Federal Registers - Table of Contents Federal Registers - Table of Contents
• Publication Date: 06/15/2005
• Publication Type: Proposed Rules
• Fed Register #: 70:34821-34980
• Standard Number: 1910; 1926
• Title: Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment; Proposed Rule

[Federal Register: June 15, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 114)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 34821-34980]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr15jn05-32]                         

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Part II

Department of Labor

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Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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29 CFR Parts 1910 and 1926

Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; Electrical 
Protective Equipment; Proposed Rule

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Parts 1910 and 1926

[Docket No. S-215]
RIN 1218-AB67

 
Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; 
Electrical Protective Equipment

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: OSHA is proposing to update the existing standard for the 
construction of electric power transmission and distribution 
installations and make it consistent with the more recently promulgated 
general industry standard addressing the maintenance and repair of 
electric power generation, transmission, and distribution lines and 
equipment. The proposal also makes some miscellaneous changes to both 
standards, including adding provisions related to host employers and 
contractors, flame resistant clothing, and training, and updates the 
construction standard for electrical protective equipment, makes it 
consistent with the corresponding general industry standard, and makes 
it applicable to construction generally.
    The existing rules for this type of work were issued in 1971. They 
are out of date and are not consistent with the more recent, 
corresponding rules for the operation and maintenance of electric power 
transmission and distribution systems. The revised standard would 
include requirements relating to enclosed spaces, working near 
energized parts, grounding for employee protection, work on underground 
and overhead installations, work in substations, and other special 
conditions and equipment unique to the transmission and distribution of 
electric energy.
    OSHA is also proposing a new standard on electrical protective 
equipment for the construction industry. The current standards for the 
design of electrical protective equipment, which apply only to electric 
power transmission and distribution work, adopt several national 
consensus standards by reference. The new standard would replace the 
incorporation of these out-of-date consensus standards with a set of 
performance-oriented requirements that is consistent with the latest 
revisions of these consensus standards and with the corresponding 
standard for general industry. Additionally, OSHA is proposing new 
requirements for the safe use and care of electrical protective 
equipment to complement the equipment design provisions.
    In addition, OSHA is proposing changes to the two corresponding 
general industry standards. These changes address: Class 00 rubber 
insulating gloves, electrical protective equipment made from materials 
other than rubber, training for electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution workers, host-contractor 
responsibilities, job briefings, fall protection (including a 
requirement that employees in aerial lifts use harnesses), insulation 
and working position of employees working on or near live parts, 
protective clothing, minimum approach distances, deenergizing 
transmission and distribution lines and equipment, protective 
grounding, operating mechanical equipment near overhead power lines, 
and working in manholes and vaults. These changes would ensure that 
employers, where appropriate, face consistent requirements for work 
performed under the construction and general industry standards and 
would further protect employees performing electrical work covered 
under the general industry standards. The proposal would also update 
references to consensus standards in Sec. Sec.  1910.137 and 1910.269 
and would add new appendices to help employers comply with provisions 
on protective clothing and the inspection of work positioning 
equipment.
    OSHA is also proposing to revise the general industry standard for 
foot protection. This standard has substantial application to employers 
performing work on electric power transmission and distribution 
installations, but that applies to employers in other industries as 
well. The proposal would remove the requirement for employees to wear 
protective footwear as protection against electric shock.

DATES: Informal public hearing. OSHA will hold an informal public 
hearing in Washington, DC, beginning December 6, 2005. The hearing will 
commence at 10 a.m. on the first day, and at 9 a.m. on the second and 
subsequent days, which will be scheduled, if necessary.
    Comments. Comments must be submitted (postmarked or sent) by 
October 13, 2005.
    Notices of intention to appear. Parties who intend to present 
testimony at the informal public hearing must notify OSHA in writing of 
their intention to do so no later than August 15, 2005.
    Hearing testimony and documentary evidence. Parties who request 
more than 10 minutes for their presentations at the informal public 
hearing and parties who will submit documentary evidence at the hearing 
must submit the full text of their testimony and all documentary 
evidence postmarked no later than November 3, 2005.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments, notices of intention to 
appear, hearing testimony, and documentary evidence--identified by 
docket number (S-215) or RIN number (1218-AB67)--by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     OSHA Web site: http://dockets.osha.gov/. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments on OSHA's Web page.
     Fax: If your written comments are 10 pages or fewer, you 
may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.
     Regular mail, express delivery, hand delivery and courier 
service: Submit three copies to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. S-
215, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room 
N2625, Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2350. (OSHA's TTY 
number is (877) 889-5627.) OSHA Docket Office hours of operation are 
8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., E.S.T.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this 
rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to 
http://dockets.osha.gov/, including any personal information provided. 
For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional 
information on the rulemaking process, see the ``Public Participation'' 
heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read comments and background 
documents that can be posted go to http://dockets.osha.gov/. Written 
comments received, notices of intention to appear, and all other 
material related to the development of this proposed standard will be 
available for inspection and copying in the public record in the Docket 
Office, Room N2439, at the address listed previously.
    Hearing. The hearing will be held in the auditorium of the U.S. 
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: General information and press 
inquiries:
Mr. Kevin Ropp, Director, Office of Communications, Room N3647, OSHA, 
U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20210; telephone (202) 693-1999.
    Technical information: Mr. David Wallis, Director, Office of 
Engineering Safety, Room N3609, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-
2277 or fax (202) 693-1663.
    Hearings: Ms. Veneta Chatmon, OSHA Office of Communications, 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N3647; 200 
Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, telephone: (202) 693-
1999.
    For additional copies of this Federal Register notice, contact 
OSHA, Office of Publications, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N3101, 200 
Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, 20210; telephone (202) 693-
1888. Electronic copies of this Federal Register notice, as well as 
news releases and other relevant documents, are available at OSHA's Web 
page on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. Development of Proposal
III. Legal Authority
IV. Summary and Explanation of Proposed Rule
V. Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis and Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis
VI. State Plan Standards
VII. Environmental Impact Analysis
VIII. Unfunded Mandates
IX. Federalism
X. OMB Review under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
XI. Public Participation'Comments and Hearings
XII. List of Subjects in 29 CFR Parts 1910 and 1926
XIII. Authority and Signature

I. Background

A. Acronyms

    The following acronyms have been used throughout this document:

AED Automated external defibrillator
ALJ Administrative law judge
ANSI American National Standards Institute
ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials
BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics
CFOI Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries
CPR Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
EEI Edison Electric Institute
EPRI Electric Power Research Institute
FRA Flame-resistant apparel
FTE Full-Time Equivalent [Employee]
IBEW International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
IMIS OSHA's Integrated Management Information System
IRFA Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
NAICS North American Industry Classification System
NEPA National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
NESC National Electrical Safety Code
NFPA National Fire Protection Association
NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
OIRA Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
OMB Office of Management and Budget
OSH Act (or simply ``the Act'') Occupational Safety and Health Act of 
1970
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OSHRC Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
PRIA Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis
RIN Regulatory information number
SBA Small Business Administration
SBAR Small Business Advocacy Review Panel
SBREFA Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act
SER small entity representative
SIC Standard Industrial Classification
WCRI Worker Compensation Research Institute

B. Need for Rule

    Employees maintaining or constructing electric power transmission 
or distribution installations are not adequately protected by current 
OSHA standards, though these employees face far greater electrical 
hazards than those faced by other workers. The voltages involved are 
generally much higher than voltages encountered in other types of work, 
and a large part of electric power transmission and distribution work 
exposes employees to energized parts of the power system.
    Employees performing work involving electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution are exposed to a variety of significant 
hazards, such as fall, electric shock, and burn hazards, that can and 
do cause serious injury and death. As detailed below, OSHA estimates 
that, on average, 444 serious injuries and 74 fatalities occur annually 
among these workers.
    Although some of these incidents may have been prevented with 
better compliance with existing safety standards, research and analyses 
conducted by OSHA have found that many preventable injuries and 
fatalities would continue to occur even if full compliance with the 
existing standards were achieved. Without counting incidents that would 
potentially have been prevented with compliance with existing 
standards, an estimated additional 116 injuries and 19 fatalities would 
be prevented through full compliance with the proposed standards.
    Additional benefits associated with this rulemaking involve 
providing updated, clear, and consistent safety standards regarding 
electric power generation, transmission, and distribution work. The 
existing standard for the construction of electric power transmission 
and distribution lines and equipment is contained in Subpart V of 
OSHA's construction standards (29 CFR part 1926). This standard was 
promulgated on November 23, 1972, over 30 years ago (37 FR 24880). Some 
of the technology involved in electric power transmission and 
distribution work has changed since then, and the current standard does 
not reflect those changes. For example, the method of determining 
minimum approach distances has become more exact since 1972, and the 
minimum approach distances given in existing Sec.  1926.950(c)(1) are 
not based on the latest methodology. The minimum approach distances in 
this proposal are more protective as well as more technologically 
sound. Additionally, parts of Subpart V need clarification. For 
example, in existing Subpart V, there are three different requirements 
relating to the use of mechanical equipment near overhead lines: 
Sec. Sec.  1926.952(c)(2) \1\ and 1926.955(a)(5) \2\ and (a)(6).\3\ 
These provisions apply different requirements to these operations depending 
on whether or not the mechanical equipment involved is lifting equipment 
and on whether or not work is being performed on overhead lines. Two 
different United States Courts of Appeals found these regulations to 
be confusing even though they accepted OSHA's interpretation regarding 
their application (Wisconsin Electric Power Co. v. OSHRC, 567 F.2d 735 
(7th Cir. 1977); Pennsylvania Power & Light Co. v. OSHRC, 737 F.2d 350 
(3d Cir. 1984)). In fact, the majority in the Wisconsin Electric decision 
noted that ``[r]evision of the regulations by any competent draftsman would 
greatly improve their clarity'' (Wisconsin Electric, 567 F.2d at 738).
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    \1\ This requirement reads as follows:
    (2) With the exception of equipment certified for work on the 
proper voltage, mechanical equipment shall not be operator closer to 
any energized line or equipment than the clearances set forth in 
Sec.  1926.950(c) unless:
    (i) An insulated barrier is installed between the energized part 
and the mechanical equipment, or
    (ii) The mechanical equipment is grounded, or
    (iii) The mechanical equipment is insulated, or
    (iv) The mechanical equipment is considered as energized.
    \2\ This requirement reads as follows:
    (5)(i) When setting, moving, or removing poles using cranes, 
derricks, gin poles, A-frames, or other mechanized equipment near 
energized lines or equipment, precautions shall be taken to avoid 
contact with energized lines or equipment, except in bare-hand live-
line work, or where barriers or protective devices are used.
    (ii) Equipment and machinery operating adjacent to energized 
lines or equipment shall comply with Sec.  1926.952(c)(2).
    \3\ This requirement reads as follows:
    (6)(i) Unless using suitable protective equipment for the 
voltage involved, employees standing on the ground shall avoid 
contacting equipment or machinery working adjacent to energized 
lines or equipment.
    (ii) Lifting equipment shall be bonded to an effective ground or 
it shall be considered energized and barricaded when utilized near 
energized equipment or lines.
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    Even the newer general industry standards on the operation and 
maintenance of electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution installations (29 CFR 1910.269) and electrical protective 
equipment (29 CFR 1910.137) are not completely consistent with the 
latest advances in technology represented by updated consensus 
standards covering this type of work and equipment.
    OSHA has different standards covering construction work on electric 
power transmission and distribution systems and general industry work 
on the same systems. In most instances, the work practices used by 
employees to perform construction or general industry work on these 
systems are the same. The application of OSHA's construction or general 
industry standards to a particular job depends upon whether the 
employer is altering the system (construction work) or maintaining the 
system (general industry work). For example, employers changing a 
cutout (disconnect switch) on a transmission and distribution system 
would be performing construction work if they were upgrading the 
cutout, but general industry work if they were simply replacing the 
cutout with the same model.
    Since the work practices used by the employees would most likely be 
identical, the applicable OSHA standards should be identical. OSHA's 
existing requirements are not, however. Conceivably, for work involving 
two or more cutouts, different and conflicting OSHA standards might 
apply. The inconsistencies between the two standards create 
difficulties for employers attempting to develop appropriate work 
practices for their employees. For this reason, employers and employees 
have told OSHA that it should make the two standards identical. This 
proposal does so.

C. Accident Data

    OSHA has looked to several sources for information on accidents in 
the electric utility industry in preparing this proposed rule. Besides 
OSHA's own accident investigation files, statistics on injuries are 
compiled by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and by the 
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Additionally, 
the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes such accident data as 
incidence rates for total cases, lost workday cases, and lost workdays. 
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) 
publishes accident data as part of its Fatality Assessment and Control 
Evaluation Program.
    Analyses of accident data for electric power transmission and 
distribution workers can be found in the following documents, which 
(like all exhibits) are available for inspection and copying in Docket 
S-215 in the Docket Office:
    (1) ``Preparation of an Economic Impact Study for the Proposed OSHA 
Regulation Covering Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and 
Distribution,'' June 1986, Eastern Research Group, Section 4.
    (2) ``Assessment of the Benefits of the Proposed Standard on 
Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Coding 
Results and Analysis,'' October 5, 1990, Eastern Research Group.
    (3) ``Analytical Support and Data Gathering for a Preliminary 
Economic Analysis for Proposed Standards for Work on Electric Power 
Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Lines and Equipment (29 CFR 
1910.269 and 29 CFR 1926--Subpart V),'' 2005, CONSAD Research Corp., 
Chapter 4.
    To develop estimates of the potential benefits associated with this 
proposal, CONSAD Corp., under contract to OSHA, researched and reviewed 
potential sources of useful data. CONSAD, in consultation with the 
Agency, determined that the most reliable data sources for this purpose 
included OSHA's Integrated Management Information System, and the 
Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries developed by the BLS.
    From these sources, CONSAD identified and analyzed injuries and 
fatalities that would be addressed by this proposal. A description of 
the methodological approach used for analyzing these data is included 
in the final report submitted to OSHA from CONSAD. CONSAD's analysis 
found that an average of 74 fatalities and 25 injuries involving 
circumstances directly addressed by the existing or proposed standards 
are recorded annually in the relevant databases. These accidents 
include cases involving electric shock, burns from electric arcs, and 
falls, which are the predominant types of accidents occurring in 
electric power generation, transmission, and distribution work.

D. Significant Risk

    OSHA must show that the hazards the Agency addresses in a safety 
regulation present significant risks to employees. OSHA has generally 
considered an excess risk of 1 death per 1000 employees over a 45-year 
working lifetime as clearly representing a significant risk. Industrial 
Union Dept. v. American Petroleum Institute (Benzene), 448 U.S. 607, 
655 (1980); International Union v. Pendergrass (Formaldehyde), 878 F.2d 
389, 392-93 (D.C. Cir. 1989); Building and Construction Trades Dept., 
AFL-CIO v. Brock (Asbestos), 838 F.2d 1258, 1264-65 (D.C. Cir. 1988). 
As part of the regulatory analyses for this standard, OSHA has 
determined the population at risk, the occupations presenting major 
risks, and the incidence and severity of injuries attributable to the 
failure to follow the rules established in the proposed standard. In 
keeping with the purpose of safety standards to prevent accidental 
injury and death, OSHA has estimated the number of accidents that would 
be prevented by the new rule.
    Electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard 
exposing employees to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, 
electric arcs, fires, and explosions. The other hazards this rule 
addresses, namely, falls and being struck by, struck against, or caught 
between objects, are also widely recognized. The 227,683 employees 
performing work covered by the proposed standards experience an average 
of 444 injuries and 74 fatalities each year.\4\ Over a 45-year working 
lifetime, more than 14 of every 1000 of these employees \5\ will die 
from hazards posed by their work. As detailed in Section V, Preliminary 
Regulatory Impact Analysis and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, 
later in this preamble, the Agency estimates that the proposed rule will 
prevent 116 injuries and 19 deaths each year. Accordingly, OSHA has 
preliminarily determined that hazards faced by employees performing 
construction or maintenance work on electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution installations pose a significant risk of 
injury or death to those employees, and that this proposed rule would 
substantially reduce that risk and would be reasonably necessary to 
provide protection from these hazards.
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    \4\ For a detailed explanation of the number of employees 
covered by the proposal and the number of injuries and fatalities 
experienced by these workers, see Section V, Preliminary Regulatory 
Impact Analysis and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, later 
in this preamble.
    \5\ The number of fatalities expected to occur in 45 years is 74 
fatalities x 45, or 3330. Thus, 14.6 employees in 1000 covered by 
the proposal ((3330 fatalities/227,683 employees) x 1000) will die 
from job-related hazards.
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II. Development of Proposal

A. Present OSHA Standards

    OSHA adopted standards applying to the construction of power 
transmission and distribution lines and equipment in 1972 (Subpart V of 
Part 1926). OSHA defines the term ``construction work'' in Sec.  
1910.12 as ``work for construction, alteration, and/or repair, 
including painting and decorating.'' The term ``construction'' is 
broadly defined in Sec.  1910.12(d) and Sec.  1926.950(a)(1) to include 
alteration, conversion, and improvement of electric power transmission 
lines and equipment, as well as the original installation of the lines 
and equipment. However, Subpart V does not apply to the operation or 
maintenance of transmission or distribution installations.
    On January 31, 1994, OSHA adopted rules for the operation and 
maintenance of electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution lines and equipment, Sec.  1910.269. This standard was 
intended as a companion standard to Subpart V of the construction 
standards to address areas where Subpart V did not apply. The new 
standard was also based on the latest technology and national consensus 
standards.
    OSHA revised its electrical protective equipment standard in Sec.  
1910.137 at the same time Sec.  1910.269 was issued. The revision of 
Sec.  1910.137 eliminated the incorporation by reference of national 
consensus standards relating to rubber insulating equipment and 
replaced it with performance-oriented rules for the design, 
manufacture, and safe care and use of electrical protective equipment.
    Other OSHA standards also relate to electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution work. The permit-required confined space 
standard in Sec.  1910.146 applies to entry into certain confined 
spaces found in this type of work. Section 1910.147 is OSHA's generic 
lockout and tagging standard. Although this standard does not apply to 
electric power generation, transmission, or distribution installations, 
it formed the basis of Sec.  1910.269(d), which does apply to the 
lockout and tagging of these installations. Subpart S of the General 
Industry Standards and Subpart K of the construction standards set 
requirements for unqualified \6\ workers who are working near electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution lines and equipment.
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    \6\ In this preamble, ``unqualified worker'' (or ``unqualified 
employee'') means an employee who does not have the requisite 
training to work on or near electric power generation, transmission, 
or distribution installations. For more information, see the 
discussion of proposed Sec.  1926.950(b) in Section IV, Summary and 
Explanation of Proposed Rule, later in this preamble.
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B. Relevant consensus standards

    The National Electrical Safety Code (American National Standards 
Institute Standard ANSI C2, also known as the NESC) was also taken into 
consideration in the development this proposal. This national consensus 
standard contains requirements specifically addressing electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution work. The latest version of 
ANSI C2 \7\ is much more up-to-date than Subpart V. However, ANSI C2 is 
primarily directed to the prevention of electric shock, although it 
does contain a few requirements for the prevention of falls.
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    \7\ ANSI/IEEE C2-2002.
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    The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has adopted 
standards related to electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution work. ASTM Committee F18 on Electrical Protective 
Equipment for Workers has developed standards on rubber insulating 
equipment, climbing equipment, protective grounding equipment, 
fiberglass rod and tube used in live-line tools, and clothing for 
workers exposed to electric arcs.
    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has adopted a 
standard on electrical safety for employees, NFPA 70E-2004, Electrical 
Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces. Although it does not apply 
to electric power generation, transmission, or distribution 
installations, this standard contains requirements for unqualified 
employees working near such installations.
    The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) is also 
responsible for writing standards for electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution installations and for work on those 
installations. Many of these standards have been adopted by ANSI. Among 
these IEEE standards are: IEEE Std. 516, IEEE Guide for Maintenance 
Methods on Energized Power-Lines, and IEEE Std. 1048, IEEE Guide for 
Protective Grounding of Power Lines.
    A list of consensus standards relating to electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution work can be found in 
existing Appendix E to Sec.  1910.269. OSHA considered the latest 
editions of all the standards listed in this section of the preamble or 
the Appendix in the development of the proposal.

C. Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health

    Section 107 of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act and 
the Agency's own rulemaking regulations in 29 CFR Part 1911 require 
OSHA to consult with the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and 
Health (ACCSH or the Committee) in setting standards for construction 
work. Specifically, Sec.  1911.10(a) requires the Assistant Secretary 
to (1) provide ACCSH with the draft proposed rule along with pertinent 
factual information, (2) and to prescribe a period within which the 
Committee must submit its recommendations on the proposal.
    OSHA has a 10-year history of consulting with ACCSH on the proposed 
construction standards for electrical protective equipment and electric 
transmission and distribution work. The Agency has provided several 
drafts of the proposed construction rules and updates on the status of 
the proposal.
    On May 25, 1995, OSHA first took a draft of the proposed 
construction standards to ACCSH, providing the Committee with a draft 
of the proposal and with a statement on the need for and background 
behind the proposal. The Committee formed a workgroup to review the 
document and report back to ACCSH. The workgroup provided comments to 
OSHA. Although the Agency gave a status report on the proposal to the 
Committee on August 8, 1995, ACCSH did not make any formal 
recommendations to OSHA at that time.
    The Agency provided a later draft of the proposal to ACCSH on 
December 10, 1999. This time, the Committee made no comments. On 
February 13, 2003, OSHA gave ACCSH a status report on the proposal and 
summarized the major revisions in the draft.
    On May 22, 2003, OSHA provided the Committee with the same copy of 
the draft proposal that had been provided to the small entity 
representatives who were participating in the Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement and Fairness Act (SBREFA) proceedings, which were being 
conducted at that time. OSHA also explained the major issues being raised
by the small entity representatives on the draft proposal.
    On May 18, 2004, ACCSH gave formal recommendations on OSHA's 
proposal. OSHA sought ACCSH's recommendations on the proposal 
generally, as well as on issues specifically related to host employer-
contractor communications and flame-resistant clothing. ACCSH voted 
unanimously that: (1) The construction standards for electric power 
transmission and distribution work should be the same as the general 
industry standards for the same type of work; (2) requiring some 
safety-related communications between host employers and contractors 
was necessary; and (3) employees need to be protected from hazards 
posed by electric arcs through the use of flame-resistant clothing. 
ACCSH also recommended unanimously that OSHA issue its proposal, 
consistent with these specific votes.

III. Legal Authority

    The purpose of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH 
Act or the Act), 29 U.S.C. 651 et seq., is ``to assure so far as 
possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful 
working conditions and to preserve our human resources.'' 29 U.S.C. 
651(b). To achieve this goal, Congress authorized the Secretary of 
Labor to promulgate and enforce occupational safety and health 
standards. 29 U.S.C. 655(b) and 658.
    A safety or health standard ``requires conditions, or the adoption 
or use of one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or 
processes, reasonably necessary or appropriate to provide safe or 
healthful employment and places of employment.'' 29 U.S.C. 652(8). A 
standard is reasonably necessary or appropriate within the meaning of 
Section 652(8) if:
     A significant risk of material harm exists in the 
workplace and the proposed standard would substantially reduce or 
eliminate that workplace risk;
     It is technologically and economically feasible;
     It employs the most cost effective protective measures;
     It is consistent with prior Agency action or supported by 
a reasoned justification for departing from prior Agency action;
     It is supported by substantial evidence; and
     In the event the standard is preceded by a consensus 
standard, it is better able to effectuate the purposes of the OSH Act 
than the standard it supersedes.
    International Union, UAW v. OSHA (LOTO II), 37 F.3d 665, 668 (D.C. 
Cir. 1994).
    OSHA has generally considered an excess risk of 1 death per 1000 
employees over a 45-year working lifetime as clearly representing a 
significant risk (see Industrial Union Dept. v. American Petroleum 
Institute (Benzene), 448 U.S. 607, 655 (1980); International Union v. 
Pendergrass (Formaldehyde), 878 F.2d 389, 392-93 (D.C. Cir. 1989); 
Building and Construction Trades Dept., AFL-CIO v. Brock (Asbestos), 
838 F.2d 1258, 1264-65 (D.C. Cir. 1988)).
    A standard is considered technologically feasible if the protective 
measures it requires already exist, can be brought into existence with 
available technology, or can be created with technology that can 
reasonably be expected to be developed (see American Iron and Steel 
Institute v. OSHA (Lead II), 939 F.2d 975, 980 (D.C. Cir. 1991)). A 
standard is economically feasible when industry can absorb or pass on 
the costs of compliance without threatening the industry's long-term 
profitability or competitive structure (see American Textile Mfrs. 
Institute v. OSHA (Cotton Dust), 452 U.S. 490, 530 n. 55 (1981); Lead 
II, 939 F.2d at 980). A standard is cost effective if the protective 
measures it requires are the least costly of the available alternatives 
that achieve the same level of protection (see LOTO II, 37 F.3d at 
668).
    All OSHA standards must be highly protective (LOTO II, 37 F.3d at 
669) and, where practical, ``expressed in terms of objective criteria 
and of the performance desired.'' 29 U.S.C. 655(b)(5). Finally, the OSH 
Act requires that when promulgating a rule that differs substantially 
from a national consensus standard, OSHA must explain why the 
promulgated rule is a better method for effectuating the purpose of the 
Act. 29 U.S.C. 655(b)(8). As discussed elsewhere in this preamble, OSHA 
is using several consensus standards as the basis for its proposed 
rule. The deviations from these consensus standards are explained in 
Section IV, Summary and Explanation of Proposed Rule, later in this 
preamble.

IV. Summary and Explanation of Proposed Rule

    This section discusses the important elements of the proposed 
standard, explains the purpose of the individual requirements, and 
explains any differences between the proposed rule and existing 
standards. References in parentheses are to exhibits in the rulemaking 
record. References prefixed by ``269'' are to exhibits and transcripts 
in the rulemaking record from OSHA's earlier rulemaking on Sec.  
1910.137 and Sec.  1910.269. These documents are available for 
inspection and copying in the Docket Office under Docket S-015. (The 
transcripts are listed in the docket as ``exhibits'' 100-X through 208-
X.)
    OSHA is proposing a new construction standard on electrical 
protective equipment, 29 CFR 1926.97, and a revision of the standard on 
the construction of electric power transmission and distribution lines 
and equipment, 29 CFR Part 1926, Subpart V. The Agency is also 
proposing changes to the general industry counterparts to these two 
construction standards, 29 CFR 1910.137 and 1910.269, respectively. The 
proposed construction standards may contain some nonsubstantive 
differences from their existing counterpart general industry 
requirements that are not separately included in the proposed revision 
of the general industry standards. However, the Agency intends for the 
corresponding construction and general industry requirements to be the 
same in the final rule except to the extent that separate requirements 
are supported by the rulemaking record. For example, the definition of 
``designated employee'' in existing Sec.  1910.269(x) reads as follows:

    An employee (or person) who is designated by the employer to 
perform specific duties under the terms of this section and who is 
knowledgeable in the construction and operation of the equipment and 
the hazards involved.

    OSHA is proposing a slightly revised version of this definition in 
Sec.  1926.968, as follows:

    An employee (or person) who is assigned by the employer to 
perform specific duties under the terms of this section and who has 
sufficient knowledge of the construction and operation of the 
equipment and the hazards involved to perform his or her duties 
safely.

    The Agency does not believe that the proposed definition for 
Subpart V is substantially different from the existing definition in 
Sec.  1910.269(x). Therefore, OSHA is not specifically including the 
proposed change to the definition of ``designated employee'' in the 
proposed changes to Sec.  1910.269. The language in the final standards 
(that is, Sec. Sec.  1910.269(x) and 1926.968) will be the same, 
however, unless the record warrants a separate definition for 
construction work.

    In addition, the proposal references national consensus standards 
in notes following various requirements. These references are intended 
to provide employers and employees with additional useful sources of 
information that can assist them in complying with the standards. OSHA 
intends to review the latest editions of these consensus standards and 
reference those editions when promulgating the final rule provided they 
still provide suitable guidance.

