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Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.





September 26, 1985

Mr. Michael Tyler, Administrator
Division of Occupational Safety and Health
Department of Industrial Relations
State of Nevada
1370 South Curry
Carson City, NV 89710

Dear Mike:

A Nevada standard interpretation, Standards Policy Memorandum 81-328 has been brought to Region IX's attention.

This interpretation allows the use of Romex for temporary lighting on construction sites.

The interpretation contradicts the memo sent by Mr. Gromachey to Mr. Traenkner, dated February 13, 1981 (copy attached).

Region IX requests that Nevada delete the interpretation and revert to 1926.401(j)(2) for compliance. Please submit a written response to this request by October 25, 1985.


Assistant Regional Administrator
Office of Technical Support


February 13, 1981

Mr. Alan Traenkner
Department of Occupational Safety and Health
Nevada Industrial Commission
State of Nevada
515 East Musser
Carson City, Nevada 89714

Dear Mr. Traenkner:

We have reviewed the request from State compliance personnel to allow "Romex" to be used for temporary lighting at construction sites.

The construction standard, 1926.401(j)(2), requires temporary lighting to be installed with heavy duty electric cords.

The Region would be revising the standard if Romex was an acceptable alternative, therefore, we cannot approve the use requested.

We appreciate your concern, although it is beyond our authority to accept it.


Lawrence E. Gromachey
Assistant Regional Administrator
Technical Support









STANDARDS POLICY MEMORANDUM 81-328 29 CFR 1926.401(j)(2) and 1926.402

An opinion of whether use of Romex for temporary lighting on construction jobs is a citable hazard has been requested. It has been ruled that use of Romex for this purpose is not citable unless it can be clearly demonstrated that this constitutes an immediate hazard. Factors taken into consideration in making this decision are:

1. Historically use of Romex for temporary lighting has been occurring frequently without its creating an obvious hazard or frequent injury to employees.

2. Decisions to cite should be based on conditions as they exist at the time of the inspection, i.e., Romex must be used meeting the criteria set for placement, supports and fastening, absence of damage exposing wires, etc. Romex should be cited in any instance where "heavy duty electric cords" would have been cited under similar circumstances, e.g. worn and frayed cord; stapled or hung from nails, etc.

Officially Romex cannot be recognized as a substitute for "heavy duty electric cords," however, we often have occasions when common sense decisions must be made regarding safety on the job. Therefore, in the absence of a recognized hazard in the use of Romex for temporary lighting on construction jobsites, citations and notices of violation will not be issued for its use.

Donna L. Lewis
Technical Support Coordinator