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.

June 9, 1999

Mr. G. William Doody
Loss Control Representative
Boiler & Machinery Program
Nuclear Service Organization, Suite 1200
1201 Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

Dear Mr. Doody:

This is in response to your letter dated April 14, 1999 to OSHA Regional Administrator, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry.

You have asked questions regarding the training requirements for Loss Control Representatives conducting tours of Switchyard areas as part of the Loss Control Program evaluation of Nuclear Power Plants across the United States for Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited (NEIL). The interpretation of OSHA Standards with reference to the specific situation requested by you is as follows:

Question No.1: Are the Loss Control Representatives considered "qualified persons" per 1910.269(x) and if so, do the requirements of 1910.269(a)(2)(i) and (a)(2)(ii) apply?

Reply: No, the Loss Control Representatives are not considered "qualified persons" as per Section 1910.269(x). An employee must have the training required by paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of Section 1910.269 in order to be considered a qualified person. A qualified employee is defined as one who is knowledgeable in the construction and operation of the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution equipment involved in his or her job, along with the associated hazards. Having power line workers go through an apprenticeship training program may not provide all the training required under paragraph 1910.269(a)(2)(ii). The employer must ensure that the program used includes all applicable training elements required under paragraph 1910.269(a)(2)(ii) and work practices throughout 1910.269.

Question No. 2: If the answer to Question 1 is yes, would an in-house basic electrical safety training program covering 1910.269(a)(2)(i) and (a)(2)(ii) for the expected conditions in the Switchyards be sufficient training in order to perform the tours when escorted by a Utility representative?

Reply: Employers may train (non-electrical) employees as qualified employees for the purpose of entering and working within restricted areas of generating stations and substations. While the training for these employees must meet paragraph 1910.269(a)(2)(ii), such training need not be as comprehensive as the training provided normally to a qualified electrical worker. These qualified (non-electrical) employees must have the following minimum training:

(1) They must know what is safe to touch and what is not safe to touch in the specific areas they will be entering (paragraph 1910.269(a)(2)(ii)(A)),

(2) They must know what the maximum voltage of the area is (paragraph 1910.269(a)(2)(ii)(B)),

(3) They must know the minimum approach distances for the maximum voltage within the area (paragraph 1910.269(a)(2)(ii)(C)), and

(4) They must be trained in the recognition and proper use of protective equipment (note: only fully qualified electrical employees may install insulating equipment on energized parts) that will be used to provide protection for them and in the work practices necessary for performing their specific work assignments within the area (see the definition of "qualified employee" under paragraph 1910.269(x)).

Until these qualified employees have demonstrated proficiency in the work practices involved, they are considered to be employees undergoing on-the-job training and must be under the direct supervision of a qualified person at all times. According to the definition of "qualified employee," the employee also must have demonstrated an ability to perform work safely at his or her level of training. It is expected that an orientation familiarizing the employee with the safety fundamentals given here will be conducted before an employee undergoing training is allowed to enter a restricted area.

Question No. 3: Since NEIL insures Nuclear Power Plants across the United States, will this interpretation apply to all OSHA Regions or will NEIL need to request an interpretation from each Region?

Reply: Yes, this interpretation of OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.269 is applicable to all OSHA Regions throughout the United States.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. Please be aware that OSHA's enforcement guidance is subject to periodic review and clarification, amplification, or correction. Such guidance could also be affected by subsequent rulemaking. In the future, should you wish to verify that the guidance provided herein remains current, you may consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistant at (202) 693-1850.

Sincerely,

Richard Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs