• Part Number:
  • Part Number Title:
    Occupational Safety and Health Standards
  • Subpart:
    1910 Subpart S
  • Subpart Title:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Use of equipment.
  • GPO Source:

Portable electric equipment. This paragraph applies to the use of cord- and plug-connected equipment, including flexible cord sets (extension cords).

Handling. Portable equipment shall be handled in a manner which will not cause damage. Flexible electric cords connected to equipment may not be used for raising or lowering the equipment. Flexible cords may not be fastened with staples or otherwise hung in such a fashion as could damage the outer jacket or insulation.
Visual inspection.

Portable cord- and plug-connected equipment and flexible cord sets (extension cords) shall be visually inspected before use on any shift for external defects (such as loose parts, deformed and missing pins, or damage to outer jacket or insulation) and for evidence of possible internal damage (such as pinched or crushed outer jacket). Cord- and plug-connected equipment and flexible cord sets (extension cords) which remain connected once they are put in place and are not exposed to damage need not be visually inspected until they are relocated.

If there is a defect or evidence of damage that might expose an employee to injury, the defective or damaged item shall be removed from service, and no employee may use it until repairs and tests necessary to render the equipment safe have been made.

When an attachment plug is to be connected to a receptacle (including any on a cord set), the relationship of the plug and receptacle contacts shall first be checked to ensure that they are of proper mating configurations.


Grounding-type equipment.


A flexible cord used with grounding-type equipment shall contain an equipment grounding conductor.

Attachment plugs and receptacles may not be connected or altered in a manner which would prevent proper continuity of the equipment grounding conductor at the point where plugs are attached to receptacles. Additionally, these devices may not be altered to allow the grounding pole of a plug to be inserted into slots intended for connection to the current-carrying conductors.
Adapters which interrupt the continuity of the equipment grounding connection may not be used.

Conductive work locations. Portable electric equipment and flexible cords used in highly conductive work locations (such as those inundated with water or other conductive liquids), or in job locations where employees are likely to contact water or conductive liquids, shall be approved for those locations.

Connecting attachment plugs.

Employees' hands may not be wet when plugging and unplugging flexible cords and cord- and plug-connected equipment, if energized equipment is involved.

Energized plug and receptacle connections may be handled only with insulating protective equipment if the condition of the connection could provide a conducting path to the employee's hand (if, for example, a cord connector is wet from being immersed in water).

Locking-type connectors shall be properly secured after connection.


Electric power and lighting circuits -


Routine opening and closing of circuits. Load rated switches, circuit breakers, or other devices specifically designed as disconnecting means shall be used for the opening, reversing, or closing of circuits under load conditions. Cable connectors not of the load-break type, fuses, terminal lugs, and cable splice connections may not be used for such purposes, except in an emergency.

Reclosing circuits after protective device operation. After a circuit is deenergized by a circuit protective device, the circuit may not be manually reenergized until it has been determined that the equipment and circuit can be safely energized. The repetitive manual reclosing of circuit breakers or reenergizing circuits through replaced fuses is prohibited.

Note: When it can be determined from the design of the circuit and the overcurrent devices involved that the automatic operation of a device was caused by an overload rather than a fault condition, no examination of the circuit or connected equipment is needed before the circuit is reenergized.

Overcurrent protection modification. Overcurrent protection of circuits and conductors may not be modified, even on a temporary basis, beyond that allowed by § 1910.304(e), the installation safety requirements for overcurrent protection.


Test instruments and equipment -

Use. Only qualified persons may perform testing work on electric circuits or equipment.
Visual inspection. Test instruments and equipment and all associated test leads, cables, power cords, probes, and connectors shall be visually inspected for external defects and damage before the equipment is used. If there is a defect or evidence of damage that might expose an employee to injury, the defective or damaged item shall be removed from service, and no employee may use it until repairs and tests necessary to render the equipment safe have been made.
Rating of equipment. Test instruments and equipment and their accessories shall be rated for the circuits and equipment to which they will be connected and shall be designed for the environment in which they will be used.

Occasional use of flammable or ignitible materials. Where flammable materials are present only occasionally, electric equipment capable of igniting them shall not be used, unless measures are taken to prevent hazardous conditions from developing. Such materials include, but are not limited to: flammable gases, vapors, or liquids; combustible dust; and ignitible fibers or flyings.

Note: Electrical installation requirements for locations where flammable materials are present on a regular basis are contained in § 1910.307.

[55 FR 32016, Aug. 6, 1990; 55 FR 46054, Nov. 1, 1990]