OSHA Issues New Rules for Electric Power Industry
- OSHA issued a new section to the construction standard at 29 CFR 1926.97, Electrical Protective Equipment, which applies to all construction work. OSHA derived the new rule from the consensus standards that were adopted by reference at 29 CFR 1926.951. The rule provides flexibility by including provisions from the consensus standards that are performance-based and necessary for employee safety, but the final rule does not contain many of the detailed specifications from those standards.
- In the revised general industry and construction standards, the Agency adopted a requirement that employers determine the degree of training by the risk to the employee. In addition, there is a new requirement for employers to train qualified employees to recognize electrical hazards and to control or avoid them. Employers are now required to determine that employees have demonstrated proficiency in the specific work practices.
- OSHA added a new training requirement for employees who trim trees from power lines. The new rule now limits the voltage on isolating transformers used with cord- and lug-connected equipment to 50 volts.
- The rules now require that independent crews coordinate energizing/de-energizing lines and equipment and that they coordinate their activities under a single employee in charge.
- OSHA added 29 CFR 1910.269, Appendix E, containing information on protecting employees from electric arcs.
- 29 CFR 1926, Subpart V, Electric Power Transmission and Distribution, is revised to assure that the standards that apply to the construction of electric power transmission and distribution installations are more consistent with the requirements for these installations under the general industry standard at 29 CFR 1910.
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