Paper summarizes NFPA 70E electrical-safety requirements for data centers

Document from Emerson Network Power addresses how the NFPA's spec on electrical safety in the workplace specifically affects data center operations.

A white paper available from Emerson Network Power presents an overview of a new and complex specification affecting data center managers. The paper, entitled "NFPA 70E 2012 Rolls Out New Electrical Safety Requirements Affecting Data Centers," takes a high-level look at the 2012 edition of the 70E spec, which actually became effective more than a year ago, in August 2011, and covers workplaces in general as opposed to data centers specifically.

The vice president and general manager of Emerson Network Power's Liebert Services business, Brian Humes, commented, "The NFPA has made big strides to help protect workers and promote electrical safety with the NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety," adding that electrical hazards are the fourth-leading cause of traumatic occupational fatalities. "However," he said about 70E, "some of the regulatory requirements are complex and at times hard to understand. This white paper clarifies the most recent changes to NFPA 70E. It gives data center managers the opportunity to digest the requirements, and more importantly, implement best practices for keeping their workplaces safe and compliant."

The standard requires data center managers to take certain actions regarding safety-related work practices. "Issues addressed by the updated guidelines and covered in the white paper include safety training, proper use of equipment, arch-flash and electrical system labeling, new maintenance practices and more," Emerson Network Power added.

A portion of the white paper reads: "It is without exception that all electrical systems covered by NFPA 70E must be labeled. Inevitably, maintenance and/or testing will be performed on the electrical system. Workers must test and verify that the system is de-energized ..." Elsewhere, it reads: "Electrical equipment such as switchboards, panelboards, industrial control panels, and motor control centers that are likely to require maintenance while energized, must be field marked with a label."

You can download the 8-page paper directly from Emerson Network Power here.

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