Electrical Safety Topics Page
Our panel of industry experts answers your arc flash hazard questions about NFPA 70E, PPE and much more.
Worker protection against arc flash incidents has a personal history all its own.
Follow these steps to reduce electrical accidents and better protect workers.
Improve your maintenance program to increase arc flash safety.
White Papers: In Depth Research
Just about every product in the world has two main markets: one for new product and a second market for used — sometimes referred to as surplus, reconditioned, rebuilt or remanufactured — product. Cars, computers, jewelry and electronics are just a few examples of thriving industries that trade in used goods. The commercial and industrial electrical supply markets are no exception.
Electrical equipment, like automobiles and industrial machinery, are designed to last decades. However, like other durable goods, electrical equipment can be dangerous to the inexperienced — whether it is new or used product. The confluence of these two facts means that product safety — not just availability — is critical to a healthy electrical marketplace.
In 1908, the National Association of Electrical Distributors was formed to "establish the electrical distributor as an essential force in the electrical industry and economy," followed by the National Electrical Manufacturer's Association (NEMA) in 1926. These venerable associations eventually expanded to include educational programs and standards to help improve the operations and safety of the electrical supply chain with a focus on new product from electrical original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Save money with certified used, surplus electrical equipment
Keep business competitive and safe while cutting landfill waste and saving the environment.
Bring them back
How to recondition motor controls.
Understanding NFPA 79
Author: Ned Lloyd and Mike Levesque
NFPA-79 is the electrical standard that has been developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and is "intended to minimize the potential hazard of electrical shock and electrical fire hazards of industrial metalworking machine tools, woodworking machinery, plastics machinery and mass produced equipment, not portable by hand."
The National Fire Protection Association is also responsible for the National Electric Code (NEC)/(NFPA-70).
The scope of NFPA-79 is summarized as follows: "The standard shall apply to the electrical/electronic equipment, apparatus, or systems of industrial machines operating from a nominal voltage of 600 volts or less, and commencing at the point of connection of the supply to the electrical equipment to the machine."
Advances in low-voltage motor control center (MCC) technology help reduce arc flash hazards and minimize risks
Measures to increase equipment and personnel safety in manufacturing are reflected in new approaches and technologies designed to help minimize the risk of workplace dangers. One rapidly growing area of focus is reducing the potentially serious hazards associated with arc flash events. This white paper examines the causes of arc flash, discusses the standards guiding arc flash safety and details the role arc-resistant motor control centers (MCCs) play in helping contain arc energy. It also highlights the key features of an effective arc-resistant MCC design.
Understanding and reducing arc flash hazards
Although arc hazards have existed since man began using electricity, increasing deaths, injuries and property loss from arcing faults have led to increased study into the causes, effects and methods of protection. The studies are not complete, and the scientific community has not reached complete accord on the methods used to calculate the hazards. However, these studies serve as a starting point for improving worker safety. While much work remains to be done, in the interest of improved safety, several national codes and standards have been revised. These revisions are intended to reduce worker exposure to arc hazards and establish safer work practices when approaching or working on energized equipment. Since the changes affect every person involved in the design, installation, service and maintenance of electrical systems and all machinery, mechanical equipment and devices powered or controlled by electricity, applicable codes and standards should always be followed.
- NFPA's 2011 National Electrical Code Handbook is now available on necplus
- The National Electrical Safety Code is now available on your mobile device
- Code-compliant grounding videos are now available on DVD
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issues voluntary recall of counterfeit circuit breakers sold by Miami Breaker
- Littelfuse's EL731 AC/DC Sensitive Earth-Leakage Relay protects VFDs that operate at low speeds
- Torch Wear's Ultimate Blankets are designed to protect workers from heat injuries
- Littelfuse's PGR-8800 Arc-Flash Relay can detect two different conditions related to an arc flash
- GE's Arc Vault arc fault protection technology stops an arcing fault in eight milliseconds
- Featured White Papers