Q: Has NFPA published any position on PESD’s (Permanent Electrical Safety Devices) or can you get them to address (it) in the future?
A: Permanent Electrical Safety Devices (PESD) are often purported to eliminate the need for PPE and some companies believe they can be used to verify that a circuit is dead.
One manufacturer of these devices is Grace Engineered Products.
We are fans of the devices. Many companies believe you must use a volt meter to the lugs to verify no current, keeping PPE on until you verify the circuit is dead. OSHA does not accept these devices until a vertical standard is accepted. To my knowledge, NFPA 70E has never published any position on these.
If NFPA 70E takes a positive position, it is possible that OSHA might publish a letter of interpretation (though OSHA could make the interpretation on their own) and accept the use of these devices in place of a meter. But they are an excellent extra check for an operator. They reduce risk for the electrician IF they are installed correctly, work at the time used and their failure options are understood.
NFPA 70E members believe the devices are OK to reduce risk. They do not determine absence of voltage since they do not “measure voltage”.
They are a good second check and can be used as part of an LOTO for non-electrical work when the Control start or other means are used to further prove absence of hazardous mechanical energy (such as for changing a saw blade).
I don’t think the manufacturers state the devices take the place of a voltage meter, but they do make the workplace safer IF used properly and not misused as described.
We recommend these devices in our NFPA 70E based LV Qualified Electrical Safety Training.