Condition of maintenance. So this one is a pet peeve of mine, because sometimes it's real tough to satisfy this requirement out in the real world. And you can see that they've played with this definition a little bit, because we have some words that are underlined, so, "The state of the electrical equipment considering the manufacturer's instructions," which real good. I mean, if we're going to maintain a piece of equipment, the manufacturer's instructions should help us tremendously and manufacturer's recommendations. Then it goes on to say, "Applicable industry codes and standards," so NFPA 70B, our publication for maintenance, would come into play there. And then, “recommended practices." So when we look at the condition of equipment, we've got to make sure that we're taking all that into consideration. We've got to make sure that the equipment has been maintained properly.

Qualified Person

They changed a little bit qualified person, so seems like every revision they play with this definition a little bit. But, basically, it always has been a person that can demonstrate that they do have skills and knowledge related to the equipment they're going to work on and has received some safety training to identify the hazards. And now they put in, "And reduce the associated risk." So risk assessments are extremely important in NFPA 70E. Before we approach a task, we've got to do some type of risk assessment here to identify those hazards, to mitigate those hazards. And they give us a hierarchy how we can do that, and I'm going to show you that coming up here. But risk assessments have now even been put in the definition of a qualified person.

Risk Assessment

So you can see they have played a little bit with risk assessment, so it tells us that our electrical safety program shall include a risk assessment procedure, and it has to comply with H1 through H3. So we have to have a way that we can accomplish this. And I like to put it all in one form. If a can do a job briefing, if I can do a shock hazard analysis and then do my risk assessment all in one form, that is just the best way to do it, I do believe. But the elements of my risk assessment procedure, they have to address the employee exposure to electrical hazards, they got to identify the process. And so they give us really three steps, right?

1. Identify hazards

First, we have to identify the hazards. So looking for electrical hazard, shock, arc flash, or arc blast, but there could be other hazards. We could be in an environment where it's dust, or vapors, or whatever, so it could be in some classified locations. But whatever those hazards are, we got to identify those.

2. Assess Risks

Then we've got to assess the risks. So we've got to put a little bit of a percentage on this, what are the chances that a worker might get a shock? So now you've got to really be able to identify your qualified workers and their skills and, you know, are they wearing all their PPE, you know, things like that when you assess the risk.

3. Implement risk control according to the hierarchy of risk control methods

And then we've got to implement risk control, and they give us a hierarchy we can use, and they give us some methods for risk control.

So let's take a look at those, and we'll see what those are coming right up here. The first one, though, I did mention when I was back on this slide about assessing those risks that human error has to come into play here. So we have to have that procedure built so that it can address the possibility of human error. So let's face it, if we have a worker that has 35 years' experience working on that piece of equipment and he is highly qualified, that's different than if we have a worker with maybe six months' worth of experience. So you have to have some type of evaluation in your audit form to make sure that you are addressing that. Then in the informational note, they tell us that we can go to Annex Q, and it's going to help us to be able to determine the ability of our workers.

And then number three is that hierarchy that I mentioned before, and we'll take a look at that right now. So here you can see the front cover of the new edition, the 2018 edition, and they thought that the hierarchy of controlling the hazards was so important, they put it on the front cover. So let's see if we can make this... So the first one is elimination. So when we try to reduce those risks, and the NFPA gives us choices, their first choice is always their preferred choice. So they would like to have us eliminate the risk completely, so that would be establishing an electrically safe work condition. De-energizing, just getting rid of all the hazards completely.

And then we'll see, number two, substitution. So a good example of substitution would be that meter that we permanently install in our equipment. So I'm not going to have to have my workers go in there and test for a voltage and verify it's de-energized. I've substituted a different method. I've put in a meter there that's there all the time.

And then we have engineering controls. The example I like to use here is, if we have a worker that might go in and reset and overload once in a while, and they have to open the door up and reach in and press that overload, well, maybe we can just relocate that overload to the outside of the equipment so that they don't have to open anything up at all.


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