A. Electrical Protective Equipment, Section 1926.97

    Electrical protective equipment is in constant use during electric 
power transmission and distribution work; and, appropriately, existing 
Subpart V contains provisions related to this equipment. The existing 
OSHA standards for electrical protective equipment in construction work 
are contained in Sec.  1926.951(a)(1), which only applies during 
construction of electric power transmission and distribution lines and 
equipment. Electrical protective equipment, however, is used throughout 
the construction industry. OSHA therefore believes that updated 
personal protective equipment provisions should apply throughout the 
construction industry, wherever such equipment is necessary for 
employee safety, and that electrical protective equipment provisions 
should not be limited to the use of this equipment in electric power 
transmission and distribution work. Therefore, OSHA is proposing new 
Sec.  1926.97, Electrical protective equipment, to replace Sec.  
1926.951(a)(1), which incorporates by reference the following six 
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Item                            ANSI  Standard
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rubber insulating gloves...................  J6.6-1971
Rubber matting for use around electric       J6.7-1935
 apparatus.                                  (R1971)
Rubber insulating blankets.................  J6.4-1971
Rubber insulating hoods....................  J6.2-1950
                                             (R1971)
Rubber insulating line hose................  J6.1-1950
                                             (R1971)
Rubber insulating sleeves..................  J6.5-1971
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    These ANSI standards were originally developed and adopted as 
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. (In fact, 
the latest revisions of these standards use the ASTM designations, 
rather than using separate designations for both standards-writing 
organizations.) As is typical of national consensus standards, the ASTM 
standards are filled with detailed specifications for the manufacture, 
testing, and design of electrical protective equipment. Additionally, 
these standards are revised frequently, making existing Sec.  
1926.951(a)(1) over a quarter century out of date. For example, the 
most recent ANSI standard listed in the former OSHA requirement is 
dated 1971. The most recent ASTM version available is a 2002 edition of 
specifications on rubber insulating gloves. The complete list of 
current ASTM standards corresponding to the ANSI standards is as 
follows:
    ASTM D120-02a, Specification for Rubber Insulating Gloves.
    ASTM D178-01\e1\, Specification for Rubber Insulating Matting.
    ASTM D1048-99, Specification for Rubber Insulating Blankets.
    ASTM D1049-98\e1\ (Reapproved 2002), Specification for Rubber 
Insulating Covers.
    ASTM D1050-90 (Reapproved 1999), Specification for Rubber 
Insulating Line Hose.
    ASTM D1051-02, Specification for Rubber Insulating Sleeves.
    Additionally, ASTM has adopted standards on the in-service care of 
insulating line hose and covers (ASTM F478-92 (Reapproved 1999)), 
insulating blankets (ASTM F479-95 (Reapproved 2001)), and insulating 
gloves and sleeves (ASTM F496-02a), which have no current counterparts 
in existing Sec.  1926.951(a)(1).
    In an attempt to retain the quality of protection afforded by the 
ASTM standards, OSHA has developed proposed new Sec.  1926.97 which has 
been derived from the ASTM documents but which has been written in 
performance terms. OSHA recognizes the importance of the ASTM standards 
in defining basic requirements for the safe design and manufacture of 
electrical protective equipment for employees. Proposed Sec.  1926.97 
would increase the protection presently afforded to power transmission 
and distribution employees by the outdated ANSI/ASTM standards 
incorporated by reference in the existing standard. The proposal 
carries forward ASTM provisions that are performance oriented and 
necessary for employee safety, but does not contain many of the 
detailed specifications in those consensus standards. The proposal will 
thus provide greater flexibility for compliance with these provisions 
to the extent that worker safety warrants.
    There are several reasons why adopting the ASTM standards in toto 
would be inappropriate in this rulemaking. First, ASTM has revised each 
of the currently referenced standards several times since they were 
adopted in the former OSHA regulation. Because of the continual process 
by which ASTM periodically revises its standards, any specific editions 
that OSHA might adopt would likely be outdated within a few years. 
Additionally, since the rulemaking process is lengthy, a complete 
revision of OSHA's electrical protective equipment requirements every 
three years or so to keep pace with the changes in the consensus 
standards is not practical. (In fact, some of the ASTM standards will 
likely be revised again during the rulemaking period.) To remedy this 
problem, OSHA is proposing new Sec.  1926.97 to make the standards 
flexible enough to accommodate changes in technology, obviating the 
need for constant revision. Where possible, the proposed standard has 
been written in performance terms in order to allow alternative methods 
of compliance if they provide comparable safety to the employee.
    Another difficulty with incorporation of the ASTM standards by 
reference is that they contain details that go beyond the purposes of 
the OSHA standard or that are not directly related to employee safety. 
In proposed Sec.  1926.97, OSHA has tried to carry forward only 
provisions that are relevant to employee safety in the workplace. 
Furthermore, OSHA has attempted to simplify those provisions to make 
the requirements easier for employers and employees to use and 
understand. Because the revision places all relevant requirements in 
the text of the regulations, employers would no longer have to refer to 
the ASTM documents to determine their obligations under OSHA.
    In striving for this degree of simplification, the Agency has tried 
to use an approach that will accept new methods of protection that may 
appear in future editions of the ASTM standards. OSHA recognizes that 
such future editions of these standards might contain technological 
advances providing significant improvement in employee safety, which 
might not be permitted under proposed Sec.  1926.97. However, due to 
the performance-oriented nature of the OSHA standard as compared to the 
ASTM standards, conflicts between the two standards in areas affecting 
employee safety are expected to be infrequent.
    Furthermore, an employer who follows future versions of ASTM 
standards would likely be covered by OSHA's de minimis policy as set 
forth in OSHA Instruction CPL 02-00-103 (Field Inspection Reference 
Manual). Under that policy, a de minimis condition \8\ exists: (1) Where 
an employer's workplace has been updated in accordance with new technology 
or equipment as a result of revisions to the latest consensus publications 
from which OSHA standards were derived, (2) where the updated versions result
 in a ``state of the art'' workplace, technically advanced beyond the 
requirements of the applicable OSHA standard, and (3) where equal or 
greater safety and health protection is provided.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ OSHA considers a de minimis condition to be a technical 
violation of a standard only. However, because the employer is 
considered to be in substantial compliance with the standard, the 
Agency issues no citations or penalties, nor is the employer 
required to bring his or her workplace into compliance with the 
older standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paragraph (a). Paragraph (a) of Sec.  1926.97 addresses the design 
and manufacture of insulating blankets, matting, covers, line hose, 
gloves, and sleeves made of rubber (either natural or synthetic). See 
the summary and explanation of proposed Sec.  1926.97(b) for general 
requirements on other types of insulating equipment.
    Under proposed paragraph (a)(1)(i), blankets, gloves, and sleeves 
would have to be manufactured without seams. This method of making the 
protective equipment minimizes the chance that the material will split. 
Because they are used when workers handle energized lines, gloves and 
sleeves are the only defense an employee has against electric shock. 
Additionally, blankets, gloves, and sleeves need to be seamless because 
the stresses placed on the equipment by the flexing of the rubber 
during normal use could cause a seam to separate. The other three types 
of electrical protective equipment (covers, line hose, and matting) 
generally provide a more indirect form of protection--they insulate the 
live parts from accidental, rather than intended, contact--and they are 
not usually subject to similar amounts or types of flexing.
    Proposed paragraph (a)(1)(ii) would require electrical protective 
equipment to be marked to indicate its class and type. The class 
marking indicates the voltage with which the equipment can be used; the 
type marking indicates whether or not the equipment is ozone resistant. 
This will enable employees to know the uses and voltages for which the 
equipment is suited. Proposed paragraph (a)(1)(ii) would also permit 
equipment to contain other relevant markings, such as one indicating 
the manufacturer's name or compliance with ASTM standards.
    Paragraph (a)(1)(iii) would require all markings to be 
nonconductive and to be applied so that the properties of the equipment 
are not impaired. This would ensure that no marking interferes with the 
protection to be provided by the equipment.
    Paragraph (a)(1)(iv) would require markings on gloves to be 
provided only in the cuff area. Markings in other areas could possibly 
wear off. Moreover, having the markings in one place will allow the 
employee to determine the class and type of glove quickly. Furthermore, 
OSHA would require in paragraph (c)(2)(vii) that rubber gloves normally 
be worn under protector gloves. Because a protector glove is almost 
always shorter than the corresponding rubber glove with which it is 
worn and because the cuff of the protector glove can easily be pulled 
back without removal, it is easy to see markings on the cuff portion of 
the rubber glove beneath. Any marking provided on the rubber glove in 
an area outside of the cuff could not be seen with the protector glove 
in place.
    Under the national consensus standards, electrical protective 
equipment must be capable of passing certain electrical tests. In 
proposed Sec.  1926.97(a)(2), OSHA incorporates these requirements. The 
tests specified in the ASTM standards are very detailed. This is not 
the case in the OSHA standard. Through the use of performance language, 
the proposed rule would establish the same level of protection without 
a lengthy discussion of test procedures.
    Paragraph (a)(2)(i) would require electrical protective equipment 
to be capable of withstanding the a-c proof-test voltages in Table E-1 
or the d-c proof-test voltages in Table E-2 of the standard (depending, 
of course, on whether an a-c proof test or an equivalent d-c proof test 
is performed). The proof-test voltages listed in these tables have been 
taken from the current ASTM standards, which also contain details of 
the test procedures used to determine whether electrical protective 
equipment is capable of withstanding these voltages. These details have 
not been included in the proposed rule. Paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) replaces 
them with a performance-oriented requirement that whatever test is used 
must reliably indicate that the equipment can withstand the proof-test 
voltage involved. To meet the requirements of the OSHA performance 
standard, employers would normally get the assurance of the 
manufacturer that the equipment is capable of withstanding the 
appropriate proof-test voltage.\9\ Manufacturers typically look to the 
ASTM standards for guidance in determining the testing procedure.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ As explained in the note at the end of paragraph (a), OSHA 
deems equipment meeting the ASTM standards as being compliant with 
the OSHA standard. Thus, an employer could simply look for equipment 
labeled as meeting these standards. Manufacturers attest, through 
this label, that their equipment is capable of passing all the 
required tests, including the a-c or d-c proof tests.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(i)(B) would require the proof-test 
voltage to be applied for 1 minute for insulating matting and for 3 
minutes for other insulating equipment. These times are based on the 
proof-test times given in the ASTM design standards and are appropriate 
for testing the design capabilities of electrical protective equipment.
    Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(i)(C) would require rubber insulating 
gloves to be capable of withstanding the a-c proof-test voltage 
indicated in Table E-1 of the standard after a 16-hour water soak. If 
rubber insulating gloves absorb water, a reduction in insulating 
properties will result. Water absorption is thus a critical property 
because exposure to perspiration or rain is quite common while line 
worker's gloves are in use. Electrical work is sometimes performed in 
the rain, and an employee's perspiration is often present while the 
gloves are in use. The soak test is needed to ensure that electrical 
protective equipment can withstand the voltage involved under these 
conditions.
    When an a-c proof test is used on gloves, the resulting proof-test 
current gives an indication of the validity of the gloves' make-up, the 
dielectric constant of the type of material used, its thickness, and 
the total area under test. Paragraph (a)(2)(ii) prohibits the a-c 
proof-test current from exceeding the current allowed in Table E-1. The 
currents listed in the table have been taken from ASTM D120-02a.
    Under paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A), the maximum current for a-c voltages 
at frequencies other than 60 hertz would be computed from the direct 
ratio of the frequencies.
    Gloves are filled with and immersed in water during the a-c proof 
test, and the water inside and outside the glove forms the electrodes. 
The a-c proof-test current is dependent on the length of the portion of 
the glove that is out of water. Because the proof-test current is a 
function of immersion depth, it is important to specify the depth in 
the rule. Otherwise, employee safety could be compromised. Therefore, 
paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(B) in the proposed standard specifies that gloves 
to be tested must be filled with and immersed in water to the depth 
given in Table E-3 in the standard. This table was taken directly
from ASTM D120 and is valid for the proof-test currents listed in Table 
E-1.
    The allowable proof-test current must be increased for proof-tests 
on gloves after a 16-hour water soak because the gloves absorb a small 
amount of water, which results in slightly increased current during the 
test. ASTM D120 allows an increase in the proof-test current of 2 
milliamperes. If the proof-test current increases more than that, it 
would indicate that the gloves absorbed too much water. OSHA has 
proposed to allow a similar increase in proof-test current in paragraph 
(a)(2)(ii)(C).
    Since the relatively high voltages used in testing electrical 
protective equipment for minimum breakdown voltage can actually damage 
the insulating material under test (even if it passes), proposed 
paragraph (a)(2)(iii) would prohibit protective equipment that has been 
subjected to such a test from being used to protect employees from 
electrical hazards. The intent of the proposal is to prohibit the use 
of equipment that has been tested under conditions equivalent to those 
in the ASTM standards for minimum breakdown voltage tests.
    A note at the end of proposed Sec.  1926.97(a) indicates that all 
the tests given in the paragraph are described in the listed ASTM 
standards, as follows:

    These [ASTM] standards contain specifications for conducting the 
various tests required in paragraph (a) of this section. For 
example, the a-c and d-c proof tests, the breakdown test, the water 
soak procedure, and the ozone test mentioned in this paragraph are 
described in detail in the ASTM standards.

    This does not mean that OSHA is adopting the ASTM standards by 
reference. In enforcing proposed Sec.  1926.97, the Agency would accept 
any test that meets the requirements of the OSHA standard. However, the 
proposal states explicitly that the ASTM tests listed in the note are 
acceptable; and, if the ASTM specifications are met, an employer has 
assurance that he or she is complying with proposed Sec.  1926.97. If 
an employer uses other test methods, the Agency would determine, on a 
case-by-case basis, whether or not they meet the OSHA standard.
    Around high-voltage lines and equipment, a luminous discharge, 
called electric corona, can occur due to ionization of the surrounding 
air caused by a voltage gradient which exceeds a certain critical 
value. The blue corona discharge is accompanied by a hissing noise and 
by ozone, which can cause damage to certain types of rubber insulating 
materials. Therefore, when there is a chance that ozone may be produced 
at a work location, electrical protective equipment made of ozone-
resistant material is frequently used. To ensure that ozone-resistant 
material will, in fact, be resistant to the damaging effects of the 
gas, paragraph (a)(2)(iv) requires this type of material (Type II) to 
be capable of withstanding an ozone test that can reliably indicate 
that the material will resist ozone exposure in actual use. As noted 
earlier, standardized ozone tests are given in the ASTM specifications. 
The proposed rule also lists signs of failure of the test, such as 
checking,\10\ cracking, breaks, and pitting.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ ASTM F819-00 \e1\, Standard Terminology Relating to 
Electrical Protective Equipment for Workers, defines ``ozone cutting 
and checking'' as: ``cracks produced by ozone in a material under 
mechanical stress.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paragraph (a)(3) applies to the workmanship and finish of 
electrical protective equipment. Because physical irregularities can 
interfere with the insulating properties of the equipment, paragraph 
(a)(3)(i) prohibits the presence of harmful defects that can be 
detected by the tests or inspections required under Sec.  1926.97. 
However, some minor irregularities are nearly unavoidable in the 
manufacture of rubber goods, and these imperfections may be present in 
the insulating materials without significantly affecting the 
insulation. Paragraph (a)(3)(ii) lists the types of imperfections that 
are permitted. Even with these imperfections, electrical protective 
equipment is still required to be capable of passing the electrical 
tests specified in paragraph (a)(2).
    Since paragraph (a) of Sec.  1926.97 is written in performance-
oriented language, OSHA believes that it is important for employees, 
employers, and manufacturers to have some guidance in terms of what is 
acceptable under the proposed standard. OSHA also realizes that the 
current ASTM specifications on electrical protective equipment are 
accepted by employers and employees in the industry as providing safety 
to employees and that existing electrical protective equipment is 
normally made to these specifications. Furthermore, the proposal is 
based on the provisions of these national consensus standards, although 
the requirements are stated in performance terms. OSHA has therefore 
included a footnote at the end of paragraph (a) stating that rubber 
insulating equipment meeting the requirements of the listed ASTM 
standards for this equipment are considered as conforming to the 
requirements contained in Sec.  1926.97(a). The lists of ASTM standards 
in the proposed rule (in the notes following paragraphs (a)(3)(ii)(B) 
and (c)(2)(ix)) contain the latest revisions of these standards. The 
Agency has reviewed these documents and has found them to provide 
suitable guidance for compliance with Sec.  1926.97(a).\11\ It should 
be noted that the listed consensus standards are the only ones with 
official recognition within the body of the standard. Future consensus 
standards are not automatically given the same recognition but will 
have to be reviewed by OSHA to determine whether they provide 
sufficient protection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ OSHA has also reviewed earlier versions of these ASTM 
standards and found them to afford protection equal to that of the 
OSHA standard. Thus, the Agency will accept electrical protective 
equipment meeting earlier versions of the consensus standards 
provided the equipment meets the edition of the standard that was in 
effect at the time of manufacture and provided the employer has 
followed the use and care provisions set out in proposed Sec.  
1926.97(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paragraph (b). Paragraph (b) of the proposed Sec.  1926.97 
addresses electrical protective equipment other than the rubber 
insulating equipment addressed in paragraph (a). Equipment falling 
under this paragraph includes plastic guard equipment, insulating 
barriers, and other protective equipment intended to provide electrical 
protection to employees. Some of the equipment addressed in paragraph 
(b) is covered under a national consensus standard. For example, 
insulating plastic guard equipment is covered by ASTM F968, 
Specification for Electrically Insulating Plastic Guard Equipment for 
Protection of Workers. Other types of protective equipment are not 
covered by consensus specification.
    Paragraph (b)(1) would require electrical protective equipment to 
be capable of withstanding any voltage that might be imposed on it. The 
voltage includes transient overvoltages as well as the nominal voltage 
that is present on an energized part of an electric circuit. Equipment 
withstands a voltage if it maintains its integrity without flashover or 
arc through. This paragraph would protect employees from failure of 
electrical protective equipment. Equipment conforming to a national 
consensus standard for that type of equipment will generally be 
considered as complying with this rule if that standard contains proof 
testing requirements for the voltage involved. For types of equipment 
not addressed by any consensus standard, OSHA is considering accepting 
electrical protective equipment that is capable of passing a test 
equivalent to that described in ASTM F712, Standard Test Methods for 
Electrically Insulating Plastic Guard Equipment for Protection
of Workers. Guidance for performing dielectric tests of electrical 
protective equipment is also given in IEEE Std. 516, IEEE Guide for 
Maintenance Methods on Energized Power-Lines. OSHA invites comments on 
whether these standards contain suitable test methods and whether 
equipment passing those tests should be acceptable under the OSHA 
standard.
    The electrical test criteria set in ASTM F968 are summarized in 
Table IV-1 and Table IV-2. The Agency believes that the performance 
criteria proposed in paragraph (b)(1) minimize the necessity of setting 
or specifically including similar criteria in the OSHA standard. 
However, comments are invited on the need to set specific electrical 
performance values in the OSHA rule and on whether Table IV-1 and Table 
IV-2 could be applied to all types of electrical protective equipment 
that would be covered by proposed Sec.  1926.97(b).

                                    Table IV-1.--Withstand Voltage Proof Test
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         Proof test withstand voltage (in service testing)
                       Rating  kV    Maximum use ---------------------------------------------------------------
        Class            [phis]-     kV [phis]-g          kV [phis]-g
                         [phis]        (60 Hz)   ----------------------------   Duration          Criteria
                                                      60 Hz          D-C          min.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2...................          14.6           8.4            13            18          1.00  No flashover other
3...................          26.4          15.3            24            34          1.00   than momentary as a
4...................          36.6          21.1            32            45          1.00   result of too-close
                                                                                             spacing of
                                                                                             electrode.
5...................          48.3          27.0            42            60          0.50
6...................          72.5          41.8            64            91          0.25
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                       Table IV-2.--Minimum Flashover Test
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Minimum flashover test kV
                              Rating  kV    Maximum use           [phis]-g
           Class                [phis]-     kV [phis]-g ----------------------------           Criteria
                                [phis]        (60 Hz)        60 Hz          D-C
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2..........................          14.6           8.4            14            20  No flashover other than
3..........................          26.4          15.3            25            35   momentary as a result of
4..........................          36.6          21.1            34            48   too-close spacing of
                                                                                      electrode.
5..........................          48.3          27.0            43            61
6..........................          72.5          41.8            67            95
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (b)(2) addresses the properties of insulating 
equipment that limit the amount of current seen by an employee. 
Paragraph (b)(2)(i) would require electrical protective equipment used 
as the primary insulation of employees from energized parts to be 
capable of passing a test for current (that is, a proof test) when 
subjected to the highest nominal voltage on which the equipment is to 
be used. Paragraph (b)(2)(ii) would limit the current encountered 
during the test to 1 microampere per kilovolt of applied voltage. This 
requirement is intended to prevent the use of poor insulating materials 
or good insulating materials that are contaminated with conductive 
substances (for example, fiberglass-reinforced plastic coated with a 
conductive finish), which could lead to electric shocks to employees 
using the equipment. The limit for current has been taken from IEEE 
Std. 516, and OSHA believes such a limit is reasonable and appropriate. 
The Agency invites comments, however, on whether another value would 
better protect employees.
    When equipment is tested with ac voltage, the current measured 
during the test consists of three components: (1) Capacitive current 
caused by the dielectric properties of the equipment being tested, (2) 
conduction current through the equipment, and (3) leakage current 
passing along the surface of the equipment. The conduction current is 
negligible for materials typically used in insulating equipment, and 
the leakage current should be small for clean, dry insulating 
equipment. The capacitive component usually predominates when 
insulating equipment in good condition is tested. The second note to 
paragraph (b)(2) summarizes this information.
    The tests required under proposed paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) 
would normally be performed by the manufacturer initially during the 
design process and periodically during the manufacturing process. 
However, some employers might want to use equipment that is made of 
insulating materials but that is not intended by the manufacturer to be 
used as insulation. For example, a barrier made of rigid plastic may be 
intended for use as a general purpose barrier. An employer could test 
the barrier under proposed paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2). If the 
equipment passed the tests, it would be acceptable for use as 
insulating electrical protective equipment. Note 1 to paragraph (b)(2) 
makes clear that paragraph (b)(2) applies to equipment for primary 
insulation; it is not intended to apply to equipment used for secondary 
insulation or used for brush contact only.
    Paragraph (c). Although existing Sec.  1926.951(a)(1) does not 
contain provisions for the care and use of insulating equipment, OSHA 
believes provisions of this type can contribute greatly to employee 
safety. Electrical protective equipment is, in large part, manufactured 
in accordance with the latest ASTM standards. This would probably be 
the case even in the absence of OSHA regulation. However, improper use 
and care of this equipment can easily reduce, or even eliminate, the 
protection afforded by this equipment. Therefore, OSHA is proposing new 
requirements on the in-service care and use of electrical protective 
equipment to the design standards already contained in existing Sec.  
1926.951(a)(1). These new provisions will help ensure that these safety 
products retain their insulating properties.
    Proposed paragraph (c)(1) would require electrical protective 
equipment to be maintained in a safe and reliable condition. This 
general, performance-oriented requirement, which would apply to all 
equipment addressed by new Sec.  1926.97, helps ensure that employees are
fully protected from electric shock.
    Detailed criteria for the use and care of specific types of 
electrical protective equipment are contained in the following ASTM 
standards:
    ASTM F 478-92, Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Line 
Hose and Covers.
    ASTM F 479-95, Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating 
Blankets.
    ASTM F 496-02a, Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating 
Gloves and Sleeves.
    OSHA based the requirements proposed in paragraph (c)(2) on these 
standards.
    Paragraph (c)(2) applies only to rubber insulating blankets, 
covers, line hose, gloves, and sleeves. These are the only types of 
electrical protective equipment addressed by consensus standards on the 
care and use of such equipment. Rubber insulating matting, which is 
addressed by the material design specifications in paragraph (a), is 
not covered by any ASTM standard on its in-service care or by Sec.  
1910.137(c)(2). This type of equipment is generally permanently 
installed to provide supplementary protection against electric shock. 
Employees stand on the matting, and they are insulated from ground, 
which protects them from phase-to-ground electric shock. However, 
because this type of equipment is normally left in place after it is 
installed and because it is not relied on for primary protection from 
electric shock (the primary protection is provided by other insulating 
equipment or by insulating tools), it is not tested on a periodic basis 
and is not subject to the careful inspection before use that other 
insulating equipment is required to receive. It should be noted, 
however, that rubber insulating matting is required to be maintained in 
a safe, reliable condition under paragraph (c)(1).
    Although the rubber insulating equipment addressed in Sec.  
1926.97(a) is currently designed to be capable of withstanding voltages 
of up to 40 kilovolts, such equipment is actually intended to be used 
at lower voltages (see, for example, ASTM F 496 on the care and use of 
rubber insulating gloves and sleeves). The use of insulating equipment 
at voltages less than its actual breakdown voltage provides a margin of 
safety for the employee. In paragraph (c)(2)(i) and Table E-4, the 
proposal has adopted the margins of safety recognized in the ASTM 
standards, restricting the use of insulating equipment to voltages 
lower than the proof-test voltages given in Table E-1 and Table E-2.
    Table E-4 contains the following note:

    The maximum use voltage is the a-c voltage (rms) classification 
of the protective equipment that designates the maximum nominal 
design voltage of the energized system that may be safely worked. 
The nominal design voltage is equal to the phase-to-phase voltage on 
multiphase circuits. However, the phase-to-ground potential is 
considered to be the nominal design voltage:
    (1) If there is no multiphase exposure in a system area and if 
the voltage exposure is limited to the phase-to-ground potential, or
    (2) If the electrical equipment and devices are insulated or 
isolated or both so that the multiphase exposure on a grounded wye 
circuit is removed.

    In the general case, electrical protective equipment must be rated 
for the full phase-to-phase voltage of the lines or equipment on which 
work is being performed. This ensures that employees are protected 
against the most severe possible exposure, that is, contact between one 
phase conductor and another. However, if the employee is only exposed 
to phase-to-ground voltage, then the electrical protective equipment 
selected can be based on this lower voltage level (nominally, the 
phase-to-phase voltage divided by [radic]3 ). For example, a three-
phase, solidly grounded, Y-connected overhead distribution system could 
be run as three phase conductors with a neutral or as three single-
phase circuits with one phase conductor and a neutral each. If only one 
phase conductor is present on a pole, there is no multiphase exposure. 
If all three phase conductors are present, the multiphase exposure can 
be removed by insulating two of the phases or by isolating \12\ two of 
the phases. After the insulation is in place or while the employee is 
isolated from the other two phase conductors, there is no multiphase 
exposure, and electrical protective equipment rated for the phase-to-
ground voltage could be used. (It should be noted that, until the 
multiphase exposure has actually been removed, the phase-to-phase 
voltage remains the maximum use voltage. Thus, the maximum use voltage 
of any insulation used to ``remove phase-to-phase exposure'' must be 
greater than or equal to the phase-to-phase voltage on the system.) 
OSHA requests comments on how employees can be insulated or isolated 
from multiphase exposure to ensure the safe use of electrical 
protective equipment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ Depending on the configuration of the system, an employee 
could be isolated from two of the phases on the pole by approaching 
one of the outside phase conductors and working on it from a 
position where there is no possibility of coming too close to the 
other two phase conductors. Isolation of the employee may be 
impossible for some line configurations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii) would require insulating equipment to 
be visually inspected before use each day and immediately after any 
incident which might be suspected of causing damage. In this way, 
obvious defects can be detected before an accident occurs. Possible 
damage-causing incidents would include exposure to corona and exposure 
to possible direct physical damage. Additionally, rubber gloves would 
be required to be subjected to an air test along with the inspection. 
In the field, this test usually consists of rolling the cuff towards 
the palm so that air is entrapped within the glove. In a testing 
facility, a mechanical inflater may be used. In either case, punctures 
and cuts can easily be detected. The note following paragraph 
(c)(2)(ii) indicates that ASTM F 1236-96, Standard Guide for Visual 
Inspection of Electrical Protective Rubber Products, contains (1) 
information on how to inspect rubber insulating equipment and (2) 
descriptions and photographs of potential irregularities in the 
equipment.
    During use, electrical protective equipment may become damaged and 
lose some of its insulating value. Paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of proposed 
Sec.  1926.97 lists types of damage that would cause the insulating 
value to drop. The equipment may not be used if any of these defects 
are present.
    Defects other than those listed in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) may 
develop during use of the equipment and could also affect the 
insulating and mechanical properties of the equipment. If such defects 
are found, proposed paragraph (c)(2)(iv) would require the equipment to 
be removed from service and tested in accordance with other 
requirements in paragraph (c)(2). The results of the tests determine if 
it is safe to return the items to service.
    Foreign substances on the surface of rubber insulating equipment 
can degrade the material and lead to damage to the insulation. 
Paragraph (c)(2)(v) would require the equipment to be cleaned as needed 
to remove any foreign substances.
    Over time, certain environmental conditions can also cause 
deterioration of rubber insulating equipment. Proposed paragraph 
(c)(2)(vi) would require insulating equipment to be stored so that it 
is protected from injurious conditions and substances, such as light, 
temperature extremes, excessive humidity, and ozone. This requirement 
helps the equipment retain its insulating properties as it ages.
    OSHA does not consider carrying the equipment on trucks for the use 
of employees during the course of work to be storage. However, the 
Agency does not believe that it is safe to store the equipment on 
trucks for extended periods between use if such storage would expose 
the equipment to extremes of temperature or humidity. It may be 
necessary, under some circumstances, to store equipment indoors during 
prolonged periods when employees would not be using it. Workers are 
dependent upon electrical protective equipment for their safety, and 
all reasonable means of protecting it from unnecessary damage must be 
employed.
    Rubber insulating gloves are particularly sensitive to physical 
damage during use. Through handling conductors and other electrical 
equipment, an employee can damage the gloves and lose the protection 
they provide. For example, a sharp point on the end of a conductor 
could puncture the rubber. To protect against damage, protector gloves 
(made of leather) are worn over the rubber gloves. Proposed paragraph 
(c)(2)(vii) recognizes the extra protection afforded by leather gloves 
and would require their use over rubber gloves, except under limited 
conditions.
    Protector gloves would not be required with Class 0 or Class 00 
gloves if high finger dexterity is needed for small parts manipulation. 
The maximum voltage on which Class 0 and Class 00 gloves can be used is 
1,000 volts and 500 volts, respectively. At these voltages, an employee 
is protected against electric shock as long as a live part does not 
puncture the rubber and contact the employee's hand. The type of small 
parts encountered in work on energized circuits, such as small nuts and 
washers, are not likely to do this. While the exception is necessary to 
allow work to be performed on small energized parts, extra care is 
needed in the visual examination of the glove and in the avoidance of 
handling sharp objects. (A note to this effect is included in the 
proposal.)
    The other exception to the requirement for protector gloves is 
granted if the employer can demonstrate that the possibility for damage 
is low and if gloves at least one class higher than required for the 
voltage are used. For example, if a Class 2 glove is used at 7500 volts 
or less (the maximum use voltage for Class 1 equipment), if high 
dexterity is needed, and if the possibility of damage is low, then 
protector gloves need not be used. In this case, the additional 
thickness of insulation provides a measure of additional physical 
protection. This exception does not apply when the possibility of 
damage is significant, such as when an employee is using a knife to 
trim insulation from a conductor or when an employee has to handle 
moving parts, such as conductors being pulled into place. To ensure 
that no loss of insulation has occurred, paragraph (c)(2)(vii)(C) would 
require any gloves used under this exception to be tested before being 
used again.
    Paragraph (c)(2)(viii), Table E-4, and Table E-5 would require 
insulating equipment to be tested periodically to verify that 
electrical protective equipment retains its insulating properties over 
time. Table E-4 lists the retest voltages that are required for the 
various classes of protective equipment, and Table E-5 presents the 
testing intervals for the different types of equipment. These test 
voltages and intervals were taken from the relevant ASTM standards.
    Paragraph (c)(2)(ix) proposes a performance-oriented requirement 
that the method used for the periodic tests give a reliable indication 
of whether or not the electrical protective equipment can withstand the 
voltages involved. As this is a performance-oriented standard, OSHA 
does not spell out detailed procedures for the required tests, which 
vary depending on the type of equipment being tested. On the other 
hand, OSHA believes that it is important for employees, employers, and 
testing laboratories to have some guidance in terms of what is 
acceptable under the proposed standard. Therefore, following paragraph 
(c)(2)(ix), OSHA has included a note stating that electrical test 
methods given in the various ASTM standards on rubber insulating 
equipment meet the proposed performance requirement. The Agency 
believes that referencing acceptable test methods within the standard 
will benefit employees, employers, and testing laboratories. As noted 
earlier, this does not mean that OSHA is adopting the ASTM standards by 
reference. In enforcing Sec.  1926.97(c)(2)(ix), the Agency would 
accept any test that meets the requirements of the OSHA standard. 
However, the proposal states explicitly that the listed ASTM tests 
would be acceptable; and, if the ASTM specifications are met, an 
employer has assurance that he or she would be complying with Sec.  
1926.97(c)(2)(ix). If an employer uses other test methods, the Agency 
will determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether or not they meet the 
Federal standard.
    Once the equipment has undergone the in-service inspections and 
tests, it is important to ensure that any failed equipment is not 
returned to service. Paragraph (c)(2)(x) would prohibit electrical 
protective equipment that failed the required inspections and tests 
from being used by employees, unless the defects can be safely 
eliminated. Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(x) also lists acceptable means of 
eliminating defects and rendering the equipment fit for use. Sometimes 
defective portions of rubber line hose and blankets can be removed. The 
result would be a smaller blanket or a shorter length of line hose. 
Under the proposal, rubber insulating blankets may only be salvaged by 
severing the defective portions of the blanket if the resulting 
undamaged area is at least 560 mm by 560 mm (22 inches by 22 inches) 
for Class 1, 2, 3, and 4 blankets. (Smaller sizes cannot be reliably 
tested using standard test methods.) Obviously, gloves and sleeves 
cannot be repaired in this manner; however, there are methods of 
patching them if the defects are minor. Rubber blankets can also be 
patched. The patched area must have electrical and physical properties 
equal to those of the material being repaired. To minimize the 
possibility that a patch will loosen or fail, the proposal would not 
permit repairs to gloves outside the gauntlet area (the area between 
the wrist and the reinforced edge of the opening). OSHA stresses that 
the proposal would not permit repairs in the working area of the glove, 
where the constant flexing of the rubber during the course of work 
could loosen an ill-formed patch.
    Once the insulating equipment has been repaired, it must be 
retested to ensure that any patches are effective and that there are no 
other defects present. Such retests would be required under paragraph 
(c)(2)(xi).
    Employers, employees, and OSHA compliance staff must have a method 
of determining whether or not the tests required under proposed 
paragraphs (c)(2)(viii) and (c)(2)(xi) have been performed. Paragraph 
(c)(2)(xii) would require this to be accomplished by means of 
certification by the employer that equipment has been tested in 
accordance with the standard. The certification is required to identify 
the equipment that passed the test and the date it was tested. Typical 
means of meeting this requirement include logs and stamping test dates 
on the equipment. A note following paragraph (c)(2)(xii) explains that 
these means of certification are acceptable.

