This column marks the start of the second year for “Current Affairs.” In reviewing covered material and subjects for the next year’s worth of columns, I realized that we failed to cover one topic that is fundamental to facility electrical systems: the National Electrical Code, or NEC. While I know hvacr engineers are aware of the NEC as a standard for electrical work, its proper role may not always be fully understood.
The NEC is adopted as law by most jurisdictions, as perhaps the most universally applied building code in the nation, and is adopted by OSHA as applicable to all employee workplaces. It applies to installation of electrical conductors and equipment in or on almost all public and private buildings and structures. It is easier to list the few categories that are outside its scope than to comprehensively describe its jurisdiction. Ships, automobiles, aircraft, and other transportation vehicles; railroads; mines; and facilities of electric and communications utilities are exempt from the requirements of the NEC (although all are covered by other safety standards).