IEEE has announced the availability of the new National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) – 2012 Edition. Produced exclusively by IEEE, the NESC provides practical guidance to help safeguard employees and the public when electrical supply and communications lines are installed operated and maintained, including overhead and underground electrical supply lines, telephone or cable and TV lines, and signal and power installations for railroads.

Some of the revisions in the NESC 2012 edition include:

  • Scope, application and definition rules extensively revised to provide clarification improvements, particularly with respect to whether the NESC or the National Electrical Code (NEC) (NFPA 70) applies in certain situations
  • Grounding rules added specificity to the methods to be used to help achieve effective grounding connections
  • Electrical supply stations rules added options for improved protection of energized parts from interference by activities outside the stations and for guarding inside the stations. The overhead general rules revised requirements for inspections and for facilities to be grounded or insulated
  • Underground rules revised the inspection rules and clarified requirements for direct-buried cables and conduits not part of a conduit system
  • Work rules added options for determining appropriate arc ratings for apparel to be worn while working on energized lines, including a new Section on Clothing requirements for <1000 V and added maximum clearing times allowed for specified apparel arc ratings
  • Revised the minimum approach distances (MADs) to meet the requirements of IEEE 516™-2009, and revised specification for the location of employee protective grounds

Full details of the revisions made in the 2012 edition can be found at the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) NESC web page at: http://standards.ieee.org/about/nesc/2012.html.

The NESC covers a broad range of areas including storage batteries, transformers and conductors to switchgear, circuit breakers, physical clearances, cable terminations, safety warning signs, and protective clothing for workers installing electrical equipment. For example, its clearance rules outline the minimum distances between electric transmission wires and the ground, and structures such as buildings and trees.

As the secretariat for the NESC, the IEEE provides a home for the NESC Committee and supports its activities with a full range of administrative, logistical, publishing and other services. The IEEE also gives users comprehensive support in obtaining, understanding and working with the Code.