B. Electric Power Transmission and Distribution, Subpart V

    OSHA is proposing to revise Subpart V of its construction 
standards. This subpart contains requirements for the prevention of 
injuries to employees performing construction work on electric power 
transmission and distribution installations.
    The proposed revision of Subpart V is based primarily on the 
general industry standard Sec.  1910.269, Electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution, which was promulgated in January 1994, 
rather than on existing Subpart V, which was promulgated in 1972. As 
noted earlier in this preamble, the existing Subpart V is 
technologically out of date and contains provisions that are poorly 
written. OSHA believes that basing the revision of Subpart V on the 
more recently promulgated Sec.  1910.269 will produce a standard that 
will be easier for employees and employers to understand and will 
better protect employees than a revision based on the existing 
construction standard.
Section 1926.950, General
    Section 1926.950, General, proposes the scope of revised Subpart V 
and proposes general requirements for training and the determination of 
existing conditions.
    Paragraph (a)(1) of proposed Sec.  1926.950 sets the scope of 
revised Subpart V. OSHA intends the revision of Subpart V to apply to 
the same types of work covered under the existing standard. Therefore, 
paragraph (a)(1) has been taken directly from existing Sec.  
1926.950(a) and (a)(1). As proposed, Subpart V would apply to the 
construction of electric power transmission and distribution 
installations. For the purposes of the proposal and the existing 
standard, ``construction'' includes the erection of new electric 
transmission and distribution lines and equipment, and the alteration, 
conversion, and improvement of existing electric transmission and 
distribution lines and equipment.
    Paragraph (a)(2) of proposed Sec.  1926.950 explains the 
application of the subpart with respect to the rest of Part 1926. The 
proposed provision reads as follows: ``This subpart applies in addition 
to all other applicable standards contained in this Part 1926. 
Employers covered under this subpart are not exempt from complying with 
other applicable provisions in Part 1926 by the operation of Sec.  
1910.5(c) of this chapter. Specific references in this subpart to other 
sections of Part 1926 are provided for emphasis only.'' All other 
construction industry standards would continue to apply to 
installations covered by the revised standard unless an exception is 
given in Subpart V. For example, Sec.  1926.959(a)(2) would require the 
critical components of mechanical elevating and rotating equipment to 
be inspected before each shift. This provision would not supersede 
existing Sec. Sec.  1926.500(a)(5) and (a)(6), which detail specific 
requirements for the inspection of cranes. Also, in a change that OSHA 
considers nonsubstantive, Sec.  1910.269(a)(1)(iii) will be amended to 
include language equivalent to that of the new provision at Sec.  
1926.950(a)(2).\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of Sec.  1910.269 presently states: 
``This section applies in addition to all other applicable standards 
contained in this part 1910. Specific references in this section to 
other sections of part 1910 are provided for emphasis only.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In contrast to Sec.  1910.269, Subpart V does not apply to work on 
electric power generation installations or to the installations 
themselves. The construction of an electric power generation station 
normally poses hazards more akin to those of general construction 
rather than those found in the operation and maintenance of the 
generation plant. The only exceptions would be during the final phase 
of construction of a generating station, when electrical and other 
acceptance testing of the installation is being performed, and during 
``reconstruction'' phases, when other portions of the generating 
station would still be in operation. During these two operations, the 
work being performed resembles general industry work, and the 
appropriate work practices to follow are contained in the general 
industry standard Sec.  1910.269. Therefore, rather than repeat the 
relevant portions of Sec.  1910.269 in Subpart V, OSHA has simply 
stated in Sec.  1926.950(a)(3) that such work shall comply with Sec.  
1910.269. The Agency requests comments on whether Sec.  1910.269 should 
apply to all work involving electric power generation installations, as 
proposed, or whether the relevant requirements from Sec.  1910.269 
should be contained in Subpart V.
    Similarly, line-clearance tree trimming is not normally performed 
as part of the construction of electric power transmission or 
distribution installations. One exception occurs when trees are trimmed 
along an existing overhead power line to provide clearance for a new 
transmission or distribution line being constructed. Even here, 
however, this work is not construction-like in nature. Therefore, OSHA 
is also applying Sec.  1910.269 to line-clearance tree-trimming 
operations, regardless of whether the work is considered to be 
construction work. The Agency also requests comments on whether Sec.  
1910.269 should apply to all work involving line-clearance tree 
trimming, as proposed, or whether the relevant requirements from Sec.  
1910.269 should be contained in Subpart V.
    Paragraph (b) of Sec.  1926.950 addresses training for employees. 
Subpart V currently contains no general provisions related to training 
employees in the safety precautions necessary to perform electric power 
transmission and distribution work. It is widely recognized that 
electric-utility-type work requires special knowledge and skills. 
Additionally, both existing Subpart V and the proposed revision of 
Subpart V contain many safety-related work practice requirements that 
are necessary for the protection of employees. In order to gain the 
requisite knowledge and skills to employ these work practices, 
employees must be adequately trained. Therefore, in the proposed 
revision of Subpart V, OSHA has included training requirements based on 
those in Sec.  1910.269.
    Paragraph (b)(1) contains training requirements applying to all 
employees performing work covered by Subpart V. Paragraph (b)(1)(i) 
would require employees to be trained in the safety-related work 
practices, safety procedures, and other personnel safety requirements 
in the standard that pertain to their respective job assignments. This 
training is necessary to ensure that employees use the safety-related 
work practices outlined in proposed Subpart V.
    Under paragraph (b)(1)(ii), employees would also be required to be 
trained in and familiar with any other safety practices necessary for 
their safety, including applicable emergency procedures. The proposed 
rule would require employees to be trained in safe work techniques that 
relate to his or her job. Additionally, if more than one set of work 
practices could be used to accomplish a task safely, the employee would 
need to be trained in only those work methods he or she is to use. For 
example, an insulator on a power line could be replaced through the use 
of live-line tools, through the use of rubber insulating equipment, or 
by deenergizing the line. The employee would only have to be trained in 
the method actually used to replace that insulator.
    The proposal cannot specify requirements for every hazard the 
employee faces in performing electric power transmission or 
distribution work. Employers must fill in this gap by training their 
employees in hazards that are anticipated during the course of jobs 
they are expected to perform. The language of proposed Sec.  
1926.950(b)(1)(ii) imparts OSHA's intent that safety training be 
provided in areas that are not directly addressed by the standard but 
that are related to the employee's job.
    Under paragraph (b)(1)(iii), the training provided to an employee 
would have to be commensurate with the risk he or she faces. This 
provision is not contained in either existing Subpart V or Sec.  
1910.269. This proposed requirement, which has been taken from Sec.  
1910.332(c), is intended to ensure that an appropriate level of 
training is provided. Employees who face little risk in their job tasks 
need less training than those whose jobs expose them to the most 
danger. OSHA believes that this provision will ensure that employers 
direct their training resources where they will provide the greatest 
benefit. At the same time, all employees will receive adequate training 
to protect them against the hazards they face in their jobs. OSHA 
notes, however, for employees who are currently provided the training 
required by existing Sec.  1910.269, this training will be considered 
sufficient for compliance with proposed paragraph (b)(1)(iii). Proposed 
paragraph (b)(1)(iii) does not require employers to make changes to 
their training programs; rather it provides employers with options to 
tailor their training programs and resources to employees with 
particularly high-risk jobs.
    Paragraph (b)(2) of proposed Sec.  1926.950 contains additional 
requirements for the training of qualified employees. Because qualified 
employees are allowed to work very close to electric power lines and 
equipment and because they face a high risk of electrocution, it is 
important that they be specially trained. OSHA believes that qualified 
employees need to be extensively trained for them to perform their work 
safely. Towards this end, the proposal would require that these 
employees be trained in distinguishing live parts from other parts of 
electric equipment, in determining nominal voltages of lines and 
equipment, in the minimum approach distances set forth in the proposal, 
in the techniques involved in working on or near live parts, and in the 
knowledge necessary to recognize electrical hazards and the techniques 
to avoid these hazards.
    OSHA believes that there is a need for all employees to be trained 
on a continuing basis. Initial instruction in safe techniques for 
performing specific job tasks is not sufficient to ensure that 
employees will use safe work practices all of the time. At OSHA's 
hearing on Sec.  1910.269, Dr. Heinz Ahlers of NIOSH spoke about the 
effect of training on accidents, as follows:


    * * * I think in a majority of those instances, the fatality 
involved the worker who had been appropriately trained for the 
exposure that he subsequently came in contact with and just was not 
following what the training and the company policy had involved. 
[269-DC Tr. 47-48]

    Continual reinforcement of this initial guidance must be provided 
to ensure that the employee actually uses the procedures he or she has 
been taught. This reinforcement can take the form of supervision, 
safety meetings, pre-job briefings or conferences, and retraining. 
Typically, adequate supervision can detect unsafe work practices with 
respect to tasks that are routine and are performed on a daily or 
regular basis. However, if an employee has to use a technique that is 
applied infrequently or that is based on new technology, some follow-up 
is needed to ensure that the employee is actually aware of the correct 
procedure for accomplishing the task. A detailed job briefing, as 
required under proposed Sec.  1926.952(d)(2), may be adequate if the 
employee has previously received some instruction, but training would 
be necessary if the employee has never been schooled in the techniques 
to be used.
    For these reasons, OSHA has supplemented the basic training 
requirements proposed in Sec.  1926.950(b)(1) and (b)(2) with two 
additional requirements: (1) a requirement for regular supervision 
(that is, supervision that takes place on a periodic basis throughout 
the year) and an annual inspection by the employer to determine whether 
or not each employee is complying with the safety-related work 
practices required by Subpart V and (2) a requirement for additional 
training whenever
     The regular supervision or annual inspection indicates 
that the employee is not following the safety-related work practices 
required by the standard,
     New technology, new types of equipment, or changes in 
procedures necessitate the use of safety-related work practices that 
are different from those that the employee would normally use, or
     The employee must use safety-related work practices that 
are not normally used during his or her regular job duties.
    These two provisions are contained in paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4).
    The proposal includes a note indicating that the Agency considers 
tasks performed less often than once per year to require retraining 
before the task is actually performed. Instruction provided in pre-job 
briefings is acceptable if it is detailed enough to fully inform the 
employee of the procedures involved in the job and to ensure that he or 
she can accomplish them in a safe manner. OSHA believes that this 
requirement will significantly improve safety for electric power 
transmission and distribution workers.
    Under paragraph (b)(5), the proposal would require classroom or on-
the-job training or a combination of both. This allows employers to 
continue the types of training programs that are currently in 
existence. (See the discussion of Note 2 to paragraph (b)(7) for an 
explanation of how employers may treat previous training.)
    An employee who has attended a single training class on a procedure 
that is as complex as the lockout and tagging procedure used in an 
electric generating plant has generally not been fully trained in that 
procedure. Unless a training program establishes an employee's 
proficiency in safe work practices and unless that employee then 
demonstrates his or her ability to perform those work practices, there 
will be no assurance that safe work practices will result. To address 
this problem, the Agency is proposing paragraph (b)(6), which reads as 
follows:

    The training shall establish employee proficiency in the work 
practices required by this section and shall introduce the 
procedures necessary for compliance with this section.

    The inclusion of paragraph (b)(6) and the demonstration of 
proficiency requirement contained in paragraph (b)(7), discussed later 
in this preamble, are intended to ensure that employers do not try to 
comply with Sec.  1926.950(b) by simply handing training manuals to 
their employees. These provisions will require employers to take steps 
to assure that employees comprehend what they have been taught and that 
they are capable of performing the work practices mandated by the 
standard. OSHA believes that these two paragraphs will maximize the 
benefits of the training required under the standard.
    The employer would be required, by paragraph (b)(7), to determine 
that each employee has demonstrated proficiency in the work practices 
involved. Until the employer makes this determination, the employee 
would not be considered as being trained. Employers relying on training 
provided by others are expected to take steps to verify that the 
employee has indeed received it. For example, an employer could call a 
previous employer or training facility or could check a union 
employee's journeyman lineman credentials. Alternatively, an employer 
could test the employee's knowledge of safe work practices. After these 
steps have been taken, the employer could then, based on visual
observation of the employee, determine that that employee has been 
trained in accordance with the standard and has demonstrated 
proficiency in the work practices involved. A note following this 
paragraph explains that employee training records, which are maintained 
by many employers but which are not required by the standard, are one 
way of tracking when an employee has demonstrated proficiency. OSHA 
requests comments on whether the standard should require employers to 
record employee training.
    Note 2 to paragraph (b)(7) describes how an employer may treat 
training that the employee has received previously (for example, 
through previous employment). If an employer can demonstrate that an 
employee has already been trained, the employer does not have to 
duplicate previous instruction provided that the employer: (1) Confirms 
that the employee has the job experience appropriate to the work to be 
performed, (2) through an examination or interview, makes an initial 
determination that the employee is proficient in the relevant safety-
related work practices before he or she performs any work covered by 
this subpart, and (3) supervises the employee closely until that 
employee has demonstrated proficiency in all the work practices he or 
she will employ. OSHA believes that it is unnecessary to require 
employers to duplicate training the employee has received in the past. 
However, the Agency believes that it is important for the employer to 
take steps to ensure that the previous training was adequate for the 
work practices the employee will be performing. It is possible, for 
example, that an employee who has received training through an 
apprenticeship program was not trained in the specific grounding 
practices used by his or her current employer. The employer must 
determine where the gaps in the employee's training are and provide 
supplemental training to cover them. Otherwise, employees may follow 
different practices that endanger not only themselves but their 
coworkers as well. For example, a previously trained employee may have 
been instructed to wear rubber gloves and sleeves, but his or her 
current employer's practices require only rubber gloves but with the 
extra insulation on conductors as required by proposed Sec.  
1926.960(c)(2). This employee will be unlikely to install all the 
necessary insulation, increasing the risk to the employee and his or 
her coworkers.
    Existing Sec.  1910.269(a)(2)(vii) requires employers to certify 
that employees have received the training required under that section. 
The certification must be made when the employee demonstrates 
proficiency in the work practices involved. To reduce unnecessary 
paperwork burdens placed on employers, OSHA is proposing to eliminate 
the requirement to certify training. The Agency believes that 
compliance with the training requirements can be determined through 
employee interviews; thus, the certification requirement is 
unnecessary. OSHA does believe, however, that it is essential for the 
employee to demonstrate proficiency in the work practices involved 
before he or she is considered as having been trained satisfactorily. 
Therefore, as described earlier, the proposal includes this as a 
requirement. Comments are requested on whether or not the existing 
certification requirement in existing Sec.  1910.269(a)(2)(vii) is 
necessary and on whether or not the proposed alternative will better 
protect employees.
    The work covered by Subpart V is frequently done by an employer 
working under contract to an electric utility. Traditionally, electric 
utilities \14\ have had a workforce that was sufficient for the day-to-
day maintenance of the electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution system. Electric utilities would hire contractors when the 
work to be performed went beyond routine maintenance. Thus, contractors 
typically would perform the following types of work: new transmission 
and distribution line construction, extensive transmission and 
distribution line renovation (such as the replacement of a large number 
of utility poles or the upgrading of the line to a higher voltage), 
line-clearance tree trimming, generation plant overhauls, and repair of 
extensive storm damage.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ For the purposes of the discussion of Sec.  1926.950(c), 
OSHA is using the term ``electric utility'' to include any employer 
who hires a contractor to work on that employer's electric power 
generation, transmission, or distribution facility.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Contractors performing electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution work experience a disproportionate share of fatal 
accidents in comparison to electric utilities. Table IV-3 presents the 
number of fatalities experienced by electric utilities and their major 
electrical contractors.

                                         Table IV-3.--Fatalities by SIC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  SIC                                   Industry                       Year           Number
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
783...................................  Line-clearance tree-trimming contractors            1991               4
                                                                                            1992               7
                                                                                            1993               9
                                                                                            1994               4
                                                                                            1995               2
                                                                                            1996               6
                                                                                            1997               4
                                                                                            1998               5
                                                                                                 ---------------
    Total.............................  ........................................  ..............              41
---------------------------------------
1623..................................  Power Line Contractors..................            1991              15
                                                                                            1992              12
                                                                                            1993              20
                                                                                            1994              21
                                                                                            1995              15
                                                                                            1996              11
                                                                                            1997              11
                                                                                            1998              12
                                                                                                 ---------------
    Total.............................  ........................................  ..............             117
---------------------------------------
1731..................................  Electrical Contractors..................            1991               5
                                                                                            1992               6
                                                                                            1993              13
                                                                                            1994               9
                                                                                            1995               9
                                                                                            1996               6
                                                                                            1997               8
                                                                                            1998               9
                                                                                                 ---------------
    Total.............................  ........................................  ..............              65
---------------------------------------
4911..................................  Electric Utilities......................            1991              33
                                                                                            1992              34
                                                                                            1993              28
                                                                                            1994              23
                                                                                            1995              36
                                                                                            1996              23
                                                                                            1997              20
                                                                                            1998              27
                                                                                                 ---------------
    Total.............................  ........................................  ..............             224
---------------------------------------
4931..................................  Combination Utilities (e.g., Electric               1991               2
                                         and Gas Utilities).
                                                                                            1992               7
                                                                                            1993               1
                                                                                            1994               1
                                                                                            1995               1
                                                                                            1996               2
                                                                                            1997               2
                                                                                            1998               1
                                                                                                 ---------------
    Total.............................  ........................................  ..............              17
                                                                                                 ===============
        Grand total...................  ........................................  ..............            464
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: OSHA accident inspection data for the years 1991 through 1998.


BILLING CODE 4510-26-P

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15JN05.000

BILLING CODE 4510-26-C
    Figure 1 shows the percentages of fatalities for the two groups. 
These figures demonstrate that, while the overall number of fatalities 
has not changed significantly, the proportion of fatal accidents has 
shifted from electric utilities to their contractors, with nearly half 
of the fatalities involving contractors.
    The number of fatalities for the two industry groups does not tell 
the full story. To determine the relative risk faced by employees, OSHA 
must look at fatality rates, which represent the number of deaths per 
1000 employees. Using employment data for 1997 from Section V, 
Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis and Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis, later in this preamble, the Agency has calculated 
fatality rates for electric utilities and their major contractors, as 
shown in Table IV-4.

                                     Table IV-4.--Fatality Rate by Industry
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Electric utilities      Electrical contractors      Line-clearance tree
                                   ----------------------------------------------------         trimmers
                                      124408 Employees \1\       43472 Employees \2\   -------------------------
               Year                ----------------------------------------------------    35020 Employees \3\
                                                                                       -------------------------
                                     Number of     Fatality    Number of     Fatality    Number of     Fatality
                                     fatalities      rate      fatalities      rate      fatalities      rate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1991..............................           35         0.28           20         0.46            4         0.11
1992..............................           41         0.33           18         0.41            7         0.20
1993..............................           29         0.23           33         0.76            9         0.26
1994..............................           24         0.19           30         0.69            4         0.11
1995..............................           37         0.30           24         0.55            2         0.06
1996..............................           25         0.20           17         0.39            6         0.17
1997..............................           22         0.18           19         0.44            4         0.11
1998..............................           28         0.23           21         0.48            5         0.14
                                   --------------
    Total.........................          241         0.24          182         0.52           41        0.15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Source: ``Analytical Support and Data Gathering for a Preliminary Economic Analysis for Proposed Standards
  for Work on Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Lines and Equipment (29 CFR 1910.269 and
  29 CFR 1926--Subpart V),'' 2005, CONSAD Research Corp. (CONSAD), full-time equivalent employment for NAICS
  221110, electric power generation, NAICS 221120, electric power transmission, control, and distribution, and
  NAICS 2211, publicly owned utilities, combined.
\2\ Source: CONSAD, full-time equivalent employment for NAICS 234910, water, sewer, and pipeline construction,
  NAICS 234920, power and communication transmission line construction, and NAICS 235310, electrical
  contractors, combined.
\3\ Source: CONSAD, full-time equivalent employment for SIC 0783, ornamental shrub and tree services.

    As can be seen from this table, the fatality rates for contractors 
are more than double the comparable rate for electric utilities.
    OSHA believes that, for the protection of all employees performing 
electric power generation,\15\ transmission, and distribution work, it 
is essential that electric utilities hire contractors who have 
employees with the skills, knowledge, training, tools, and protective 
equipment necessary to perform this work safely. The safety of electric 
utility employees as well as the safety of contractor employees depends 
on this.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ Although Subpart V applies only to the construction of 
transmission and distribution installations, the same requirements 
on the duties of host and contract employers are being proposed in 
Sec.  1910.269, which applies to the maintenance and operation of 
electric power generation installations in addition to transmission 
and distribution installations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It is clear that the safety of contract employees is dependent on 
their skills, knowledge, training, tools, and protective equipment. The 
requirements of Sec.  1926.950(b) generally ensure that all employees 
have the requisite skills and training. Other requirements in the 
standard, including Sec. Sec.  1926.954, 1926.957, and 1926.960, 
address tools and protective equipment. However, these other provisions 
do not adequately address the employees' knowledge of the actual 
equipment they will be working on. For example, an employee might be 
trained in the climbing of concrete poles. Climbing these structures 
typically involves the attachment of temporary ladders into fittings on 
the concrete poles. An employee with the general type of training in 
climbing electric power transmission structures that contract employees 
typically receive might not be aware of the specific attachment and 
locking means used by the concrete poles and structures owned by the 
electric utility that hires the contractor. Without this knowledge, the 
employee could attach the temporary ladder incorrectly or fail to lock 
it in place properly with possibly fatal results.
    In addition, several provisions in the standard would require the 
employer to assess certain hazards covered by the standard. For 
example, Sec.  1926.960(g) would require employers to assess hazards 
associated with electric arcs. Contract employers need to have 
sufficient information about the electrical system so that they can 
perform these hazard assessments.
    The facilities owned by an electric utility pose hazards to 
employees of contractors working on those facilities. For example, 
overhead electric power transmission and distribution lines and 
equipment owned by electric utilities pose serious fall, electrocution, 
and electric shock hazards. Employees exposed to such hazards need to 
be highly trained and skilled. If an electric utility hires a 
contractor who uses unqualified employees on those lines and equipment, 
the hazards posed by the utility's facilities will almost certainly 
lead to injuries. If the contract employees are working on a power line 
with the understanding that it is deenergized and if the contract 
employees do not fully understand the electric utility's procedures for 
deenergizing lines and equipment, then those employees could mistakenly 
believe that a line is deenergized when it is not, with possibly fatal 
results. Inadequate maintenance of an electric utility's facilities can 
also lead to unexpected hazards for contract employees.
    The safety of electric utility employees is also affected by the 
contract employer's work. For example, a contractor's work could cause 
an overhead energized line to fall on a deenergized line on which an 
electric utility employee is working, creating hazards for the electric 
utility employee. Additionally, a contract employee who is not familiar 
with the utility's procedures for reenergizing lines and equipment 
might inadvertently remove a tag protecting an electric utility 
employee.
    Although electric utility employees do not typically work with 
contract employees, sometimes they do work together. For example, it is 
common practice for contract employees and electric utility employees 
to work side-by-side during emergency restoration operations, such as 
those that follow a big storm. Additionally, contractors in electric 
power generation plants will be working near employees working full 
time in the plant.
    It is clear from these examples that electric utility employers and 
contract employers must cooperate and communicate if all employees 
maintaining or constructing electric power generation, transmission, or 
distribution facilities are to be adequately protected. Thus, OSHA is 
proposing requirements in Sec.  1926.950 for each type of employer to 
ensure the necessary exchange of information between electric utility 
and contract employers. The proposed requirements have been taken from 
similar provisions in the Agency's standard for Process Safety 
Management, Sec.  1910.119(h).
    Paragraph (c)(1) of proposed Sec.  1926.950 would impose duties on 
host employers that hire contractors to perform work on the host 
employer's installations covered by Subpart V. Host employer is defined 
as ``[a]n employer who operates and maintains an electric power 
transmission or distribution installation covered by Subpart V of this 
Part and who hires a contract employer to perform work on that 
installation.'' This definition includes electric utilities and other 
employers who operate and maintain an electric power transmission or 
distribution installation. However, it does not include an employer who 
owns but does not operate and maintain such installations. The Agency 
believes that host employers who operate and maintain their electric 
power transmission and distribution installations have expertise in 
working safely on such installations. On the other hand, some entities 
may own but not operate or maintain these installations. These entities 
generally do not have the expertise necessary to work safely on 
transmission or distribution lines and equipment and would have little 
hazard-related knowledge to pass on to contractors. In addition, the 
employees of such entities would have little if any exposure to hazards 
created by a contract employer. Therefore, OSHA is proposing to exclude 
such entities from having to comply with proposed Sec.  1926.950(c)(1). 
The Agency invites comments on whether excluding such employers from 
the host-contract employer provisions proposed in Sec.  1926.950(c)(1) 
unduly jeopardizes employee safety and whether any of the provisions in 
that paragraph could reasonably be applied to such employers.
    OSHA is also not proposing to extend the host-contract employer 
provisions to line-clearance tree-trimming contractors for work 
performed by line-clearance tree trimmers who are not qualified 
employees. Existing Sec.  1910.269(a)(1)(i)(E) lists the paragraphs 
that apply to line-clearance tree-trimming, and OSHA is not proposing 
to add the host-contract employer provisions to that list. As noted 
earlier, the fatality rate for line-clearance tree-trimming contractors 
is lower than the rate for utilities. Thus, it appears that though 
line-clearance tree-trimming operations are relatively hazardous, they 
are still safer than power line construction, repair, and maintenance. 
On the other hand, if a line-clearance tree-trimming operation is 
performed by a qualified employee, then the host-contract employer 
provisions would apply. (See existing Sec.  1910.269(a)(1)(i)(E)(1).) 
As long as they are using electrical protective equipment, these 
employees are permitted to come much closer to energized parts than 
unqualified employees, and the Agency believes that these employees 
face hazards similar to contract power line workers.\16\ OSHA requests 
comments on whether excluding line-clearance tree-trimming contractors 
from the host-contract employer provisions proposed in Sec.  
1926.950(c)(1) unduly jeopardizes employee safety and whether any of 
the provisions in that paragraph could reasonably be applied to such 
employers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ For a full discussion of why existing Sec.  1910.269 
applies different requirements to line-clearance tree-trimming 
operations depending on whether or not the operation is performed by 
a qualified employee, see the preamble to the final rule on electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution work (January 31, 
1994, 59 FR 4336).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Contract employer is defined as ``[a]n employer who performs work 
covered by Subpart V of this Part for a host employer.'' This includes 
painting contractors, line construction contractors, electrical 
contractors, and any other contractors working on the construction of 
electric power transmission and distribution lines.\17\ It does not 
include contractors who might be present at a jobsite where some work 
performed is covered by Subpart V, but who are not performing any 
covered work.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ For Sec.  1910.269, this definition also includes 
contractors working on an electric power generation installation 
covered by that section. This would include boiler maintenance 
contractors, conveyor servicing contractors, electrical contractors, 
and others.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sometimes the host employer is aware of hazards that are present at 
its facilities of which the contractor might not be aware. For example, 
what appeared to be a static line on one electric utility's 
transmission system was energized at 4,000 volts. Static lines are 
typically grounded. An employee of a contractor, perhaps not 
understanding that the line was energized, contacted the static line 
and was electrocuted. Paragraph (c)(1)(i) of proposed Sec.  1926.950 
would address this problem by requiring the host employer to inform 
contract employers of any known hazards that the contractor or its 
employees might fail to recognize. This provision should ensure that 
the contractor will be able to take measures to protect its employees 
from hazards posed by the host employer's workplace. Although this 
provision would not require the host employer to inform the contract 
employer of hazards the contract employees should be expected to 
recognize, such as hazards posed by an overhead power line, the 
proposal would require the host employer to inform the contract 
employer of known hazards the contractor might not be aware of. For 
example, if a host employer knows that a particular manhole on its 
system is subject to periodic contamination from a nearby fuel tank, 
that information must be relayed to the contractor.
    Proposed paragraph (c)(1)(i) also covers information that a 
contract employer would need to make any hazard assessments called for 
under the proposed standard. For example, proposed Sec.  1926.950(d) 
would require employers to determine existing conditions related to the 
safety of the work being performed before work is started. Under 
paragraph (c)(1)(ii), the host employer would have to provide any 
system parameters that the contract employer would need to satisfy 
paragraph (d). These parameters could include such things as the 
nominal circuit voltage, maximum switching transient voltages, and the 
presence of any utility poles known by the host employer to have 
defects that could affect employee safety. This is the type of 
information that could affect the contractor's choice of work practices 
or could otherwise affect the safety of the contractor's employees. In 
addition, the contract employer would otherwise have difficulty 
obtaining much of this information, if it could be obtained at all.
    Proposed paragraph (c)(1)(i) would not require the host employer to 
survey the contract work areas for hazards. For example, this provision 
does not require the host employer to inspect utility poles for damage or
defects before the contract employer starts working. The proposed rule 
would require instead that the host employer provide all relevant and 
known information to the contract employer. This paragraph does not 
require host employers to acquire additional unknown information but does 
require host employers to provide any information that was known by the 
host employer.
    Proposed paragraph (c)(1)(ii) would require the host employer to 
report observed contract-employer-related violations of Subpart V to 
the contract employer. OSHA believes that host employers as a matter of 
course observe employees of the contract employer, from time to time, 
as they perform work under the contract. When the host employer 
observes contract employees violating this standard, it is important 
for the host employer to inform the contract employer so that the 
contractor can correct the violations and prevent them from occurring 
in the future. The contract employer is responsible for correcting 
these violations, but may not be aware of them. Thus, the proposal 
would require the host employer to report violations to the contract 
employer so that the contract employer will know to take corrective 
action.
    Contracts between electric utilities and their contractors 
typically contain provisions requiring contractors to meet OSHA 
standards and other provisions addressing noncompliance with the terms 
of the contract. OSHA believes that host employers should take 
appropriate measures to enforce the terms of the contract with respect 
to safe work practices and get the contractor to fix any uncorrected 
violations. OSHA also believes that host employers should carefully 
review the contracts of contractors who fail to correct violations 
before renewing those contracts. The Agency requests comments on 
whether the standard should require these or other actions on the part 
of the host employer to promote compliance with OSHA standards.
    Proposed paragraph (c)(2) addresses the responsibilities of the 
contract employer. Paragraph (c)(2)(i) would require the contract 
employer to instruct its employees in the hazards communicated to the 
contractor by the host employer. A note following this paragraph 
indicates that this instruction would be in addition to the training 
provided under Sec.  1926.950(b). Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(i) would 
ensure that information on hazards the employees might face is conveyed 
to those employees. The hazard information provided by the host 
employer is essential to the safety of employees performing the work, 
especially because it includes information on hazards that the contract 
employees might not recognize. The contract employer would also be 
required, under proposed Sec.  1926.950(b)(1)(ii), to train employees 
in work practices for their safety, as related to those hazards.
    Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii) would require the contract employer 
to ensure that its employees follow the work practices required by the 
standard and the safety-related work rules imposed by the host 
employer. This proposed paragraph: (1) Recognizes that the contract 
employer has the responsibility for the actions of its employees, and 
(2) compels the contract employer to enforce compliance with safety and 
health rules imposed by the host employer as if they were requirements 
of the standard. The latter is particularly important. If the host 
employer has imposed safety-related work rules on its contractors, 
those rules are almost certain to impact the safety and health of 
employees of the host and contract employers. For example, electric 
utilities typically require contractors to follow the utilities' 
procedures for deenergizing electric circuits. If the contract 
employer's employees do not follow these procedures, a circuit the 
contractor's employees are working on might not be properly deenergized 
or a circuit the contractor was not working on might become 
reenergized. These hazards could cause the electrocution of the 
employees of either employer. OSHA invites comments on whether 
requiring a contractor to follow a host employer's safety-related work 
rules could possibly make the work more hazardous and, if so, how the 
standard should address this possibility.
    Even work rules imposed primarily for reasons other than employee 
safety and health are likely to affect employee safety in one way or 
another. Work rules that address the way electric equipment is 
installed, for example, also affect the safety of the host employer's 
employees. If the equipment is installed improperly, it can fail when 
it is in use, possibly injuring an employee. Similarly, work rules 
imposed primarily for the protection of the public can also affect 
employee safety. For example, if a contractor's employees do not follow 
a rule that requires trailer loads to be tied down, employees at the 
host employer's facilities would be exposed to shifting or falling 
loads in the same way that members of the public would be. OSHA 
requests comments on whether host employers impose any work rules that 
do not significantly affect employee safety and examples of such work 
rules.
    Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(iii) would require the contract employer 
to advise the host employer of: unique hazards posed by the contract 
employer's work; any unexpected hazards found while the contractor's 
employees were working; and the measures the contract employer took to 
correct host-employer-reported violations and to prevent them from 
recurring. This provision enables the host employer to take any 
necessary measures to protect its employees from hazards of which the 
host employer would not otherwise be aware. This will help protect the 
host employer's employees when they are working near the contractor's 
employees (for example, when responding to an emergency) and when the 
host employer's employees work on the same equipment after the contract 
employer departs. It will also provide essential feedback to the host 
employer on the safety performance of their contract employers. This 
feedback will also help host employers satisfy their obligations under 
the Agency's multiemployer enforcement policy (CPL 02-00-124).
    OSHA's recognition of the need for employers on multiemployer 
worksites to share responsibility for workplace safety and health is 
reflected in the Agency's multiemployer enforcement policy. On 
multiemployer worksites, citations are normally issued not only to the 
employer whose employees are exposed to hazards (the exposing employer) 
but, depending on the actions the employer has taken to detect 
violations and protect employees, also to:
    (1) The employer who creates the hazard (the creating employer);
    (2) The employer who has the authority, by contract or practice, to 
ensure that the hazardous condition is corrected (the controlling 
employer); and
    (3) The employer who has the responsibility for correcting the 
hazard (the correcting employer).
    OSHA's proposed requirements concerning host employers and 
contractors do not affect the Agency's long-standing multiemployer 
enforcement policy. Neither Sec.  1910.269(a)(4) nor Sec.  1926.950(d) 
increase an employer's obligations or liability under that policy. 
Furthermore, nothing in the proposed rule changes OSHA's position'as 
expressed in CPL 02-00-124 and various court cases (see, for example, 
Anning-Johnson 94 O.S.H. Cas. (BNA) 1193), Harvey Workover, Inc. (7 
O.S.H. Cas. (BNA) 1687))-that each employer is responsible for the 
health and safety of his or her own employees, and under certain 
circumstances may be cited for endangering the safety of another's 
employees. Because the proposed requirements will help increase 
communication between host employers and contractors about known hazards,
however, the proposed requirements may help employers on multiemployer 
worksites meet their obligations under CPL 02-00-124, as noted earlier. 
In determining who to hold responsible under its multiemployer enforcement
policy, OSHA will look at who created the hazard, who controlled the hazard, 
and whether all reasonable means were taken to deal with the hazard.
    OSHA is not proposing to require the host employer to evaluate 
contract employers' safety performance. However, contract employers 
with poor safety performances are likely to jeopardize not only their 
own employees but employees of the host employer as well. Even when a 
host employer hires a contractor to perform jobs where employees of the 
host will not be present under normal circumstances, employees of the 
host employer will be present in some circumstances, such as during 
quality control inspections, in the aftermath of an accident, and 
during emergency restoration situations. In addition, the work 
performed by a contractor can affect the safety of employees of the 
host employer after the contractor is gone. (For example, if the 
contractor fails to secure a crossarm to a utility pole properly the 
crossarm could come down while an employee of the host employer is 
working on the pole.) Therefore, OSHA requests comments on the need to 
require host employers to evaluate the safety performance of their 
contractors.
    Frequently, the conditions present at a jobsite can expose 
employees to unexpected hazards. For example, the grounding system 
available at an outdoor site could have been damaged by the weather or 
by vehicular traffic, or communications cables in the vicinity could 
reduce the approach distance to an unacceptable level. To protect 
employees from such adverse situations, the conditions present in the 
work area should be known so that appropriate action can be taken. 
Paragraph (d) of Sec.  1926.950 would address this problem by requiring 
conditions existing in the work area to be determined before work is 
started. The language for this paragraph was based upon language in 
current Sec.  1926.950(b)(1). A similar requirement can be found in 
ANSI C2-2002 (the NESC), Section 420D.
    The conditions found as a result of compliance with this proposed 
paragraph would affect the application of various requirements 
contained within Subpart V. For example, the voltage on equipment will 
determine the minimum approach distances required under proposed Sec.  
1926.960(c)(1). Similarly, the presence or absence of an equipment 
grounding conductor will affect the work practices required under 
proposed Sec.  1926.960(j). If conditions to which no specific Subpart 
V provision applies are found, then the employee would be trained, as 
required by proposed Sec.  1926.950(b)(1)(ii), to use appropriate safe 
work practices.
    OSHA does not intend to require employers to take measurements on a 
routine basis in order to make the determinations required by proposed 
Sec.  1926.950(d). For example, knowledge of the maximum transient 
voltage level is necessary to perform many routine transmission and 
distribution line jobs safely; however, no measurement is necessary in 
the determination of what the maximum level is. It can be determined by 
an analysis of the electric circuit, or the employer can assume the 
default maximum transient overvoltages as discussed under proposed 
Sec.  1926.960(c)(1). Similarly, employers can make determinations of 
the presence of hazardous induced voltages and of the presence and 
condition of grounds without taking measurements.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ It may be necessary for measurements to be made if there is 
doubt as to the condition of a ground or the level of induced or 
transient voltage and if the employer is relying on one of these 
conditions to meet other requirements in the standard. For example, 
an engineering analysis of a particular installation might reveal 
that voltage induced on a deenergized line is considerable, but 
should not be dangerous. A measurement of the voltage is warranted 
if the employer is using this analysis as a basis for claiming that 
the provisions of proposed Sec.  1926.964(b)(4) or hazardous induced 
voltage do not apply. In another case, further investigation would 
be warranted if an equipment ground is found to be of questionable 
reliability, unless the equipment is treated as energized under 
proposed Sec.  1926.960(j).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Section 1926.951, Medical Services and First Aid
    Section 1926.951 proposes requirements for medical services and 
first aid. Paragraph (a) of Sec.  1926.951 emphasizes that the 
requirements of Sec.  1926.50 apply. (See Sec.  1926.950(a)(2).) 
Existing section 1926.50 includes provisions for available medical 
personnel, first aid training and supplies, and facilities for 
drenching or flushing of the eyes and body in the event of exposure to 
corrosive materials.
    Because of the hazard of electric shock when employees are 
performing work on or with energized lines and equipment, electric 
power transmission and distribution workers suffer electrocution on the 
job. Many electric shock victims suffer ventricular fibrillation. 
Ventricular fibrillation is an abnormal, chaotic heart rhythm that 
prevents the heart from pumping blood and, if unchecked, leads to 
death. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is necessary in the event of 
electric shock so that injured employees can be revived. CPR must be 
started within 4 minutes to be effective in reviving an employee whose 
heart has gone into fibrillation.
    To protect employees performing work on or associated with exposed 
lines or equipment energized at 50 volts or more, OSHA is proposing to 
require employees with first aid and CPR training to be available to 
render assistance in an emergency. CPR training would be required for 
field crews of two or more employees (a minimum of two trained 
employees) and for fixed worksites (enough trained employees to provide 
assistance within 4 minutes) in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (b)(1)(ii), 
respectively.
    Paragraph (b)(1)(i) would allow employers to train all employees in 
CPR within 3 months of being hired in lieu of having two CPR-trained 
persons on every field crew. If the employer chose this alternative for 
field work, then only one CPR-trained employee would be required. In 
practice, crews with more than one person would normally have two or 
more CPR-trained employees on the crew, since all employees who had 
been working for an employer more than 3 months would be trained. 
However, employers who rely on seasonal labor (for example, those hired 
only in the summer months) might have two-person crews with only one 
CPR-trained employee for 3 months out of every year. Worse, that 
trained employee would likely be the employee directly exposed to 
electrical hazards, because new employees are typically hired as 
helpers working on the ground away from most electrical hazards. OSHA 
requests comments on whether allowing employers the option of training 
all their employees in CPR if they are trained within 3 months of being 
hired is sufficiently protective. The Agency also requests comments on 
how this provision could be revised to minimize burdens on employers 
while providing adequate protection for employees.
    Someone must defibrillate a victim of ventricular fibrillation 
quickly to allow a normal heart rhythm to resume. The sooner 
defibrillation is started, the better the victim's chances of survival. 
If defibrillation is provided within the first 5 minutes of the onset of 
ventricular fibrillation, the odds are about 50 percent that the victim 
will recover. However, with each passing minute, the chance of successful 
resuscitation is reduced by 7 to 10 percent. After 10 minutes, there is very 
little chance of successful rescue.
    OSHA has chosen a 50 volts as a widely recognized threshold for 
hazardous electric shock. Although it is theoretically possible to 
sustain a life-threatening shock at this voltage, it is considered 
extremely unlikely. In addition, other OSHA and national consensus 
standards recognize this 50-volt threshold. For example, OSHA's general 
industry and construction electrical standards require guarding of live 
parts energized at 50 volts or more (Sec. Sec.  1910.303(g)(2)(i) and 
1926.403(i)(2)(i)), and the general industry electrical safety-related 
work practices standard requires electric circuits to be deenergized 
starting at 50 volts or more if electric shock is the only hazard 
(Sec.  1910.333(a)(1)). Similarly, the National Electrical Code and the 
National Electrical Safety Code impose electrical safety requirements 
starting at 50 volts.
    Paragraph (b)(1) of proposed Sec.  1926.951 would require CPR 
training to ensure that electric shock victims survive long enough for 
defibrillation to be efficacious. This paragraph would allow the 
employer to rely on emergency responders to provide defibrillation, 
which is necessary to revive a victim who has suffered ventricular 
fibrillation. A device that enables a CPR-trained individual to perform 
defibrillation is now widely available. This device is called an 
automated external defibrillator (AED). (See the Automated External 
Defibrillator FAQ.) OSHA requests public comments on whether the 
standard should require the employer to provide AEDs and, if so, where 
they should be required. Commenters recommending a requirement for AEDs 
should submit information on costs, safety, and efficacy of and 
experience with these devices.

