPA 70E, or the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, is a standard of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to protect workers from electrical hazards. The NFPA was “established in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards” (NFPA). In 2020, 126 workers died due to exposure to electricity. This certification trains employees about the potential dangers of electrical equipment or systems.

What Is Required for NFPA 70E Certification?

As employment parameters change, so do the standards enforced by NFPA 70E. Recent revisions have seen an overhaul of the arc flash risk assessment. It is now a critical part of every assigned task to those working with or around electricity.

Note that many states or provinces have additional standards, as do some industries. While Hard Hat Training has provided these as a guide, it’s a worker’s responsibility to know all federal, local, and company rules that apply to their specific job site.

NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety In The Workplace seeks to provide continued protection for workers — those who work directly and indirectly with electricity. According to NFPA, those who will benefit from this training are “anyone concerned with electrical safety, including electrical engineers, safety managers, electricians, electrical contractors, plant managers, facility maintenance personnel, electrical inspectors, risk managers, mechanical engineers, HVAC installers, designers, and project managers” (NFPA).

How Many Hours of NFPA 70E Training Are Required?

Course length varies depending on the employer and where you take your training from. At Hard Hat Training, our NFPA 70E certification training can be completed in as little as a two-hour program, where we will dive into the essentials of how best to protect lives and reduce injuries. There are a number of companies that offer similar programs that run anywhere from four to eight hours. For example, the NFPA 70E Online Training catalog offers a six-hour course.

How Often Do You Need To Renew NFPA 70E Training?

You will need retraining at least every three years. This ensures that you always remain up to date on all safe work practices and any changes that the NFPA 70E standards may have implemented. Additionally, training is also necessary when any new equipment is added, after a change in job duties, or in the event of a failed inspection.

Electrical Safety Training

Electricity has become an essential part of modern life. So many people work with electricity, both directly and indirectly. As a result, electrical safety training was established to teach the necessary principles to identify and minimize workplace hazards. This program includes an overview of basic electrical safety principles:

Under this training program, it is important to have certain clarifications on OSHA and NFPA terms. Though a handful may seem interchangeable in the context of OSHA, they have very different meanings.

Qualified Person

As defined by the NFPA and OSHA, a qualified person is “one who has demonstrated skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of electrical equipment and installations and has received safety training to identify and avoid the hazards involved.”

A Qualified Person is someone trained to work with electricity and electrical equipment. Due to their training, a qualified person knows the risks that come with working on energized equipment. They can identify hazards and enact the necessary control methods to prevent danger or injury. Only a qualified person may work on equipment with exposed energized parts or work in areas with exposed energized parts of 50 volts or more without supervision.

Unqualified Persons

Unqualified Persons are employees that may encounter electrical equipment as part of their job. However, they do not have the same authority or training as a qualified person. Under NFPA 70E requirements, unqualified persons also need training on electrical safety practices. While unqualified persons do not come into contact with the same degree of risk as a qualified person, they still need to carry out the safety practices necessary to prevent electrical hazards.

Competent Persons

Competent Person is a term that comes up often in OSHA Requirements and documents. Not to be confused with a qualified person, OSHA defines a competent person as someone knowledgeable in their field to the point of mastery. A capable person, through experience and training, is able to identify and correct workplace hazards (OSHA).

How To Protect Workers From Electrical Hazards

Any work environment can be subject to electrical hazards. These hazards can be dangerous, even deadly. There are approximately 1000 deaths every year in the United States due to electrical injuries, and there are at least 30,000 shock incidents per year that are non-fatal. In the United States, at least 5% of all burn unit patients receive treatment as a result of electrical injuries. Take, for example, the experience of Todd:

Todd was working at a commercial building site. While using a ladder to reach an electrical box, Todd expected it to be deenergized. However, the electrical box was still still live, and Todd sustained an electric shock. Todd then fell off the six-foot ladder and was hospitalized for fractures in both heels.

If implemented, these steps can help keep employees safe and reduce the risk of death and injury in any workplace, and situations like Todd can be avoided.

1. Use Well-Insulated Cables

The right kind of cables can significantly reduce any workplaces’ risk of electrical hazards. Ensure the use of lines with thick insulation, and make sure to update any insulation as it may wear out or break.

