In April 2014, OSHA sent to the Federal Register the final version of new rules affecting electrical work. While these new rules have been widely promoted as effecting the electrical power transmission and distribution industry, they also make significant changes that affect work on all types of construction projects and the new rules impose requirements on employers and facility managers that can affect the design of new facilities.
An excerpt from OSHA's April 1, 2014 press release states:
OSHA is revising the 40-year-old construction standard for electric power line work to make it more consistent with the corresponding general industry standard and is also making some revisions to the construction and general industry requirements. The updated standards for general industry and construction include new or revised provisions for host and contract employers to share safety-related information with each other and with employees, as well as for improved fall protection for employees working from aerial lifts and on overhead line structures. In addition, the standards adopt revised approach-distance requirements to better ensure that unprotected workers do not get dangerously close to energized lines and equipment. The final rule also adds new requirements to protect workers from electric arcs.
General industry and construction standards for electrical protective equipment are also revised under the final rule. The new standard for electrical protective equipment applies to all construction work and replaces the existing construction standard, which was based on out-of-date information, with a set of performance-oriented requirements consistent with the latest revisions of the relevant consensus standards. The new standards address the safe use and care of electrical protective equipment, including new requirements that equipment made of materials other than rubber provide adequate protection from electrical hazards.
In short, changes to both the General Industry Standards (29 CFR 1910) and the Construction Industry Standards (29 CFR 1926) include things like the addition of a completely new section within the PPE subpart that regulates electrical PPE used in all conditions - not just on transmission and distribution systems.
This course will include an overview of all of the new standards and changes to existing regulations and will step through a comparison of the new versions of the General Industry and Construction Industry standards. This is critical for facility managers, electrical contractors and maintenance personnel, construction managers, regulatory personnel and Fire Marshals, and all other safety consultants.