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    OSHA has adopted guidelines for the evaluation of first aid 
training by competent professionals as well as by compliance staff in 
the context of workplace inspections (OSHA instruction CPL 02-02-053). 
Because these guidelines are already in place, the Agency is not 
proposing requirements related to the content or adequacy of first aid 
or CPR training. The Agency will continue to use the guidelines in CPL 
02-02-053 to determine the adequacy of first aid training courses 
provided to employees.
    In Sec.  1926.951(b)(2), OSHA is proposing that first aid supplies 
required by Sec.  1926.50(d) be placed in weatherproof containers if 
they could be exposed to the weather. This provision is intended to 
ensure that first aid supplies do not get ruined by exposure to the 
weather.
    Paragraph (b)(3) of proposed Sec.  1926.951 would require first aid 
kits to be maintained ready for use and inspected frequently enough to 
ensure that expended items are replaced. In any event, they would have 
to be inspected at least once a year. OSHA is proposing this provision 
to ensure that first aid kits are maintained with all of the proper 
equipment.
Section 1926.952, Job Briefing
    In Sec.  1926.952, OSHA is proposing a requirement for a job 
briefing to be conducted before each job. This section, which has no 
counterpart in existing Subpart V, is based upon Sec.  1910.269(c).
    Most of the work performed under the proposal requires planning in 
order to ensure employee safety (as well as to protect equipment and 
the general public). Typically, electric power transmission and 
distribution work exposes employees to the hazards of exposed 
conductors energized at thousands of volts. If the work is not 
thoroughly planned ahead of time, the possibility of human error is 
increased greatly. To avoid problems, the task sequence is prescribed 
before work is started. For example, before climbing a pole, the 
employee must determine if the pole is capable of remaining in place 
and if minimum approach distances are sufficient, and he or she must 
determine what tools will be needed and what procedure should be used 
for performing the job. Without job planning, the worker may not know 
or recognize the minimum approach distance requirements or may have to 
reclimb the pole to retrieve a forgotten tool or perform an overlooked 
task, resulting in increased exposure to the hazards of falling and 
contact with energized lines.
    When more than one employee is involved, the job plan must be 
communicated to all the affected employees. If the job is planned but 
the plan is not discussed with the workers, one employee may perform 
his or her duties out of order or may otherwise not coordinate 
activities with the rest of the crew, endangering the entire crew. 
Employers performing electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution work use job briefings before each job to plan the work 
and communicate the job plan to employees. Therefore, OSHA is requiring 
a job briefing before work is started.
    Paragraph (c) of existing Sec.  1910.269 contains a requirement for 
the employee in charge of the job to conduct the job briefing. OSHA has 
found in enforcing this paragraph that some employers were placing the 
entire burden of compliance with this rule on the part of the employee 
in charge of the work, whether or not that employee was a supervisor. 
Therefore, the Agency is proposing, in Sec.  1926.952(a)(1), that the 
employer provide the employee in charge of a job with available 
information necessary to perform the job safely. The note following 
this provision indicates that the information provided by the employer 
is intended to supplement the training requirements of Sec.  
1926.950(b) and is likely to be more general in nature than the job 
briefing provided by the employee in charge. The note also clarifies 
that information covering all jobs for a day may be disseminated at the 
beginning of the day. The information does not need to be provided at 
the start of each job. OSHA understands that some employers assign jobs 
through a dispatcher, who does not have the knowledge necessary to 
provide a job briefing. The Agency thus invites comments on the 
appropriateness of this requirement and welcomes suggested alternative 
ways of requiring the employer to impart relevant knowledge about 
hazards relating to specific assignments in the job briefing process.
    Paragraph (a)(2) contains the proposed requirement for the employee 
in charge of the job to conduct a job briefing. Proposed paragraph (b) 
would require the briefing to cover: hazards and work procedures 
involved, special precautions, energy source controls, and requirements 
for personal protective equipment. These two requirements have been 
taken from the introductory text of Sec.  1910.269(c).
    Under proposed paragraph (c)(1), at least one briefing would be 
required before the start of each shift. Only one briefing in a shift 
is needed if all the jobs are similar in nature. Additional planning 
discussions would be required for work involving significant changes in 
routine (proposed paragraph (c)(2)). For example, if the first two jobs 
of the day involve working on a deenergized line and the third job 
involves working on energized lines with live-line tools, separate 
briefings must be conducted for each type of job.
    Under proposed paragraph (d)(1), the required briefing would 
normally consist of a concise discussion outlining the tasks to be 
performed. However, if the work is particularly hazardous or if the 
employees may not be able to recognize the hazards involved, then a 
more thorough discussion would be required by paragraph (d)(2). With 
this provision, OSHA recognizes that employees are familiar with the 
tasks and hazards involved with routine work. However, it is important 
to take the time to carefully discuss unusual work situations that may 
pose additional or different hazards to workers. (See also the preamble 
discussion of Sec.  1926.950(b)(4).) OSHA has included a note following 
this paragraph to clarify that, regardless of how short the discussion 
is, the briefing must still touch on all the topics listed in paragraph 
(b).
    OSHA recognizes the importance of job planning for all employees. 
Although work procedure discussions would not have relevance for an 
employee working alone, the Agency does not believe that an employee 
who labors alone needs to plan his or her tasks any less than one who 
is assisting others. OSHA is aware of several fatalities involving a 
lone employee who could have benefitted from better job planning or 
perhaps a briefing with the supervisor before the job started. 
Therefore, OSHA has included a requirement in proposed paragraph (e) 
for job planning for these employees.
Section 1926.953, Enclosed Spaces
    The requirements being proposed in Sec.  1926.953 have been taken 
from Sec.  1910.269(e). Paragraph (e) of Sec.  1910.269 applies to 
maintenance work performed in enclosed spaces, and OSHA believes that 
the requirements for performing construction work in these spaces 
should be the same.
    Section 1926.953 contains requirements for entry into and work in 
enclosed spaces. An ``enclosed space'' is defined to be a space that 
has a limited means of entry or egress, that is designed for periodic 
entry by employees under normal operating conditions, and that is not 
expected to contain a hazardous atmosphere, but may contain one under 
unusual conditions. In this section, OSHA intends to cover only the
types of enclosed spaces that are routinely entered by employees engaged 
in electric power transmission and distribution work and that are unique to
underground utility work. Work in these spaces is part of the day-to-day 
activities performed by employees protected by this standard. Enclosed 
spaces include manholes and vaults that provide employees access to electric 
power transmission and distribution equipment. For reasons explained later, 
this section does not address other types of confined spaces, such as boilers, 
tanks, and coal bunkers, that are common to other industries as well. 
These locations are addressed in OSHA's generic permit-required 
confined space standard, Sec.  1910.146, which applies to all of 
general industry, including industries engaged in electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution work. OSHA is also 
developing a standard for confined space entry during construction work 
(RIN 1218-AB47).
    Proposed Sec.  1926.953 would apply to ``enclosed spaces.'' By 
definition, an enclosed space would be a permit-required confined space 
under Sec.  1926.146. An enclosed space meets the definition of a 
confined space--it is large enough for an employee to enter; it has a 
limited means of access or egress; it is designed for periodic, rather 
than continuous, employee occupancy under normal operating conditions. 
An enclosed space also meets the definition of a permit space--although 
it is not expected to contain a hazardous atmosphere, it has the 
potential to contain one.
    In the preamble to the permit-required confined spaces standard, 
OSHA acknowledged that ``the practices necessary to make confined 
spaces that merely have the potential to contain hazardous atmospheres 
(as opposed to one that contains a hazardous atmosphere under normal 
operating conditions) safe are widely recognized and used throughout 
various industries [58 FR 4486].'' The Agency recognized the electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution industry as one of 
those industries (January 31, 1994, 58 FR 4489).
    Section 1910.146 contains requirements that address hazards 
associated with entry into ``permit-required confined spaces'' (permit 
spaces). Section 1910.146 defines ``confined space'' and ``permit-
required confined space'' as follows:
    Confined space means a space that:
    (1) Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily 
enter and perform assigned work; and
    (2) Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (for example, 
tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, and pits are 
spaces that may have limited means of entry.); and
    (3) Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.
    Permit-required confined space (permit space) means a confined 
space that has one or more of the following characteristics:
    (1) Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere;
    (2) Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an 
entrant;
    (3) Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be 
trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which 
slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section; or
    (4) Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.
    The permit-required confined space standard requires employers to 
implement a comprehensive confined space entry program. This standard 
covers the wide range of permit-required confined spaces encountered 
throughout general industry. Because the hazards posed by these spaces 
vary so greatly, Sec.  1910.146 requires employers to implement a 
permit system for entry into them. The permit system must spell out the 
steps to be taken to make the space safe for entry and must include 
provisions for attendants stationed outside the spaces and for rescue 
of entrants, who could be disabled inside the space. However, an 
employer need not follow the permit-entry requirements of Sec.  
1910.146 for spaces where the hazards have been completely eliminated 
or for spaces where an alternative set of procedures are observed. The 
alternative procedures apply only where the space can be made safe for 
entry through the use of continuous forced air ventilation alone. The 
procedures, which are set forth in Sec.  1910.146(c)(5)(ii), ensure 
that conditions within the permit space do not endanger an entrant's 
life or ability to rescue himself or herself.
    OSHA believes that Sec.  1910.146 is the proper place to regulate 
permit-required confined spaces other than enclosed spaces. The 
enclosed space requirements of the proposed rule are intended to 
regulate a portion of electric power transmission and distribution work 
that is routine and presents limited hazards to the qualified employees 
covered by Subpart V who are performing that work. An estimated 14,350 
employees are engaged in underground transmission and distribution work 
(where most of the work covered by Sec.  1926.953 occurs\19\).\20\ 
Underground repair crews, in which these employees work, can typically 
expect to enter a manhole once or twice a day.\21\ The enclosed space 
entry procedure addressed by Sec.  1926.953 is a day-to-day part of the 
routine of these workers. This type of work is unique to underground 
utilities (such as electric, telephone, and water utilities), and the 
hazards presented by these spaces are widely recognized by these 
industries and their workers. Indeed, OSHA recognized this in 
promulgating Sec.  1910.269 (January 31, 1994, 59 FR 4366).
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    \19\ Work in these spaces can be either maintenance work covered 
by Part 1910 or construction work covered by Part 1926. In fact, it 
is likely that both types of work are performed periodically over 
the course of time.
    \20\ ERG, ``Preparation of an Economic Impact Study for the 
Proposed OSHA Regulation Covering Electric Power Generation, 
Transmission, and Distribution,'' p. 8-8.
    \21\ Id., p. 8-21.
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    Additionally, the hazards posed by the enclosed spaces covered in 
Sec.  1926.953 are generally much more limited than the hazards posed 
by permit spaces addressed in Sec.  1910.146 or in proposed Sec.  
1926.33. By definition, ``enclosed spaces'' are designed for employee 
occupancy during normal operating conditions. Electrical and other 
energy systems would not have to be shut down, nor would the space have 
to be drained of liquids for the employee to enter the space safely. On 
the other hand, other ``permit-required confined spaces,'' such as 
boilers, fuel tanks, and transformer and circuit breaker cases, are not 
designed for employee occupancy and require energy sources to be 
isolated and fluids to be drained from the space before an employee can 
safely enter.
    The hazards posed by enclosed spaces consist of (1) limited access 
and egress, (2) possible lack of oxygen, (3) possible presence of 
flammable gases, and (4) possible presence of limited amounts of toxic 
chemicals. The potential atmospheric hazards are caused by an enclosed 
space's lack of adequate ventilation and can normally be controlled 
through the use of continuous forced air ventilation alone. Practices 
to control these hazards are widely recognized and are currently in use 
in electric, telecommunications, and other underground utility 
industries. Such practices include testing for the presence of 
flammable gases and vapors, testing for oxygen deficiency, ventilation 
of the enclosed space, controls on the use of open flames, and the use 
of an attendant outside the space. These practices are already
required by Sec.  1910.269(e) for the maintenance of electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution installations. Section 
1910.146, itself, recognizes permit spaces that are equivalent to 
enclosed spaces and sets separate provisions, similar to those 
contained in proposed Sec.  1926.953, for those spaces.
    Proposed paragraph (a) contains the scope of the enclosed space 
provisions. As previously noted, enclosed spaces are defined as spaces 
that have limited means of entry or egress, that are designed for 
periodic entry by employees under normal operating conditions, and that 
are not expected to contain hazardous atmospheres but may contain them 
under unusual conditions. These spaces include manholes and unvented 
vaults. This paragraph also notes (1) that Sec.  1926.953 applies to 
routine entry into enclosed spaces in lieu of the permit-space entry 
requirements of Sec.  1910.146, and (2) that the generic permit-
required confined spaces standard, Sec.  1910.146, applies to entries 
into enclosed spaces where the precautions taken under Sec. Sec.  
1926.953 and 1926.965 do not protect entrants.
    The ventilation in vented vaults prevents a hazardous atmosphere 
from accumulating, so vented vaults are proposed to be excluded from 
coverage. However, the intake or exhaust of a vented vault could be 
clogged, limiting the flow of air through the vaults. The employee in 
such cases would be exposed to the same hazards as those presented by 
unvented vaults. Additionally, the mechanical ventilation for a vault 
may fail to operate. To ensure that the employee is protected from the 
hazards posed by lack of proper ventilation, the proposed rule exempts 
vented vaults only if a determination is made that the ventilation is 
in full operating condition. The determination must ensure that 
ventilation openings are clear and that any permanently installed 
mechanical ventilating equipment is in proper working order.
    Some employers may want to comply with Sec.  1910.146 for entry 
into enclosed spaces falling under Sec.  1926.953. Because the 
provisions of Sec.  1910.146 protect employees entering enclosed spaces 
to the same degree as Sec.  1926.953, OSHA will accept compliance with 
Sec.  1910.146 as meeting the enclosed space entry requirements of 
Sec.  1926.953. A note to this effect has been included immediately 
following paragraph (a).
    Paragraph (b) proposes the general requirement that employers 
ensure the use of safe work practices by their employees. These safe 
work practices must include procedures for complying with the specific 
regulations contained in paragraphs (e) through (o) and must include 
safe rescue procedures.
    Proposed paragraph (c) would require employees who enter enclosed 
spaces or who serve as attendants to be trained in hazards associated 
with enclosed space entry, in the entry procedures, and in rescue 
procedures. This training will ensure that employees are trained to 
work safely in enclosed spaces and that they will be prepared in the 
event that an emergency arises within the space.
    OSHA believes that there is a need for rescue equipment to be 
available in the event that an injured employee must be retrieved from 
the enclosed space. The Agency has decided to adopt a performance 
approach here and is proposing, in paragraph (d), that the employer 
provide equipment that will assure the prompt and safe rescue of 
injured employees. The equipment must enable a rescuer to remove an 
injured employee from the enclosed space quickly and without injury to 
the rescuer or further harm to the fallen employee. A harness, a 
lifeline, and a self-supporting winch can normally be used in this 
manner.
    Some conditions within an enclosed space, such as high temperature 
and high pressure, make it hazardous to remove any cover from the 
space. For example, if high pressure is present within the space, the 
cover could be blown off in the process of removing it. To protect 
employees from such hazards, proposed paragraph (e) would require a 
determination of whether or not it is safe to remove the cover. This 
determination may take the form of a quick check of the conditions 
expected to be in the enclosed space. For example, the cover could be 
checked to see if it is hot and, if it is fastened in place, could be 
loosened gradually to release any residual pressure. An evaluation must 
also be made of whether conditions at the site could cause a hazardous 
atmosphere to accumulate in the space. Any conditions making it unsafe 
for employees to remove the cover are required to be eliminated (that 
is, reduced to the extent that it is no longer unsafe). This provision 
is intended to require a check of whether the cover is hot, a 
determination of whether there were conditions in the area conducive to 
the formation of a hazardous atmosphere within the enclosed space, and 
a check (typically by means of loosening the cover slightly) of whether 
there was a hazardous pressure differential between the two sides of 
the cover. A note to this effect is included following proposed 
paragraph (e).
    Proposed paragraph (f) would require that openings to enclosed 
spaces be guarded to protect employees from falling into the space and 
to protect employees in the enclosed space from being injured by 
objects entering the space. The guard could be in the form of a 
railing, a temporary cover, or any other temporary barrier that 
provides the required protection.
    Proposed paragraph (g) would prohibit employees from entering 
enclosed spaces that contain a hazardous atmosphere. Once the hazardous 
atmosphere is removed (for example, by ventilating the enclosed space), 
employees would be allowed to enter. If an entry is to be made while a 
hazardous atmosphere is present, the entry is required to conform to 
the generic permit-required confined spaces standard, Sec.  1910.146. 
The use of the term ``entry'' in this paragraph of Sec.  1926.953 is 
consistent with the use of that term in Sec.  1910.146, and OSHA is 
proposing to include the Sec.  1910.146 definition of ``entry'' in 
Subpart V.
    Proposed paragraph (h) addresses the use of an attendant outside 
the enclosed space to provide assistance in an emergency. An attendant 
would be required if a hazard exists because of traffic patterns near 
the opening. The purpose of the attendant would be to protect the 
entrant from traffic hazards while the entrant is entering or exiting 
the space and to provide assistance in an emergency. However, the 
attendant would not be precluded from performing other duties outside 
the enclosed space, as long as those duties do not interfere with the 
person's function as an attendant. The attendant would be required to 
have the first aid training required under Sec.  1926.951(b)(1).
    This proposed provision would require the attendant to remain 
outside the enclosed space during the entire entry procedure. The 
intent of this paragraph is to require the presence of a person with 
first aid training outside the enclosed space if a hazard exists due to 
traffic patterns outside the space. If this person were to enter the 
enclosed space, he or she might be unable to assist the employee 
already within the space. For example, if traffic hazards are present 
in the area of the opening to the enclosed space and if the attendant 
entered the space, then both the attendant and the workers he or she is 
intended to protect would be vulnerable upon leaving. No one would be 
present to minimize or control the traffic hazards. Therefore, the 
proposed rule explicitly states that the attendant is required to 
remain outside the enclosed space.
    On the other hand, if no traffic hazards are present, an attendant 
would still be required under proposed Sec.  1926.965(d) while work is 
being performed in a manhole or vault containing energized conductors. 
The major, though not the only, hazard in this case is that of electric 
shock. Assistance can be provided to a victim of electric shock by 
another person in the manhole or vault. Therefore, the provisions of 
Sec.  1926.965(d)(2) would permit the attendant required under that 
paragraph to enter the manhole or vault for brief periods of time in 
nonemergency conditions when no traffic hazards are present.
    Proposed paragraph (i) would require test instruments used to 
monitor atmospheres in enclosed spaces to be kept in calibration, with 
a minimum accuracy of 10 percent. This will ensure that 
test measurements are accurate so that hazardous conditions will be 
detected when they arise. OSHA considers 10 percent to be 
the minimum accuracy needed to detect hazardous conditions reliably. 
However, because proposed paragraph (i) would require the test 
instrument to be kept in calibration at all times, a higher accuracy 
might be necessary to keep the test instrument in calibration.
    As noted earlier, because of the lack of adequate ventilation, 
enclosed spaces can accumulate hazardous concentrations of flammable 
gases and vapors, or an oxygen deficient atmosphere could develop. It 
is important to keep concentrations of oxygen and flammable gases and 
vapors at safe levels; otherwise, an explosion could occur while 
employees are in the space, or an oxygen deficiency could lead to the 
suffocation of an employee. Toward these ends, paragraphs (j), (k), 
(l), (m), (n), and (o) address the testing of the atmosphere in the 
space and ventilation of the space.
    Proposed paragraph (j) would require the atmosphere in an enclosed 
space to be tested for oxygen and would require that the testing be 
done with a direct-reading meter or similar instrument. However, 
continuous forced air ventilation is permitted as an alternative to 
testing. Such ventilation would ensure that there is sufficient oxygen 
\22\ in the enclosed space. (See also paragraph (m) for requirements 
relating to the length of time ventilation must be provided before 
employees are allowed to enter the space.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ The definition of ``hazardous atmosphere'' determines what 
concentractions of oxygen are considered hazardous. (See the 
discussion of this term under the summary and explanation of Sec.  
1926.968 later in this preamble.) Paragraph (g) of proposed Sec.  
1926.953 would prohibit entry into an enclosed space while a 
hazardous atmosphere is present.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (k) would require the internal atmosphere of the 
enclosed space to be tested for flammable gases and vapors. The results 
of the test must indicate that the atmosphere is safe before employees 
can enter. So that the results are accurate and are relevant to the 
atmosphere in the space at the time of employee entry, testing is 
required to be performed with a direct reading meter or similar 
instrument. Test equipment that samples the atmosphere so that the 
samples can be forwarded to a laboratory for analysis does not meet the 
requirements of this paragraph. The flammability test must be 
undertaken after the steps taken under paragraph (j) ensure that the 
enclosed space has sufficient oxygen for accurate results.
    If flammable gases or vapors are detected or if an oxygen 
deficiency is found, proposed paragraph (l) would require the employer 
to provide forced air ventilation to assure safe levels of oxygen and 
to prevent a hazardous concentration of flammable gases or vapors from 
accumulating. As an alternative, an employer could use a continuous 
monitoring system that ensures that no hazardous atmosphere develops 
and no increase in flammable gas or vapor concentration occurs. The 
definition of hazardous atmosphere contains guidelines for the 
determination of whether or not the concentration of a substance is at 
a hazardous level. OSHA is including a note to this effect after 
paragraph (l). An identical note appears after paragraph (o).
    Paragraph (m) proposes specific requirements for the ventilation of 
enclosed spaces. When forced air ventilation is used, it is required to 
be maintained before entry for a period of time long enough to purge 
the atmosphere within the space of hazardous amounts of flammable gases 
and vapors and long enough to supply an adequate concentration of 
oxygen. After the ventilation has been maintained for this amount of 
time, employees can then safely enter the space.
    OSHA has decided not to specify a minimum number of air changes 
before employee entry into the enclosed space is permitted. Instead, 
the Agency places the burden on the employer to ensure that the 
atmosphere is safe before entry. The employer can discharge this duty 
either by testing to determine the safety of the atmosphere in the 
space or by a thorough evaluation of the air flow required to make the 
atmosphere safe. In this way, the safety of employees working in 
enclosed spaces will not be dependent on speculation by a supervisor or 
an employee.
    Paragraph (m) would also require the air provided by the 
ventilating equipment to be directed at the area within the enclosed 
space where employees are at work. The forced air ventilation would be 
required to be maintained the entire time the employees are present 
within the space. These provisions would ensure that a hazardous 
atmosphere does not reoccur where employees are working.
    In order to ensure that the air supplied by the ventilating 
equipment will provide a safe atmosphere, proposed paragraph (n) would 
require the air supply to be from a clean source and would prohibit it 
from increasing the hazards in the enclosed space. For example, 
positioning the air intake for the ventilating equipment near the 
exhaust from a gasoline or diesel engine would contaminate the 
atmosphere in the enclosed space. This practice would not be allowed 
under the proposal.
    The use of open flames in enclosed spaces is safe only when 
flammable gases or vapors are not present in hazardous quantities. For 
this reason, proposed paragraph (o) would require additional testing 
for flammable gases and vapors if open flames are to be used in 
enclosed spaces. The tests would have to be performed immediately 
before the open flame device is used and at least once per hour while 
the device is in use. More frequent testing would be required if 
conditions indicate the need for it. Examples of such conditions 
include the presence of volatile flammable liquids in the enclosed 
space and a history of hazardous quantities of flammable vapors or 
gases in a given space.
Section 1926.954, Personal Protective Equipment
    Section 1926.954 proposes requirements for personal protective 
equipment (PPE), which includes eye and face protection, respiratory 
protection, head protection, foot protection, protective clothing, 
electrical protective equipment, and personal fall protection 
equipment. In accordance with Sec.  1926.950(a)(2), paragraph (a) of 
proposed Sec.  1926.954 emphasizes that the requirements of Subpart E 
of Part 1926 apply.
    Paragraph (b) proposes requirements for personal fall protection 
systems. In paragraph (b)(1), OSHA is proposing that personal fall 
arrest systems meet the design, care, and use requirements of Subpart M 
of Part 1926. The note following proposed paragraph (b)(1) indicates 
that this provision applies to all personal fall arrest systems used in
work covered by Subpart V. Thus, even if another construction standard 
requires the use of fall protection equipment, Sec.  1926.954(b)(1) 
would require a personal fall arrest system to meet Subpart M when that 
form of fall protection is selected for use in work covered by Subpart 
V.
    For example, Sec.  1926.453(b)(2)(v) requires employees working 
from aerial lifts to wear a body belt with a lanyard attached to the 
boom or basket. Section 1926.453 sets the duty to provide fall 
protection but does not set criteria for the fall protection equipment 
to meet. Because the note following proposed Sec.  1926.954(b)(1) would 
require fall arrest systems to meet Subpart M of Part 1926 and because 
Subpart M prohibits the use of body belts in fall arrest systems, a 
body belt worn by an employee performing electric power transmission or 
distribution work from an aerial lift could only be used as part of a 
restraint or tethering system, which would prevent the employee from 
falling.\23\ (See the note following Sec.  1926.453(b)(2)(v).)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ The proposal would have a similar effect on work covered by 
Sec.  1910.269. Paragraph (c)(2)(v) of Sec.  1910.67 also contains a 
requirement for employees covered by the general industry standards 
to wear a body belt and lanyard when working from an aerial lift. 
Section 1910.67 sets the duty to provide fall protection but 
provides no criteria for the fall protection equipment to meet. The 
proposed note following Sec.  1910.269(g)(1)(i) states that personal 
fall arrest systems used with aerial lifts must meet Subpart M of 
Part 1926. Thus, a body belt would not be permitted to be used as 
part of a personal fall arrest system for work from aerial lifts 
covered by Sec.  1910.269.
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    The hazards of using a body belt as part of a fall arrest system 
are widely known and documented (54 FR 31449-31450; 59 FR 40703). Since 
the fall arrest forces are more concentrated for a body belt in 
comparison to a body harness, the risk of injury in a fall is much 
greater with a body belt. In addition, an employee can fall out of a 
body belt in a fall. Lastly, an employee faces an unacceptable risk of 
further injury while suspended in a body belt as he or she awaits 
rescue. Because of these hazards, paragraph (d) of Sec.  1926.502, 
which sets requirements for personal fall arrest equipment in 
construction, has prohibited body belts from use in a personal fall 
arrest system since January 1, 1998; body harnesses must be used 
instead.
    In paragraph (b)(2), OSHA is proposing revised requirements for 
work positioning equipment. Section 1926.959 of existing Subpart V 
contains requirements for body belts, safety straps, and lanyards. This 
equipment has traditionally been used as both work positioning 
equipment and fall arrest equipment in the maintenance and construction 
of electric power transmission and distribution installations. However, 
fall arrest equipment and work positioning equipment present 
significant differences in the way they are used and in the forces 
placed on an employee's body. With fall arrest equipment, an employee 
is given freedom of movement within an area restricted by the length of 
the lanyard or other device connecting the employee to the anchorage. 
In contrast, work positioning equipment is used to support an employee 
in position while he or she works. The employee ``leans'' into this 
equipment so that he or she can work with both hands free. If a fall 
occurs while an employee is wearing fall arrest equipment, the employee 
will free fall up to 1.8 meters (6 feet) before the slack is removed 
and the equipment begins to arrest the fall. In this case, the fall 
arrest forces can be very high, and they need to be spread over a 
relatively large area of the body to avoid injury to the employee. 
Additionally, the velocity at which an employee falls can reach up to 
6.1 meters per second (20 feet per second). Work positioning equipment 
is normally used to prevent a fall from occurring in the first place. 
If the employee does slip and if the work positioning equipment is 
anchored, the employee will only fall a short distance (no more than 
610 millimeters (2 feet)). This limits the forces on the employee and 
the maximum velocity. Additionally, because of the way the equipment is 
used, the employee should not be free falling. Instead, the work 
positioning equipment will be exerting some force on the employee to 
stop the fall. This will further limit the maximum force and velocity.
    OSHA recognized the differences between the two types of equipment 
in Subpart M, Fall Protection for Construction. In this standard the 
two types of equipment are regulated separately, and different 
requirements apply to the two fall protection systems.
    In this proposal, OSHA would again apply requirements to personal 
fall arrest systems that differ from those that apply to work 
positioning equipment. Personal fall arrest systems would have to meet 
Subpart M of Part 1926, as would be required by proposed Sec.  
1926.954(b)(1). Work positioning equipment would have to meet the 
requirements proposed in Sec.  1926.954(b)(2). Employers engaged in 
electric power transmission and distribution work could use the same 
equipment for fall arrest and for work positioning provided the 
equipment met both sets of requirements. In fact, several manufacturers 
market combination body harness-body belts, which can be used as fall 
arrest systems by employees working on horizontal surfaces or as work 
positioning systems supporting employees working on vertical surfaces. 
OSHA requests comments on whether or not there are unique situations in 
electric power transmission and distribution work that warrant 
different requirements than those contained in existing Subpart M or in 
this proposal. Information is also requested on how any suggested 
changes will protect employees in an equivalent manner.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2) has been taken from existing Sec.  
1926.959 and from ASTM F887-04, Standard Specifications for Personal 
Climbing Equipment, which is the latest edition of the national 
consensus standard applicable to work positioning equipment. As in the 
proposed standard on electrical protective equipment (Sec.  1926.97) 
discussed earlier in this preamble, OSHA is proposing requirements 
derived from the ASTM standard but written in performance-oriented 
terms. Detailed specifications contained in the ASTM standard, which do 
not directly impact the safety of employees, have not been proposed. 
The Agency believes that this will retain the protection afforded by 
the ASTM standard, but will allow flexibility in meeting the OSHA 
standard and will accommodate changes in the ASTM standard without 
corresponding changes in the OSHA standard. Differences between the 
proposal and existing Sec.  1926.959 are explained in the following 
discussion of paragraph (b)(2).
    While the ASTM standard does not cover lanyards, proposed paragraph 
(b)(2) would apply many of the ASTM requirements to lanyards. Existing 
Sec.  1926.959 imposes the same basic requirements on lanyards, and 
OSHA believes that lanyards used as work positioning equipment for 
electric power transmission and distribution work already meet these 
requirements. Comments are requested on whether or not any of the 
proposed requirements should not be applicable to lanyards used as work 
positioning equipment.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(i) would require hardware for body belts 
and positioning straps to be drop-forged, pressed, or formed steel or 
to be made of equivalent material. This hardware would also be required 
to have a corrosion-resistant finish. Surfaces would have to be smooth 
and free of sharp edges. This provision ensures that the hardware is 
strong enough to withstand the forces likely to be imposed, is durable, 
and is free of sharp edges that could damage attached positioning straps.
    This requirement is equivalent to existing Sec.  1926.959(a)(1), 
except that the existing standard does not permit hardware to be made 
of any material other than drop-forged or pressed steel. The ASTM 
standard requires hardware to be made of drop-forged steel. The drop-
forged steel process produces hardware that more uniformly meets the 
required strength criteria and that is expected to retain its strength 
over a longer useful life. It is possible, however, for other processes 
to produce a product that is equivalent in terms of strength and 
durability. Additionally, Sec.  1926.502(d)(1) and (e)(3) require 
``connectors'' (that is, hardware) to be made of the same types of 
material as those specified in proposed Sec.  1926.954(b)(2)(i). 
Therefore, OSHA is proposing to permit hardware to be made of 
alternative materials. Comments are invited on whether or not these 
alternative materials will provide adequate safety to employees.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(ii) would require buckles to be capable 
of withstanding an 8.9-kN (2,000-lbf) tension test with a maximum 
permanent deformation no greater than 0.4 millimeters (0.0156 inches). 
This is the same as existing Sec.  1926.959(a)(2). The requirement is 
intended to ensure that buckles do not fail if a fall occurs.
    Paragraph (b)(2)(iii) proposes that D rings be capable of 
withstanding a 22-kN (5,000-lbf) tensile test without cracking or 
breaking. This provision, which is equivalent to existing Sec.  
1926.959(a)(3), is intended to ensure that D rings do not fail if a 
fall occurs.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(iv) would require snaphooks to be capable 
of withstanding a 22-kN (5,000-lbf) tension test without failure. A 
note following this provision indicates that tensile failure is 
considered to be distortion of the snaphook sufficient to release the 
keeper.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(v) would prohibit the use of leather or 
leather substitutes from being used alone as a load bearing member in a 
body belt or positioning strap. Existing Sec.  1926.959 contains no 
equivalent requirement. The proposed paragraph, which has been taken 
from ASTM F887-04, sections 14.2.1 and 15.2.1, is necessary because 
leather and leather substitutes do not retain their strength as they 
age. Because this loss in strength is not always easy to detect by 
visual inspection, it can lead to failure under fall conditions.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(vi) would require that plied fabric used 
in positioning straps and in load bearing portions of body belts be so 
constructed that raw edges are not exposed and that the plies do not 
separate. Existing Sec.  1926.959 contains no similar requirement. 
Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(vi) has been taken from ASTM F887-04, 
sections 14.2.2 and 15.2.2. This requirement is intended to prevent 
plied fabric from separating, which could weaken a body belt or 
positioning strap and cause it to fail under load.
    Although work positioning equipment used in electric power 
transmission and distribution work is not intended to be used as 
insulation from live parts, positioning straps could come into 
accidental contact with live parts while an employee is working. Thus, 
it is still important for this equipment to provide a certain level of 
insulation. Proposed paragraphs (b)(2)(vii)(A) and (b)(2)(vii)(B) would 
require positioning straps to be capable of passing dielectric and 
leakage current tests. This provision is equivalent to existing Sec.  
1926.959(b)(1). The voltages listed in these paragraphs are alternating 
current. The note following proposed paragraph (b)(2)(vii)(B) indicates 
that equivalent direct current tests would also be acceptable.
    ASTM F887-04 does not require positioning straps to pass a 
withstand voltage test. Instead, it states in a note that the fabric 
used must pass a withstand voltage test.\24\ OSHA invites comments on 
whether or not performing a withstand test on positioning straps is 
necessary for employee safety in electric transmission and distribution 
work.
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    \24\ It is not clear whether the ASTM provision is mandatory. 
Notes in ASTM standards are not supposed to contain requirements, 
but the particular note in question (Note 2 following section 
15.3.1) uses the word ``shall,'' which normally indicates that the 
provision is mandatory.
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    Proposed paragraphs (b)(2)(vii)(C) and (b)(2)(vii)(D) would require 
positioning straps to be capable of passing tension tests and buckle 
tear tests. Existing Sec.  1926.959 has no equivalent requirements. 
These tests, which have been taken from ASTM F887-04, sections 15.3.2 
and 15.3.3, are intended to ensure that individual parts of positioning 
straps have adequate strength.
    If an electric arc occurs while an employee is working, the work 
positioning equipment must be able to support the employee in case he 
or she loses consciousness. Additionally, the positioning strap or 
lanyard must be resistant to igniting, because, once ignited, it would 
quickly lose its strength and fail. Therefore, paragraph (b)(2)(vii)(E) 
would require positioning straps to be capable of passing a 
flammability test, which is described in Table V-1. This requirement 
and the test in Table V-1 itself has been taken from ASTM F887-04, 
section 15.3.4. Existing Sec.  1926.959 contains no comparable 
provision.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(viii) would require the cushion part of a 
body belt to be at least 76 millimeters (3 inches) wide, with no 
exposed rivets on the inside. This requirement is essentially identical 
to existing Sec.  1926.959(b)(2)(i) and (ii).
    Existing Sec.  1926.959(b)(2)(iii), which requires the cushion part 
of the body belt to be at least 0.15625 inches thick if made of 
leather, is not contained in the proposed rule. The strength of the 
body belt assembly, which is addressed by this existing specification, 
is adequately covered by the performance-based strength criteria 
contained in proposed Sec.  1926.954(b)(2)(xii). Additionally, as noted 
previously, load bearing portions of the body belt would no longer be 
permitted to be constructed of leather alone under proposed paragraph 
(b)(2)(v).
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(ix) would require that tool loops on a 
body belt be so situated that the 100 millimeters (4 inches) at the 
center of the back of the body belt are free of tool loops and any 
other attachments. This requirement, which has been taken from ASTM 
F887-04, section 14.4.3, is similar to existing Sec.  1926.959(b)(3). 
It is intended to prevent spine injuries to employees who fall onto 
their backs while wearing a body belt.
    Existing Sec.  1926.959(b)(3) permits a maximum of four tool loops, 
and existing Sec.  1926.959(b)(2)(iv) requires the belt to contain 
pocket tabs for the attachment of tool pockets. ASTM F887-04 contains a 
similar requirement for pocket tabs. OSHA does not believe that these 
two provisions are necessary for the protection of employees. These 
requirements ensure that body belts are suitable as tool belts and 
contribute to the usefulness of the body belt. However, they do not 
contribute significantly to the safety of employees; OSHA has thus not 
included similar requirements in the proposal.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(x) would require liners to be used around 
the bar of D rings. This provision, which is the same as existing Sec.  
1926.959(b)(4), is intended to prevent wear between the D ring and the 
body belt fabric. Such wear could contribute to failure of the body 
belt during use.
    A snaphook has a keeper that is designed to prevent a D ring to 
which it is attached from coming out of the opening of the snaphook. 
(See Figure 2.) Nevertheless, if the design of the snaphook is not 
compatible with the design of the D ring, the D ring can roll
around, press open the keeper, and free itself from the snaphook. (See 
Figure 3.)
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15JN05.004

    To address this problem, for many years, ASTM F887 had a 
requirement for snaphooks to be compatible with the D rings with which 
they are used. Even with this requirement, however, accidents resulting 
from snaphook roll-outs have still occurred. Several factors account 
for this. First, while one manufacturer can (and most do) thoroughly 
test its snaphooks and its D rings to ensure ``compatibility,'' no 
manufacturer can test its hardware in every conceivable combination 
with other manufacturers' hardware, especially since some models of 
snaphooks and D rings are no longer manufactured. While an employer 
might be able to test all the different hardware combinations possible 
with his or her existing equipment, the employer normally does not have 
the expertise necessary to run such tests in a comprehensive manner. 
Second, snaphook keepers can be depressed by objects other than the D 
rings to which they are attached. For example, a guy (a support line) 
could fall onto the keeper while an employee was repositioning himself 
or herself. This could allow the D ring to escape from the snaphook, 
and the employee would fall as soon as he or she leaned back into the 
work positioning equipment.
    For these reasons, OSHA is proposing, in paragraph (b)(2)(xi), that 
snaphooks used as part of work positioning equipment be of the locking 
type. A locking-type snaphook will not open unless the employee 
releases its locking mechanism. Because their are thousands of existing 
non-locking snaphooks currently in use, OSHA is considering phasing in 
the requirement for older equipment or completely grandfathering 
existing equipment that otherwise complies with the proposal. The 
Agency requests comments on this.
    OSHA is proposing three requirements for snaphooks to ensure that 
the keeper does not open without the intentional release of the 
employee using it. First, for the keeper to open, a locking mechanism 
would have to be released, or a destructive force would have to be 
placed on the keeper (paragraph (b)(2)(xi)(A)). Second, a force in the 
range of 6.6 N (1.5 lbf) to 17.6 N (4 lbf) would be required to release 
the locking mechanism (paragraph (b)(2)(xi)(B)). Third, with a force on 
the keeper and with the locking mechanism released, the keeper would not 
be allowed to open with a force of 11.0 N (2.5 lbf) or less. Before the 
force exceeds 17.6 N (4 lbf), the keeper would have to begin to open 
(paragraph (b)(2)(xi)(C)). These requirements have been taken from ASTM F887-04, 
section 15.4.1. Paragraph (b)(2)(xi)(C), relating to the spring tension on the 
keeper, is the same as existing Sec.  1926.959(b)(6).
    Existing Sec.  1926.959(b)(7) requires body belts, pole straps, and 
lanyards to be capable of passing a drop test, in which a test load is 
dropped from a specified height and the work positioning equipment 
arrests the fall. The test consists of dropping a 113.4-kg (250-lbm) 
bag of sand a distance of either 1.2 meters (4 feet) or 1.8 meters (6 
feet), respectively for pole straps and lanyards.
    The use of a bag of sand to represent a human body is one way to 
test work positioning equipment. However, because the bag of sand can 
be fitted with the body belt in different ways, the results of the test 
may not be consistent among different testing laboratories. To overcome 
this, ASTM 887-04 has adopted a drop test that uses a rigid steel mass 
of a specified design. To compensate for differences between a rigid 
mass and the more deformable human body, the ASTM standard uses a lower 
test mass, 100 kg (220 lbm), and a shorter drop height, 1 meter (39.4 
inches). OSHA believes that the ASTM test is equivalent to the existing 
OSHA test. OSHA also believes that adoption of the ASTM test, because 
it will result in more uniform testing, will better protect employees. 
Therefore, the Agency is proposing to replace the sand bag drop test 
given in existing Sec.  1926.959(b)(7) with a less-detailed version of 
the ASTM test in proposed Sec.  1926.954(b)(2)(xii). OSHA requests 
comments on whether this change is reasonable and appropriate.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(xii)(A) would require the test mass to be 
constructed of steel or equivalent material having a mass of 100 kg 
(220.5 lbm). This mass is comparable to the 113.4-kg (250-lbm) bag of 
sand given in the existing OSHA standard. Even though the test mass is 
lighter than a heavy power line worker, the required test method places 
significantly more stress than an employee of the same mass because the 
test drop is 0.3 meters (1.28 feet) more than the maximum permitted 
free fall distance and because the test mass is rigid. OSHA believes 
that this test indicates that a body belt is sufficiently strong for 
the heaviest line worker who will use it, even those substantially 
heavier than the test mass. However, the Agency requests comments on 
whether the proposed test is adequate.
    Proposed paragraphs (b)(2)(xii)(B) and (b)(2)(xii)(C) give the 
attachment means for body belts and for positioning straps, 
respectively. These provisions would ensure that the work positioning 
equipment being tested is properly attached to the test apparatus.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(xii)(D) would require the test mass to be 
dropped a distance of 1 meter (39.4 inches). This is equivalent (given 
the rigid test mass) to the existing standard's test distance of 1.2 
meters (4 feet) for pole straps. Existing Sec.  1926.959 requires 
lanyards to pass a 1.8-meter (6-foot) drop test. However, that standard 
sets no limit on the free fall distance required for the work 
positioning equipment covered under that standard. The drop distance 
was based primarily on the accepted practice of allowing a 1.8-meter 
(6-foot) maximum drop into a body belt-lanyard combination or a 0.6-or 
0.9-meter (2-or 3-foot) maximum drop into a body belt-pole strap 
combination. Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(iv) specifies a 0.5-meter (2-
foot) maximum free fall distance, eliminating the need to drop test 
lanyards at more than 1.2 meters (4 feet).
    Proposed paragraphs (b)(2)(xii)(E) and (b)(2)(xii)(F) specify 
acceptance criteria for tested equipment. Body belts would have to 
arrest the fall successfully and be capable of supporting the test mass 
after the test. Positioning straps would have to arrest the fall 
successfully without allowing an arresting force exceeding 17.8 kN 
(4,000 lbf). Additionally, snaphooks on positioning straps would not be 
permitted to have distorted sufficiently to allow release of the 
keeper.
    Three notes apply to paragraph (b)(2).\25\ The first note indicates 
that paragraph (b)(2) applies to all work positioning equipment used in 
work covered by Subpart V.
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    \25\ These notes appear immediately after paragraph 
(b)(2)(xii)(F).
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    The second note indicates that body belts and positioning straps 
that conform to ASTM F 887-04 are deemed to be in compliance with the 
manufacturing and construction requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this 
section provided that the body belt or positioning strap also conforms 
to paragraphs (b)(2)(iv), which contains a more stringent strength 
requirement than ASTM F887-04, and (b)(2)(xi), which requires snaphooks 
to be of the locking type. OSHA's proposal is based on this ASTM 
standard; and, with the exception of those two provisions, is 
consistent with that consensus standard.
    The third note indicates that body belts and positioning straps 
meeting existing Sec.  1926.502(e) on positioning device systems are 
deemed to be in compliance with the manufacturing and construction 
requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of proposed Sec.  1926.954 provided 
that the body belt or positioning strap also conforms to proposed Sec.  
1926.954(b)(2)(vii). This provision requires positioning straps to pass 
certain electrical and flame-resistance tests. It also requires 
positioning straps to withstand a tension test and a buckle tear test. 
These tests ensure that positioning straps have suitable electrical and 
mechanical properties to withstand the stresses that can be imposed by 
power line work. Body belts and positioning straps that are parts of 
positioning device systems addressed by Sec.  1926.502(e) serve the 
same function as work positioning equipment in proposed Subpart V. OSHA 
believes that body belts and positioning straps that meet the design 
criteria specified by Sec.  1926.502(e) will generally be sufficiently 
strong for power line work. However, to be fully suitable for power 
line work, positioning straps should also meet the electrical, flame-
resistance, and other characteristics proposed in Sec.  
1926.954(b)(2)(vii).
    The Agency believes that the last two notes to proposed Sec.  
1926.954(b)(2) will help manufacturers determine whether or not their 
equipment meets the OSHA standard. Employers will thus be able to 
determine, in most instances, whether or not work positioning equipment 
meets the OSHA standard without having to conduct their own tests.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(3) addresses the care and use of fall 
protection equipment. Fall protection equipment provides the maximum 
intended safety only when it is properly used and maintained. Existing 
Subpart V recognizes this fact in Sec.  1926.951(b)(3). Existing Sec.  
1926.951(b)(1) requires the use of fall protection equipment when 
employees are working at elevated locations on poles, towers, and 
similar structures; Sec.  1926.951(b)(3) requires this equipment to be 
inspected before use each day. While it has carried these requirements 
forward into the proposal, OSHA believes that these requirements must 
be supplemented by additional requirements so that employees will be 
fully protected from fall hazards faced during electric power 
transmission and distribution work. Therefore, OSHA is proposing 
requirements from Sec.  1910.269(g)(2) and from Sec.  1926.502(e)
relating to the care and use of fall protection equipment.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(i) would require work positioning 
equipment to be inspected before use each day to determine if the 
equipment is safe for use. (Paragraph (d)(21) of Sec.  1926.502 
contains an equivalent requirement for fall arrest equipment to be 
inspected before use.) This paragraph would prohibit defective 
equipment from being used. This requirement helps ensure that the 
protective equipment in use will, in fact, be able to protect employees 
when called upon to do so. This requirement is equivalent to existing 
Sec.  1926.951(b)(3), except that the prohibition on the use of 
defective equipment is stated explicitly rather than being implied. A 
thorough inspection of fall protection equipment can detect such 
defects as cracked snaphooks and D rings, frayed lanyards, loose 
snaphook keepers, and bent buckles. A guide to the inspection of this 
equipment is included in Appendix G.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(ii) would require personal fall arrest 
systems to be used in accordance with Sec.  1926.502(d).
    Personal fall arrest equipment is sometimes used as work 
positioning equipment during electric power transmission and 
distribution work. So that the employee can comfortably lean into the 
body harness when the equipment is used in this fashion, the normal 
attachment point would be at waist level. Paragraph (d)(17) of Sec.  
1926.502 requires the attachment point for body harnesses to be located 
in the center of the employee's back near shoulder level or located 
above his or her head. Such an attachment point would prevent the 
employee from performing his or her job. Therefore, OSHA is proposing 
to exempt personal fall arrest equipment used as work positioning 
equipment from this requirement, if the equipment is rigged so that the 
maximum free fall distance is 0.6 meters (2 feet). This exemption is 
proposed in paragraph (b)(3)(ii).
    Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(iii) would require the use of a personal 
fall arrest system or work positioning equipment to be used to protect 
employees working at elevated locations more than 1.2 meters (4 feet) 
above the ground on poles, towers, and similar structures if other fall 
protection has not been provided. The term ``similar structures'' 
includes any structure that supports electric power transmission or 
distribution lines or equipment, such as lattice substation structures 
and H-frame wood transmission structures. The use of fall protection 
equipment would not be required while a qualified employee is climbing 
or changing location on a structure if the structure is safe to climb. 
The proposal lists examples illustrating when the structure would be 
unsafe to climb without fall protection: the presence of ice or high 
winds, structure designs that could cause the employee to fall, and the 
presence of contaminants on the structure that could cause the employee 
to lose his or her grip or footing.
    Two informational notes follow proposed paragraph (b)(3)(iii) 
explain certain aspects of the proposed provision. The first note 
indicates that this requirement would not apply to portions of 
buildings, electric equipment, or aerial lifts. This note refers to the 
relevant portion of the construction standards that would apply in 
those instances (that is, Subpart M for walking and working surfaces 
generally and Sec.  1926.453 for aerial lifts). The first note applies 
only to the ``duty'' requirement in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) to use fall 
protection equipment; it does not apply to other fall protection 
requirements in Sec.  1926.954.
    The second note indicates that employees who have not completed 
training in climbing or in the use of fall protection equipment would 
not be considered to be ``qualified'' for the purposes of paragraph 
(b)(3)(iii). These employees, who have not demonstrated that they can 
safely climb structures without using fall protection, would need fall 
protection anytime they are more than 1.2 meters (4 feet) above the 
ground.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(iii), which is comparable to existing 
Sec.  1926.951(b)(1), is based on Sec.  1910.269(g)(2)(v). After 
analyzing the extensive record built on fall protection during the 
Sec.  1910.269 rulemaking, OSHA concluded that employees could safely 
climb and change location on poles, towers, and similar structures 
without the use of fall protection equipment. OSHA has carried the 
general industry standard's fall protection requirements forward into 
proposed Subpart V with two changes. First, the term ``fall arrest 
equipment'' has been changed to ``personal fall arrest system'' for 
consistency with other OSHA fall protection standards (notably Part 
1926, Subpart M). Second, and more significantly, OSHA is proposing to 
omit the use of travel restricting equipment as a recognized fall 
protection system for electric power transmission and distribution 
work. OSHA originally proposed to recognize this equipment in Sec.  
1910.269(g)(2)(v); no comments in the rulemaking record suggested 
leaving it out of the final general industry standard. However, travel 
restricting equipment is more appropriate for work on open-sided 
platforms, where employees can walk around the working surface with the 
travel restricting equipment keeping them from approaching too close to 
an unguarded edge. The Agency does not believe that this type of 
working surface is found on poles, towers, or similar structures. 
Therefore, the inclusion of travel restricting equipment in fall 
protection requirements for work performed on these structures is 
inappropriate.\26\ OSHA invites comments on whether or not travel 
restricting equipment should be recognized in Sec.  1926.954(b)(3)(iii) 
and on whether or not electric power transmission and distribution 
structures contain open-sided platform-like working surfaces.
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    \26\ OSHA is also proposing to omit the use of travel 
restricting equipment as an acceptable form of fall protection in 
Sec.  1910.269(g)(2) for employees working from poles, towers, and 
similar structures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It should be noted that the conditions listed in paragraph 
(b)(3)(iii) are not the only ones warranting the use of fall 
protection. Other factors affecting the risk of an employee's falling 
include the level of competence of the employee, the condition of a 
structure, the configuration of attachments on a structure, and the 
need to have both hands free for climbing. In fact, OSHA believes that 
climbing without the use of fall protection is only safe if the 
employee is using his or her hands to hold onto the structure while he 
or she is climbing. If the employee is not holding onto the structure 
(for example, because the employee is carrying tools or equipment in 
his or her hands), fall protection is required under the final rule. 
Video tapes entered into the Sec.  1910.269 rulemaking record by EEI 
(269-Ex. 12-6),\27\ which they claimed represented typical, safe 
climbing practices in the utility industry, demonstrate employees using 
their hands to provide extra support and balance. Climbing in this 
manner will enable an employee to continue to hold onto the structure 
in case his or her foot slips. If the employee is not using his or her 
hands for additional support, he or she would be much more likely to 
fall as a result of a slip.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ Exhibits in the Sec.  1910.269 rulemaking record (denoted 
as ``269-Ex'') can be found in Docket Number S-015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The general industry electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution standard, in Sec.  1910.269(g)(2)(v), requires the use of 
fall protection systems when work is performed at heights more than 1.2 
meters (4 feet) above the ground. The existing standards in Subpart M 
of Part 1926 require fall protection (usually in the form of guard rails) for 
situations where employees are exposed to falls of more than 1.8 meters 
(6 feet). Additionally, in existing Sec.  1926.951(b)(1), OSHA requires 
fall protection to be used by ``employees working at elevated 
locations'' without specifying the height at which such protection 
would be necessary. The Agency is proposing to retain the Subpart V 
requirement, but clarify it as requiring protection to be initiated at 
1.2 meters (4 feet) to be consistent with Sec.  1910.269(g)(2)(v), 
which deals with the same hazard. Comments are requested on whether or 
not the Sec.  1910.269 distance of 1.2 meters (4 feet) is appropriate 
for electric power transmission and distribution construction work.
    Work positioning equipment is intended to be used with the employee 
leaning into it, with the equipment supporting the employee and keeping 
him or her from falling. During work on towers and horizontal members 
on poles (such as crossarms), however, the employee sometimes stands or 
sits on a structural member, and the work positioning equipment is not 
providing any support for the employee. In such cases, the work 
positioning equipment is functioning more like personal fall arrest 
equipment. OSHA has previously concluded that body belts, which can be 
used as part of work positioning equipment, are not suitable for use as 
part of a personal fall arrest system.
    Paragraph (e)(1) of Sec.  1926.502 limits the maximum free fall 
distance for work positioning systems to 0.6 meters (2 feet). OSHA is 
adopting this same limit in Sec.  1926.954. However, in electric power 
transmission and distribution work, anchorages are not always 
available. Many utility poles provide no attachment points lower than 
the lowest crossarm. If an employee is working below the crossarm, 
there will be nothing to which he or she can attach the work 
positioning equipment. The work positioning equipment is still 
providing a certain degree of fall protection, even in this case. The 
equipment holds the employee in a fixed work position and keeps him or 
her from falling. Therefore, proposed paragraph (b)(3)(iv) would 
require work positioning equipment to be rigged so that the employee 
can free fall no more than 0.6 meters (2 feet), unless no anchorage is 
available.
    OSHA requests comments on whether or not this requirement will 
provide sufficient protection for employees, on what portable devices 
(such as a Pole Shark,\28\ Pole Choker,\29\ or similar devices) can be 
used as suitable anchorages, and on what alternative measures can be 
taken to protect employees.
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    \28\ A Pole Shark is a device that uses jaws and a spur wheel to 
grip the pole and provide an anchorage for climbing wood poles.
    \29\ A Pole Choker is a pole strap with an integrated choker 
strap. The choker strap is tightened against the pole to prevent the 
pole strap from sliding down the pole.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(v) would require anchorages used with 
work positioning equipment to be capable of sustaining at least twice 
the potential impact load of an employee's fall or 13.3 kN (3,000 lbf), 
whichever is greater. This provision, which has been taken from Sec.  
1926.502(e)(2), is intended to ensure that an anchorage will not fail 
when called upon to stop an employee's fall. It should be noted that, 
under proposed paragraph (b)(3)(iv), the employee is not required to be 
tied to an anchorage if one is not available.
    In paragraphs (b)(3)(vi), OSHA is proposing that snaphooks on work 
positioning equipment not be engaged to any of the following:
    (1) Webbing, rope, or wire rope;
    (2) Each other;
    (3) A D ring to which another snaphook or other connector is 
attached;
    (4) A horizontal lifeline; or
    (5) Any object which is incompatibly shaped or dimensioned in 
relation to the snaphook such that unintentional disengagement could 
occur by the connected object being able to depress the snaphook keeper 
and release itself.
    These provisions, which have been taken from Sec.  1926.502(e)(8), 
prohibit methods of attachment that are considered unsafe because of 
the potential for accidental disengagement of the snaphooks during use.
Section 1926.955, Ladders and Platforms
    Proposed Sec.  1926.955 addresses ladders and platforms. Paragraph 
(a) notes that requirements for portable ladders are contained in 
Subpart X of the construction standards and apply to work covered by 
Subpart V, except as noted in proposed Sec.  1926.955(b). This 
paragraph also proposes that the requirements for ladders in Subpart D 
of Part 1910 apply to fixed ladders used in electric power transmission 
and distribution construction work. Fixed ladders used in electric 
power transmission and distribution construction work are also 
considered fixed ladders under Subpart D of the General Industry 
Standards when used during normal maintenance activities. OSHA believes 
that the Part 1910, Subpart D standards should also apply during 
construction work. It should be noted that OSHA has proposed a revision 
of Subpart D of the General Industry Standards (April 10, 1990, 55 FR 
13401). The Agency requests comments on whether the proposed 
incorporation of the general industry standard for fixed ladders is 
warranted, especially in light of the proposed revision of Subpart D.
    Paragraph (b) proposes requirements for special ladders and 
platforms used for electrical work. Because of the nature of overhead 
line work and the limitations of structures available for ladder 
support, OSHA is proposing to exempt portable ladders and platforms 
used on structures or on overhead lines from the general provisions of 
Sec. Sec.  1926.1053(b)(5)(i) and (b)(12), which deal with ladder 
support and placement. An example of these exempted ladders is a 
portable hook ladder used by power line workers to work on overhead 
power lines. These ladders are hooked over the line or other support 
member and are lashed in place at both ends to keep them steady while 
employees are working from them.
    To provide employees with protection that approximates that 
afforded by the ``exempted'' Subpart X provisions, paragraphs (b)(1) 
through (b)(4) would apply to these special types of ladders and 
platforms. The proposed requirements provide that these special ladders 
and special platforms be secured, specify the acceptable loads and 
proper strength of this equipment, and provide that they be used only 
for the particular types of application for which they are designed. 
(The ratings and design of this equipment are specified by the 
manufacturer and can usually also be found in standard references, such 
as ASTM F 1564-95, Standard Specification for Structure-Mounted 
Insulating Work Platforms for Electrical Workers. See Appendix E to 
proposed Subpart V.) In the Sec.  1910.269 rulemaking, OSHA concluded 
that these alternative criteria provide for the safe use of this 
special equipment, and the Agency is proposing to extend the 
application of these alternative criteria to work covered under Subpart 
V.
    In Sec.  1926.955(c), OSHA is proposing to prohibit the use of 
portable metal and other portable conductive ladders near exposed 
energized lines or equipment. This paragraph addresses the hazard to 
employees of contacting energized lines and equipment with conductive 
ladders. However, in specialized high-voltage work, the use of 
nonconductive ladders could present a greater hazard to employees than 
the use of conductive ladders. In such situations, the clearances 
between live parts operating at differing voltages and between the live 
parts and grounded surfaces are large enough that it is relatively easy 
to maintain the minimum approach distances required by proposed 
Sec.  1926.960(c)(1). Voltage is induced on objects in the 
vicinity of these high-voltage lines. Using a conductive ladder can 
minimize the voltage differences between objects \30\ within an 
employee's reach, reducing the hazard to the employee. Therefore, the 
proposal would require a conductive ladder to be used where an employer 
can demonstrate that the use of a nonconductive ladder would present a 
greater hazard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\ These voltages do not normally pose an electrocution 
hazard. However, the involuntary muscular reactions from contacting 
objects at different voltages can lead to falls.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Section 1926.956, Hand and Portable Power Tools
    Proposed Sec.  1926.956 addresses hand and portable power tools, as 
stated in paragraph (a). Portable and vehicle-mounted generators 
supplying cord-and plug-connected equipment are also covered by this 
proposed section. These requirements have been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(i). Existing Subpart V contains requirements for hydraulic and 
pneumatic tools in Sec. Sec.  1926.950(i) and 1926.951(f). These 
requirements have been retained in proposed Sec.  1926.956(d).
    Electric tools connected by cord and plug would be required to meet 
paragraph (b). If the equipment is supplied by the wiring of a building 
or other premises, existing Subpart K of Part 1926 would continue to 
apply, under proposed Sec.  1926.956(b)(1), as it does now. If premises 
wiring is not involved (in which case Subpart K does not currently 
apply), paragraph (b)(2) would require that the tool frame be grounded 
or that the tool be double insulated or that the tool be supplied by an 
isolating transformer with ungrounded secondary. Any of these three 
methods can protect employees from electric shock, which could directly 
injure the employee or which could cause an involuntary reaction 
leading to a secondary injury. Given the widespread availability of 
double-insulated tools, OSHA requests comments on whether the option 
permitting tools to be supplied through an isolating transformer is 
still necessary.
    Paragraph (c) of proposed Sec.  1926.956 would require that 
portable and vehicle-mounted generators provide a means for grounding 
cord- and plug-connected equipment and allows the frame of the 
generator to serve as the grounding electrode (reference ground). 
Paragraph (c)(4) would require the neutral conductor to be bonded to 
the generator frame. These proposed requirements are based on existing 
Sec.  1926.404(f)(3).
    Proposed paragraph (d) would apply to pneumatic and hydraulic 
tools.
    Paragraph (d)(1) of Sec.  1926.302 requires hydraulic fluids to be 
fire resistant. Insulating hydraulic fluids are not inherently fire 
resistant and additives that could make them fire resistant generally 
make the hydraulic fluid unsuitable for use as insulation. Because of 
this and because hydraulic fluids must be insulating to protect 
employees performing power transmission and distribution work, existing 
Sec.  1926.950(i) exempts insulating hydraulic fluids from Sec.  
1926.302(d)(1). OSHA is proposing to continue this exemption in Sec.  
1926.956(d)(1). The Agency requests information on whether or not fire-
resistant insulating hydraulic fluids are available or are being 
developed.
    Safe operating pressures would be required to be maintained by 
paragraph (d)(2). This protects employees from the harmful effects of 
tool failure. Of course, if hazardous defects are present, no operating 
pressure would be safe, and the tools could not be used. In the absence 
of defects, the maximum rated operating pressure (as specified by the 
manufacturer or by standard references) is the maximum safe pressure. A 
note to this effect has been included in the proposed rule.
    If a pneumatic or hydraulic tool is used where it may contact 
exposed energized parts, the tool would be required to be designed and 
maintained for such use (paragraph (d)(3)). Hydraulic systems for tools 
used near live parts would need to provide protection against the 
formation of a partial vacuum in the hydraulic line (paragraph (d)(4)). 
A pneumatic tool would have to provide protection against the 
accumulation of moisture in the air supply (paragraph (d)(5)). These 
three requirements protect employees from electric shock by restricting 
current flow through hoses.
    If hydraulic tools are used so that the highest point on the system 
is more than 10.7 meters (35 feet) above the oil reservoir, a partial 
vacuum can form inside the line. This can lead to loss of insulating 
value in tools used on high voltage lines and to the failure of the 
system while the employee is working on the power line. During the 
rulemaking process on Sec.  1910.269, the IBEW reported that two 
accidents resulted from such an occurrence (269-DC Tr. 613). To stress 
the importance of the requirement proposed in paragraph (d)(4), OSHA 
has included a note following this paragraph stating that hydraulic 
lines without check valves having a separation of more than 10.7 meters 
(35 feet) between the oil reservoir and the upper end of the hydraulic 
system can promote the formation of a partial vacuum. Whether or not a 
partial vacuum will result in the loss of insulating value and trigger 
the need to take measures to prevent the formation of a partial vacuum 
will, of course, depend on the voltage involved.
    Paragraphs (d)(6) and (d)(7) propose work-practice requirements to 
protect employees from the accidental release of pressure and from 
injection of hydraulic oil, which is under high pressure, through the 
skin and into the body. The first of these two provisions would require 
the release of pressure before connections in the lines are broken, 
unless the quick-acting, self-closing connectors commonly found on 
tools are used. In the case of hydraulic tools, the spraying hydraulic 
fluid itself, which is flammable, poses additional hazards. The other 
provision would prohibit employees from attempting to use their bodies 
in order to locate or stop a hydraulic leak.
    Paragraph (d)(8) proposes that hoses not be kinked. Kinks in 
hydraulic and pneumatic hoses can lead to premature failure of the hose 
and to sudden loss of pressure. If this loss of pressure occurs while 
the employee is using the tool, an accident could result.
Section 1926.957, Live-Line Tools
    Proposed Sec.  1926.957 contains requirements for live-line tools, 
some of which are commonly called ``hot sticks.'' This type of tool is 
used by qualified employees to handle energized conductors. The tool 
insulates the employee from the energized line, allowing the employee 
to safely perform the task at hand. For example, a wire tong, a slender 
insulated pole with a clamp on one end, is used to hold a conductor at 
a distance while work is being performed. Common types of live-line 
tools include wire tongs, wire tong supports, tension links, and tie 
sticks.
    Paragraph (a) would require live-line tools to be designed and 
constructed to be able to withstand 100,000 V/ft if made of fiberglass, 
75,000 V/ft if made of wood, or other equivalent tests. (The voltage 
per unit length varies with material because the two different 
insulating materials are capable of withstanding different voltages 
over equal lengths. A higher design standard for wood would cause most 
wood to fail to meet the specification. A lower design specification would 
allow substandard products into service. Paragraph (a), which contains the 
design criteria for materials used in live-line tools, is based on the 
capabilities of the materials in question.) Since the withstand voltages 
are consistent with those in existing Sec.  1926.951(d), for fiberglass tools, 
and with ASTM F 711-02, Standard Specification for Fiberglass-Reinforced 
Plastic (FRP) Rod and Tube Used in Live-Line Tools (the material comprising the 
insulating portion of a live-line tool), tools complying with standards 
currently in use in the industry continue to be acceptable. A note to 
this effect is included after proposed Sec.  1926.957(a)(1). Together 
with the minimum approach distances in Sec.  1926.960(c)(1), paragraph 
(a) of proposed Sec.  1926.957 protects employees from electric shock 
during use of these tools.
    Paragraph (b) addresses the condition of tools. The requirements 
proposed in this paragraph are intended to ensure that live-line tools 
remain in a safe condition after they are put into service. Proposed 
paragraph (b)(1) would require live-line tools to be wiped clean and 
visually inspected before each day's use. Wiping the tool removes 
surface contamination that could lower the insulating value of the 
tool. Inspecting the tool will enable the employer and employee to 
discover any obvious defects that could also adversely affect the 
insulating value of the tool.
    If any contamination or defect that could lower the insulating 
value or that could adversely affect the mechanical integrity of the 
live-line tool is present after the tool is wiped, it could be 
discovered during the inspection, and the tool would have to be removed 
from service, as required by paragraph (b)(2). This paragraph protects 
employees from the failure of live-line tools during use. Tools removed 
from service would have to be examined and tested under proposed 
paragraph (b)(3) before being returned to service.
    The performance criteria given in paragraph (a) are intended to be 
``design standards'' and are to be met at the time of manufacture. The 
test voltages and length of time that they are applied during the 
manufacturing process are not appropriate for periodic retesting of the 
hot sticks because the live-line tools could sustain damage during the 
test.
    During the rulemaking on Sec.  1910.269, OSHA found that, although 
no injuries related to the failure of a hot stick could be found in the 
record, evidence did indicate that these tools have failed in use 
(without injury to employees) and that employees do depend on their 
insulating value in using them to handle energized conductors (January 
31, 1994, 59 FR 4378). The Agency believes that the fact that live-line 
tools are not typically used to provide protection for employees in the 
rain (when work is normally suspended) probably accounted for the lack 
of injuries in the record. Regardless, live-line tools might be used 
under wet conditions,\31\ in which case it is important to ensure that 
these tools will retain their insulating qualities when they are wet. 
In addition, employee safety is dependent on the insulating integrity 
of the tool--the results of a failure of a live-line tool would almost 
certainly lead to serious injury or death whenever the tool is the only 
insulating barrier between the employee and a live part. Therefore, 
OSHA is proposing rules on the periodic examination and testing of 
live-line tools.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ Neither the proposed rule nor Sec.  1910.269 prohibits use 
of live-line tools under wet conditions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Although inspection can detect the presence of hazardous defects 
and contamination, the Agency is concerned about whether the daily 
inspections proposed in paragraph (b)(1) will, indeed, detect these 
problems. In fact, referring to live-line tools that had failed in use, 
a Georgia Power Company study submitted to the rulemaking record on 
Sec.  1910.269 stated: ``Under visual inspection all the sticks 
appeared to be relatively clean with no apparent surface irregularities 
[269-Ex. 60].'' These tools also passed a ``dry'' voltage test, but 
failed a ``wet'' test. While the study further noted that the surface 
luster on the sticks had been reduced, apparently the normal visual 
inspection alone was not able to detect such defects as the ones that 
caused these tools to fail.
    To address these concerns, OSHA is proposing requirements for the 
thorough examination, cleaning, repair, and testing of live-line tools 
on a periodic basis. The tools would undergo this process on a 2-year 
cycle and any time tools are removed from service on the basis of the 
daily inspection required by Sec.  1926.957(b)(2). The proposed rule 
would first require a complete examination of the hot stick (paragraph 
(b)(3)(i)). After the examination, the tool would have to be cleaned 
and waxed, or it would have to be repaired and refinished if necessary 
(paragraph (b)(3)(ii)). According to proposed Sec.  
1926.957(b)(3)(iii), a test would also be required: (1) After the tool 
has been repaired or refinished, regardless of its composition; (2) 
after the examination if the tool is made of wood or hollow FRP; or (3) 
after the examination if the tool is solid FRP rod or foam-filled FRP 
tube, unless the employer could demonstrate that the examination has 
revealed no defects that could cause the tool to fail during use. The 
test method used would be required to be designed to verify the tool's 
integrity along its full length and, if made of FRP, its integrity 
under wet conditions (paragraph (b)(3)(iv)). The test voltages would be 
75 kV/ft for FRP and 50 kV/ft for wood, and the voltage would have to 
be applied for a minimum of 1 minute (paragraph (b)(3)(v)). Other 
equivalent tests are permitted. The proposed rule also includes a note 
referring to IEEE Std. 516-2003, which contains an excellent guide to 
the inspection, care, and testing of live-line tools.
Section 1926.958, Materials Handling and Storage
    Section 1926.958 proposes requirements for materials handling and 
storage. Paragraph (a) proposes that Subpart N of Part 1926 continue to 
apply.
    Paragraph (b) addresses the storage of materials in the vicinity of 
energized lines and exposed parts of energized equipment. Paragraph 
(b)(1) proposes requirements for areas to which access is not 
restricted to qualified employees only. In general, materials are not 
allowed to be stored within 3.05 meters (10 feet) of the lines or 
exposed parts of equipment. This clearance distance must be increased 
by 0.10 meters (4 inches) for every 10 kilovolts over 50 kilovolts. The 
distance must also be increased to account for the maximum sag and side 
swing of any conductor and to account for the use of material handling 
equipment. Maintaining these clearances protects unqualified employees, 
who are not trained in the recognition and avoidance of the hazards 
involved, from contacting the energized lines or equipment with 
materials being handled.
    However, the work practices these unqualified workers would employ 
in handling material stored near energized lines are addressed by 
Subpart K of Part 1926. The general approach taken in the proposed 
revision of Subpart V is to provide safety-related work practices for 
qualified employees to follow when they are performing electric power 
transmission and distribution work. Safe work practices for unqualified 
employees are not addressed in proposed Subpart V because these 
practices are already spelled out in Subpart K of the construction 
standards (see in particular Sec.  1926.416 for work performed near 
electric power circuits). In addition, much of the work performed by 
unqualified employees near overhead power lines falls outside the scope of 
Subpart V. For example, employees laying sewer lines or handling building 
materials on a housing project are not performing electric power transmission 
or distribution work, and their work operations would not be covered by Subpart V. 
OSHA believes it is more appropriate to address work practices used by unqualified 
employees working near overhead power lines in Subpart K, because that 
is the standard in which employers who are not involved in electric 
power transmission or distribution work would look to find requirements 
addressing electrical hazards.
    Paragraph (b)(2) proposes to regulate the storage of materials in 
areas restricted to qualified employees. If the materials are stored 
where only qualified workers have access to them, the materials may be 
safely stored closer to the energized parts than 3.05 meters (10 feet), 
providing these employees have sufficient room to perform their work. 
To ensure that enough room is available, paragraph (b)(2) would 
prohibit material from being stored in the working space around 
energized lines or equipment. (See the discussion of Sec.  1926.966(b) 
for an explanation of the proposed requirements for access and working 
space.)
    The working space about electric equipment is the clear space to be 
provided around the equipment to enable qualified employees to work on 
the equipment. An employee enters this space to service or maintain the 
electric equipment. The minimum working space specifies the minimum 
distance an obstruction can be from the equipment. For example, if a 
switchboard is installed in a cabinet into which an employee will 
enter, the inside walls of the cabinet must provide a minimum working 
space to enable the employee to work safely within the cabinet.
    The minimum approach distance to be maintained from a live part is 
the limit of the space about the equipment that a qualified employee is 
not permitted to enter. The minimum approach distance a qualified 
employee must maintain from an energized part (covered in proposed 
Sec.  1926.960(c)(1)) is smaller than the working space that is 
required to be provided around the part. The employee must ``enter'' 
the working space and still maintain the minimum approach distance. 
Materials must be stored outside the working space so that employees 
are not tempted to work on energized equipment in cramped quarters if 
access is necessary in an emergency and so that there is sufficient 
room to allow an employee to move the materials without violating the 
minimum approach distance.
Section 1926.959, Mechanical Equipment
    Requirements for mechanical equipment are proposed in Sec.  
1926.959. Paragraph (a) proposes general requirements for mechanical 
equipment used in the construction of electric power transmission or 
distribution lines and equipment. Paragraph (a)(1) serves as a reminder 
that Subparts N and O of the construction standards contain pertinent 
requirements for the operation of mechanical equipment. However, two 
requirements for the operation of mechanical equipment near energized 
power lines are contained in those two subparts--Sec. Sec.  
1926.550(a)(15) and 1926.600(a)(6)--that OSHA has determined not to 
apply to qualified employees. (Under the proposed rule, these two 
requirements would continue to apply to unqualified employees.) 
Proposed Subpart V contains appropriate requirements for the operation 
of mechanical equipment by qualified employees near energized power 
lines and equipment. While the proposed Subpart V provisions would 
allow qualified employees to operate equipment closer to energized 
lines and equipment than permitted by the two generic construction 
standards, the proposal also contains the relevant safeguards for 
protecting employees. These safeguards include special training for 
qualified employees (Sec.  1926.950(b)(2)) and the use of special 
safety procedures for such operations (Sec.  1926.959(d)). Because of 
this, OSHA believes that the proposal will provide more appropriate 
protection for electric power transmission and distribution workers 
than Sec. Sec.  1926.550(a)(15) and 1926.600(a)(6).
    Paragraph (a)(2) would require the critical safety components of 
mechanical elevating and rotating equipment to be inspected before use 
on each shift. A thorough visual inspection would be required. It is 
not necessary to disassemble equipment to perform this visual 
inspection. The note following this paragraph describes what parts OSHA 
considers to be critical safety components, that is, any part whose 
failure would result in a free fall or free rotation of the boom. These 
parts are critical to safety because their failure would immediately 
pose serious hazards to employees.
    Paragraph (a)(3) would prohibit the operator of an electric line 
truck from leaving his or her position at the controls while a load is 
suspended, unless the employer can demonstrate that no employee, 
including the operator, might be endangered. This ensures that the 
operator will be at the controls if an emergency arises that 
necessitates moving the suspended load. For example, due to wind or 
unstable soil, the equipment might start to tip over. Having the 
operator at the controls ensures that corrective action can be taken 
quickly enough to prevent an accident.
    Paragraph (b) proposes requirements for outriggers. Paragraph 
(b)(1) would require vehicular equipment provided with outriggers to be 
operated with the outriggers extended and firmly set as necessary for 
the stability of the equipment in the particular configuration 
involved. The stability of the equipment in various configurations is 
normally provided by the manufacturer, but it can also be derived 
through engineering analysis. This paragraph also prohibits the 
outriggers from being extended or retracted outside the clear view of 
the operator unless all employees are outside the range of possible 
equipment motion. Where the work area or terrain precludes the use of 
outriggers, paragraph (b)(2) would permit the operation of the 
equipment only within the maximum load ratings as specified by the 
manufacturer for the particular configuration without outriggers. These 
two paragraphs are intended to help ensure the stability of the 
equipment while loads are being handled and to prevent injuries caused 
by extending outriggers into employees.
    Proposed paragraph (c) would require mechanical equipment used to 
lift or move lines or other material to be operated within its maximum 
load rating and other design limitations. It is important for 
mechanical equipment to be used within its design limitations so that 
the lifting equipment does not fail during use and so that employees 
are not otherwise endangered.
    Even in electric-utility operations, contact with live parts 
through mechanical equipment causes many fatalities each year. A sample 
of typical accidents involving the operation of mechanical equipment 
near overhead lines is given in Table IV-5. Industry practice and 
existing rules in Subpart V of the construction standards require 
aerial lifts and truck-mounted booms to be kept away from exposed 
energized lines and equipment at distances greater than or 
approximately equal to those proposed in Table V-2 (A-C Live-Line Work 
Minimum Approach Distance). However, some contact with the energized 
parts does occur during the hundreds of thousands of operations carried 
out near overhead power lines each year. If the equipment operator is 
distracted briefly or if the distances involved or the speed of the equipment 
towards the line is misjudged, contact with the lines is the expected result, 
rather than simple coincidence, especially when the minimum approach distances are 
relatively small. Because these types of contacts cannot be totally 
avoided, OSHA believes that additional requirements are necessary for 
operating mechanical devices near exposed energized lines. Paragraph 
(d) of proposed Sec.  1926.959 addresses this problem.

