OSHA 1910.269 Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution (operation & maintenance)

OSHA 1926.960 Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution (construction)

1910.269 cover’s the general Occupational Safety and Health requirements for, the operation and maintenance of Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution. 1926.960 cover’s the Occupational Safety and Health requirements for Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution construction. The revision of these regulations has been in the works for at least 8 years and it has just been announced they are ready to be published. OSHA has indicated that the final rule will be published in the federal register on April 11th and become effective 90 days later.

Important changes relative to FR clothing:

The previous editions of these standards were very general in stating what workers need to wear for flame and arc protection, stating “The employer shall ensure that each employee who is exposed to the hazards of flame or electric arc does not wear clothing that, when exposed to flames or electric arcs, could increase the extent of injury.” This required a judgment by the employer and implies they would have to assess the workplace for exposures levels.

The new editions are much more specific about what to do to protect workers.

1. First they specifically state that employers are required to assess the workplace to identify employees exposed to hazards from flame or from electric arcs. And they must make a reasonable estimate of the incident heat energy to which these employees would be exposed.
2. Second they state the employer is required to provide workers with flame-resistant clothing when the estimated incident energy exceeds 2 cal/cm². It also specifically states the entire body needs to be included with a few exempt situations. That means face and head protection as well as FR clothing. The level of protection is based on the estimated incident energy exposure found in the assessment.

When are Companies Required to Comply?

There are a couple of different compliance dates.

1. The first compliance date is January 1, 2015. This is the date when companies are required to have made their assessment of the reasonable estimate of incident energy exposure.
2. The second date is April 1, 2015. This is the date when workers must be wearing the appropriate arc rated clothing.