Fight COVID-19 with PPE

Scott Blizard, American Electrical Testing Company LLCColumns, President's Desk, Summer 2020 Columns

It was great seeing everyone at PowerTest 2020 in Chicago! On behalf of the NETA Board of Directors, we thank our sponsors, Corporate Alliance Partners, and trade show vendors, and applaud the hard work and dedication of the NETA Staff who help make PowerTest successful.

In this NETA World, we look at NFPA 70E‐2018 requirements for labeling electrical equipment for arc flash and shock protection, specifically personal protective equipment (PPE) selection. Shock protection boundaries are fairly straightforward and can be determined from the appropriate tables. The arc flash boundary and PPE required to work inside that boundary while there is exposed energized equipment are more complex.

Be sure to read Jim White’s article, “Using NFPA 70E to Determine Shock and Arc Flash Boundaries.” It was a true pleasure to see Jim and his wife Vicki at PowerTest 2020.

As I write this, the country is the middle of the COVID‐19 virus pandemic. NETA Member Companies and their technicians throughout the United States and in Canada have been identified as essential workers to support and maintain the critical infrastructure of our nations. Our NETA Technicians are also on the front lines of this fight. They must do their best to stay healthy and help contain the spread of COVID-19 by following CDC guidelines in the United States and Public Health Agency’s guidelines in Canada.

Using PPE can help prevent the spread of illnesses like the common cold, hepatitis, and influenza, as well as SARS‐Cov2 (COVID-19). In many cases, PPE is not designed or intended to be shared among employees. To safely share or re‐issue certain types of PPE, a company must follow manufacturer and OSHA cleaning, sanitizing, and tracking procedures. Employees should also be trained to properly clean and maintain their individually issued PPE.

Follow your company and customers’ policies for the COVID‐19 pandemic. The policy should include many of the preventative measures communicated by the CDC and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Be safe and err on the side of caution.

Mark your calendar: PowerTest 2021, the premier electrical maintenance and safety conference, will take place March 8–12, 2021, at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. We look forward to seeing you there.

Coach safe behavior … Living injury and disease free every day!

Scott A. Blizard, President
International Electrical Testing Association
Safety First…No One Gets Hurt!