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OSHA Update

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Effective July 29, 2014 The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be updating is Final Rule for Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution and its Electrical Protective Equipment regulations, further improving safety protection for America’s workers.

The updates to the rules further create a safer and more organized list of standards.

The Final Rule provides the following important requirements for workers in the said fields:

General Training

  • The degree of training must be determined by risk to the worker for the hazard involved.
  • Qualified workers must have training to recognize and control or avoid electrical hazards present at the worksite.

Host Employers and Contractors

  • Host and contract employers must share information with each other on safety-related matters and must coordinate their work rules and procedures.

Minimum Approach Distances and Insulation

  • Revised minimum approach distances become effective on April 1, 2015.
  • Information to help employers establish minimum approach distances appears in appendices to the standards.

Protection from Flames and Electric Arc Hazards

  • The employer must assess the workplace to identify workers exposed to flame or electric-arc hazards.
  • No later than January 1, 2015, employers must estimate the incident heat energy of any electric-arc hazard to which a worker would be exposed.
  • No later than April 1, 2015, employers generally must provide workers exposed to hazards from electric arcs with protective clothing and other protective equipment with an arc rating greater than or equal to the estimated heat energy.
  • Information on protecting workers from flames and electric arcs appears in appendices (Appendix E) to the standards.

Deenergizing Transmission and Distribution Lines and Equipment

  • Multiple crews working together on the same lines or equipment must either: (a) coordinate their activities under a single worker in charge and work as if all of the employees formed a single crew; or (b) independently comply with the standard and, if there is no system operator in charge of the lines or equipment, have separate tags and coordinate deenergizing and reenergizing the lines and equipment with the other crews.

Protective Grounding

  • Employers may use insulating equipment other than a live-line tool for placing grounds on or removing grounds from circuits of 600 volts or less under certain conditions.
  • Information on protective grounding for deenergized lines appears in appendices (Appendix C) to the standards.

Click here to Read the Official Document