2017 Edition of the National Electrical Safety Code is Available Now

A new handbook and workshop gets you up to speed on revisions to the authoritative code

25 August 2016

The U.S. National Electrical Safety Code is the go-to standard of care for any organization concerned with electrical safety, including utilities, contractors, manufacturers, phone companies, and railroads. Published by the IEEE Standards Association, the NESC is the authoritative code for ensuring the continued practical safeguarding of people and utility facilities during the installation, operation, and maintenance of electric supply and communication facilities. More than 100 countries use the U.S. code, which is updated every five years.

The 2017 edition includes new requirements for impenetrable fences used at substations and guidance on accommodating updated industry insulator ratings. In addition, the code covers how to handle aeolian vibration of conductors. The vibration is a significant problem in transmission lines because it’s the major cause of fatigue failure of conductor strands or of items associated with the support, use, and protection of the conductor.

The 2017 NESC also outlines the revisions made to the rules in Part 4 of the code so they align with the changes made by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations—which pertains to labor.


The new NESC Handbook, Premier Edition manual gives users insight into what lies behind the rules and how to apply them. The publication is aimed at those working in the electricity and communications industries, including those involved with system design, construction, maintenance, inspection, standards development, and worker training.

A workshop is scheduled for 18 and 19 October in San Antonio to review highlights of the code changes. A discussion is planned on new technologies to consider for future iterations of the code, such as renewable energy generation, microgrids, interconnection, resiliency, and wind loads. Registration for the workshop is now open.

The IEEE Standards Association will launch a mobile app be this year. And by the end of the year, IEEE plans to offer online courses covering the revised code.

The 2017 NESC, which can be purchased from the IEEE Standards store, is also available as a subscription from the IEEE Xplore Digital Library.

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