Don't Work Energized, NECA Speaker Urges

Only two reasons are acceptable for working energized, NECA national safety director Wesley Wheeler said.

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The NSC Learning Lab on the expo floor at this year's National Safety Congress and Expo was a busy place Oct. 17, with all of the day's sessions drawing good crowds. Wesley Wheeler, safety director for the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and a former safety director for an electrical contractor firm, had a capacity crowd for his presentation on employer and contractor responsibilities for electrical safety and meeting the NFPA 70E standard.

"It is the contractor's responsibility for enforcement of safety policies," Wheeler said. He discussed the macho attitude some in the industry have and the fact that too many work energized when they should not. "How many contractors tell you, 'Well, we've got a 70E policy: We don't work energized.' Well, they're lying," he said, "because you can't do troubleshooting or commissioning without what? Energized work."

Wheeler said the U.S. Department of Energy, in 10 CFR 851, has adopted, at a minimum, the 70E 2004 edition, marking the first time that a federal agency has adopted a consensus standard into law. And it says that, whatever is the current version of 70E that a contractor recognizes, that's the version its workers need to follow, he said.

He said the 2018 version of 70E has moved the well-known hierarchy of controls from a note into mandatory text. Only two reasons are accepted for doing energized work, he explained: Not doing it energized will create a greater hazard, or not doing it energized is infeasible.

"It's not worth it to work energized," Wheeler summed up.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations manage safety and achieve regulatory compliance by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, loss payouts, insurance premiums, property damage, lost days, and OSHA fines; and more.

  • Analyze Incident Data and Maintain OSHA Compliance

    Organizations can utilize IndustrySafe’s Incident Module to collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including a CSV file of OSHA 300A data that will allow for compliance with OSHA’s final rule to “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses.”

  • Review the Final Rule “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses”

    Browse IndustrySafe’s case study for essential information regarding OSHA’s electronic recordkeeping rule. Learn whether your organization must electronically submit your 300A data to OSHA, the new 2017 submission deadline, and how the electronic submission process works.

  • Everything You Need to Know about OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA)

    OSHA has officially launched its Injury Tracking Application (ITA) to allow you to electronically submit your 300A data. Learn all about it before you get started to avoid any headaches!

  • Track Safety Key Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s flexible and intuitive Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track Safety Key Performance Indicators and metrics, allowing safety professionals to gain increased visibility into their business' operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus
Live From NSC 2017

Free e-News Subscription

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy