National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) Questions

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What is the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC)?

The National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) is a national safety standard for the installation and operation of electric transmission and distribution by electric utilities. In general it covers the lines and equipment not covered by the National Electric Code (NEC) which is used by builders, electrical contractors, and homeowners.

The NESC is an ANSI standard that is managed and published by IEEE. According to IEEE, "the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) sets the ground rules for practical safeguarding of persons during the installation, operation, or maintenance of electric supply and communication lines and associated equipment. The NESC contains the basic provisions that are considered necessary for the safety of employees and the public under the specified conditions."

IEEE defines the scope of the NESC as follows: "The NESC covers supply and communication lines, equipment, and associated work practices employed by a public or private electric supply, communications, railway, or similar utility in the exercise of its function as a utility. The rules of the NESC covers similar systems under the control of qualified persons, such as those associated with an industrial complex or utility interactive system. NESC® rules do not cover installations in mines, ships, railway rolling equipment, aircraft, or automotive equipment, or utilization wiring except as covered in Parts 1 and 3. For building utilization wiring requirements, see the National Electrical Code® (NEC®), NFPA 70-1999."

The information presented above attempts to answer common questions about the NESC to help the reader understand the Code. Additional rules may apply and the reader should use this information only as a starting point to aid in reading the Code and investigating the actual Code requirements for the situation under consideration.