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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.

December 7, 1995

Mr. David L. White
Business Representative
IBEW-Local Union No. Two
2131 59th Street
St. Louis, MO. 63110

Dear Mr. White:

This is in response to your December 9, 1994 letter and your April 12 follow-up 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. Your questions and our replies follow.


Question 1:    On a two-man utility crew, do both employees have
              to be trained and be able to perform pole top
              rescue from a pole?  If so, would each have to be
              able to perform pole top rescue by climbing the
              pole with the appropriate climbing gear?

Reply:         Both employees must be trained and must
              demonstrate proficiency in pole top rescue
              procedures such that one employee may rescue the
              other.  This is required under paragraph
              1910.269(a)(2).  When one or the employees does
              not climb poles in the routine performance of his
              or her job, he or she must be trained and must
              demonstrate proficiency in pole top rescue
              procedures such that he or she can effect the
              rescue of the other employee working on the pole
              when the need arises.  Of particular concern is
              when company procedures call for administering CPR
              using defibrillation equipment on the victim while
              still on the pole.  This clarification is
              consistent with paragraph 1910.269(a)(2) in that
              employees must be trained and familiar with
              safety-related work practices and safety
              procedures pertaining to their respective job
              assignments.

              What pole top rescue procedures must be used is
              not specified under the performance-oriented
              requirements of 1910.269.  Whether each employee
              would have to be able to perform pole top rescue
              by climbing the pole with appropriate equipment
              depends upon whether climbing the pole is the only
              way to effect rescue, in which case proficiency
              climbing with the appropriate equipment would be
              required.  The rescuing employee may use a body
              belt, safety strap and climbers to climb the pole
              or may use other means, for example, an aerial
              lift, which is effective to reach the employee in
              need of rescue.

Question 2:    Is "pole top rescue qualified" a requirement only
              when working from a pole on or nearby exposed
              energized parts, or is it required while
              performing any work from a pole such as
              de-energized maintenance, construction, routine
              operation, etc.?  (My concerns are in reference to
              a man performing physical non-energized work form
              a pole or bucket and being injured by some
              mechanical force or possibly being incapacitated
              by a physical condition such as a heart attack,
              etc.)

Reply:         For a two-person crew, goth employees must be
              trained and must demonstrate proficiency in pole
              top rescue, including getting to the injured
              employee, not only when a qualified employee (as
              defined in paragraph 1910.269(x)) is required to
              climb a pole to perform work on or nearby exposed
              energized electrical parts as required by
              paragraph 1910.269(l), but also when a pole is
              climbed to perform non-energized work which may
              require rescue.

Question 3:    Are short sleeve shirts in violation of the
              paragraph 1910.269(l)(6)(iii) Apparel
              requirements?

Reply:         The answer to your question is "no."  However,
              when the hazard assessment under paragraph
              1910.132(d)(1) indicates that the use of long
              sleeves or full length trousers is required to
              provide personal protection, wearing short sleeves
              or less than full length trousers would be in
              violation of paragraph 1910.132(d)(1)(i).
              Occupational Safety and Health Administration's
              policy is clarified in the enclosed August 10,
              1995 memorandum to OSHA Regional Administrators.
              This memorandum provides guidelines for the
              enforcement of the aforementioned Apparel
              Standard.

We appreciate your interest in occupational safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please contact the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance, Mr. Ronald Davies, telephone (202) 219-8031, extension 110.

Sincerely,



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

Enclosures



April 12, 1995

Mr. Ray Donley
Office of General Industries
Compliance Assistance
United States
Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Mr. Donley:

Please find enclosed a copy of the letter I sent to Ron Davies in which I listed several questions I needed written answers to. When the questions were submitted, I understood that a response would take approximately four months to receive. Since I had not received any correspondence todate, I called Mr. Davies to find out why and he suggested I forward the questions to you.

I would appreciate a written reply as soon as possible to the branch office address which is: Post Office Box 1045, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Respectfully,



DAVID L. WHITE
Business Representative

Enclosure



December 9, 1994

Mr. Ron Davies
Office of General Industries
Compliance Assistance
United States
Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Mr. Davies:

I have been in contact with Mr. Jim Ozzello with the IBEW Utility Department and he referred me to you if I felt I needed an official interpretation. I have included in this letter three questions that I would like an official interpretation on. Questions are as follows regarding the new regulations:

1) On a two-man utility crew, do both men have to be trained and be able to perform pole top rescue from a pole? If so, would each have to be able to perform pole top rescue by climbing the pole with the appropriate climbing gear? 1910.269(a)(2)

2) Is "pole top rescue qualified" a requirement while only performing energized work from a pole, or is it required while performing any work from a pole such as de-energized maintenance, construction, routine operation, etc.? 1910.269(a)(2)

(My concerns are in reference to a man performing physical non-energized work from pole or bucket and being injured by some mechanical force or possibly being incapacitated by a physical condition such as heart attack, etc.)

3) Are short sleeve shirts in violation of the revisions regarding protective clothing? 1910.269(l)(6)(iii)

I would appreciate a response as quickly as possible to the branch office address on these particular issues. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

Respectfully,



DAVID L. WHITE
Business Representative