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Best Practices For NFPA 70E PPE Labeling

A detailed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) label is vital to successfully de-energize electrical systems per NFPA 70E and OSHA Sub-Part S 301-335 standards. Additionally, an organization’s long term success greatly depends on how employees process information when expected to implement safe work practices.

In previous blog articles, I explained the necessary steps to safely de-energize electrical systems, and how safety programs can be tailored to support an organization’s qualified electrical employees. This article will address some key points an effective PPE label should incorporate.

NFPA 70E, IEEE 1584.1 and OSHA all make general comments about proper and effective labeling, but unfortunately fail to mention the detailed information needed for key areas of safety. This missing information often forces the vendor to interpret it on their own; or for example, lead an organization’s Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) employee to not fully understand the final outcome of their arc flash project‘s end-user value.

Is your PPE label helping your overall employee behavioral risk tendencies? If not, compliance with NFPA 70E is simple to achieve. Which of the PPE labels below is more informative and supports all the aspects and goals of “Electrical Safe Work Practices” lock out tag out (LOTO) and PPE selection?









If you chose the label on the right, you were correct. This label is complete with LOTO naming and a full PPE listing, which includes insulated glove use and fault current ratings.

Identifying the differences in the PPE labels above was fairly easy; however, that’s not always the case. Many vendors offer support with arc flash studies, but still seem to have their own version of a PPE label. An effective PPE label is an important contributor to the success of outstanding safety compliance, which all organizations desire; therefore with the many variations and differences out there – that validates a good reason why they should closely review and make the best decision suitable for them.