Your guide to NFPA 70B standard compliance: Eight steps to compliance

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The 2023 edition of the NFPA 70B has moved from a recommended practice to an industry standard—becoming a key driver of electrical maintenance and safety in the U.S. and enabling better inspection methods and emphasizing the importance of following manufacturers recommendations.

Follow these steps to align your operations with the new NFPA 70B standard:

Appoint an EMP coordinator to manage your program’s implementation and operation. This role involves comprehensive NFPA 70B training and routine evaluations for adherence to protocols. This individual is a fundamental component of your compliance strategy.

This comprehensive assessment addresses infrastructure gaps and identifies effective maintenance strategies. Regular assessments ensure your electrical system’s reliability, enhancing overall safety and performance.

This step involves updating documentation such as SLDs, short circuit studies, coordination studies, and arc flash studies. If they are older than five years, a review is necessary. This helps maintain the relevance and accuracy of your records, which is critical for those interacting with your electrical system.

Taking advantage of advancements in technology like digital twins can further enhance your understanding of your electrical systems. With digital twins, you essentially create a digitized replica of your electrical systems and components, including SLDs, short circuit studies, coordination studies, and arc flash studies. This virtual representation helps in simulating and predicting scenarios based on data analytics, allowing for better planning, troubleshooting, and maintenance.

When digital twins are incorporated into the existing documentation, they provide an innovative and dynamic method of keeping your records relevant and accurate. If the records are older than five years, digital twins can aid in the process of mandatory updates, ensuring a more precise reflection of the current physical state of your electrical infrastructure while also anticipating future conditions.

Two workers in orange suits monitor multiple screens with data and control panels in a modern control room.

Execute the corrective measures identified during your assessment. Prioritize tasks based on urgency, safety risks, and operational impacts. Clear documentation and organization are key in this step.

Define the maintenance tasks’ scope and schedule the appropriate intervals between each. Following manufacturer recommendations and leveraging technology for predictive maintenance can considerably enhance equipment reliability.

Update your Electrical Maintenance Program, ensuring all electrical equipment is aptly maintained. This will include record-keeping, documentation, and visual indications of inspection statuses and details for each asset.

Review and update your EMP regularly. Pinpoint areas for improvement, implement changes, and document these revisions. This process ensures your EMP remains dynamic, updated, and compliant with changing standards.

Embrace the transition to digital with the NFPA 70B’s allowance of continuous monitoring and predictive techniques, which enables condition-based methods. The digital transformation simplifies compliance, reduces potential safety risks, improves energy efficiency, and ensures business continuity.

Schneider Electric believes in empowering every business to make the most of their energy and this marked advancement in electrical safety and maintenance. Reach us at se.com/us/services and let’s achieve compliance together!

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