I know people, it seems that it was only yesterday that we were getting ready for the 2014 regs. to be published and here we are beginning to talk about the 2015 edition of the NFPA 70E that has been recently published.

As with life it seems that the only thing that stays the same, in our industry, is that things constantly change. Don’t gripe though. By the time you have as many editions, on the shelf, as I do, you’ll realize that most of them are for the good, even though, sometimes it first appears that things change just for the sake of making them different.

A case in point this year will be the terminology sections. To many of us, myself included, some of these changes will seem flippant, but we have to remember that we live in a world run by lawyers and that words can cost us way more than a new truck.

Process Changes

The power of the pen being a given, here is a preview of some of the terminology changes that you can expect to see when you start trying to figure out what has changed..

First, there is absolutely no Request for Proposals that have been approved for the latest update. Hard to believe, but the only reason this is true is that they are now called Public Inputs (PI) and 481 PI’s were considered.

If you try to follow the process, as I do, you may have noticed that a Report on Proposals (ROP) was never issued. That is because ROPs are now called First Drafts and the ROC (Report on Comments) that usually follows was changed to the Second Draft.

Confused yet, it gets better.

Below is a partial list of wording changes that you may notice being used in the latest edition.

2012 Edition 2015 Edition
Arc Flash Hazard Analysis Arc Flash Risk Assessment
Electrical hazard Analysis Electrical Risk Assessment
Harm Injury or damage to life
Hazard identification and risk assessment Risk Assessment
Hazard/Risk Category Arc Flash PPE Category
Probability Likelihood
Shock Hazard Analysis Shock Risk Assessment
Work Shoes Footwear

In addition to the above changes you will also find several words that have been redefined or completely done away with.

Bare Hand Work– has been eliminated completely. There is no longer any such category.

Incident Energy– now specifies Thermal Energy rather than the more general Energy.

Qualified Person– has had its definition altered from “one who has the skills and knowledge” to “one who has demonstrated the skills and knowledge.” That word demonstrated is a biggie, pay attention.

There have also been four new definitions added.

Hazard– A source of possible injury or damage to health


Hazardous– Involving exposure to at least one hazard


Risk– Can refer to either the likelihood of injury occurrence or the severity or a possible injury

Risk assessment– A process that identifies the hazards, estimates the potential severity of injury or damage to health, estimates the likelihood of the injury occurrence or damage to health, and determines if protective measures are required

As much as it pains me to say this, these are just the changes that I have gleaned from the opening pages of the 2015 Edition. I haven’t even had time to get into the meat of the paper yet.

The first step in understanding any regulation is to understand the language that it is written in. I hope this will help you stay ahead of the curve.

Until next time, keep the coffee hot, the beer cold and don’t forget to like us on Facebook.

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