In this article, Electrical Engineer, Jim Orosz, P.E. discusses the various ways that the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) prescribes the placement of electrical lines and equipment to help safeguard the general public.
When the public comes into contact with electric supply lines or associated equipment, the results usually include electrical burns, shock injuries, and/or death. The National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) establishes standards for utility owned lines and equipment designed to prevent these incidents from occurring. In simplified form, the NESC sets out to:
The electrical engineers at Robson Forensic have been retained on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants to investigate cases involving exposure to electric utilities. This document provides basic information on the NESC standards relevant to public safety. Please contact our experts directly to discuss your case and how Robson Forensic can assist.
The National Electrical Safety Code The National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) stipulates how the public must be protected from exposure to electric supply lines and equipment. “Systems and equipment operated by utilities, or similar systems and equipment, of an industrial establishment or complex under the control of qualified persons” fall under the NESC. The NESC covers basic provisions for safeguarding of persons from hazards arising from the installation, operation, or maintenance of:
The NESC requirements have changed over the years. The date of construction in your case is useful for determining the relevant edition. Robson Forensic maintains NESC standards dating back to 1914 in its extensive technical library. Guarding Ground Level Equipment Rooms and spaces in which supply conductors or equipment are installed shall be so arranged with fences, screens, partitions, or walls to form an enclosure as to limit the likelihood of entrance of unauthorized persons or interference by them with equipment inside.
Overhead Clearance Requirements The NESC establishes standards for minimum safe distances between overhead power lines and structures. Safe distances vary depending on line voltage, type and purpose of structure, along with other circumstances. Below we have included information on the range of minimum clearance distances per current (2012) NESC standards based on circuits with less than 22kv. Please contact our experts for help determining the requirements specific to your case.
Underground Clearance Requirements The NESC establishes standards for minimum depth of burial for electric supply lines. These standards are developed to protect buried cables from damage caused by expected surface usage as well as protecting the public from exposure to buried lines.