Energized Electrical Work Permit

Energized Electrical Work Permit

Your facility needs to create an energized electrical work permit as required by NFPA 70E. You should include this permit in your electrical safety program and your electrical safety training. These permits can help eliminate live electrical work, which should be your goal. By eliminating live electrical work you will reduce arc flash hazards, and electrical shock hazards.


A permit is not required for testing, troubleshooting, measuring voltage, thermography and visual inspections. Access to and egress from an area with energized electrical equipment if no electrical work is performed and the restricted boundary is not crossed. An exemption also exists for general housekeeping as long as the restricted boundary is not crossed.

“Working On”

There are two kinds of “Working On” as defined by NFPA 70E. Diagnostics and repair. Diagnostics does not require a permit, repair does. Repair means any physical alteration of the circuit. Replacing or removing of components.

Arc flash hazard, energized electrical work permit
Control Panel

When Are Required

A worker crossing the restricted boundary with the intent to alter the circuit would require a permit. If the worker was to interact with a circuit, even if the conductors were not exposed, but where there existed an increased likelihood of an arc flash occurring, a permit would be required. Such as racking in a breaker, or performing switching of a large breaker.

Elements Of A Permit

An energized electrical work permit must include, among other things, justification to why the work has to be done live. A lot of live work is stopped right here, because your justification written down on paper somehow doesn’t sound as good. And it might be hard to sign your name to it. For a complete list of what needs included see NFPA 70E 130.2(B)


There is a sample permit along with an energized electrical work permit flow chart that takes you through the decision making process.


An energized electrical work permit will help eliminate live work at your facility. It requires us to justify and document live electrical work. Exposure to energized conductors can lead to injuries from arc flash and shock hazards. And finally, it will help keep you in compliance and maybe prevent a tragedy.



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