The history of the NFPA goes back more than 120 years, founded in 1896 with the mission “To help save lives and reduce loss with information, knowledge, and passion.” The NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering their mission. Current NFPA membership totals more than 50,000 individuals around the world.
While most are familiar with the NFPA through their publications, many have assumed that the NFPA was a government organization, but in fact, the NFPA is a nonprofit organization. Which means any of its recognized publications, including the well-known “NFPA 70 National Electrical Code, “is not enforceable by law until it is adopted in part or whole by a jurisdictional government such as states. Most states in the US have done precisely this since it was first published in 1896, so it is a common misconception that it is a governmental document.
The same can be said for the NFPA70e as it is also a best practice standard but not itself enforceable by law. In the 70E’s case, however, another agency has adopted it as their standard as their go to, OSHA. OSHA refers to and uses the 70E standard as a guideline to safe electrical work and specifically Arc Flash.
Stay tuned for safety tips throughout May for electrical safety month!