2. Protect Cables With Conduits

Some work environments may need extra protection for their electrical cables. For any job site, ensure employee protection with conduits. They keep cables organized and safe from damage.

3. Check for and Report Electrical Hazards

Electric shocks are often the result of some type of failure, like a wiring error or exposed wire. Workers can avoid these hazards by checking for them before working with or near electrical equipment. Report any appearance of danger.

4. Wear the Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Any employee who works with wires should wear shock-resistant PPE. That includes rubber gloves, insulated clothing, and protective eyewear. PPE is rated for a specific voltage, so workers should have the correct items for the environments and situations they work in. Always inspect PPE before working. Any tears could jeopardize their safety.

5. Train Employees on Electrical Safety

The importance of thorough training cannot be overlooked. Employee errors can cause major risks despite safety protocols. It is critical to teach all workers about electrical threats and how to spot and prevent them.

The Dangers of an Arc Flash

An arc flash, or an arc blast, is an electrical explosion that occurs when an electrical current leaves its expected path and travels through the air. The blast can launch workers ten feet or more, causing lesions or broken bones. Additionally, the force alone can cause collapsed lungs and even permanent hearing damage. Temperatures can reach 35,000°F, severely burning and even killing workers. At such high temperatures, electrical components can explode, shooting molten metal. Take, for example, the experience of Matthew:

Matthew and his coworker, Ben, arrived at a job site to connect secondary electrical services to a transformer. Ben went to do the initial job hazard analysis before their work could start while Matthew waited at the transformer. However, due to a lack of communication, Matthew was confused. Matthew started pulling cables from inside the transformer, unaware that it was still active, when a metal wrench fell out of his pocket. Matthew picked the wrench up, then went to pull the last cable. That is when the wrench touched a live part of the transformer and created an arc flash. Blasted back, Matthew suffered burns to his face and neck, as well as his arms and biceps. Ben heard the arc flash; rushing back to the transformer, he found Matthew and called dispatch for an ambulance. At the hospital, Matthew received treatment for his burns.

Arc flash injuries happen more often than those from electric shock, with over 30,000 reported injuries and 600 fatalities each year. Just like with Matthew’s case, accidents are largely preventable if employees follow the correct protocol. To avoid incidents like Matthew’s, employees must be retrained every three years or if there are any changes to the NFPA 70E standards. This also includes the addition of any new equipment, any changes in job requirements, or after a failed inspection.

Our Training Courses

Here at Hard Hat Training, we strive to make the safety training process effective and engaging. That is why we offer a catalog of over 200 complete, cost-effective training courses. While other, inefficient trainings offer mindless clicking through Powerpoint, our courses are fully-narrated. Designed specifically with workers in mind, our trainings keep all users engaged during the learning process.

Can Arc Flash Training Be Online?

Yes, Hard Hat Training makes it convenient for workers to become certified for arc flash training on their own time. All our courses come equipped with the necessary safety information and are OSHA Aligned. Our NFPA 70E | Arc Flash Safety Training and our Electrical Safety Training are up to date and ready for purchase. Both are available as an online course, but we also offer a training kit as well as a train the trainer format.

Online Courses

Designed to benefit employers and employees alike, our online courses keep safety training quick and engaging. Employers can oversee the completion rates of their employees and access the final exam scores. All this is included in our online course. This allows employees to work at their own pace, which is vital to anyone with a strict work schedule.

Training Kits

Every resource and tool an employer might need is included in our training kits. Our NFPA 70E Training kits provide all the materials required in order to help employees gain their certified status.

Train the Trainer

We understand how vital it is to the safety of employees to have a competent trainer. Our online train the trainer course offers specific certifications for the individual training employees. The training kit is included with the train the trainer course. Our NFPA 70E | Arc Flash Train the Trainer Course is made of up several modules, but the two main sections include:

  1. How to Train:
    1. OSHA Requirements
    2. Trainer Responsibilities
    3. Record Keeping
    4. Classroom set-up
    5. Using and Customizing Training Materials
  2. Arc Flash Standards
    1. Introduction
    2. Controls
    3. Operations
    4. Hazards
    5. Response