           Table IV-5.--Accidents Involving the Operation of Mechanical Equipment Near Overhead Lines
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Number of fatalities
                                  ----------------------------------------------------
        Type of equipment                                      Grounded                     Type of Accident
                                      Total    ---------------------------------------
                                                    Yes           No           ?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boom Truck/Derrick Truck.........            9            2  ...........            7  Boom contact with
                                                                                        energized line.
                                                                                       Pole contact with
                                                                                        energized line.
Aerial lift......................            8  ...........            1            7  Boom contact with
                                                                                        energized line.
                                                                                       Lower boom contact with
                                                                                        energized line.
                                                                                       Employee working on
                                                                                        deenergized line when
                                                                                        upper boom contaced
                                                                                        energized line.
                                                                                       Winch on lift used on
                                                                                        energized line arced to
                                                                                        nearby ground.
Vehicle..........................            2  ...........            1            1  Line fell on vehicle.
                                                                                       Unknown type of vehicle
                                                                                        and type of accident.
                                  ----------------------------------------------------
    Total........................           19            2            2          15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: OSHA accident investigation data (269-Ex. 9-2 and 9-2A).

    Proposed paragraph (d)(1) would require the minimum approach 
distances in Table V-2 through Table V-6 to be maintained between the 
mechanical equipment and the live parts while equipment was being 
operated near exposed energized lines or equipment. This provision 
would ensure that sufficient clearance is provided between the 
mechanical equipment and the energized part to prevent an electric arc 
from occurring and energizing the equipment. The requirement to 
maintain a minimum approach distance also lessens the chance that the 
mechanical equipment will strike the lines and knock them to the 
ground.
    Aerial lifts are designed to enable an employee to position himself 
or herself at elevated locations with a high degree of accuracy. The 
aerial lift operator is in the bucket next to the energized lines and 
can easily judge the approach distance. This minimizes the chance that 
the equipment will contact an energized line and that the energized 
line will be struck down should contact actually occur. Furthermore, 
the employee operating the lift in the bucket would be protected from 
the hazards of contacting the live parts under the provisions of Sec.  
1926.960. As the aerial lift is insulated, employees on the ground are 
protected from electric shock in the case of contact with the lines. 
Lastly, proposed Sec.  1926.959(c) and other provisions would protect 
against the possibility that the aerial lift would strike down the 
power line. Therefore, proposed paragraph (d)(1) would provide an 
exception to the requirement to maintain specific minimum approach 
distances for the insulated portion of an aerial lift operated by a 
qualified employee in the lift. It should be noted that the employee 
must still maintain the minimum approach distances required in proposed 
Sec.  1926.960(c)(1). Paragraph (c)(1) of proposed Sec.  1926.960 would 
still require the employee to maintain the required distance from 
conductive objects at potentials different from that on which he or she 
is working, and proposed Sec.  1926.959(d)(1) would require the 
conductive portions of the boom to maintain the same distance from such 
objects. It should also be noted that the insulating portion of the 
boom can be bridged by improper positioning of the boom or by 
conductive objects suspended from the aerial lift platform. For 
example, the insulating portion of the boom will be bridged if it is 
resting against a grounded object, such as a utility pole or if the 
employee in an aerial bucket is holding onto a grounding jumper. For 
the purposes of proposed Sec.  1926.959(d)(1), OSHA would not consider 
the aerial lift to be insulated when the insulation is bridged.
    Determining the distance between objects that are themselves 
relatively far away from a mechanical equipment operator standing on 
the ground can sometimes be difficult. For example, different 
perspectives can lead to different estimates of the distance, and lack 
of a suitable reference can result in errors. In addition, an operator 
may not be in the best position to observe the clearance between an 
energized part and the mechanical equipment. For example, an 
obstruction may block his or her view of the clearance. An extra person 
would be required, by paragraph (d)(2), to observe the operation and 
give warnings when the specified minimum approach distance is 
approached unless the employer could demonstrate that the minimum 
approach distance could be accurately determined by the operator.
    An aerial lift operator would not normally need to judge the 
distance between objects that are relatively far away. In most cases, 
an aerial lift operator is maintaining the minimum approach distance 
from energized parts relatively close to the employee, and it would be 
easy for the employee to stay far enough away. However, even an aerial 
lift operator may have difficulty maintaining the minimum approach 
distances in certain circumstances. Sometimes, congested configurations 
of overhead power lines may necessitate maintaining clearance from more 
than one conductor at a time. Other times, an aerial lift operator may 
need to judge the distance between the lower uninsulated portion of the 
boom and a conductor well below the employee. In situations like these, 
where the minimum approach distance may be difficult for an aerial lift 
operator to maintain, an observer would be required.
    Proposed paragraph (d)(3) would require one of three alternative 
protective measures to be taken if the equipment could become 
energized. The first option (paragraph (d)(3)(i)) is for the energized 
lines exposed to contact to be covered with insulating protective 
material that will withstand the type of contact that might be made during 
the operation. The second option (paragraph (d)(3)(ii)) is for the equipment 
to be insulated for the voltage involved. Under this option, the mechanical 
equipment would have to be positioned so that uninsulated portions of the equipment 
could not come within the specified minimum approach distance of the 
line. The third option (paragraph (d)(3)(iii)) is for each employee to 
be protected from the hazards that might arise from equipment contact 
with the energized lines. The measures used would have to ensure that 
employees would not be exposed to hazardous differences in potential. 
(The following paragraphs describe the types of measures that must be 
taken. The employer must take all of these measures unless he or she 
can demonstrate that the methods in use protect each employee from the 
hazards that might arise if the equipment contacts the energized line.) 
The proposal is intended to protect employees from electric shock in 
case contact is made.
    On the basis of the Sec.  1910.269 rulemaking record, OSHA 
concluded that vehicle grounding alone could not always be depended 
upon to provide sufficient protection against the hazards of mechanical 
equipment contact with energized power lines (January 31, 1994, 59 FR 
4403). On the other hand, the Agency recognized the usefulness of 
grounding as a protective measure against electric shock, when used 
with all of the following techniques:
    (1) Using the best available ground to minimize the time the lines 
remain energized,
    (2) Bonding equipment together to minimize potential differences,
    (3) Providing ground mats to extend areas of equipotential, and
    (4) Using insulating protective equipment or barricades to guard 
against any remaining hazardous potential differences.
    The proposed rule recognizes all these techniques, which (1) 
minimize differences in potential, (2) minimize the time employees 
would be exposed to hazardous potentials, and (3) protect against any 
remaining hazardous potentials. Paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of proposed Sec.  
1926.959 contains the performance-oriented requirement that would 
assure that employees are protected from the hazards that could arise 
if the equipment contacts the energized parts. The protective measures 
used would be required to ensure that employees are not exposed to 
hazardous differences in potential. Information in Appendix C to 
proposed Subpart V provides guidelines for employers and employees that 
explain the various measures and how they can be used. A note 
referencing this appendix has been included in the proposal.
Section 1926.960, Working on or Near Exposed Energized Parts
    Proposed Sec.  1926.960 covers the hazards of working on or near 
exposed parts of energized lines or equipment as noted in paragraph 
(a). The provisions of this section have been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(l).
    Paragraph (b) proposes general requirements for working on or near 
live parts. Paragraph (b)(1) would require employees working on or with 
exposed live parts (at any voltage) of electric lines or equipment and 
employees working in areas containing unguarded, uninsulated live parts 
operating at more than 50 volts to be qualified. Without proper 
training in the construction and operation of the lines and equipment 
and in the electrical hazards involved, workers would likely be 
electrocuted attempting to perform this type of work and would also 
expose others to injury, as well. In areas containing unguarded live 
parts energized at more than 50 volts, untrained employees would not be 
familiar with the practices that are necessary to recognize and avoid 
contact with these parts.
    The definition of ``qualified employee'' contains a note to 
indicate that employees who are undergoing on-the-job training are 
considered to be qualified if they have demonstrated an ability to 
perform duties safely and if they are under the immediate supervision 
of qualified employees. (See the definition of this term in proposed 
Sec.  1926.968 and the discussion of this definition under the summary 
and explanation of Sec.  1926.968.) Therefore, employees in training, 
under the direct supervision of a qualified employee, would be 
permitted to perform work on live parts and in areas containing 
unguarded live parts. OSHA believes that the close supervision of 
trainees will reveal errors ``in the act,'' before they cause 
accidents. Allowing these workers the experience of performing tasks 
under actual conditions may also better prepare the employees to work 
safely.
    Paragraph (b)(2) would require lines and equipment to be considered 
as energized unless they have been deenergized under the provisions of 
Sec.  1926.961. Existing Sec.  1926.950(b)(2) requires electric lines 
and equipment to be considered as energized until determined to be 
deenergized by tests or other appropriate means. The existing standard 
does not spell out what those appropriate means are. Additionally, even 
if the line or equipment has been tested and found to be deenergized, 
it may become reenergized through contact with another source of 
electric energy or by someone reenergizing it at its points of control. 
Proposed section 1926.961 contains requirements for deenergizing 
electric power transmission and distribution lines and equipment. 
Unless the procedures contained in that section have been followed, 
lines and equipment cannot reliably be considered as deenergized. 
Proposed paragraph (b)(2) has been taken from the last sentence of the 
introductory text of Sec.  1910.269(l)(1).
    Two-person rule. If an employee working on or near energized 
electric power transmission or distribution lines or equipment is 
injured by an electric shock, a second employee will be needed to 
provide emergency care to the injured employee. As noted under the 
summary and explanation of Sec.  1926.951(b)(1) discussed earlier in 
this preamble, CPR must begin within 4 minutes after an employee loses 
consciousness as a result of an electric shock. OSHA is proposing to 
require the presence of a second employee during certain types of work 
on or near electric power transmission or distribution lines or 
equipment to ensure that CPR begins as soon as possible and to help 
ensure that it starts within the 4-minute window. (Note that Sec.  
1926.951(b)(1) would require at least two people trained in emergency 
first aid procedures, including CPR, for field work involving two or 
more employees at a work location. Also, note that, in the discussion 
of that proposed paragraph, OSHA is requesting comments on whether to 
require AEDs along with training in CPR.)
    Paragraph (b)(3)(i) of proposed Sec.  1926.960 would require 
(unless exempted by paragraph (b)(3)(ii)) the presence of at least two 
employees during the following types of work involving exposed 
energized parts:
    (1) Installation, removal, or repair of lines that are energized at 
more than 600 volts,
    (2) Installation, removal, or repair of deenergized lines if an 
employee is exposed to contact with other parts energized at more than 
600 volts,
    (3) Installation, removal, or repair of equipment, such as 
transformers, capacitors, and regulators, if an employee is exposed to 
contact with parts energized at more than 600 volts,
    (4) Work involving the use of mechanical equipment, other than 
insulated aerial lifts, near parts energized at more than 600 volts, 
and
    (5) Other work that exposes an employee to electrical hazards 
greater than or equal to those posed by these operations.
    This rule is based on Sec.  1910.269(l)(1)(i). The first four work 
operations are those that expose employees to the greatest risk of 
electric shock as demonstrated by the Sec.  1910.269 rulemaking record. 
OSHA has included the fifth category to cover types of work that, while 
not specifically identified in that record, pose equal or greater 
hazards. The operations covered under Sec.  1910.269(l)(1)(i) are 
performed during construction as well as during maintenance. In fact, 
the construction operations are similar in nature to those performed 
during maintenance work, and the Agency believes that the hazards are 
the same. For example, using mechanical equipment near a 7200-volt 
overhead power line during the construction of a new line poses hazards 
that are equivalent to those posed during the use of mechanical 
equipment to replace a damaged pole on an existing line of the same 
voltage. Similarly, the installation of a new transformer near a 14.4-
kilovolt line poses the same hazards as the replacement of a 
transformer near a 14.4-kilovolt line. Thus, OSHA is proposing to 
extend the general industry requirement to construction.
    However, some work can be performed safely by a single employee or 
must be performed as quickly as possible for reasons of public safety. 
The proposal, in Sec.  1926.960(b)(3)(ii), recognizes this type of work 
by granting exceptions to the two-person rule for the following 
operations:
    (1) Routine switching of circuits, if the employer can demonstrate 
that conditions at the site allow this work to be performed safely,
    (2) Work performed with live-line tools if the employee is 
positioned so that he or she is not within reach of or exposed to 
contact with energized parts, and
    (3) Emergency repairs to the minimum extent necessary to safeguard 
the general public.
    These exceptions are based on Sec.  1910.269(l)(1)(ii). OSHA 
intends for these exceptions to be applied narrowly in view of the 
accidents that have occurred even under these limited conditions (269-
Ex. 9-2). For example, accidents involving hot stick work have 
typically occurred only when the employee was using a live-line tool 
but was close enough to energized parts to be injured--sometimes 
through direct contact, other times by contact through conductors being 
handled. Employees have been injured during switching operations when 
unusual conditions, such as poor lighting, bad weather, and hazardous 
configuration or state of repair of the switching equipment, were 
present. Paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(A) addresses this scenario by requiring 
the employer to demonstrate that the operation can be performed in a 
manner to mitigate the hazards so that the work could be performed 
safely. For example, the employer could provide supple- mental lighting 
for work performed where lighting was inade quate.
    The requirement for at least two employees to be present during 
certain operations does not apply generally if the voltage of the 
energized parts involved is 600 volts or less. The Sec.  1910.269 
rulemaking record contained conflicting data regarding the safety of 
performing work at these voltages. Some witnesses and commenters said 
that it was safe to perform such work, but the data in the rulemaking 
record suggested that may not be true (269-Ex. 9-2). More recent 
accident data indicate little change. Table IV-6 shows the number of 
electrocutions for various voltage ranges for the years 1991 through 
1998. In the years 1991 to 1994, an average of 3.0 fatalities occurred 
per year involving voltages of 600 volts or less. For the years 1995 to 
1998, when Sec.  1910.269 was fully in effect, the average dropped 
slightly to 2.5. Consequently, OSHA is requesting comments regarding 
the safety of employees working on lines and equipment operating at 600 
volts or less. What types of work can be performed safely by an 
employee working alone? What additional precautions are necessary for 
an employee working on lines or equipment operating at 600 volts or 
less to make the work safe without the presence of a second employee?

                                   Table IV-6.--Fatalities by Voltage and Year
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Less than   600 V to 20                100kV and
                            Year                                 600 V          kV      20 to 80 kV     higher
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1991........................................................            3           24            2            1
1992........................................................            5           24            2            0
1993........................................................            3           23            3            1
1994........................................................            1           21            2            2
1995........................................................            2           22            4            5
1996........................................................            4           16            0            2
1997........................................................            1           16            3            1
1998........................................................            3           13            0           1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: OSHA database of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution accidents. These data include
  only cases involving electrocution in which the voltage was indicated in the accident abstract.

