Learn more about NFPA 70e and Arc Flash

Learn more about NFPA 70e and Arc Flash


Modifications have been made to OSHA 1910.269 that effect the construction standards for work on electric power generation, transmission and distribution installations, and for electrical protective equipment (utilities). This federally enforceable law will now require FR protective apparel.

OSHA 1910.269

• July 15, 2014

Workers shall be in flame resistant clothing, no citations will be issued.

• October 31, 2014

Head to toe flame resistant clothing becomes enforceable, citations will be issued.

• January 1, 2015

By this date employers need to have made reasonable estimates of incident energy (Hazard Risk Assessment).

• April 31, 2015

By this date the outer layer of clothing worn by

workers must be flame-resistant when the estimated

incident heat energy exceeds 2.0 cal/cm2 (could be from other sources other than electric arc). By this time each worker exposed to hazards from electric arcs should be wearing the required arc-rated protective equipment.

OSHA 1910.269 SUMMARY :

• No Judgment calls can be made

• Work Place must be evaluated for Arc-Flash Hazards

• Must Calculate incident energy

• If >2 cal/cm2 employers must provide FR clothing

• Employers must provide Equivalent Arc-Rated Clothing

• All Outer Layer must be FR

• 100% body coverall is now required

All jobs applications that require the employer provide FR clothing:

• Near Flammable Materials

• >600 Volts

• Potential for Molten Metal Splatter


NFPA 70E is the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, established by the National Fire Protection Agency. It applies to all electrical & maintenance workers who are working on or near energized equipment. To ensure the best safety practices are taken place, the standard is updated every 3 years, the next update will be active in 2015. The changes are made in hopes of simplifying and clarifying the standard.


• New Arc Flash PPE (Personal Protection Equipement) Categories [Section 130.7(C)(15)]

The current table provided for Personal Protection Equipment guidance refers to “HRC” (Hazard Risk Category), this title has been revised and changed to the term PPE Category. This table has endured a series of formatting changes, the major being it has been split into 2 tables to address. Table 1 addresses only one question “Is there a significant arc-flash risk?”. Table 2 determines arc-rated clothing and PPE.

• Eliminating HRC 0 (Section 130.7(C))

HRC 0 allowed workers who were beyond the boundary where arc-flash PPE was required to wear NON arc rated garments made from non-melting or untreated natual fibers, such as untreated cotton, wool, rayon or silk, or blends of these. It was believed in 2009 Edition that these garments provided some protection from arc flash, however after testing this was proven false. It was misleading and confusing to include HRC 0 amongst a guideline for arc-rated clothing, since HRC 0 cannot provide arc flash protection. Also, the tasks that regard HRC 0 were also removed, making it obsoleete.

• The “Prohibited Approach Boundary” has been eliminated (Section 130.4(C))

The Prohibited Approach Boundary (PAB) is the closest shock boundary line to an energized source, it does not require any actions or restrictions, which was causing a lot of confusion so it was removed. Making contact to an energized source within this boundary is considered to be the same as making contact with the eletrical circuit or circuit part. You must be a “qualified perons” to work within this boundary.

• Included wording on shirts being tucked in (130.7(C)(9)(d))

Shirt and coverall sleeves shall be rolled down and buttoned. Shirts shall be tucked into pants, and shirts, coveralls, and jackets shall be closed at the neck.

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