The Occupational Safety and Health Administration revised its safety regulations governing work on electric power grids in July 2014. A final rule was passed imposing new safety standards to more closely track general industry standards. These changes will result in some revisions to both the construction of power grids and the maintenance of those grids by power companies and hired contractors.
The new final rule implements new fall protection mandates, establishes minimum approach distances, puts in place protocols to prevent injury from arc-flashes, and adds additional electrical PPE requirements. As has become customary with new OSHA regulations in recent years, there are record keeping and mandatory exchanges of safety data that are part of the new rule.
The final rule went into effect in July. After delaying enforcement until October 31, 2014, OSHA has now established a temporary enforcement policy until December 31, 2014, to allow more time for contractors to acclimate to the new policy.
For more information on the changes, including the new requirements, you can go to OSHA’s specific web page on the changes here.