    Minimum approach distances. Paragraph (c)(1) of proposed Sec.  
1926.960 would require employees to maintain minimum approach distances 
from exposed energized parts. The minimum approach distances are 
specified in Table V-2 through Table V-6. This provision has been taken 
from Sec.  1910.269(l)(2).
    Electric power systems operate at a given nominal voltage. However, 
the actual voltage on a power line varies above and below that nominal 
voltage. For very brief periods, the instantaneous voltage on a line 
can be 3 or more times its nominal value.
    The safe minimum approach distance is intended to assure that an 
electric arc will not form, even under the most severe transient 
overvoltages that can occur on a system and even if the employee makes 
foreseeable errors in maintaining the minimum approach distance. To 
determine what this distance is for a given voltage, OSHA must first 
determine the size of the air gap that must be present so that an arc 
does not occur during the most severe overvoltage on a system. This gap 
is the electrical component of the minimum approach distance. To 
determine the minimum safe approach distance, OSHA must then add an 
extra distance to account for ergonomic considerations, or human error.
    The electrical component depends on five factors:
    (1) The maximum voltage,
    (2) The wave shape of this voltage,
    (3) The configuration of the ``electrodes'' forming the end points 
of the gap,
    (4) The insulating medium in the gap, and
    (5) The atmospheric conditions present.
    The NESC subcommittee having responsibility for the ANSI C-2 
minimum approach distance tables adopted a change in minimum approach 
distances for the 1993 edition of the National Electrical Safety Code. 
The NESC subcommittee developed the minimum approach distance tables 
using the following principles:
     ANSI/IEEE Standard 516 \32\ was to be the electrical basis 
of the NESC Rules for approach distances: Table 4 (Alternating Current) 
and Table 5 (Direct Current) for voltages above 72.5 KV. Lower voltages 
were to be based on ANSI/IEEE Standard 4. The application of ANSI/IEEE 
Standard 516 was inclusive of the formula used by that standard to 
derive electrical clearance distances.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ ANSI/IEEE Std. 516-1987 (the edition in effect when the 
NESC subcommittee revised the minimum approach distances) listed 
values for the electrical component of the minimum approach 
distance, both for air alone as an insulating medium and for live-
line tool sticks in air, that were accepted as being accurate when 
the standard was adopted (by IEEE) in 1987.
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     Altitude correction factors were to be in accordance with 
ANSI/IEEE Standard 516, Table 1.
     The maximum design transient overvoltage data to be used 
in the development of the basic approach distance tables were:
      3.0 per unit for voltages of 362 KV and less
      2.4 per unit for 500 to 550 KV
      2.0 per unit for 765 to 800 KV
     All phase-to-phase values were to be calculated from the 
EPRI Transmission Line Reference Book for 115 to 138 KV.
     An inadvertent movement factor (ergonomic component) 
intended to account for errors in judging the approach distance was to 
be added to all basic electrical approach distances (electrical 
component) for all voltage ranges. A distance of 0.31 meters (1 foot) 
was to be added to all voltage ranges. An additional 0.3 meters (1 
foot) was to be added to voltage ranges below 72.6 KV.
     The voltage reduction allowance for controlled maximum 
transient overvoltage was to be such that the minimum allowable 
approach distance was not less than the given approach distance 
specified for the highest voltage of the given range.
     The transient overvoltage tables were to be applied only 
at voltage ranges inclusive of 72.6 KV to 800 KV. All tables were to be 
established using the higher voltage of each separate voltage range.
    Relevant data related to the determination of the ergonomic 
component of the minimum approach distance include a typical arm's 
reach of about 610 millimeters (2 feet) and a reaction time to a 
stimulus of 0.2 to more than 1.0 second (269-Ex. 8-19). To prevent an 
employee from breaching the air gap required for the electrical 
component, the ergonomic distance must be sufficient for the employee 
to be able to recognize a hazardous approach to an energized line and 
withdraw to a safe position. Thus, the distance should equal the 
response time multiplied by the average speed of an employee's movement 
plus ``braking'' distance. (This is comparable to the calculation of 
total braking distance for a motor vehicle. This distance equals the 
initial speed of the vehicle times the driver's reaction time plus the 
braking distance for the vehicle itself after the brakes have been 
applied.) The maximum reach (or range of movement) may place an upper 
bound on the ergonomic component, however.
    For system voltages up to 72.5 kV, phase-to-phase, much of the work 
is performed using rubber gloves, and the employee is working within 
arm's reach of energized parts. The ergonomic component of the minimum 
approach distance must account for this since the employee may not have 
time to react and position himself or herself out of danger. A distance 
of 610 millimeters (2 feet) for the ergonomic component appears to meet 
this criterion and was, in fact, adopted by the NESC subcommittee. OSHA 
also accepts this value. Therefore, for voltages of 751 V to 72.5 kV, 
the minimum approach distances proposed in Sec.  1926.960 adopt the 
electrical component of minimum approach distance plus an ergonomic 
component of 0.61 meters (2 feet).
    For operations involving lines energized at voltages over 72.5 kV, 
the applicable work practices change. Generally, live-line tools are 
employed to perform the work while equipment is energized. These tools 
hold the energized part at a fixed distance from the employee, ensuring 
that the minimum approach distance is maintained during the work 
operation. Even when hot sticks are not used, as during live-line bare-
hand work, employees use work methods that more tightly control their 
movements than when they perform rubber glove work, and it is usually 
easier to plan ahead of time how to keep employees from violating the 
minimum approach distance. For example, employees planning a job to 
replace spacers on a 500-kV overhead power line can use an envelope (or 
bounds) of anticipated movement for the job and ensure that the work 
procedure they use keeps this envelope entirely outside the minimum 
approach distance. All the employees' movements during the job would be 
kept within the envelope. Additionally, exposure to conductors at a 
potential different from the one on which work is being performed is 
limited or nonexistent. This is because the distance between conductors 
is much greater than the distance between conductors at lower voltages 
and because higher voltage systems do not present the types of 
congestion that are commonly found on lower voltage systems. Therefore, 
a smaller ergonomic component is appropriate for the higher voltages. 
The NESC subcommittee accepted a value of 0.31 meters (1 foot) for this 
component. OSHA has adopted this distance as well. Therefore, for 
voltages over 72.5 kV, the minimum approach distances proposed in Sec.  
1926.960 adopt the electrical component of the minimum approach 
distance plus an ergonomic component of 0.31 meters (1 foot).
    The ergonomic component of the minimum approach distance is only 
considered a safety factor that protects employees in case of errors in 
judging and maintaining the full minimum approach distance, so that the 
employee does not breach the electrical component of the minimum 
approach distance. The actual working position selected must account 
for the full range of movements that could normally be anticipated \33\ 
while an employee is working. Otherwise, the employee would violate the 
minimum approach distance while he or she is working.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ Anticipated movements include those necessary to perform 
the work as well as ``unexpected'' movements that an employee could 
reasonably be anticipated to perform, such as adjusting his or her 
hard hat, clothing, or equipment. See Appendix B to Subpart V for a 
discussion of the selection of working position with respect to 
minimum approach distances.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The design of electric power circuits over 72.5 kV sometimes does 
not provide sufficient clearance between energized parts at different 
potential or between energized parts and grounded surfaces to permit 
employees to maintain the base minimum approach distances given in 
proposed Table V-2. The Agency has adopted the approach of the NESC 
subcommittee in the proposal to permit work on such systems so long as 
additional measures are taken to reduce the required minimum approach 
distance. Proposed Table V-3, Table V-4, and Table V-5 recognize the use 
of gaps and other means of decreasing the surge factor on energized lines 
as acceptable methods of reducing the required minimum approach distance.\34\ 
These tables list minimum approach distances for various surge factors and 
phase-to-phase voltages.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ The decreased surge factor reduces the maximum transient 
voltage on the line and thus reduces the electrical component of the 
minimum approach distance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposal thus provides smaller minimum approach distances for 
systems with surge factors that are limited by means such as system 
design, switching controls, and temporary protective gaps. Frequently, 
built-in or temporary limits on the surge factor on a system can result 
in a minimum approach distance that is small enough to permit work to 
be performed without additional protective measures. Because the line 
worker cannot determine surge factors at the jobsite, surge factor 
reduction is permitted only when the employer can demonstrate, through 
engineering analysis, that the possible surges on the line will be held 
to values no more than permitted under Table V-3, Table V-4, and Table 
V-5. Methods of controlling and determining the surge factor for a 
system are given in Appendix B to proposed Subpart V.
    OSHA accepted the principles adopted by the NESC subcommittee in 
forming the minimum approach distance tables in final Sec.  1910.269. 
OSHA reviewed the technical information supporting the subcommittee's 
action and found that the data justify the NESC criteria. After the 
adoption of final Sec.  1910.269, the NESC Committee issued a tentative 
interim amendment correcting some errors in calculating the minimum 
approach distances published in ANSI C2-1993. The same minimum approach 
distances are contained in the latest edition of that standard, ANSI 
C2-2002. In Table V-2 through Table V-6, OSHA is proposing to adopt the 
NESC minimum approach distances, as corrected.\35\ The Agency believes 
that this will protect employees from all likely exposure conditions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ OSHA is also proposing to make similar changes to Sec.  
1910.269.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed Table V-5 contains minimum approach distances for d-c 
voltages between 250 and 750 kilovolts, nominal. These distances have 
been taken directly from Table R-9 of Sec.  1910.269. Since systems of 
d-c voltages other than those listed are rare, no distances were 
presented for them in the table.
    As noted earlier, proposed Table V-3 through Table V-5 permit 
reduced minimum approach distances for systems having known maximum 
transient overvoltages. These tables are based on Table R-7 through 
Table R-9 of Sec.  1910.269.
    The minimum approach distances proposed in Subpart V for voltages 
over 750 volts are intended to provide a sufficient gap between the 
worker and the line so that current could not arc to the employee under 
the most adverse transient voltage that could be imposed on the line, 
plus an extra amount for inadvertent movement on the part of the 
employee. The electrical component of these distances is based on 
scientific and engineering test data, and the ergonomic component is 
based on the conditions likely to be present for the different types of 
work to be performed on electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution circuits. By contrast, the minimum approach distances in 
existing Subpart V were based on standard industry practice in effect 
in 1972, when that standard was promulgated. OSHA believes that the 
proposed minimum approach distances, which are based on sound 
engineering principles, will provide significantly better protection 
for employees than the existing standard.
    Table R-6 in existing Sec.  1910.269 specifies ``avoid contact'' as 
the minimum approach distance for voltages between 50 and 1,000 volts. 
To make the proposal consistent with ANSI C2, OSHA is proposing to 
adopt minimum approach distances of 0.31 meters (1 foot) for voltages 
between 301 volts and 750 volts and 0.65 meters (2 feet, 2 inches) for 
voltages between 751 volts and 15 kilovolts. This increase in the 
minimum approach distance at the lower voltages should help prevent 
employees from contacting circuit parts energized at these still 
dangerous levels.\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \36\ OSHA is also proposing to make similar changes to Sec.  
1910.269.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposal allows employees to come closer than the minimum 
approach distance to energized parts under certain conditions, as 
listed in proposed Sec.  1926.960(c)(1)(i) through (c)(1)(iii). 
Existing Sec.  1926.950(c)(1)(i), from which proposed Sec.  
1926.960(c)(1)(i) has been taken, permits the employee to be insulated, 
guarded, or isolated from the live parts. The language specifically 
recognizing guarding and isolation has been omitted from the proposal. 
However, it should be noted that the introductory language in final 
Sec.  1926.960(c)(1) requires minimum approach distances to be 
maintained from ``exposed'' energized parts. Guarded live parts, 
whether they are guarded by enclosures or barriers or are guarded by 
position (isolated), are not addressed by this requirement as they 
would not be considered ``exposed.'' Including language exempting live 
parts that are ``guarded'' or ``isolated'' would be redundant and could 
lead to misinterpretation of the rule. Additionally, similar 
redundancies in paragraphs (c)(1)(ii) and (iii) of Sec.  1926.950 have 
not been carried forward into paragraphs (c)(1)(ii) and (c)(1)(iii) of 
proposed Sec.  1926.960. To clarify the rule, however, a note has been 
included following paragraph (c)(1)(iii) to indicate that parts of 
electric circuits meeting paragraph (f)(1) of Sec.  1926.966 are not 
considered as ``exposed'' unless a guard is removed or an employee 
enters the space intended to provide isolation from the live parts.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.960(c)(1)(i) contains the first exception to 
maintaining the minimum approach distances--insulating the employee 
from the energized part. This insulation, for example, can take the 
form of rubber insulating gloves and rubber insulating sleeves. This 
equipment protects the employee from electric shock as he or she works 
on the line or equipment. Even though uninsulated parts of the 
employee's body may come closer to the live part being worked on than 
would otherwise be permitted by Table V-2 through Table V-6, the 
employee's hand and arm would be insulated from the live part, and the 
working distances involved would be sufficient protection against arc-
over. As noted earlier, the minimum approach distance tables include a 
component for inadvertent movement, which is unnecessary for employees 
using rubber insulating equipment. In the worst case situation, an 
employee would be working on a line requiring a 0.84-meter (2-foot, 9-
inch) minimum approach distance. The electrical component of this 
minimum approach distance is 0.23 meters (9 inches).\37\ The distance 
from the hand to the elbow is about 0.3 meters (1 foot), and it would 
be nearly impossible to work closer than this distance to a line being 
held in the hand. Therefore, the employee would be about 0.3 meters (1 
foot) away from the conductor at a minimum, and, thus, in the worst 
case would still be more than the electrical component of the minimum 
approach distance from the conductor. This would protect the employee 
from sparkover. In any event, the accident data in the record show that 
the overriding hazard to employees is posed by other energized conductors 
in the work area, to which the minimum approach distances still apply. 
The rubber gloves, of course, provide protection only for the line on 
which work is being performed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ The minimum approach distance for 36.1 to 46.0 kV, the 
highest voltage range that can be worked using rubber insulating 
gloves, is 0.84 meters (2 feet, 9 inches). The electrical component 
of the minimum approach distance is the minimum approach distance 
minus the ergonomic component, 0.65 meters (2 feet), which equals 
0.23 meters (9 inches).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It is important to ensure that conductors on which the employee is 
working cannot move unexpectedly while the employee is protected 
against contact only by rubber insulating gloves and sleeves. It would 
be considered a violation of the minimum approach distance requirement 
proposed in Sec.  1926.960(c)(1) for an employee to be insulated from 
an energized part only by rubber insulating gloves and sleeves if the 
part is not under the full control of the employee at all times. OSHA 
is making this explicit in the parenthetical text in proposed Sec.  
1926.960(c)(1)(i) (and also in proposed Sec.  1910.269(l)(2)(i)). For 
example, if an employee were cutting a conductor, that conductor would 
either need to be restrained from moving toward the employee after 
being cut or additional insulation would have to be used to protect the 
conductor from striking uninsulated parts of the employee's body.
    The insulation used would have to be designed for the voltage. 
(Proposed new Sec.  1926.97 gives use voltages for electrical 
protective equipment.) As a clarification, paragraph (c)(1)(i) notes 
that the insulation is considered as protection only against parts upon 
which work is being performed; the required minimum approach distances 
would have to be maintained from other exposed energized parts.
    As a second exception to maintaining the minimum approach 
distances, paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of proposed Sec.  1926.960 allows the 
energized part to be insulated from the employee. Such insulation could 
be in the form of insulating blankets or line hose or other suitable 
insulating equipment. Again, the insulation would have to be adequate 
for the voltage.
    Paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (c)(1)(ii) recognize the protection 
afforded to the employee by an insulating barrier between the employee 
and the energized part. As long as the insulation is appropriate and is 
in good condition, current will not flow through the worker, and he or 
she is protected.
    The third exception (paragraph (c)(1)(iii)) to the maintenance of 
the minimum approach distances is to insulate the employee from exposed 
conductive objects other than the live part upon which work is to be 
performed. Much of the work performed under this option is called 
``live-line bare-hand'' work. (For specific practices for this type of 
work, see the discussion of proposed Sec.  1926.964(c).) In this type 
of work, the employee is in contact with the energized line, like a 
bird on a wire, but is not contacting another conductive object at a 
different potential. Because there is no complete circuit, current 
cannot flow through the worker, and he or she is protected.
    Paragraph (c)(1) requires employees to maintain minimum approach 
distances from ``exposed'' energized parts, except as noted above. A 
note following paragraph (c)(1)(iii) clarifies that parts of electric 
circuits meeting paragraph (f)(1) of Sec.  1926.966 are not considered 
as ``exposed'' unless a guard is removed or an employee enters the 
space intended to provide isolation from the live parts.
    Several accidents occurred when employees working from aerial 
lifts, either insulated or uninsulated, grabbed an energized conductor. 
OSHA is concerned that some employers may believe that this practice is 
safe without following the procedures outlined in proposed Sec.  
1926.964(c) on live-line bare-hand work. OSHA requests comments on 
whether or not the proposed rule will adequately protect employees from 
this type of accident and on what additional requirements, if any, are 
needed to prevent this type of accident.
    According to testimony in the Sec.  1910.269 rulemaking, between 
five and six percent of accidents experienced by power line workers 
were caused when the upper arm of an employee wearing rubber insulating 
gloves without sleeves contacted an energized part (269-DC Tr. 558-
561).\38\ This is a significant portion of the total number of serious 
accidents occurring among electric line workers. The Agency believes 
that these injuries and fatalities are clearly preventable.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38\ OSHA believes that most, if not all, of these accidents 
involved contact with conductors and equipment other than the one on 
which the employee had been working. It would be very unlikely that 
an employee would touch his upper arm or shoulder against the part 
on which he or she was working with his or her hands. On the other 
hand, it would be more likely that the employee touched his or her 
upper arm or shoulder against a different live part than the one on 
which he or she is working. The employee's attention would be on the 
live part on which work is being performed but might not be on other 
nearby live parts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The use of rubber insulating sleeves would certainly have prevented 
most of these accidents. However, as demonstrated by the safety record 
of some electric utility companies, the extensive use of insulating 
equipment to cover energized parts in the employee's work area would 
also appear to prevent employees' upper arms and shoulders from 
contacting live parts (269-Ex. 46). In fact, if every energized part 
within reach of an employee was insulated, electrical contacts 
involving other parts of the body, such as an employee's head or back, 
would be averted as well. The NESC subcommittee on work rules also 
recognized this method as providing protection to employees.
    Existing Subpart V does not require any protection for employees 
working on or near exposed live parts beyond the use of rubber 
insulating gloves. To prevent the types of accidents described above 
from occurring in the future, the Agency has decided to require 
protection in addition to that required by existing Subpart V.
    The proposal includes a provision, Sec.  1926.960(c)(2)(i), that 
would require the use of rubber insulating sleeves (in addition to 
rubber insulating gloves), unless live parts that could contact an 
employee's upper arm or shoulder are insulated. Employees would be able 
to work without sleeves by installing rubber line hose, rubber 
blankets, and plastic guard equipment on energized equipment. However, 
an employee installing such protective equipment on energized lines 
would have to wear rubber sleeves unless his or her upper arms and 
shoulders are not exposed to contact with other live parts during this 
operation.
    OSHA believes that paragraph (c)(2)(i) incorporates the most 
effective approach to preventing accidents involving work on or near 
exposed live parts.
    Several accidents have occurred while employees were performing 
work (generally on deenergized lines) near energized parts without 
using rubber insulating equipment. Because the employees were 
concentrating on their work, which did not involve the energized parts, 
the employees did not pay attention to the distance between them and 
the energized parts and violated the minimum approach distance. When 
OSHA cited the employers for violations of existing Sec.  1926.950(c), 
the employers successfully argued that the standard permits employees 
to work near energized parts without the use of electrical protective 
equipment, as long as they maintain the minimum approach distance 
involved. They further argued that, because they require their 
employees to maintain these distances and because their employees have 
been trained, the accidents were a result of unpreventable employee 
misconduct. (See, for example, Central Kansas Power Co., Inc., 6 OSHC 
(BNA) 2118, 1978 WL 6886 (No. 77-3127, 1978).)
    OSHA does not believe that working very close to, but not on, 
energized parts without the use of electrical protective equipment is a 
safe practice. The Agency further believes that Sec.  1910.269, which 
also allows this practice, is not effective in preventing these 
accidents and has concluded that further regulation is warranted. 
Toward this end, OSHA has gone beyond Sec.  1910.269 by proposing two 
additional requirements:\39\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ OSHA is also proposing to make similar changes to Sec.  
1910.269.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (1) If work is performed near exposed parts energized at more than 
600 volts but not more than 72.5 kilovolts and if the employee is not 
insulated from the energized parts or performing live-line bare-hand 
work, the employee would have to work from a position where the 
employee would not be able to reach into the minimum approach distance 
(proposed Sec.  1926.960(d)(2)), and
    (2) If the employee is to be insulated from energized parts by the 
use of insulating gloves or insulating gloves with sleeves, the 
insulating gloves and sleeves would have to be put on and removed in a 
position where the employee would not be able to reach into the minimum 
approach distance (proposed Sec.  1926.960(c)(2)(ii)).
    These two provisions taken together will ensure that an employee 
working near energized parts will not be able to reach within the 
minimum approach distance unless using rubber insulating equipment. 
Thus, any time an employee is within reach of the minimum approach 
distance, he or she would need to be wearing rubber insulating gloves 
or the energized parts would need to be insulated from the employee, 
and any employee who is not protected by insulating equipment would 
need to stay far enough away from energized parts that he or she could 
not reach within the minimum approach distance.
    Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii) would ensure that employees don 
rubber insulating gloves and sleeves from a safe position. OSHA is 
aware that some employers have a ground-to-ground rule requiring their 
employees to wear rubber insulating gloves before leaving the ground to 
work on energized lines or equipment and to leave the gloves and 
sleeves on until the employees return to the ground. This practice 
ensures that employees are indeed wearing the rubber gloves and sleeves 
before they reach the energized area and eliminates the chance that an 
employee will forget to don the protective equipment once he or she 
reaches the work position. Other employers simply require their 
employees to put their gloves and sleeves on before they enter the 
energized area. This practice normally requires the employee to use his 
or her judgment in determining where to begin wearing the protective 
equipment. The proposal recognizes both methods of protecting 
employees, but ensures that the rubber gloves and sleeves are being 
worn once the employee reaches a position from which he or she can 
reach into the minimum approach distance. The Agency requests comments 
on the need for this requirement and on whether or not the provision as 
proposed will protect employees from the hazards involved.
    Proposed paragraph (d)(2) would ensure that an employee who is not 
insulated from parts energized between 600 volts and 72.5 kilovolts is 
working at a safe distance from the parts. This provision does not 
apply to voltages of 600 volts and less to permit work on equipment 
without requiring the employee to cover energized parts unnecessarily. 
Much of the work performed at these lower voltages involves the use of 
insulating hand tools in a panelboard or cabinet. The chance of 
contacting a live part with the shoulder is extremely low because of 
the layout of live parts within the enclosure. The electrical 
clearances between energized parts for voltages in this range are small 
enough that all energized circuit parts will normally be in front of 
the employee, enabling the worker to maintain the required minimum 
approach distance easily. The proposed paragraph does not apply when 
the voltage exceeds 72.5 kilovolts, because the minimum approach 
distances generally become greater beyond this voltage and because 
rubber insulating equipment cannot be used for these higher 
voltages.\40\ OSHA requests comments on the need for this requirement 
and on whether there are other effective means of protecting employees 
from the hazard involved.
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    \40\ The maximum use voltage for Class 4 rubber insulating 
equipment is 36 kilovolts. The highest voltage on which this 
equipment can be used is 62 kilovolts if there is no multiphase 
exposure. This voltage falls in the Table V-1 range of 46.1 to 72.5 
kV.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paragraph (d)(1) of proposed Sec.  1926.960 would require employees 
to position themselves, to the extent that other safety-related 
conditions at the worksite permit, so that a shock or slip would not 
cause the worker's body to move towards exposed parts at a potential 
different from that of the employee. Since slips, and even electric 
shocks, are not entirely preventable, it is important for the employee 
to take a working position so that such an event will not increase the 
severity of any incurred injury. This proposed requirement was taken 
from Sec.  1910.269(l)(3). There is no counterpart to this requirement 
in existing Subpart V.
    The Agency believes that it is important for an employee to work 
from a position where a slip or a shock will not bring him or her into 
contact with an energized part unless other conditions, such as the 
configuration of the lines involved, would make another working 
position safer. The position taken must be the most protective 
available to accomplish the task. In certain situations, this work 
position may not be the most efficient one. The language proposed in 
Sec.  1926.960(d)(1) recognizes situations that preclude working from a 
position from which a slip would bring the employee into contact with a 
live part. The language contained in this provision also allows such 
options as guarding or insulating the live part as alternative means of 
compliance.
    Connecting and disconnecting lines and equipment. Paragraph (e) 
addresses the practices of connecting and disconnecting lines and 
equipment. Common industry practice, as reflected in ANSI C2-2002, 
Section 443F, is to make a connection so that the source is connected 
as the last item in sequence and to break a connection so that the 
source is removed as the first item in sequence. In this way, 
conducting wires and devices used to make and break the connection are 
deenergized during almost the entire procedure. These practices would 
be required by paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2). Since these wires and 
devices must be handled during the procedure, the proposed requirements 
would reduce the chance for an electrical accident. Also, to prevent 
the disconnected conductors from being energized, loose ends of 
conductors must be kept away from live parts, as would be required by 
paragraph (e)(3). These three proposed provisions, which have no 
counterparts in existing Subpart V, have been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(l)(5).
    Paragraph (f) of proposed Sec.  1926.960, which was taken from 
Sec.  1910.269(l)(6)(i), would prohibit the wearing of conductive 
articles by employees working within reach of exposed live parts of 
equipment if these articles would increase the hazards associated with 
accidental contact with the live parts. If an employee wants to wear 
metal jewelry, he or she can cover the jewelry so as to eliminate the 
contact hazard. This requirement is not intended to preclude workers 
from wearing metal rings or watch bands if the work being performed 
already exposes them to electric shock hazards and if the wearing of 
metal would not increase the hazards. (For example, for work performed 
on an overhead line, the wearing of a ring does not increase the likelihood 
that an employee would contact the line, nor would it increase the severity 
of the injury should contact occur.) However, this requirement would protect 
employees working on energized circuits with small clearances and high current 
capacities (such as some battery-supplied circuits) from severe burn hazards to 
which they would otherwise be exposed. The rule also protects workers 
who are only minimally exposed to shock hazards from being injured as a 
result of a dangling chain's making contact with a energized part. This 
provision has no counterpart in existing Subpart V.
    Protection from electric arcs. Proposed paragraph (g) addresses 
clothing worn by an employee. After reviewing the rulemaking record on 
Sec.  1910.269, OSHA determined that electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution workers face a significant risk of 
injury from burns due to electric arcs (January 31, 1994, 59 FR 4388-
4389). OSHA also concluded that certain fabrics increase the extent of 
injuries to employees caught in an electric arc or otherwise exposed to 
flames. Therefore, the Agency adopted two rules: (1) paragraph 
(l)(6)(ii) of Sec.  1910.269, which requires that employees exposed to 
flames and electric arcs be trained in the hazards related to the 
clothing that they wear, and (2) paragraph (l)(6)(iii) which prohibits 
apparel that could increase the extent of injuries received by a worker 
who is exposed to a flame or electric arc. OSHA also included a note 
following paragraph (l)(6)(iii) to indicate the types of clothing 
fabrics that the Sec.  1910.269 rulemaking record demonstrated were 
hazardous to wear by employees exposed to electric arcs.
    Since Sec.  1910.269(l)(6)(iii) became effective on November 1, 
1994, employees have continued to suffer burn injuries working on 
energized lines and equipment. From January 1, 1990, to October 30, 
1994, there were 46 accidents investigated by Federal or State OSHA 
involving burns that would have been addressed by Sec.  
1910.269(l)(6)(iii). These 46 accidents resulted in 71 total injuries. 
Averaged over this period, there were 9.5 accidents and 14.7 injuries 
per year. From November 1, 1994, to December 31, 1998, there were 17 
such accidents resulting in 26 injuries. Averaged over this period, 
there were 4.0 accidents and 6.2 injuries per year. Thus, while the 
clothing rule in Sec.  1910.269 appears to have helped reduce the 
number of accidents and injuries by more than 50 percent, for two 
reasons, OSHA believes that the remaining risk of burn injury is still 
serious and significant. First, these accidents represent only a small 
fraction of those that have actually occurred during this time. 
Employers are only required to report to the Agency accidents involving 
fatalities or three or more hospitalized injuries. OSHA does not 
investigate accidents that are not reported by employers (that is, 
those involving two or fewer hospitalized employees and no deaths) 
unless it results in extensive property damage or presents potential 
worker injury and generates widespread media interest. (See OSHA 
directives CPL 02-00-103 and CPL 02-00-094.) Consequently, most injury-
producing accidents, even serious ones, are not investigated by the 
Agency. Second, the reported burn injuries are very serious and costly. 
Eighty-four percent of the burn injuries were fatalities or required 
hospitalization. Eighty-seven percent of the accidents for which the 
severity of the injury was noted involved third-degree burns. Such 
burns are extremely painful and costly, typically requiring skin grafts 
and leaving permanent scars.
    OSHA's existing clothing requirement in Sec.  1910.269 does not 
require employers to protect employees from electric arcs through the 
use of flame-resistant clothing. It simply requires that an employee's 
clothing do no greater harm. Because of the serious nature of the still 
remaining risk to power workers from electric arcs, the Agency believes 
that the standard should be revised to require the use of flame-
resistant clothing, under certain circumstances, to protect employees 
from the most severe burns. The electric power industry is beginning to 
recognize this need as evidenced by the many employers who provide 
flame-resistant clothing to employees, by the work of ASTM in writing 
standards that provide for arc ratings of protective clothing, and by 
the ongoing work towards a protective standard by the committee 
responsible for writing work rules for the NESC. The National Fire 
Protection Association also recognizes the need to protect employees 
working on energized equipment from the hazards posed by electric arcs.
    In addition, when Sec.  1910.269 was promulgated, there were no 
standards for clothing to protect employees from the thermal hazards 
resulting from electric arcs. Since then, ASTM has adopted such 
standards. These standards ensure not only that clothing does not 
ignite but that it is rated to provide protection against a given level 
of heat energy. Apparel that meets the ASTM standards is labeled with 
the amount of heat energy that it can absorb under laboratory test 
conditions without letting through sufficient heat to cause a second-
degree burn. Clothing is currently widely available in ratings from 
about 4 cal/cm2 to over 50 cal/cm2. In general, 
the higher the rating, the heavier the clothing.
    As described more fully below, OSHA has decided to propose a rule 
that would require employers to estimate the heat energy from electric 
arcs that may be encountered by employees and to provide clothing that 
will be flame resistant if it could be ignited when an electrical fault 
occurs and that can protect against the estimated level of energy when 
an electric arc occurs. The Agency believes that this rule, which is 
proposed in Sec.  1926.960(g), will ensure that employees wear 
protective clothing that is reasonably protective for the hazards they 
are facing.\41\
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    \41\ OSHA is also proposing to make similar changes in Sec.  
1910.269.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paragraph (g)(1) of proposed Sec.  1926.960 would require the 
employer to assess the workplace to determine if employees are exposed 
to hazards from flames or electric arcs. This provision ensures that 
the employer evaluates employee exposure to flames and electric arcs so 
that employees who do face such exposures can be protected. Because 
Sec.  1926.960 applies to work performed on or near energized parts of 
electric circuits, employers can base a portion of the assessment 
required by paragraph (g)(1) on a determination of which employees 
perform energized work covered by this section. It should be noted, 
however, that until a line or part of an electric circuit has been 
completely deenergized following the procedures required by Sec.  
1926.961, including any required testing and grounding, the line or 
part would have to be treated as energized.
    Once an employer determines who is exposed to hazards from flames 
or electric arcs, the next step in protecting these employees is a 
determination of the extent of the hazard. Paragraph (g)(2) would 
require the employer to estimate the maximum amount of heat energy to 
which employees would be exposed. This estimate can be used in the 
selection of protective clothing, as discussed later.
    OSHA is aware of various methods of calculating values of available 
heat energy from an electric circuit. These methods are listed in Table 
IV-7. Each method requires the input of various parameters, such as fault
current, the expected length of the electric arc, the distance from the arc to 
the employee, and the clearing time for the fault (that is, the time 
the circuit protective devices take to open the circuit and clear the 
fault). Some of these parameters, such as the fault current and the 
clearing time, are known quantities for a given system. Other 
parameters, such as the length of the arc and the distance between the 
arc and the employee, vary widely and can only be estimated. OSHA is 
not endorsing any of the methods listed in Table IV-7. The Agency 
requests comments and information on these and any other available 
methods of calculating incident heat energy from electric arcs.

