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Thread: Electrical Safety Code in Mexico?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Electrical Safety Code in Mexico?

    What electrical safety code is Mexico required to comply with? I've heard that though they've adopted the NEC, they don't require compliance with NFPA 70E.

    My company just purchased a few plants in Mexico and we need to start setting up an electrical safety program for them.

    Thanks for any advice you can give. Whatever safety code they require, I'm going to need to lay my hands on it.

  2. #2
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    Rutland, VT, USA
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    I don't think that NFPA 70E has been adopted by any state as a compliance document but it is referenced by OSHA as a document that is followed will enable the OSHA electrical safety regulations to be satisfied.

    I don't know of any OSHA type regulatory agency in Mexico but I don't see how you can go wrong be using NFPA 70E for guidance in developing an electrical safety program including an arc flash study.k

    I did a study for a US manufacturing firm that had a facility in Spain. There is no requirement in Spain for arc flash but this company wanted to do the same for it's Spanish employees as it does for the US employees. We did have to redesign our arc flash labels to EU standards and had to put them in Spanish.

  3. #3
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    I (woefully) spent almost 3 years overseeing a sales/engineering team in Latin America. I’ll try to avoid descending into a political rant here.

    In a nutshell, there is a direct analog to OSHA in Mexico, in charge of worker safety and adherence to safety standards. They also, just like OSHA, suggest NFPA 70E as a reference standard for electrical safety. In ADDITION, their equivalent to our Social Security Administration is also tasked with workplace health issues and has a separate team looking at adherence to safe workplace standards. So you would think it could actually be more stringent and if you ask for an official stance, it will actually sound as though it can be harder for employers to meet safety standards there than it is here.

    But in what basically boils down to being a kleptocracy governmental system, how the standards are enforced is generally dictated by the size of the wheelbarrow carrying cash... I can’t count the number of times I was in a meeting room discussing a large project and was asked, by my local reps, to wait out in the hall while they did the “final negotiations” between the contractors, owners and government reps so that my company could maintain “plasible deniability” of what it took to get any project launched down there.

    So I’ll put it this way. A RESPONSIBLE company in our country who is opening facilities there would be BEST SERVED by maintaining the same standards for worker safety in all of their facilities. Besides the morality issue a compelling economic reason is that should there be an accident and it is investigated by someone, like the press or a political opponent, and it is discovered that the Mexican facility was using lower standards for worker safety than their US counterparts in the same company, then the US company can quickly get pulled into a huge mess and lose a lot more than they may have thought they were saving.
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    Many people are shocked when they discover I am not a good electrician...

  4. #4
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    Apr 2016
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    Can you remember the name of Mexico's governmental organization which is an equivalent to OSHA, and which references NFPA 70E?

  5. #5
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    Google search.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=mexi...nt=firefox-b-1

    Mexico’s equivalent to the United States’ EPA and OSHA are the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and the Department of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS). These federal agencies of the Mexican government enforce laws, provide guidelines, and conduct audits.
    https://offshoregroup.com/nearshore-...ty-and-health/
    "Electricity is really just organized lightning." George Carlin


    Derek

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Tennessee
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    A company I worked with had sister facilities in Mexico. We learned quickly that in anything from "code" issues to material procurement, there was the official requirement and the unofficial requirement both of which usually involved cash. If a part was needed quickly there was always a representative that could expedite things often times requiring a night time delivery and a brown envelope.
    At my age, I'm accustomed to restaurants asking me to pay in advance, but now my bank has started sending me their calendar one month at a time.

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