The National Electrical Safety Code: Engaging the Next Generation of Engineers

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Can you imagine a world without electricity? We have a lot of engineers to thank for the wonders of electricity, and we are looking to engage and support the next generation of engineers who will change and evolve our power and energy systems.

IEEE is committed to helping young engineers get involved, offering IEEE Power & Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative opportunities to students interested in pursuing a career in power and energy. It is this next generation of electrical engineers that will keep the lights on.

The opportunities are plentiful for electrical engineers and benefits include good wages, mentorship, advancement, and the prospect of providing environmentally responsible and safe services to the public, our economy, and the nation. There is a lot going on in the power industry and the time is ripe to get involved.

As electricity is deployed in new ways and in every reach throughout the world, there are serious risks that need to be tackled. One could say that, with great power comes great responsibility for safety. This is why electrical engineers come together and go through a rigorous review of the National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC®), to keep the code up-to-date and useful for the protection of the public, electrical professionals, equipment, and property. With a new edition released every five years, the NESC has a track record of over 100 years of addressing particular electrical safety concerns for persons during the installation, operation, or maintenance of electrical supply and communication lines.

The collaboration and wide participation of electrical engineers and others in the power and energy industry have been key to the success of the NESC in helping provide best practices for safety of electricity supply and communication utility systems to both public and private utilities for many generations. As a review cycle comes to an end with the 2017 Edition of NESC launching in August 2016, it is time to start thinking about what’s next. Again, we look to the rising of next generation electrical engineers to challenge, review, and write a code for the future.

As May is National Electrical Safety Month, it is an opportune time to raise awareness about electrical hazards because education is a great defense against these real safety hazards. However, there is also a need for more to participate in this effort. We hope to encourage more students to join this team of engineers that are not only powering the world, but also seeking to help keep it safe.

Happy National Electrical Safety Month!