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Focus - Current flow of electricity

image David Hittinger, Director of Safety, Codes and Standards, Independent Electrical Contractors, Alexandria, VA

SAN ANTONIO - Electrical contractors work in a very competitive electrical construction industry. Electrical workers must be trained in safe work practices and National Electrical Code (NEC) compliant installations. Jobsite conditions can vary with tight scheduling demands affected by special equipment, such as lighting, generators, and distribution equipment.




    This special equipment must be timely in delivery, which includes planning for weather-related delays that can affect the completion date when installing electrical systems.
    Regardless of any job challenges, jobsite safety is paramount and installations must meet the NEC minimum requirements. States or municipalities may adopt the current 2017 NEC and some amendments may occur. It is recommended to check with the local authority having jurisdiction before doing electrical work.
    The NEC is sponsored and controlled by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The primary function of the NEC is to safeguard people and property against electrical hazards. The NEC is one of the most widely used and recognized consensus standards in the world. It is a true consensus standard because members from throughout the electrical industry contribute to its development. The NEC is updated every three years to reflect current trends in the electrical industry.
    The 2020 NEC has moved beyond the first draft stage with some significant ideas for change. The next step in the process is the public comment stage, which is when the NFPA will be accepting comments for the technical committees to act on when they reconvene in late October 2018.
    Some important topics that were reviewed at the first draft meetings include new language that would address electrical hazards associated with installations supplying shore power to ships and watercrafts, including monitoring of leakage current. 
    The Scope of Article 100 recognizes that definitions are also found in the XXX.2 sections of other articles.  There are some new defined terms, such as Bonding Jumper, Supply Side, Inverter Input Circuit and Inverter Output Circuit. The Hazardous (Classified) Locations defined terms will be located in a new Part III in Article 100, including new definitions for Aircraft Painting Hanger, Encapsulation “M,” Intrinsic Safety “I,” Outdoor Spray Area Protection by Enclosure “T” and Unclassified Locations.
    A correlating committee-appointed task group was assigned to improve the usability of Chapter 7 and 8, specifically the Articles that fall under the purview of Code Making Panels 3 and 16, to remove redundancy within these Articles. Several changes resulted, including a new general requirement for Cables and Conductors new section, 110.12(C). A new Article 800 was developed which would relocate numerous Chapter 8 redundant text in one location. 
    All of the proposed changes are subject to public review in the public comment stage that will be available on the NFPA website beginning July 6, 2018, and will close on August 30, 2018. Anyone can help improve the next edition of the NEC by submitting a public comment. Visit www.nfpa.org for a complete review of the next edition – 2020 NEC.
    Want to learn from many more industry experts? Join thousands of electrical and construction professionals at IEC Convention & Expo 2018 in Indianapolis, IN, on September 19-22, 2018. Take your business to the next level with latest products, trends, and business strategies. www.iecconvention.org.

Established in 1957 and headquartered in Alexandria, VA, the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) is an electrical trade association representing more than 3,300 members. -cmw

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