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.

June 14, 1991



SUBJECT:           Questions Pertaining to the New Electrical Standards

This is in response to your memo of March 21, in which you requested guidance relating to questions on the new electrical standards. Specifically, you asked about 1910.331(c)(1) and the exclusion for work performed by qualified people, and further, does 1910.331(c)(1) pertain to electrical services found in SIC 4911 only, or to places that generate electrical power as a separate or auxiliary operation to their main manufacturing process. You provided an example of a sugar beet plant that manufactures sugar and generates some of its electricity by using steam. Another example provided was a sawmill that uses chips for fuel to generate electricity. The sawmill uses some of the electricity and sells electricity to a nearby town. Your question is whether those portions of the plant that generate electricity are excluded under 1910.331(c)(1).

In general, if Subpart S, Part I, of the Electrical Standards applies to a given installation, then Part II, the Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices would apply as well. (Normally, if a company is selling electric power to a utility, the installation used for the generation of power would not be covered under 1910.302 or 1910.331, except for unqualified employees. This is true regardless of the proportion of company- generated power sold to the utility.) Thus, in the specifically referenced sugar beet plant and sawmill, both Parts I and II of Subpart S would apply for all utilization equipment (no electric power generation or distribution) the same as in any general industry facility.

We would point out that the new Part II Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices standard applies to unqualified persons even in those portions of an installation that are exempt. Furthermore, Part II applies to unqualified persons in all circumstances otherwise exempted by the exclusions contained in Subpart S - Electrical, at 1910.302 (a)(2)(v), which states the following are not covered: "Installations under the exclusive control of electric utilities for the purpose of communication or metering; or for the generation, control, transformation, transmission, and distribution of electric energy located in buildings used exclusively by utilities for such purposes or located outdoors on property owned or leased by the utility or on public highways, streets, roads, etc., or outdoors by established rights on private property".

You had a separate question concerning 1910.333(b)(2)(v)(C)(1). The provision relates to de-energizing equipment and describes removing an employee's lock when the employee is not at the "workplace." In 1910.147 the term "facility" is used. You asked if both terms were synonymous. Yes, both terms are synonymous.

We hope this has helped to clarify your concerns.