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AutoQuiz: How to Assess the Hazard/Risk Category for an Industrial Electrical Panel

AutoQuiz is edited by Joel Don, ISA's social media community manager.

This automation industry quiz question comes from the ISA Certified Automation Professional (CAP) certification program. ISA CAP certification provides a non-biased, third-party, objective assessment and confirmation of an automation professional's skills. The CAP exam is focused on direction, definition, design, development/application, deployment, documentation, and support of systems, software, and equipment used in control systems, manufacturing information systems, systems integration, and operational consulting. Click this link for more information about the CAP program.

A control circuit within Field Control Panel #1 (FCP-1) in your facility is malfunctioning, and you must initiate a work order to have a technician troubleshoot the circuit. FCP-1 contains a PLC, terminal blocks, circuit breakers and fuses, and various other control equipment, of which none exceeds 120vac. The technician will be working on energized electrical conductors and circuit parts and performing voltage testing on the live circuits. On the work order, you will be required to state under which NFPA 70E-2009 Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace Hazard/Risk Category this work activity falls.

Per NFPA 70E-2009 Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, what Hazard/Risk Category should be defined for the above task? 

a) Hazard/Risk Category 0
b) Hazard/Risk Category 1
c) Hazard/Risk Category 2*
d) Hazard/Risk Category 4
e) none of the above

Answer A, Hazard/Risk Category 0, is incorrect as it typically relates to non-contacting work on various voltage ranges.

Answer C, Hazard/Risk Category 2*, is incorrect as it relates to work on equipment with voltage present that is greater than 240V.

Answer D, Hazard/Risk Category 4, is incorrect as it relates to work on equipment with voltage present that is 600V or greater.

The correct answer is B, Hazard/Risk Category 1.  Per NFPA 70E-2009 Table 130.7(C)(9), work on energized electrical conductors and circuit parts, including voltage testing on panelboards, or other equipment rated 240V and below would be classified as Hazard/Risk Category 1.

Reference: NFPA 70E-2009 Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace

About the Editor
Joel Don is the community manager for ISA and is an independent content marketing, social media and public relations consultant. Prior to his work in marketing and PR, Joel served as an editor for regional newspapers and national magazines throughout the U.S. He earned a master's degree from the Medill School at Northwestern University with a focus on science, engineering and biomedical marketing communications, and a bachelor of science degree from UC San Diego.

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Joel Don
Joel Don
Joel Don is the community manager for ISA and is an independent content marketing, social media and public relations consultant. Prior to his work in marketing and PR, Joel served as an editor for regional newspapers and national magazines throughout the U.S. He earned a master's degree from the Medill School at Northwestern University with a focus on science, engineering and biomedical marketing communications, and a bachelor of science degree from UC San Diego.

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