OSHA Electrical Shock
National Electrical Safety Month – What Did You Do?

Electrical Safety Month is over, but Safety is Important Year Round

May marked the time of year for National Electrical Safety Month. What did you and/or your employer do to participate? Many Employers held toolbox talks on electrical hazards in their facilities or about the job performed by employees in the field. They may have done refresher training for their employees or, more simply, handed out an OSHA quick card.

Electrocutions are one of the fatal four for the construction industry. Among the General Industry Standards, multiple electrical standards made the top 10 most frequently violated and cited standards in 2014. The cited standards include: control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), electrical wiring methods for components and equipment, and electrical systems design under general requirements.

Working with electricity can be dangerous if someone is not trained properly. Most jobs require the use of an energy source. Electricity is the most typical type of energy usage. Such professions as engineers, linemen, electricians, and others work with electricity directly, including overhead power lines. Even though it may be indirect, office workers may also be exposed to electrical hazards.

OSHA’s electrical standard for general industry in the 29 CFR regulations for general industry in Subpart S, or starting at §1910.301. As a reminder on some of handling basics when dealing with live energy, you should use equipment that is approved to meet OSHA standards. You should not Continue Reading…

OSHA Revises Electrical Standards

On April 1, 2014, OSHA announced a forthcoming rule change on electrical safety requirements. Specifically, the changes are for: Power Generation, transmission, and distribution and protective equipment.

“This long-overdue update will save nearly 20 lives and prevent 118 serious injuries annually,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Electric utilities, electrical contractors and labor organizations have persistently championed these much-needed measures to better protect the men and women who work on or near electrical power lines.”

OSHA is revising the 40-year old Construction Standard to align it with the current General Industry standards. There are many different definitions under each standard, yet there is enough overlap to ensure the same regulations apply to the same working situation. Along with the merging of some existing rules, OSHA has revised some existing ones including Fall Protection, Minimum Approach Distances and Arc-Flash protection.

On June 20, 2014, OSHA issued it’s “Temporary Citation Policy” that will become effective July 10, 2014 and continue through October 31, 2014.

Temporary citation areas includes:

  • 29 CFR 1910.137(b) – Design requirements for other types of electrical protective equipment (General Industry);
  • 29 CFR 1910.269 – Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations (General Industry);
  • 29 CFR 1926.97(b) – Design requirements for other types of electrical protective equipment (Construction); and
  • 29 CFR 1926 Subpart V – Power Transmission and Distribution (Construction).

Enforcement on these regulations is being delayed until October 31, 2014, allowing about a Continue Reading…