• Record Type:
    OSHA Instruction
  • Current Directive Number:
    CSP 01-01-028
  • Old Directive Number:
    STP 2-1.172
  • Title:
    Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment; Final Rule
  • Information Date:

OSHA Instruction STP 2-1.172 April 15, 1994 Office of State Programs

Subject: Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment; Final Rule

A. Purpose. This instruction describes a Federal Program Change to the Regions and State designees.

B. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.

C. Federal Program Change. This instruction describes a Federal Program Change which effects State programs. Each Regional Administrator shall:

1. Ensure that this instruction is forwarded to each State designee.
2. Provide a copy of the Federal Register notice to the State designee upon request.
3. Explain the technical content of the Federal Register notice at 59 FR 4320, January 31, 1994, Electrical Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment, to the State designees upon request.
4. Inform each State designee that under 29 CFR 1953.23(a) and (b), the State must, within six months of the date of the Federal Register publication listed in item 3 above, amend its final rule or adopt the final rule to ensure that the State standard is at least as effective as the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment; Final Rule. The State must submit a plan supplement to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of State promulgation.
5. Ensure that each State designee acknowledges receipt of this instruction in writing, within 30 days of notification, to the Regional Administrator. The acknowledgment should include (a) the State's plan to adopt and implement the standard change, (b) the State's plan to develop an alternative change, which is as effective, or (c) the reasons why no change is necessary to maintain a program which is as effective as the Federal program.
6. Inform State designees with existing electric power generation, transmission, and distribution; electrical protective equipment standards that they can choose to submit their standards now in comparison document format, with their justification for why any different provisions are at least as effective, and let OSHA review the standard before they make any revisions. This will allow a State to avoid conducting two separate rulemaking processes in order to make any changes that may be needed.

D. Different State Standards. Section 18(c) of the Act requires that State standards be "at least as effective" as the Federal and, when applicable to products used or distributed in interstate commerce, the standards must be required by compelling local conditions and not unduly burden interstate commerce. In addition to the "at least as effective" criterion, this "product clause test" will be applied to State standards with substantively different requirements from the comparable Federal standard, as described in STP 2-1.117. A State standard expanded in scope from the Federal is considered to be a substantively different standard.

E. Interim Enforcement. Under 29 CFR 1953.23(a) and (b), State plan States are provided up to six months from publication of the Federal standard in the Federal Register to promulgate an identical or "at least as effective" standard. During the interim period prior to adoption, the State should make every effort to enforce the substantive provisions of the new or revised Federal standard through existing State standards, a general duty clause, or other enforcement mechanism. Federal enforcement assistance will be provided, as necessary, in States without final approval (18(e) determination), and technical assistance in 18(e) final approval States.

F. Effective Date. The final rule, except for 29 CFR 1910.269(a)(2), is effective on May 31, 1994. Paragraph (a)(2) of CFR 1910.269 which concerns training requirements, is effective on January 31, 1995. The effective date for an identical or different State promulgation or the Federal effective date, whichever is later. Where a Federal standard contains delayed effective dates for various provisions, the State effective date for these provisions may be no later than the delayed Federal dates or the date of State promulgation, whichever is later.

G. Explanation.

1. On January 31, 1994, OSHA issued a new standard at 29 CFR 1910.269, Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution, effective May 31, 1994 (except for training requirements at (a)(2) which are effective January 31, 1995), addressing the work practices to be used during the operation and maintenance of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution facilities. The standard includes requirement relating to enclosed spaced, hazardous energy control, working near energized parts, grounding for employee protection, work on underground and overhead installations, line-clearance tree trimming, work in substations and generating plants, and other special conditions and equipment unique to the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric energy. Compliance with these requirements will prevent injuries to employees working on electric power system.
2. OSHA is also revising the electrical protective equipment requirements at 29 CFR 1910.137, effective May 31, 1994. The current standards for the design of electrical protective equipment adopt several national consensus standards by reference. The revision replaces the incorporation of these out-of-date consensus standards with a set of performance- oriented requirements that are consistent with the latest revisions of these consensus standards. Additionally, OSHA is issuing new requirements for the safe use and care of electrical protective equipment to complement the equipment design provisions. These revisions will update the existing OSHA standards and will prevent accidents caused by inadequate electrical protective equipment.

Joseph A. Dear Assistant Secretary

DISTRIBUTION: National and Regional Offices State Designees 18(b) State Monitors OSHA Training Institute OSHA Computerized Information System (OCIS)