- 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.
July 25, 1995
William C. Kostner, ARM
233 South 10th Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
Dear Mr. Kostner:
Thank you for your letter of February 21, requesting clarification of the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Standard, 29 CFR 1910.269. Please accept our apology for the delay in responding.
A member of my staff, Ms. Renee' Carter, spoke with you on March 21 regarding your use of the term "recreational" tree trimmers. You explained to Ms. Carter that you considered recreational tree trimmers those employees in your organization who perform tree trimming operations in parks along the street. You further explained that the recreational tree trimmers do not perform routine line-maintenance work, but sometimes are required to work near power lines, but not directly on them.
Your stated concern and our response follow:
Question: Would you please clarify and interpret if recreational tree trimmers are included under 1910.269?
Response: Recreational tree trimmers are covered by section 1910.269 when performing line-clearance tree trimming work. Line-clearance tree trimming operations are covered by section 1910.269(r). Line-clearance tree trimming includes the pruning, trimming, repairing, maintaining, removing, or clearing of trees or the cutting of brush that is within 10 feet (305 cm) of electric supply lines and equipment.
However, if your employees are employed by the State of Nebraska, Section 3(5) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) specifically excludes a State or any political subdivision of a State from the definition of an "employer". Thus, by law, OSHA cannot directly protect employees of State and local governments.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. If we may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Renee' Carter at 202-219-8041, x117.
John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs
February 21, 1995
Mr. James Foster
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety & Health
Room N 3647
200 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20210
RE: Request for Interpretation of 1910.269
Dear Mr. Foster:
Would you please clarify and interpret if recreational tree trimmers are included under 1910.269?
I believe they are, from my reading of this standard, but would appreciate further clarification, as they are not utility workers.
William C. Kostner, ARM