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 http://www.osha.gov.

September 30, 1985

MEMORANDUM FOR:          BYRON R. CHADWICK
                         Regional Administrator-VIII

FROM:                    JOHN B. MILES, Jr., Director
                         Directorate of Field Operations

SUBJECT:                 Interpretation of 29 CFR 1926.950(a).

This reply is in response to your memorandum of September 5, on the same subject.

As presently constituted under Subpart V-Power Transmission and Distribution, 1926.950(a) is not to be used to cite hazards involving repair of these systems. The OSHRC Decision dated May 2, 1977 Docket No. 11107 is attached for further information on this subject.

It is suggested that under similar circumstances Chapter IV of the FOM be consulted for the evaluation of a potential 5(a)(1) situation. If the four elements of a 5(a)(1) violation cannot be established, a letter will be sent to the employer and the employee representative (with a copy to the Directorate or Field Operations through the Regional Administrator) describing the hazard and suggesting corrective action. See: FOM Chapter IV, A. 2. f. (2)(b) and Appendix C-1 of the IMIS Forms Manual.

It is important that the letter be utilized in this type of situation to indicate to the National Office the need for a standard covering repair of power transmission and distribution systems.

Attachment