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Arc Flash Safety In 2018 (Part 2 Lockout/Tagout)

There are many instances in life where confusion will be the enemy. This confusion can often stem from an overwhelming amount of choices or even a sequence of steps that may seem unclear or appear to be missing some vital piece of information. Since 1896, the National Fire Protection Association has been focused on making things more and more clear so that their goal of eliminating death, injury, and loss due to fire and electrical related hazards can become a reality.

We can all agree that this is a lofty goal, and the NFPA cannot accomplish this on their own. Which is why we need to pay closer attention to critical procedures such as Lockout/Tagout. Now, I know that we’ve all sat through quite a few trainings and meetings related to these rules, but most of us may not perform Lockout/Tagout procedures often enough to be confident that we are using them properly. And when it comes down to your actions and knowledge on the subject affecting the lives and safety of those around you, we can all be thankful for the constant refinement of these NFPA codes and standards.

The next video (link below) from NFPA’s recent webinar talks about the restructuring of Article 120. The NFPA has made it much easier to understand the process for establishing and verifying an electrically safe work condition by creating a clear start-to-finish sequence. Article 120 now logically takes you through setting up a program, goes over the principles of having a Lockout/Tagout procedure, outlines what type of equipment is acceptable, takes you through the procedure, and finally ties everything together in 120.5 going over the process of establishing and verifying an electrically safe work condition.

I know this sounds like a lot, but nothing has changed as far as the requirements are concerned. So, if you felt confident with Lockout/Tagout procedures prior to the 2018 changes, the standard will just be easier to follow now. But if you have had trouble understanding in the past, this new sequence will be much easier to follow. And when vital steps are easier to follow, we can all feel more confident in our abilities to work safely and protect the ones around us from preventable harm.

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