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National Safety Month Series: Part 1 | NFPA 70E Basics

The dangers involved with oil and gas, electrical, environmental, and construction jobs are always present, and the people who work these jobs need safeguards to protect them. This series will explore the safety standards and guidelines that help keep workers safe in hazardous environments.


FR Safety Standards Series: Part 1

In this first article, we will look at some of the basics of the NFPA 70E standard.


The NFPA 70E standard is the “Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.” 

According to, “This standard addresses electrical safety-related work practices, safety-related maintenance requirements,   and other administrative controls for employee workplaces that are necessary for the practical safeguarding of employees relative to the hazards associated with electrical energy during activities such as the installation,  inspection, operation, maintenance, and demolition of electric conductors, electric equipment, signaling and communications conductors and equipment, and raceways.

This standard also includes safe work practices for employees performing other work activities that can expose them to electrical hazards as well as safe work practices for the following:

(1)  Installation of conductors and equipment that connect to the supply of electricity

(2)  Installations used by the electric utility, such as office buildings, warehouses, garages, machine shops, and recreational buildings that are not an integral part of a generating plant, substation, or control center.”


Types of jobs that NFPA 70E applies to can include but are not limited to:

  • Electrical Maintenance Workers 
  • EV Mechanics 
  • Machine Operators  
  • Troubleshooters 
  • Electricians 
  • Engineers 
  • Anyone exposed to energized equipment of 50 volts or more 


Choosing the right FR clothing can mean the difference between minor injuries (that are much easier to recover from) and severe, debilitating injuries or even death. Requiring safety-related workwear and equipment such as protective apparel, gloves, sleeves, footwear, and eye protection is a crucial step to ensuring the safety of electrical workers.


NFPA 70E establishes PPE categories (CAT), formerly hazard-risk categories (HRCs). They are as follows: 


PPE categories table


These categories define the minimum arc rating required when performing tasks where the potential for an arc flash exists. The greater the danger the higher the minimum arc-rating needed.


Following safety procedures, wearing suitable protective clothing, and knowing the environment and equipment is crucial to protecting the worker. Every worker needs to be aware of the risks and hazards they face in their industry. The health and well-being of the worker are the top priority of the NFPA 70E standard. To find out more, visit




References listed below were accessed May 2022:

Understanding NFPA 70E and NFPA 2112 FF Standards


2021 NFPA 70E – Major Changes


Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV)


Electrical Safety in the Workplace – NFPA 70E FAQs