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New standards from the National Fire Prevention Association codify recommendations on PPE, de-energizing, and external sampling as standards.

New NFPA standards on arc flash safety affect oil sampling procedures for cabinet transformers

Tallmadge, Ohio

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced immediate changes to electrical safety best practices that will affect safety protocols for cabinet transformers.

SDMyers operates a very robust safety policy that is informed, in part, by standards published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Every three years, the NFPA publishes a revised set of standards—NFPA 70E®: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace—which is adopted by companies nationwide as the standard for accessing and servicing high voltage electrical equipment. 

The 2018 edition of the NFPA 70E® standard details a significant change to the set of best practices that apply to cabinet transformer inspections and sampling. These measures are aimed at reducing the risk of injuries caused by arc flashes and are a result of new data that highlights the frequency and severity of the risk associated with these incidents. 

Arc flashes are sudden energy discharges—explosions—caused by a fault in an electrical circuit reacting with ionized air. These potentially deadly events can reach extremely high temperatures, ejecting molten metal and expanding air so violently that workers can be thrown across a room. 

The new standard codifies  the following aspects of cabinet transformer safety:  

  • All technicians servicing cabinet transformers must wear the appropriate grade of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) every time a cabinet is opened.
  • Some higher-rated cabinet transformers must be de-energized before they are serviced.
  • Precautions must be taken to mitigate the risk of arc flashes.

SDMyers has already developed solutions to address these changes and is contacting customers with cabinet transformers over the next few weeks to put the appropriate safety measures in place. For more information, download the full version of NFPA 70E or visit our Arc Flash Safety guide to learn more. For an immediate response,  contact SDMyers or speak directly with an SDMyers expert at (330) 630-7000. 

August 29, 2018
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