Static Electricity and UL 971


Your web site gives information regarding the close relationship IAEI has with UL, with both having focus on safety issues related to electrical issues. I wonder how and what is your input and influence when UL is submitting standards and test procedures such as UL 971 (plastic pipes for fuel transport). In this standard there is no clause and no requirement for static protection and grounding at all. Even though UL 971 should be in harmony with the NFPA 77, the static electricity is forgotten. — M.C.



This message is in response to your request for information about static electricity issues when plastic piping is used for transport. This subject is beyond the scope of NEC requirements. Often UL Standards writing has input from industry professionals that have expertise in a given field to attain the most meaningful input and to work on developing comprehensive product safety standards. IAEI does not have a representative on the UL 971 Standards Technical Panel (STP). IAEI does not have a representative on NFPA 77 technical committee. It is not cost effective for IAEI to provide these representatives because of the limited situations where these types of problems arise, and the lack of coverage of this subject in the NEC.

The information provided in the article I wrote for IAEI News (May-June 2004) was an effort to raise awareness levels of static electricity hazards, specifically in hazardous (classified) locations that are covered by the NEC. I used related information with NFPA 77 to support the concepts I was providing readers in that article. For additional information about static electricity, I suggest referring to National Fire Protection Association directly. Perhaps NFPA could put you in touch with a member of the NFPA 77 technical committee or other resources who might be able to assist you with your specific questions and concerns. I apologize for my delay in this response. — Michael Johnston, CMP-5

Michael Johnston
Michael Johnston is NECA’s executive director of standards and safety. Prior to his position with NECA, Mike was director of education codes and standards for IAEI. Mike holds a BS in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. Mike is the chairman of the NEC Correlating Committee. He served on NEC CMP-5 in the 2002, 2005, and chair of CMP-5 representing NECA for the 2011 NEC cycle. Among his responsibilities for managing the codes, standards, and safety functions for NECA, Mike is secretary of the NECA Codes and Standards Committee. Johnston is a member of the IBEW and is an active member of ANSI, IAEI, NFPA, SES, ASSE, ANSI-EVSP and ANSI-ESSCC, and the UL Electrical Council, the National Safety Council and vice chair of the NFPA Electrical Section.