National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC®) Sees Growing International Utilization


This past year the IEEE announced the availability of the Spanish language edition of the 2017 NESC Handbook as part of a global initiative to share best electrical safety practices and procedures more broadly around the world. In doing so, IEEE is helping create opportunities for foreign regions to adopt these type of standards and save time and effort by utilizing the shared best practices related to electrical safety that is comprised within the NESC.

To shed more light on the growing importance of NESC as an invaluable international document, Ernesto Vega Janica, Senior Manager Opportunities Development, Business Development & Alliance Management, IEEE Standards Association, shared information on the ongoing activities undertaken by IEEE to further promote utilization of the NESC around the world.

 Q: Why do you think the NESC has garnered growing interest internationally?

We’ve seen greater international input to the code, as well as a growing interest to leverage the many years of experience with electrical safety practices that the NESC represents. As part of IEEE’s global efforts to work cooperatively with foreign national electrical bodies, regulatory committees, and utilities, it’s become clear that there is a real desire to utilize the NESC as a reference for electrical safety standards development around the world. In fact, we’ve been encouraged by the level of input to the code that has helped us stay abreast of emerging technologies in a rapidly changing landscape, and our efforts to reach out globally support an overarching goal to promote and share comprehensive electrical safety principles as broadly as possible.

Q: What are some of the latest initiatives that are contributing to the growing international utilization of the NESC?

Last year’s translation of the NESC Handbook represented the first step in our efforts to share the most up-to-date content in users’ native language and that is proving to help bolster electrical safety across a broad range of applications and deployment scenarios in Spanish-speaking countries. This is being followed by the translation of seven NESC eLearning modules to be completed this year. While the Spanish language edition of the NESC Handbook displays the Code’s regulatory content in English, all the commentary from experts and historical references have been translated to Spanish. That said, our next translation efforts will take things one step further.

Q: What is in the works as part of global outreach related to the NESC?

Presently, the NESC and the associated seven eLearning modules are being translated into Chinese Mandarin with a target publication date in the third quarter of 2019. This is quite a large undertaking addressing a very large and viable audience for the code—one that is particularly challenging in that, unlike the Spanish translation, the entire NESC content is being translated into Mandarin. In doing so, we’re really creating a unique opportunity for the bodies responsible for ensuring electrical safety in China.

An update on upcoming NESC activities includes the publication of the NESC Preprint (available now for preorder) on 1 July 2019, opening a critical 8-month public comment period for the 2022 NESC that closes 1 March 2020. Additionally, Registration for the NESC Workshop to be held 2-3 October 2019, in Kansas City, Missouri is now open. The NESC Workshop presents a unique opportunity for the NESC community to hear about initial subcommittee recommendations on key change proposals and to solicit the necessary public input that will help to determine the content of the 2022 NESC.

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