The Rise of Electrification: OSHA’s Revisiting of Arc Flash Guidance

Tyndale’s Rise of Electrification series highlights the growing demand for electricians in the United States. In parts one and two, we discussed the significance of this trend and its implications for the industry.

Partnership for Electrical Safety Pushes for Updated Electrical Safety Standards

To ensure the safety of as many electricians as possible, the Partnership for Electrical Safety (PES) has taken initiative to educate workers and employers on electrical safety. Working closely with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) , PES conducted an extensive analysis of compliance rates for NFPA 70E standards, as well as the frequency and severity of arc flash hazards among US electricians.

PES’ research aims to empower electrical workers to make informed workplace safety decisions. Additionally, PES emphasizes that following established safety protocols is paramount in reducing serious electrical incidents.

OSHA’s Anticipated Response to Alarming Lack of PPE for America’s Electricians

In a recent meeting hosted by PES, the senior safety leadership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Electrical Training Alliance (ETA) joined forces to address the pressing issue of electrical industry arc flash incidents.

The discussion focused on the alarming lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to US electrical workers, and how that deficit results in catastrophic injuries and fatalities each year. The gravity of the electrification revolution underscores the urgent need for clear, updated guidance that promotes a culture of workplace safety.

PES is optimistic that updated guidance will dispel beliefs that electricians “don’t work energized” and close the loophole responsible for the lack of protection for over 700,000 electrical workers in commercial and industrial settings.

In response, OSHA is currently revisiting its arc flash guidance and may issue new guidance soon. In the video below, Scott Margolin, Vice President of Technical at Tyndale, specifies how OSHA’s ruling would affect electrically safe workplaces.


How OSHA’s Ruling Would Affect Safe Electrical Maintenance Work

If OSHA takes action, electricians will be required to work in a de-energized state and utilize appropriate PPE. The revised arc flash guidance, among other significant changes, will focus on reducing electrical incidents  resulting from electric arcs.

This focus is a direct outcome of increased demand for electrical vehicle-related work and electrical infrastructure maintenance in the US. Electricians have always been required to wear appropriate arc-rated clothing and PPE. However, if OSHA updates its standards, companies will be held even more accountable for their workers’ safety.

Looking for a comprehensive resource to educate your workforce on electrical workplace safety? Check out Tyndale’s series hub, where you’ll find a wealth of information on a wide range of topics related to arc flash and flash fire hazards. Our hub is designed to distill complex concepts and answer frequently asked questions, making it easier than ever to educate yourself, your team, or your colleagues, on the importance of workplace safety.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *