The 2014 edition of the National Electric Code (NEC) is coming out this September. It will contain scores of changes for property, facility, utility and plant managers. If your organization has not already done so, this makes NOW the time to plan your budget and maintenance action plan to handle the changes.

The NEC updates the code every three years and although it is not legally binding many States, cities and municipalities adopt or even modify the code in an effort to standardize electrical practices and provide a reasonable safety guide for consumers and workers.

Probable NEC changes for 2014

After reading through countless pages of proposed changes (there were 3,745 proposed), It is evident that the changes are designed to accommodate new technology and energy systems available in the market as well as consumer protection. The changes affect virtually every industry including property management, data centers, hospitals and universities.

You can find a complete listing of the proposed changes on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) website (you do have to join first if you want a head start). However, to give you an idea of the scope involved the list below highlights some of the types of changes coming in September.

10 Selected NEC Changes

  • New color coded marking system for caution, warnings and danger. In addition all work spaces need to be clearly identified.
  • Arcfault protection changes for kitchens and laundry in dwellings.
  • New code for Electrical Vehicle Charging Systems.
  • Wiring and power supply requirements for ceiling power distribution systems.
  • Equipment, lighting and work space requirements for modular data centers.
  • Fire Resistive Cable Systems.
  • Emergency systems changes for encasement and emergency shutdowns.
  • Grounding and bonding of fences and metal structures.
  • Changes to the number of receptacles at general and critical care bed facilities.
  • Performance requirements for managing and conserving energy in buildings or structures.

Regardless of the industry your organization is in, there will be changes that need to be addressed. Whether you have to make a hundred or thousands of changes you will need to have a maintenance action plan in place to handle the work management.

CMMS and 2014 NEC Updates

A good action plan starts with knowing the location of each asset and its current condition. Even if you plan on outsourcing all the work, your organization is still responsible for ensuring all work has been done and assets are up to code.

“In the U.S., anyone, including the city issuing building permits, may face a civil liability lawsuit (be sued) for negligently creating a situation that results in loss of life or property. Those who fail to adhere to well known best practices for safety have been held negligent.”

Source: Wikipedia

Good maintenance managers will make use of their CMMS to handle this. This is because the core of CMMS is a database of all assets. The CMMS can produce a work order that can be given to in-house staff or to electrical subcontractors.

CMMS users will also find that the work is easily scheduled and all results are recorded and maintained in the CMMS database. The CMMS can then be used to generate an asset listing that can be used as a checklist for inspections to make sure all the work was done properly.

Given that failure to comply with State and local code requirements can result in a huge liability issue, it makes sense to have all the work recorded with the CMMS to mitigate liability claims of negligence.

Additional Maintenance Benefits with CMMS

By using CMMS to execute your action plan, your organization will gain additional advantages for the long run. The primary advantage is that all your organization’s asset information is consolidated into one centralized location.

This information can then be used to ensure periodic inspections are being performed, energy utilization is efficient and provide realistic expectations of when assets will need to be replaced.

More importantly, the asset information contained within the CMMS, provides a tremendous jumpstart for the 2017 NEC updates.