Footwear in NFPA 70E

red background with burning question

Q.  I recently attended a training on 70E and understand that 70E recommends EH footwear for dry conditions and DI footwear for wet conditions and working under power lines.  What article in 70E states this information?

A.  There are several references to footwear in 70E:

  1. Article 130.7(C)(8) states that DI (dielectric Insulated) footwear shall be used for protection against step and touch potential.
  2. The Informational Note (IN) underneath the above listed Article quotes ASTM F2413 stating that EH (Electrical Hazard) footwear can provide protection under dry conditions.
  3. Article 130.8(F)(3) refers to DI footwear for the protection against step and touch potential.
  4. Article 250.1 lists DI footwear shall be maintained in safe working condition.
  5. Article 310.5(C)(2) Personal Protective Equipment for work practices with electrolytic cells merely lists footwear for wet service.

So, there is no specific reference for DI footwear under wet conditions.  Only if there is a need for protection against step and touch potential.  While it is logical that wet conditions increase the occurrence of step and touch potential, it makes sense that the 70E Standard specifically states it.  Perhaps that will change in the next revision.

Read one of our white papers related to the difference between DI Shoes and EH shoes

Hugh Hoagland

Hugh Hoagland

does research and testing of PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Hugh is a Sr. Consultant at ArcWear and Sr. Partner at e-Hazard. Read more about Hugh.

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