Guide to the 2023 National Electrical Safety Codes

by | Nov 3, 2022 | 0 comments |

The National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) has been creating standards for electric and telecom utility companies since 1914. Every five years the code is updated, and the 2023 edition goes into effect on February 1st, 2023.

The goal of the updates is to protect workers, facilities, and the public during the installation, operation, and maintenance of communication and power supplies. It is edited and published by the IEEE Standards Association after receiving approval from the American National Standards Institute.

NESC codes are not the same as the National Electric Code. NESC codes focus on outdoor and below-ground equipment and structures. The National Electric Code applies to indoor wiring.

Here’s a brief look at the National Electrical Safety Codes for 2023 and who is affected.


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2023 National Electrical Safety Codes


The NESC safety codes apply to the following,

  • Everyone in a position of leadership, engineering, design, operations, and safety trainers in utility companies
  • Companies providing any electrical service, including internet, cable, and telecommunications.
  • Railroads
  • Contractors and consultants
  • State and federal regulatory agencies.

2023 NESC Updated Codes


  • Changes and additions to rules 190 through 195 covering photovoltaic generating stations.
  • Rule 166c now makes exceptions for shorter cables and short-circuit protection running less than 1,000 volts.
  • Rule 320B clarifies the separations applying to communications and supply in varying conduit systems.
  • Table 410-4 is updated to reflect the latest arc flash testing on live-front transformers.
  • An exception is added to Rule 092A that permits the ungrounding of safety battery systems, including protection and control.
  • A revision to Rules 234 B1, C1, and D1, coordinate vertical and horizontal wind clearances to meet the requirements in the newly added Table 234-7.
  • A revision in Rule 120A addresses clearances on higher elevations.
  • Table 253-1 is updated to reduce the load factor for components made from the fiber-reinforced polymer in Grade C construction.
  • A specific radio frequency safety program is required for all employees who may face exposure under Rule 410A.
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