- Standard Number:
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.
April 18, 1991
Mr. William Dillon
Virginia Occupational Safety & Health
Commonwealth of Virginia
Department of Labor and Industry
205 North Fourth Street
P.O. Box 12064
Richmond, Virginia 23241
Dear Mr. Dillon:
This letter is in response to the following questions from John Crisanti:
1) Does Federal OSHA consider extension cords, connected to the permanent wiring of a building on a construction site, to be temporary wiring?
2) Are the receptacles on such cords required to be protected by GFCIs or an assured equipment grounding program?
The response to both questions is "Yes". OSHA Standards 29 CFR 1926.404 (b)(1)(i)- (iii) require that such extension cord sets be protected by GFCIs or an assured equipment grounding program.
This response is based on specific guidance contained in the preamble to the Final rule for Electrical Standards for Construction (29 CFR 1926.400-449); which was published in the Federal Register on July 11, 1986.
The following pertinent statement from page 25310 of the referenced Federal Register, a copy of which is enclosed, clearly stated OSHA's intent on this matter:
"For example, under the OSHA regulation for GFCIs, protection must be provided for the receptacles on the end of extension cord sets even if the extension cords are supplied by permanent wiring".
If you require any additional information regarding this matter, please contact John McFee of my staff at 215-596-1201.
LINDA R. ANKU
.....EXCERPT FROM FEDERAL REGISTER
Vol. 51, No. 133, Friday, July 11, 1986 Page 25310
Section 1926.404 Wiring design and protection.
For example, under the OSHA regulation for GFCIs, protection must be provided for the receptacle outlets on the end of extension cord sets even if the extension cords are supplied by permanent wiring. Under the NEC, GFCI protection is only required when temporary wiring is used and all the requirements for running temporary wiring (Article 305 of the 1984 NEC) are met. Other significant differences exist between the OSHA and NEC requirements for the assured equipment grounding conductor program. Since the OSHA regulation provides greater employee protection, compliance with analogous 1984 NEC provisions alone will not be acceptable under Subpart K.