To win an electrical accident injury case, your lawyer must first show that the defendant company or government agency broke an electrical safety standard.
There are two main safety standards about electric power and its wiring.
- The National Electrical Code sets minimum requirements for safe electricity inside of buildings, such as homes, businesses and industrial locations.
- The National Electrical Safety Code sets the minimum standards for safe electricity in the power lines and power transmission outside of buildings.
Please note that each Code is a minimum standard. A specific situation may require more distance to a hot wire than the minimums set out in the relevant Code.
In addition, the public utility commission of each state will have specific standards that apply to the electrical power transmission lines.
As part of the Federal regulations, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has safety standards to protect workers from electrocution burns. For the OSHA standards on operation and maintenance of electric power generation, control, transformation, transmission, and distribution lines and equipment, see OSHA Standard no. 1910.269.
To sort through the codes and standards and apply them to your case, an electrical expert will be consulted by your electrical accident attorney.
For attorneys: the NEC and NESC are copyrighted standards, sometimes available in libraries, government offices and public utilities offices, and may be purchased. The NEC is more commonly available than the NESC.
The local jurisdiction’s statutes, ordinances or regulations will determine which version of a code applies. The public utility commission staff can help determine the applicable standard.