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1) The only article in the 2011 edition of the National Electrical Code that can be used as basis to keep the drywallers away from outlets would be the generic code per Article 100, under the definition of a Qualified Person (italicized and underlined below):
One who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations and has received safety training to recognize and avoids the hazards involved.
2) On page 33 of the 2011 Handbook edition of the NEC explains in more detail, the electrical safety in the workplace. These are excerpts from NFPA 70E electrical safety standard. This area for electrical safety is discussed in greater detail regarding employee training for both qualified and unqualified persons. NFPA 70E goes into much more detail on electrical safety training than the National Electrical Code does.
3) Unfortunately, there are no other sections within the NEC that mandate as to the order of how wire, receptacles, switches, etc. should be installed prior to or after drywall is installed.
4) You are not the only electrician who encounters this on the job. Been down this road numerous times. The only other recommendation I can make is to bring this to the attention of the project Superintendent or Project Manager prior to the start of the project if the job is large enough to have one. If no Super or Project Manager, then the Remodeling Contractor or Project Contractor needs to be made aware of what is taking place. On the next project such as this one, include some terms and conditions verbiage in the electrical contract that will prevent the drywallers from doing this activity.
5) It is also possible to review local electrical codes. Perhaps, the AHJ has written into their local codes that will prevent this from occurring.
6) If this is occurring on a union job, bring this to the attention of the Steward and/or Business Agent. If this occurs on a non-union job, bring it to the attention of the General Contractor since the drywallers are encroaching upon electrical work.
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