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.

April 18, 2014

Mr. Wes Woodward, Maintenance Mgr.
Sugar Loaf Senior Living

Dear Mr. Woodward:

This letter is in response to your letter dated March 31st, 2014, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This letter was forwarded to OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs for response. You had a question about OSHA requirements for replacing the electrical cord on a vacuum cleaner.

This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed below and may not be applicable to any question not delineated within your original correspondence. Your question and our reply follow:

Question: Can I replace the broken end of an electrical cord on my vacuum cleaner with a UL approved plug? Or must I replace the entire cord on the machine?

Response: The letter you referenced from April 4, 2010 (letter # 20070926-7973; https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=27353), does apply to the scenario you described. As stated in the referenced letter, damaged or defective cords can be replaced so long as they return to their "approved" state. Therefore, you may replace the broken end of the electric cord of the vacuum cleaner with an approved UL plug, so long as the equipment returns to its approved condition; and so long as the equipment is visually inspected for any damages prior to use on any shift.

In addition to the information we have provided above, the following links on electric cords, and general electrical safety, may be useful for you:

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. To ensure that you are using the correct information and guidance, please consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov/. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the Directorate of Enforcement Programs at (202) 693-2100.


Thomas Galassi, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs

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