The Addition of Annex Q to the NFPA 70E® Standards – What Does it Mean For You?

Create a “Culture of Safety” with the Addition of Annex Q to the NFPA 70E® Standards

Something interesting has happened in the world of our safety compliance organizations recently, with the initial push starting at OSHA Training Institutes across the country. A common initiative emphasized throughout was a drive to provide information and pathways for employers to create a “culture of safety” among managers and employees.

The Meaning Behind Annex Q

Most recently, NFPA 70E® – the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace from the National Fire Protection Association, updated their 2018 standards and included “informational Annex Q”. This annex to the NFPA 70E Arc Flash Prevention and Protection standards focuses on “Human Performance and Workplace Electrical Safety.” This annex is not a part of the requirements of NFPA 70E standards, it has been included for informational purposes. The goal of this annex is to assist in risk management by considering the various roles in the workplace and their ability to recognize and affect human error and its negative aspects within the workplace. As we all know, human error is a common root cause of workplace accidents, incidents, fatalities and equipment damage. These are costly in many ways.

The 3 Primary Risk Abatement Controls Immediately Recognized:

  1. Engineered
  2. Administrative
  3. Personal Protection Equipment

Human performance is addressed as the management of human error as a control that compliments the above methods.

The Basic Principles of Human Performance:

  • People are fallible. Even the best trained and knowledgeable people can make a mistake.
  • High hazard situations are recognizable, predictable, and can be managed to prevent accidents.
  • Individual human behavior is influenced by processes and values.
  • A high level of performance can be attained through positive reinforcement from management and fellow workers.
  • Understanding what causes accidents, learning from prior incidents and ongoing training helps to prevent future incidents.

How We Learn and Process Data:

  • Attention – what and how we concentrate and learn.
  • Sensing – the inputs to our 5 senses.
  • Encoding – storage & thinking. Data is converted to memory for use in making rational decisions. Both short and long term memory are put into use and will interact.
  • Retrieval – making decisions. Taking action based on knowledge that is stored. Applying knowledge verbally, in writing or through actions.

Annex Q goes on to provide data from various scientific studies, showing the effectiveness of different learning traits, training methods and the effects on retention abilities of the worker.

This informative annex is highly valuable, and worth the time to read for anyone who is responsible for worker safety, the safety of themselves or their workplace peers. Let it guide you in creating a “culture of safety” – every employers goal!

How are you fostering a culture of safety? Have you found Annex Q to be a helpful guide? Comment below.

About the author

Jim Lanz
Jim Lanz

Jim supports our sales team and helps our customers achieve a safe, healthy, and accident-free work environment in his role of Safety Specialist at Horizon Solutions. Jim has over 15 years experience in the field of safety which includes extensive OSHA compliance experience and executing safety programs for manufacturing facilities. Jim is an Authorized OSHA Outreach Instructor, and facilitates safety training classes that involve custom curriculum that meets the specific needs of our customers.