What is NFPA 70B?
The NFPA 70B is the newest maintenance standard around electrical equipment. In 2023, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70B shifted from a recommended practice to a standard. This now requires the development, implementation and operation of an electrical maintenance program (EMP). It provides a framework to safeguard people, equipment and processes from electrical system failures.
70B closely aligns with NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the workplace, which indicates that even if equipment is installed properly, it may not be safe to work on unless it is “properly maintained” per the manufacturer’s instructions or industry consensus standards.
70E establishes safety processes that use policies, procedures and program controls to reduce risk associated with the use of electricity to an acceptable level. It requires that equipment is properly maintained to then have these calculations apply to how much energy is going to be released. If you don’t maintain your equipment, a breaker might not trip, and the energy calculation is not going to be valid anymore.
70B details preventative maintenance for electrical, electronic and communication systems and equipment – such as those in industrial plants, institutional and commercial buildings and large multi-family residential complexes – to prevent equipment failures and worker injury.
70B informs everybody in the industry as to how to actually maintain that piece of equipment. It has requirements into how often you should service your breakers, service your switches, service your equipment and do your maintenance, from a training perspective just beyond the safety aspect of it. There is also a lot of equipment specific training on how to maintain and operate to make sure calculations are correct.
NFPA 70B states that one’s electrical maintenance plan shall include the following:
- An electrical safety program that addresses the condition of maintenance.
- Identification of personnel responsible for implementing each element of the program.
- Survey and analysis of electrical equipment and systems to determine maintenance requirements and priorities.
- Developed and documented maintenance procedures for all equipment within the scope of the EMP.
- A plan of inspections, servicing, and suitable tests.
- A maintenance, equipment, and personnel documentation and records-retention policy.
- A process to prescribe, implement, and document corrective measures based on collected data.
- A process for incorporating design for maintainability in electrical installations.
- A program review and revision process that considers failures and findings for continuous improvement.
5 requirements for NFPA 70B
- Maintenance intervals are a primary focus.
- Equipment condition assessment is key.
- Electrical maintenance programs are defined.
- Preventive maintenance procedures provided in NFPA 70B.
- System study intervals are now defined.
For any questions on the NFPA 70B standard or upcoming arc flash trainings, please reach out to an ErieTec representative.