After a year of negotiations and 16 drafts, unionized electricians, contractors, and federal regulators in Columbus, Ohio, have reached an agreement to implement an NFPA safety standard that protects electrical workers on the job. First drafted in 1976 and updated regularly, NFPA 70E, “Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces,” specifies protective clothing, face shields, and gloves for use on jobsites.

The Columbus office of OSHA, the Central Ohio chapter of NECA, and Locals 683 and 1105 of IBEW teamed up to develop the program. The National Joint Apprentice and Training Committee, will be responsible for development and coordination of training for the program.

Under the plan, contractors will purchase necessary safety equipment and administer the program. OSHA will monitor the program’s progress to make sure it’s proceeding correctly and according to the standard. The hope is that electrical workers will experience fewer injuries, their employers will have lower worker’s compensation costs, and the Columbus OSHA office will report a lower recordable-accident rate.