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Written by Steve Hudgik

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) developed NFPA 70, known as the National Electric Code (NEC), as a standard for the design and installation of electrical systems in the U.S. Compliance with the NEC is mandated by OSHA.

The NEC refers to arc flash in Section 110.16, which reads, "Flash Protection. Switchboards, panel boards, industrial control panels, meter socket enclosures, and motor control centers in other than dwelling occupancies, which are likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized, shall be field marked to warn qualified persons of potential electric arc flash hazards*. The marking shall be located so as to be clearly visible to qualified persons before examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance of the equipment."

The NEC labeling requirements apply to any electrical equipment installed or modified after 2002.

A fine-print note to Section 110.16 suggests that warning label design should comply with ANSI Z535.4, which specifies colors and signal words to be used. This design requirement is not mandatory, but is a good guideline for consistency and visibility of warning labels.

In addition to the NEC, NFPA 70E requires warning labels and specifies information that must appear on the label. Our Arc Flash Warning Labels page has more information on labeling requirements.

*Italics added

The information presented in this document was obtained from sources that we deem reliable; Graphic Products does not guarantee accuracy or completeness. Graphic Products, Inc. makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied. Users of this document should consult municipal, state, and federal code and/or verify all information with the appropriate regulatory agency.

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