- 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.
August 23, 1995
Mr. Enoch F. Nicewarner
Central Louisiana Electric Company, Inc.
2030 Donahue Ferry Road
Post Office Box 5000
Pineville, LA 71361-5000
Dear Mr. Nicewarner:
This is in response to your January 2 letter requesting clarification of the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution standard, 29 CFR 1910.269. Please accept our apology for the delay in responding. Your question and our reply follow.
Question: Does "buzzing" the line constitute a sufficient test to determine the absence of "nominal Voltage" before grounds can be installed?
Reply: The preferred method of testing line conductors to be sure they are deenergized (dead) before protective grounds are installed is using a high-voltage detector (voltmeter). However, paragraph 1910.269(n)(5) permits a circuit to be tested by "fuzzing (buzzing)" but that method should be used only when a high-voltage detector (voltmeter) is not available and when the presence of nominal voltage on the lines or equipment can be detected reliably in consideration of actual workplace conditions. Fuzzing procedures are considered unreliable in detecting voltages of less than 13.2 Y/ 7.62 kV. Fuzzing procedures are discussed in "The Lineman's and Cableman's Handbook, Eighth Edition, published by McGRAW-HILL, INC., ISBN 0-07-035695-5.
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
January 2, 1995
Raymond E. Donnelly, Director
Office of General Industry Compliance
U. S. Dept of Labor - OSHA
Room # N3107
200 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington, D. C. 20210
Dear Mr. Donnelly,
Please clarify the intent of the word "tested" in 29 CFR Part 1910.269 paragraph (n)(5). Does "buzzing" the line constitute a sufficient test to determine the absence of "nominal voltage" before grounds can be installed?
Enoch F. Nicewarner