The operation and maintenance of electric power generation, control, transformation, transmission and distribution lines and equipment.
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On April 1, 2014, OSHA announced the final rule revising the 1910.269 standards for electric power generation, transmission and distribution. This revised rule implements significant changes to utilities’ requirements for protecting workers from electric arcs and using flame resistant clothing, among other areas. Tyndale has compiled Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) to address key questions on the ruling and how it will impact your company and your workers. The ruling requires companies to complete a hazard assessment by January 1st, 2015 and comply with the requirements of the ruling by April 1st, 2015.
*Please Note: As of February 2015 OSHA reached a settlement with EEI and agreed it would not enforce the hazard assessment until March 31, 2015 and would not enforce the arc-flash PPE deadline until August 31, 2015.
Visit our Blog to download the FAQs and for access to the ruling in both .pdf and word versions.
Several key provisions of the new ruling are outlined below:
The employer shall ensure that each employee exposed to hazards from electric arcs wears protective clothing and other protective equipment with an arc rating greater than or equal to the heat energy estimate whenever that estimate exceeds 2.0 cal/cm2. “This protective equipment shall cover the employee’s entire body,” except for certain exemptions for hands, feet and head protection. Previously, 1910.269 required that “…each employee who is exposed to the hazards of flames or electric arcs does not wear clothing that, when exposed to flames or electric arcs, could increase the extent of the injury that would be sustained by the employee.” Under the new ruling, pants must now be provided to workers.
In the new ruling, OSHA also indicates support for allowance programs and home laundry. Whether employers take advantage of the convenience and cost-effectiveness of home laundry or choose to pay for industrial laundry, the ruling is clear that employers must also routinely inspect clothing to ensure it is not in need of repair or replacement.
FR clothing is now considered PPE. Previously, FR clothing was not explicitly considered PPE.
In addition to flame resistant apparel, there are revisions to the requirements for head protection. Faceshields with minimum arc rating of 8 cal/cm2 are required (dependent on type of exposure) and arc-rated hood or faceshield with balaclava is required at higher exposures. Download the FAQs from our blog for details.
Hand and foot protection is also discussed in the ruling; details are available in our FAQ on specific requirements.
OSHA 1910.269 applies to workers involved in transmission and distribution, generation, control and metering of electric energy.