- 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 https://www.osha.gov.
May 9, 1995
Ms. Mary A. Zmuda
The Quaker Oats Company
P. O. Box 049001
Chicago, ILL. 60604-9001
Dear Ms. Zmuda:
This is in response to your August 3, 1994 letter, addressed to Mr. James F. Foster, former Director of the Office of Information and Consumer Affairs, requesting clarification of the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Standard, 29 CFR 1910.269. Your letter was forwarded to the Directorate of Compliance Programs for response. In your letter you specifically requested that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) clarify what constitutes "supplementary electric generating equipment that is used to supply a workplace for emergency, standby, or similar purposes only" as delineated in the note following 1910.269(a)(1)(i)(A). Your cogeneration plant scenario and corresponding questions and our reply follow. Please accept our apology for the delay in responding.
Scenario: The Quaker Oats Company has a utility-type generation installation at a work site originally intended but never used as a cogeneration plant. The Quaker Oats Company intends to comply with the 1910.269 standard as it would apply to this installation if used as a cogeneration plant in the future.
Question 1: Would this cogeneration plant in its present inactive status as a utility-type generation installation be covered by 1910.269 if used to provide the work site with emergency electric power during an outage?
Question 2: If the cogeneration plant is tested annually to ensure its operability, would the plant be covered by 1910.269 at the time of testing?
Reply: If the cogeneration plant installation conforms to 1910.303 through 1910.308 and the employee(s) to perform the work are qualified, the employer may opt to comply with the 1910 Subpart S Electrical Standard when testing or when using this installation to provide emergency electric power to the work site. Otherwise, the employer must comply with applicable 1910.269 requirements.
Appendices A-1 through A-5 of the Electric Power Generation Standard provide guidance for employers trying to implement the requirements of 1910.269 in combination with other 1910 General Industry standards including not only the 1910 Subpart S Electrical Standard, but also the 1910.147 Lockout/Tagout Standard and the 1910.146 Permit-Required Confined Space Standard. Page 4334 of the preamble to the enclosed Electric Power Generation Final Rule was used as a reference for this reply.
We appreciate your interest in employee safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please contact Mr. Ronald Davies of my staff, telephone 202-219-8031, extension 110.
John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs
August 3, 1994
James F. Foster
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210
Dear Mr. Foster:
Regarding 1910.269, the Quaker Oats Company would like clarification as to what constitutes supplementary electric generating equipment that is used to supply a workplace for emergency, standby, or similar purposes only. The first note in 1910.269(a) appears to exempt this type of generating equipment from 1910.269. It goes on to say that Subpart S would apply instead.
Specifically, our questions are: (1) Would a cogeneration plant that is not normally operated-but may be used during a power outage-be covered by 1910.269?; and (2) If the cogeneration plant is tested annually to ensure its operability, would the plant be covered by 1910.269 at the time of testing? We understand that this cogeneration plant would be covered by the standard during normal operations.
Thank you in advance for your response to these questions. If you require additional information, please contact me at 312/222-7619. Please send all correspondence to Suite 16-12 at the above address.
Mary A. Zmuda
Supervisor - Environmental Health