Compliance to Standards and Statutory Laws

What is a Statutory Law?

What do NFPA 70, BS 7671 and AS/NZS 3000 have in common? The former is National Electrical Code (U.S.), the next is the wing regulation in the United Kingdom and the later is the Wiring Rules (Australia and New Zealand). All of them are electrical standards and statutory laws at the same time. This also applies to the Philippine Electrical Code (PEC).

Standards are used as guidelines for Engineers and practitioners to ensure safety of installations or equipments. Designers may or may not comply with them as long as supporting calculations are presented to support the design. In the event of incidents however, it could lead to losing court battles if not complied with.

Standards which are Statutory Laws need to be complied with else the installation will be doomed. It could lead to work stoppages, fines, cancellation of permits or worse imprisonment. In the events that some standards do not have a significant delineation of requirements, statutory requirements prevails.

Order of Precedence

The order of precedence of compliance shall be:

  1. Local Laws and Regulations- These are the rules and regulations within the locality where the project will be constructed,
  2. National Statutory Laws - These refer to the laws as enacted by the national government.
  3. Project specifications and datasheets
  4. National and International Standards
  5. Code of Practice

Conflict Resolution

In the event of a conflict in various laws and standards, the most stringent of the requirement generally govern. Any matters that requires interpretation shall be referred to legal authorities for resolution.