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.

November 8, 1994

Mr. Charles J. Kelly Manager, Occupational Safety and Health Edison Electric Institute 701 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, D.C. 20004-2696

Dear Mr. Kelly:

This is in response to your June 17 letter requesting interpretation of the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution standard, 29 CFR 1910.269. Please accept our apology for the delay in responding. Specifically, you requested clarification pertaining to the following question. Our reply follows.

Question: Does 1910.269(l)(1)(i)(D) eliminate the need for the required two-man crew by exempting insulated aerial lifts or is the two-man crew still required. If so, why?

Reply: Paragraphs (l)(1)(i)(A) through (l)(1)(i)(E) of section 1910.269 list operations requiring the presence of at least two employees. To be in compliance with 1910.269(l)(1)(i) an employer must have at least two qualified employees present during work involving any of these operations. Paragraph (l)(1)(i)(D) requires work involving the use of mechanical equipment, other than insulated aerial lifts, near parts energized at more than 600 volts, to be performed when at least two employees are present. The "insulated aerial lift exception" applies only to paragraph (l)(1)(i)(D). If work to which paragraphs (l)(1)(i)(A), (B), (C) or (E) applies is performed, the presence of a second employee is still required regardless of whether the work is performed out of an insulated aerial lift. For example, when an employee is installing a transformer from an insulated aerial lift and is exposed to contact with parts energized at more than 600 volts, an additional employee must be present under paragraph (l)(1)(i)(C). On the other hand, an employee working from an insulated aerial lift to inspect hardware on an energized line could work alone.

Comprehensive exceptions to the two-employees rule given in paragraph (l)(1)(i) are contained in paragraph (l)(1)(ii). Work involving any of the operations listed in paragraph (l)(1)(ii) is exempted from the two-employee rule. Thus, routine switching, hot stick work, and emergency repairs are permitted to be performed by an employee working alone, even when a second employee would otherwise be required under paragraph (l)(1)(i). The explanation for this provision is at 59 FR 4380 and 4381.

We appreciate your interest in employee safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please contact the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance, Ronald Davies on 202-219-8041 extension 110.


John B. Miles, Jr., Director Directorate of Compliance Programs