With the new 2018 NFPA 70E standard now in full swing, one point of emphasis that we noticed was informative Annex Q.  Annex Q is a brand new process within the NFPA 70E where the focus is on understanding human interaction with energized electrical parts and how to control the risk. This annex begins with stating the obvious, “humans make mistakes.”  However, when we humans receive positive reinforcement and time to perform our tasks, we can be safe.

There is a model of human behavior that is listed within Annex Q that highlights three human performance modes: 1) rule-based mode; 2) skill-based mode; and 3) knowledge-based mode. The models are then broken down into sections within Annex Q;  1) Annex Q.4.1 Rule-Based Performance Mode; 2) Annex Q.4.2 Knowledge-Based Human Performance Mode; and 3) Annex Q 4.3 Skill-Based Human Performance Mode. Each section highlights the definition and then lists the common errors within each. The basic take-away from Annex Q is that human interaction is now a major focus for management and staff when making decisions about workers interacting with energized electrical parts. The focus has shifted from “put on personal protective equipment (PPE)” as the first step and is now built around the concept of eliminating the risk and hazard. A new hierarchy of risk control methods has shifted the way we think about energized electrical interaction and it spawned a new informative annex in the 2018 NFPA 70E

Should you have any questions or facility/personnel concerns regarding electrical hazards and safety, please do not hesitate to contact me at (404) 695-1013 or tcoffey@ei1.com.

Source: Rasmussen Models: Rasmussen, J. (1983); Skills, rules and knowledge; signals, signs, and symbols, and other distinctions in human performance models. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, (3), 257-266