    Table IV-7.--Methods of Calculating Incident Heat Energy From an
                              Electric Arc
------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Standard for Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces,
 NFPA 70E-2004, Annex D, ``Sample Calculation of Flash Protection
 Boundary.''
2. Doughty, T.E., Neal, and Floyd II, H.L., ``Predicting Incident Energy
 to Better Manage the Electric Arc Hazard on 600 V Power Distribution
 Systems,'' Record of Conference papers IEEE IAS 45th Annual Petroleum
 and Chemical Industry Conference, September 28-30, 1998.
3. Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations, IEEE 1584-2002.
4. Heat Flux Calculator, a free software program created by Alan
 Privette (widely available on the Internet).
5. ARCPRO, a commercially available software program developed by
 Kinectrics, Toronto, ON, CA.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The amount of heat energy calculated by any of the methods is 
approximately proportional to the square of the distance between the 
employee and the arc. In other words, if the employee is very close to 
the arc, the heat energy is very high; but if he or she is just a few 
more centimeters away, the heat energy drops substantially.
    In addition, the fault current and clearing time are 
interdependent. Typically, the higher the fault current, the shorter 
the clearing time. It is quite possible that the maximum heat energy 
will result from a fault current that is well below maximum but that 
results in a relatively long clearing time. In order to calculate the 
worst case heat energy, an employer would have to perform a range of 
calculations for each system area.
    Furthermore, the method of calculation can affect the results. Each 
method yields somewhat different values using the same input 
parameters. This is partly because of the unpredictability of an 
electric arc and partly because of the different ways the methods were 
developed. Some, like the NFPA 70E method, are based in theory. Others, 
like the IEEE 1584 method, are based on empirical data. Whichever 
method is used, it is important to use it within its limitations. For 
example, the values produced by the Heat Flux Calculator must be 
adjusted if employees are exposed to energy from a multiphase fault or 
if the heat energy would be reflected by nearby surfaces.\42\
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    \42\ This exposure is known as ``arc in a box.''
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    Because of the variability imposed by these factors, OSHA has 
preliminarily concluded that it is not possible to predict exactly how 
much energy an employee would face if an electric arc occurs. On the 
other hand, it is clear that when more electrical energy is available 
more heat will be generated by an electric arc and the potential for 
severe injury is greater. The Agency believes that greater protection 
is warranted when greater hazards exist. Thus, OSHA is proposing a 
standard that requires reasonable, but not exact, estimates of the heat 
energy to which an employee could be exposed.
    Additionally, OSHA is not proposing a standard based entirely on 
worst-case exposure. The worst case occurs when an electric arc powered 
by the maximum available fault current is against an employee's skin. 
In such cases, the distance between the employee and the arc is zero, 
and the energy is extremely high even for relatively low-current arcs. 
The Agency does not believe it is reasonable to require a 
correspondingly high degree of protection for relatively low-energy 
arcs, which would put employees in very heavy clothing.
    On the other hand, OSHA believes that it is appropriate for the 
employer to provide a level of protection that is reasonably related to 
the thermal hazard involved. A 50-cal/cm2 exposure calls for 
more protection than a 5-cal/cm2 exposure. Although none of 
the methods can predict precisely how much heat energy an employee will 
face, they do provide a good indication of the relative severity of the 
exposure and the approximate level of protection needed. Thus, the 
Agency is proposing a rule that it believes requires reasonable 
estimates of the amount of heat energy an employee is likely to face 
and to provide a corresponding level of protection. OSHA requests 
comments on whether the proposed rule requires an appropriate level of 
protection and clearly defines employer obligations with respect to the 
estimates of the maximum available heat energy.
    Two notes following proposed Sec.  1926.960(g)(2) help explain how 
to comply with the rule. The first note states that Appendix F to 
Subpart V provides guidance on the estimation of available heat energy. 
This appendix discusses various methods of estimating electric arc heat 
energy levels and provides tables that can also be used for this 
purpose. OSHA requests comments on this appendix and on whether 
additional information is available to help employers and employees 
estimate available heat energy. The second note indicates that the 
employer may use broad estimates representing multiple system areas if 
the employer uses reasonable assumptions about the exposure 
distribution throughout the system and if those estimates represent the 
maximum exposure for those particular areas. This note clarifies that 
the rule is not intended to require separate calculations for each job 
or task.
    Much of the flame-resistant clothing available today comes with an 
arc rating.\43\ In basic terms, an arc rating indicates that a fabric 
is not expected to transfer sufficient thermal energy to cause a 
second-degree burn when tested under standard laboratory conditions 
exposing the fabric to an electric arc that radiates an energy at or 
below the rating.\44\ Proposed paragraph (g)(5) would require that 
employees who are exposed to hazards from electric arcs wear clothing 
with an arc rating greater than or equal to the heat energy estimated 
under proposed paragraph (g)(2). This clothing will protect employees 
exposed to various levels of heat energy from sustaining severe burn 
injuries in areas covered by the clothing. The note following paragraph 
(g) explains that Appendix F to Subpart V contains information on the 
selection of appropriate clothing. This appendix contains information on 
the ignition threshold of various fabrics, the thermal performance of 
typical arc-rated clothing, ways of estimating available heat energy, 
and ways of selecting clothing to protect employees from burn injuries 
resulting from electric arcs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ The ASTM standards governing arc rating require the fabric 
being tested to be flame resistant. Thus, no nonflame-resistant 
clothing has an arc rating.
    \44\ Arc rating is defined in ASTM F1506-02ae1, 
Standard Performance Specification for Flame Resistant Textile 
Materials for Wearing Apparel for Use by Electrical Workers Exposed 
to Momentary Electric Arc and Related Thermal Hazards: ``a value 
that indicates the arc performance of a material or system of 
materials. It is either the arc thermal performance value (ATPV) or 
breakdown threshold energy (EBT), when the ATPV cannot be 
determined by Test Method F1959.'' ASTM F1959-99 defines ATPV as 
``in arc testing, the incident energy on a fabric or material that 
results in sufficient heat transfer through the fabric or material 
to cause the onset of a second-degree burn based on the Stoll 
curve.'' That same standard defines EBT as ``the average 
of the five highest incident energy exposure values below the Stoll 
curve where the specimens do not exhibit breakopen.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Even with the requirements for the employer to assess hazards 
(proposed paragraph (g)(2)) and for employees to wear clothing with a 
rating appropriate for this assessment (proposed paragraph (g)(5)), 
there are still situations that could arise under which an employee's 
clothing could ignite and lead to severe burn injuries. For example, an 
employee wearing a cotton-polyester blend jacket over his or her arc-
rated shirt could be injured if the jacket ignites or melts when an 
electric arc occurs. Thus, OSHA is proposing, in paragraphs (g)(3) and 
(g)(4), additional provisions intended to prevent the ignition or 
melting of an employee's clothing.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.960(g)(3) would prohibit clothing that could 
either melt onto an employee's skin or ignite and continue to burn. 
This rule is equivalent to existing Sec.  1910.269(l)(6)(iii).\45\ This 
proposed provision would ensure that employees exposed to electric arcs 
do not wear clothing presenting the most severe burn hazards. A note 
following this provision lists fabrics that are specifically prohibited 
unless the employer demonstrates that the clothing is treated or worn 
to eliminate the hazard. This note is the same as the note following 
existing Sec.  1910.269(l)(6)(iii). OSHA requests comments on whether 
additional fabrics pose similar hazards and should be added to the 
note.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ The existing rule prohibits clothing that could increase 
the extent of injuries to an employee if an electric arc occurs. The 
Agency interprets this rule as prohibiting clothing that could melt 
or that could ignite and continue to burn in the presence of an 
electric arc faced by an employee (Memorandum to the Field from 
James W. Stanley, ``Guidelines for the Enforcement of the Apparel 
Standard, 29 CFR 1910.269(l)(6), of the Electric Power Generation, 
Transmission, and Distribution Standard'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (g)(4) would require employees to wear flame-
resistant clothing whenever: (1) The employee is exposed to contact 
with live parts energized at more than 600 volts (paragraph (g)(4)(i)); 
(2) the employee's clothing could be ignited by nearby flammable 
material that could be ignited by an electric arc (paragraph 
(g)(4)(ii)); or (3) the employee's clothing could be ignited by molten 
metal or electric arcs from faulted conductors in the work area 
(paragraph (g)(4)(iii)). (A note to proposed paragraph (g)(4)(iii) 
indicates that this provision does not apply to conductors capable of 
carrying the maximum available fault current. The design of the 
installation is intended to prevent these conductors from melting.) The 
listed conditions are those in which employees' clothing has been 
ignited in several of the burn accidents examined by OSHA.
    OSHA could have, more simply, required clothing that could not 
ignite and continue to burn under the heat energy conditions estimated 
pursuant to proposed paragraph (g)(2). However, as noted earlier, these 
estimates do not entirely reflect the heat energy produced by worst 
case conditions. If the other parameters affecting the energy in an arc 
are held constant, the heat energy rises exponentially with decreasing 
distance between the arc and the employee. Thus, an electric arc that 
touches an employee's clothing releases much more energy than the same 
arc at a distance equal to the minimum approach distance. For example, 
the heat energy from a 51-millimeter-long arc, generated by 20 
kiloamperes of fault current at 15 kilovolts, and clearing in 6 cycles 
is 1.23 cal/cm2 if the arc is 650 millimeters away, but is 
1971 cal/cm2 if the arc is 10 millimeters away.\46\ None of 
the common fabrics listed in Table 11 in Appendix F to Subpart V 
(explained below) would ignite if the arc was 650 millimeters away from 
the employee, but every one would ignite if the arc was only 10 
millimeters away.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ These heat energy estimates are calculated using ARCPRO.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The closest an electric arc was to an employee in electric power 
accidents over the years 1991 to 1998 occurred in 17 cases in which an 
employee contacted an energized conductor or was touching the electric 
arc. In eight of those cases, an employee's clothing apparently 
ignited.\47\ On the other hand, none of the accidents involved contact 
with circuit parts energized at 600 volts or less. OSHA believes that 
the cases that have occurred demonstrate a significant risk that an 
employee's clothing could ignite and cause serious, even fatal, burn 
injuries from ignited clothing when an employee contacts circuit parts 
energized at more than 600 volts. Therefore, OSHA has preliminarily 
concluded that an employee must wear flame-resistant clothing any time 
he or she is subject to contact with live parts energized at more than 
600 volts. The Agency requests comments on whether the requirements for 
flame-resistant clothing in proposed Sec.  1926.960(g)(4) are 
reasonable and appropriate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ The accident description indicated that the clothing 
ignited or stated that the extent of the burns or the location of 
the burns was such that clothing ignition was likely to have 
occurred. For example, in one case, a 4100-volt conductor fell onto 
an employee's chest. The employee survived the electric shock but 
died from second- and third-degree burns over 60 percent of his 
body. The electrical burns from the contact were probably localized 
to the area near the point of contact. It is likely that the 
employee's clothing ignited to cause burns that were spread over 60 
percent of his body though the accident description did not state 
that clothing ignition occurred.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OSHA is not proposing to require a specific level of protection for 
skin that is not covered by clothing. Employees' hands, which are 
frequently the closest body part to an electric arc, would typically be 
protected by rubber insulating gloves and leather protectors when the 
employee's hands are at greatest risk of injury. Although neither 
rubber insulating gloves nor leather protectors have arc ratings, 
because of their weight and thickness, they typically provide greater 
protection from electric arcs than light-weight flame-resistant 
clothing. Their protective value is borne out in the accident data--
none of the burn injuries to employees hands involved an employee 
wearing rubber insulating gloves. OSHA requests comments on whether the 
standard should require complete protection for an employee's entire 
body.
    Payment for Protective Clothing. As described earlier, OSHA is 
requiring employers to ensure that their employees (1) wear flame-
resistant clothing under certain hazardous conditions, and (2) when 
working on energized parts of the electric power system, wear clothing 
with an arc rating greater than or equal to potential heat energy 
exposures estimated for those parts. OSHA considers the protective 
clothing required by paragraph (g) to be PPE. The protective clothing 
would reduce the degree of injury sustained by an employee when an 
electric arc occurs. In some cases, the clothing would prevent injury 
altogether. Unlike many OSHA standards, the proposal would not require 
that employers provide protective clothing at no cost to employees. 
However, OSHA is considering including an employer-payment requirement 
in the final rule and is seeking comments on the issue.
    OSHA has a longstanding policy that employers must provide and pay 
for PPE, except, in some cases, where the PPE is personal in nature and 
usable by the employee off of the job. This policy is supported by the 
plain language of the OSH Act and its legislative history. (For a 
complete discussion of OSHA's policy, see OSHA's preamble to the 
employer payment for PPE proposal, 64 FR 15402 (March 31, 1999).) Many 
OSHA health standards include language explicitly stating that 
employers must provide PPE ``at no cost'' to employees. See, for 
example, 29 CFR 1910.1018(h)(2)(i) and (j) (inorganic arsenic); 29 
CFR 1910.1025(f)(1) and (g)(1) (lead); and 29 CFR 1910.1048(g)(1) and (h) (formaldehyde). 
The regulatory text and preamble of some safety standards also make clear
that employers must pay for PPE. See 29 CFR 1910.146(d)(4)(iv) (confined spaces); 
and 29 CFR 1910.266(d)(1)(iii) (logging).
    Because not every OSHA standard explicitly states that employers 
must pay for PPE, in 1999, OSHA proposed regulatory language to clarify 
that employers are responsible for the cost of PPE, with only a few 
exceptions (64 FR 15402). The proposal added language to OSHA's general 
industry, shipyard, construction, marine terminal, and longshoring 
standards that ``[a]ll protective equipment, including [PPE] * * * 
shall be provided by the employer at no cost to employees [64 FR 15441 
(emphasis added)].'' Exceptions were given for safety-toe protective 
footwear and prescription safety eyewear, provided that the employer 
permits them to be worn off of the job site, they are not used in a 
manner that makes them unsafe for use off of the job site, and they are 
not designed for special use on the job (64 FR 15441). OSHA recently 
reopened the rulemaking record on its employer payment for PPE 
proposal. to solicit comment on PPE that might be considered tools of 
the trade. See 69 FR 41221 (July 8, 2004).
    OSHA also recently proposed that employers in general industry, 
maritime, and construction, pay for protective clothing for employees 
exposed to hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)). See 69 FR 59465-59466 (Oct. 4, 
2004) (``Where a hazard is present or is likely to be present from skin 
or eye contact with chromium (VI), the employer shall provide 
appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment at no cost to 
employees, and shall ensure that employees use such clothing and 
equipment.''). The Agency said that employers are in the best position 
to select and obtain the appropriate protective clothing and that by 
providing and owning protective clothing, the employer will better 
maintain the integrity of it (69 FR 59456). The proposal also prohibits 
employees from taking contaminated protective clothing home; employers 
are responsible for laundering or disposing of contaminated protective 
clothing (69 FR 59456).
    OSHA believes that requiring employers to pay for the protective 
clothing that would be required by this proposal may also improve the 
safety of employees. Like Cr(VI), the purchase of protective clothing 
may be best handled by electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution employers, who have all of the information related to the 
parameters of the electric power system and are in the best position to 
select and purchase clothing necessary to protect employees from 
injury. Moreover, an employer-payment requirement could also help 
ensure that protective clothing is replaced promptly when its 
protective qualities erode. Some stakeholders have told OSHA that 
employees, if required to pay for their own protective clothing, may 
delay replacing damaged protective clothing for financial reasons. Any 
delay in replacing an article of protective clothing that has worn 
thin, or that contains holes or other openings, could endanger 
employees. Such damaged clothing does not provide adequate protection 
to employees exposed to electric arcs.
    Unlike Cr(VI), however, this proposal contains no prohibition on 
employees' taking certain protective clothing home, wearing certain 
protective clothing off of the job, and laundering such clothing. OSHA 
has not included an employer-payment requirement in this proposal 
because it does not have enough information at this time on the types 
and weights of protective clothing, if any, that may be routinely worn 
outside of work.\48\ There may be certain types of lightweight 
protective clothing that employees wear both at work and at home. OSHA 
believes it needs more information from the public on this clothing 
before including a general requirement that employers pay for 
protective clothing. In the PPE payment proposal, OSHA expressly 
exempted safety shoes and prescription eyewear from the general 
employer-payment requirement, in part because such equipment was 
personal in nature and could be used outside of work. See 64 FR 15402. 
OSHA is seeking information from the public as to whether protective 
clothing worn by employees performing power generation, transmission, 
and distribution work falls into this same category of PPE. OSHA is 
also incorporating the record of the employer payment for PPE 
rulemaking into the record of this rulemaking and will give due 
consideration to all relevant comments.
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    \48\ OSHA notes that, for ease of analysis only, it has included 
a cost to employers for providing protective clothing in its 
economic feasibility analysis--in addition to its economic impact 
analysis under Executive Order 12866 and the RFA--even though such a 
requirement is not expressly included in the proposal. See Section 
V, Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis and Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis, later in this preamble.
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    OSHA is seeking comments on its findings on protective clothing 
generally in addition to the following specific questions:
    1. Are there types or weights of protective clothing that employees 
typically wear outside of work? Do employers restrict the types or 
weights of protective clothing that employees are allowed to wear 
outside of work?
    2. Do employers typically provide the types of protective clothing 
required by the proposal at no cost to employees? Do some employers 
provide certain types or weights of protective clothing at no cost to 
employees, while requiring other types or weights of protective 
clothing to be paid for by employees? Should OSHA include an employer-
payment requirement for heavier weights or particular types of 
protective clothing, but not lighter weights or other types? If so, 
please specify what weights or types of protective clothing should be 
exempt from an employer-payment requirement.
    3. OSHA realizes that in the construction industry crews of 
employees are sometimes hired through local unions. This results in a 
variable workforce for many contractors. A contractor that hires 
employees in this manner may have to buy protective clothing for more 
employees than would an employer with a more stable workforce, 
particularly for protective clothing that only fits one employee. OSHA 
requests comment on whether, given this hiring practice, an employer-
payment requirement is appropriate in the construction industry. Are 
there any alternative approaches that would be responsive to this 
variable workforce situation and would also be protective of 
construction workers performing electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution work?
    4. Should OSHA not address the payment for protective clothing 
specifically in the final rule and, instead, follow the outcome of the 
general employer payment for PPE rulemaking?
    To protect employees from contacting energized parts, paragraph (h) 
of proposed Sec.  1926.960 would require fuses to be installed and 
removed using insulated tools or gloves when a terminal is energized at 
over 300 volts or when live parts are exposed at any voltage over 50 
volts. When an expulsion fuse operates on a fault or overload, the arc 
from the fault current erodes the tube of the fuse holder. This 
produces a gas that blasts the arc out through the fuse tube vent or 
vents, and with it any loose material in the way. Employees could be 
injured by the arc blast or by particles blown, by the blast,
in their eyes. Employees should never install or remove such fuses 
using gloves alone. Therefore, paragraph (h) would also require 
employees installing expulsion-type fuses energized at 300 volts or 
more to wear eye protection, would have to use a tool rated for the 
voltage, and would have to stand clear of the fuse's exhaust path. This 
paragraph, which has no counterpart in existing Subpart V, has been 
taken from Sec.  1910.269(l)(7).
    Paragraph (i) explains that covered conductors are treated under 
the standard as uninsulated. (See the definition of ``covered 
conductor'' in Sec.  1926.968.) The covering on this type of wire 
protects the conductor from the weather but does not provide adequate 
insulating value. This provision, which has no counterpart in existing 
Subpart V, has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(l)(8).
    Paragraph (j) proposes a requirement that noncurrent-carrying metal 
parts of equipment or devices be treated as energized at the highest 
voltage to which they are exposed unless the installation is inspected 
and these parts are determined to be grounded. Grounding these parts, 
whether by permanent grounds or by the installation of temporary 
grounds, would provide protection against ground faults. This 
requirement, which has no counterpart in existing Subpart V, is based 
on Sec.  1910.269(l)(9).
    Paragraph (k) would require devices used to open circuits under 
load conditions to be designed to interrupt the current involved. It is 
hazardous to open a circuit with a device that is not designed to 
interrupt current if that circuit is carrying current. Non-load-break 
switches used to open a circuit while it is carrying load current could 
fail catastrophically, severely injuring or killing any nearby 
employee. This requirement, which has no counterpart in existing 
Subpart V, has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(l)(10).
Section 1926.961, Deenergizing Lines and Equipment for Employee 
Protection
    Proposed Sec.  1926.961 addresses the deenergizing of electric 
transmission and distribution lines and equipment for the protection of 
employees. Transmission and distribution systems are different from 
other energy systems found in general industry or even in the electric 
utility industry itself. The hazardous energy control methods for these 
systems are necessarily different from those covered under the general 
industry generic standard on the control of hazardous energy sources 
(Sec.  1910.147). Transmission and distribution lines and equipment are 
installed outdoors and are subject to being reenergized by means other 
than the normal energy sources. For example, lightning can strike a 
line and energize an otherwise deenergized conductor, or a line could 
be energized by unknown cogeneration sources not under the control of 
the employer. Additionally, some deenergized transmission and 
distribution lines are subject to being reenergized by induced voltage 
from nearby energized conductors or by contact with other energized 
sources of electrical energy. Another difference is that energy control 
devices are often very remote from the worksite and are frequently 
under the centralized control of a system operator.
    For these reasons, OSHA is proposing to cover the control of 
hazardous energy sources related to transmission and distribution 
systems. This is the same approach used in Sec.  1910.269. In fact, the 
requirements proposed in Sec.  1926.961 have been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(m). Existing Subpart V also contains procedures for 
deenergizing transmission and distribution installations. The 
differences between the existing requirements, which are contained in 
Sec.  1926.950(d), and those proposed in Sec.  1926.961 are discussed 
later in this preamble.
    In addition to setting forth the application of Sec.  1926.961, 
paragraph (a) explains that conductors and equipment that have not been 
deenergized under the procedures of Sec.  1926.961 have to be treated 
as energized. As noted earlier in this preamble under the summary and 
explanation of proposed Sec.  1926.960(b)(2), existing Sec.  
1926.950(b)(2) requires electric equipment and lines to be considered 
as energized until determined to be deenergized by tests or other 
appropriate means. OSHA believes that the appropriate procedures for 
assuring that lines and equipment are deenergized are contained in 
proposed Sec.  1926.961 and that a simple test for a deenergized 
condition cannot be relied upon to ensure that lines and equipment 
remain deenergized.
    Some systems are under the direction of a central system operator 
who controls all switching operations. Other systems (mostly 
distribution installations) are not under any centralized control. 
These systems are energized and deenergized in the field without the 
direct intervention of a system operator. Paragraph (b)(1) of proposed 
Sec.  1926.961 states that all of the requirements of proposed 
paragraph (c) would apply if a system operator is in charge of the 
lines and equipment and of their means of disconnection. Paragraph 
(b)(2) defines the general rule for crews working on lines that are not 
under the control of a system operator. In the usual case, one employee 
is designated to be in charge of the clearance. In general, all of the 
requirements in paragraph (c) would apply, with the employee in charge 
of the clearance taking the place of the system operator. In this 
manner, the proposal provides protection against the unintended 
energizing of transmission and distribution lines without requiring all 
lines to be under the control of one employee. One employee in a crew 
will be in charge of the clearance for the crew; procedures will be 
followed to ensure that the lines are truly deenergized; tags will be 
placed on the lines; and procedures will be followed to remove the tags 
and reenergize the lines.
    However, in some cases, certain requirements contained in paragraph 
(c) are not necessary for the safety of employees. If only one crew 
will be working on transmission or distribution lines and if the means 
of deenergizing the lines is accessible and visible to and under the 
sole control of the employee in charge of the clearance, the provisions 
requiring tags on the disconnecting means are unnecessary. Therefore, 
proposed paragraph (b)(3)(i) would exempt a portion of the requirements 
of paragraph (c) from applying to work that is performed by a single 
crew of employees,\49\ if the means of disconnection of the lines and 
equipment are accessible and visible to and under the sole control of 
the employee in charge of the clearance. The provisions of paragraph 
(c) that would not apply are those relating to (1) requesting the 
system operator to deenergize the lines, (2) automatic and remote 
control of the lines, (3) the wording on tags, (4) two crews working on 
the same line, and (5) tag removal. It is not necessary to request the 
system operator to deenergize the lines because he or she would not be 
in control of the disconnecting means for the lines. Only one person 
would be in charge of the clearance for the crew, and the means of 
disconnection for the lines would be accessible and visible to and 
under the control of that person.\50\ Thus, tags would not be needed 
for the protection of the crew. Further, remote and automatic switching 
of lines and work performed by two crews working on lines or equipment 
controlled by the same disconnecting means would not be recognized under 
paragraph (b)(3)(i). (A group of employees made up of several ``crews'' 
of employees who are under the direction of a single employee and who are 
working in a coordinated manner to accomplish a task on the same lines or 
equipment are considered to be a single crew, rather than as multiple 
independent crews, for the purposes of paragraph (b)(3)(i). In such cases, 
all operations that could energize or deenergize a circuit would have to be 
coordinated through the single employee in charge.) If the crews are 
independent, each crew would need an employee-in-charge of its clearance 
(see the discussion of proposed paragraph (b)(3)(ii), later in this section 
of the preamble). Therefore, no one could be considered as having sole control 
over the disconnecting means protecting the crews, and the exceptions listed in 
paragraph (b)(3)(i) would not apply.
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    \49\ An employee working alone is considered to be a ``crew'' of 
one.
    \50\ The means of disconnection is under the sole control of the 
employee in charge of the clearance, and it need only be assessible 
and visible to that employee. Other employees in the crew have no 
control whatsoever over the disconnecting means.
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    Paragraph (d) of existing Sec.  1926.950 also recognizes separate 
procedures for lines that are ``visibly open.'' However, only two 
requirements apply. First, paragraph (d)(2)(i) requires guards or 
barriers to be installed to protect against contact with adjacent 
lines. Second, upon completion of work, the designated employee in 
charge must determine that all employees in his crew are clear and that 
protective grounds installed by his crew have been removed, and he or 
she must report to the designated authority that all tags protecting 
the crew may be removed (paragraph (d)(2)(ii)).
    The existing Subpart V provisions relating to working on lines or 
equipment that have their disconnecting means ``visibly open'' are 
insufficient to protect employees. Other requirements relating to 
deenergizing, testing, grounding, and reenergizing procedures are 
necessary for the protection of employees. While existing Subpart V 
does cover reenergizing procedures, it includes no provisions for 
deenergizing, testing, or grounding. OSHA believes that this proposal 
corrects these deficiencies.
    If more than one independent crew is working on a line, paragraph 
(b)(3)(ii) would require each crew to follow the steps outlined in 
Sec.  1926.961(c) separately, to ensure that a group of workers does 
not make faulty assumptions about what steps have been or will be taken 
by another group to deenergize lines or equipment. Paragraph (c) of 
proposed Sec.  1926.961 would not require a separate tag for each crew; 
it does require, however, separate clearances for each crew. There 
would have to be one employee in charge of the clearance for each crew, 
and the clearance for a crew would be held by this employee. In 
complying with paragraph (b)(3)(ii), the employer would have to ensure 
that no tag is removed unless its associated clearances are released 
(paragraph (c)(11)) \51\ and that no action is taken at a given point 
of disconnection until all protective grounds have been removed, until 
all crews have released their clearances, until all employees are clear 
of the lines or equipment, and until all tags have been removed at that 
point of disconnection (paragraph (c)(12)). OSHA requests comments on 
whether the standard should require each crew to have a separate tag 
and, if so, on ways to incorporate such a requirement in the standard.
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    \51\ Unless the employer has only one crew, a tracking mechanism 
may be necessary so that the employer can determine what crew is 
protected by a tag.
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    Where there is a system operator, who is in charge of energizing 
and deenergizing lines and equipment, that person keeps track of 
clearances for different crews working on the same lines or equipment. 
When there is no system operator, the crews will need to coordinate 
their activities to ensure that the lines or equipment are not 
reenergized while an employee is still working on them. Proposed 
paragraph (b)(3)(ii) would require such coordination when there is no 
system operator.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(ii) has been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(m)(3)(viii). Existing Subpart V contains a comparable 
requirement in Sec.  1926.950(d)(1)(vi). However, the existing 
requirement would simply require a tag for each independent crew. As 
noted earlier, the proposal would not require separate tags for each 
crew. However, each crew would hold a separate clearance that could not 
be released without authorization from the employee in charge of the 
clearance. Additionally, the proposal would require that each crew 
independently perform all the steps outlined in proposed paragraph (c) 
and that the crews coordinate deenergizing and reenergizing the lines 
or equipment if no system operator is in charge. The existing standard 
contains no such requirement. OSHA believes that the proposed approach 
better protects employees than the existing standard.
    Disconnecting means that are accessible to people not under the 
employer's control would have to be rendered inoperable. For example, a 
switch handle mounted at the bottom of a utility pole that is not on 
the employer's premises must be locked in the open position while the 
overhead line is deenergized. This requirement, which is contained in 
paragraph (b)(4) would prevent a member of the general public or an 
employee (of a contractor, for example) who is not under the employer's 
control from closing the switch and energizing the line. This 
requirement, which has no counterpart in existing Subpart V, has been 
taken from Sec.  1910.269(m)(2)(iv).
    Paragraph (c) of proposed Sec.  1926.961 sets forth the exact 
procedure for deenergizing transmission and distribution lines and 
equipment. The procedure must be followed in the order presented in the 
rule. Except as noted, the rules are consistent with existing Sec.  
1926.950(d)(1), although the language has been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(m)(3). The Agency has attempted to propose simplified language 
and has written the requirements in performance-oriented terms whenever 
possible.
    Paragraph (c)(1) would require an employee to request the system 
operator to deenergize a particular section of line or equipment. So 
that control is vested in one authority, a single designated employee 
would be assigned this task. This designated employee thus becomes the 
employee in charge of and responsible for the clearance for work. This 
provision, which has no counterpart in existing Subpart V, has been 
taken from Sec.  1910.269(m)(3)(i). The designated employee who 
requests the clearance need not be in charge of other aspects of the 
work; the proposal intends for this designated employee to be in charge 
of the clearance. He or she is responsible for requesting the 
clearance, for informing the system operator of changes in the 
clearance (such as transfer of responsibility), and for insuring that 
it is safe for the circuit to be reenergized before the clearance is 
released. If someone other than an employee at the worksite requests 
the clearance and if that clearance is in place before the employee 
arrives at the site, then clearance must be transferred under Sec.  
1926.961(c)(8). The Agency believes that the person requesting the 
clearance, once the lines are indeed deenergized, must be the one to 
contact in case alterations in the clearance are necessary. The 
employees who will be performing the actual work at some time in the 
future would not necessarily be aware that a clearance has been 
requested and would not be in position to answer questions about the 
clearance.
    The second step (proposed Sec.  1926.961(c)(2)) is to open all 
switches through which electrical energy could flow to the section of 
line or equipment. The disconnecting means would then be made 
inoperable if the design of the device permits. For example, the
removable handle of a switch could be detached. Also, the switches 
would have to be tagged to indicate that employees are at work. This 
paragraph would ensure that the lines are disconnected from their 
sources of supply and protects against the accidental reclosing of the 
switches. This rule is intended to require the disconnection of known 
sources of electric energy only. Hazards related to the presence of 
unexpected energy sources would be controlled by testing for voltage 
and by grounding the circuit, as proposed under paragraphs (c)(5) and 
(c)(6), respectively.
    Proposed paragraph (c)(2) has been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(m)(3)(ii). Existing Subpart V contains comparable requirements 
in Sec.  1926.950(d)(1)(i), (d)(1)(ii)(a), and (d)(1)(ii)(b). The 
existing provisions require: (1) the line or equipment to be identified 
and isolated from sources of energy (paragraph (d)(1)(i)), and (2) 
notification and assurance of the designated employee that all 
disconnecting means have been opened and tagged (paragraphs 
(d)(1)(ii)(a) and (d)(1)(ii)(b)). OSHA believes that the proposed 
language more accurately reflects the actual steps taken to deenergize 
lines and equipment.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.961(c)(3) would require the tagging of 
automatically and remotely controlled switches. An automatically or 
remotely controlled switch would also have to be rendered inoperable if 
the design of the switch allows for it to be made inoperable. This 
provision which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(m)(3)(iii), would 
also protect employees from being injured as a result of the automatic 
operation of such switches. Existing Subpart V contains an equivalent 
requirement in Sec. Sec.  1926.950(d)(1)(ii)(b) and (d)(1)(ii)(c).
    Paragraph (c)(4) of proposed Sec.  1926.961 would require tags to 
prohibit operation of the switches to which they are attached. They 
would also be required to state that employees are at work. This 
requirement has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(m)(3)(iv). Existing 
Sec.  1926.950(d)(1)(ii)(b) contains a requirement for tags to indicate 
that employees are working; however, it does not require the tags to 
prohibit operation of the disconnecting means. The Agency believes that 
it is essential for the tags to contain this prohibition so that the 
meaning of the tag is clear.
    After the previous four requirements have been met and after the 
employee in charge of the work has been given a clearance by the system 
operator, proposed paragraph (c)(5) would require the lines or 
equipment to be tested. This test would ensure that the lines have in 
fact been deenergized and is intended to prevent accidents resulting 
from someone's opening the wrong disconnect. It also protects employees 
from hazards associated with unknown sources of electric energy. This 
paragraph is based on Sec.  1910.269(m)(3)(v). Existing Sec.  
1926.950(d)(1)(iii) requires a test or a visual inspection to be 
performed to ensure that the lines or equipment are deenergized. Visual 
inspection alone cannot determine whether a line or equipment is 
deenergized. Voltage backfeed, induced current, and leakage current can 
all energize electric lines and equipment without the employee being 
able to ``see'' it. Additionally, the Sec.  1910.269 rulemaking showed 
the lack of testing to be a cause of accidents (269-Ex. 9-2, 12-12). 
Therefore, the proposal would require an actual test to determine 
whether the lines or equipment was energized. OSHA has not specified 
the type of test but expects employers to use testing procedures that 
will reliably indicate whether or not the part in question is 
energized. For example, using a voltage detector on the part would be 
one way to do this. OSHA requests comments on when and if other 
methods, such as fuzzing a line,\52\ are acceptable testing methods.
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    \52\ Fuzzing, or buzzing, a line involves using a live-line tool 
to hold a wrench or similar tool near a line and listening for the 
buzzing sound given off as the tool approaches a circuit part 
energized at a high voltage. This method has obvious disadvantages 
when ambient noise levels are excessive, and it is only reliable 
above certain voltage levels.
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    Proposed paragraph (c)(6) would require the installation of any 
protective grounds required by Sec.  1926.962 at this point in the 
sequence of events. Since the lines or equipment have been deenergized 
and tested in accordance with the previous provisions, it would now be 
safe to install a protective ground. This requirement is based on Sec.  
1910.269(m)(3)(vi). An equivalent requirement is contained in existing 
Sec.  1926.950(d)(1)(iv).
    After the six previous rules have been followed, paragraph (c)(7) 
would permit the lines or equipment to be treated as deenergized. This 
provision, which has no counterpart in existing Subpart V, is based on 
Sec.  1910.269(m)(3)(vii).
    In some cases, as when an employee in charge has to leave the job 
because of illness, it may be necessary to transfer a clearance. Under 
such conditions, proposed paragraph (c)(8) would require that the 
employee in charge inform the system operator and that the employees in 
the crew be informed of the transfer. If the employee holding the 
clearance is forced to leave the worksite due to illness or other 
emergency, the employee's supervisor could inform the system operator 
of the transfer in clearance. This requirement, which is based on Sec.  
1910.269(m)(3)(ix), has no counterpart in existing Subpart V.
    After the clearance is transferred, the new employee in charge 
would then be responsible for the clearance. It is important that only 
one employee at a time be responsible for any clearance; otherwise, 
independent action by any worker could endanger the entire crew.
    Once work is completed, the clearance will have to be released so 
that the lines or equipment can be reenergized. Paragraph (c)(9) of 
proposed Sec.  1926.961 covers this procedure. To ensure that it is 
safe to release the clearance, the employee in charge would have to: 
(1) Notify workers in the crew of the release, (2) determine that they 
are clear of the lines and equipment, (3) determine that grounds have 
been removed, and (4) notify the system operator that the clearance is 
to be released. This provision is based on Sec.  1910.269(m)(3)(x). An 
equivalent requirement is contained in existing Sec.  
1926.950(d)(1)(viii).
    Proposed paragraph (c)(10) would require the person who is 
releasing the clearance to be the one who requested it, unless 
responsibility has been transferred. This provision would ensure that 
no clearance is released without the authorization of the employee who 
is in charge of the clearance. This proposed paragraph, which has no 
counterpart in existing Subpart V, is based on Sec.  
1910.269(m)(3)(xi).
    Proposed paragraph (c)(11) would prohibit the removal of a tag 
unless its associated clearance has been released. Because the persons 
who place and remove the tags may not be the same, it is important for 
the regulation to prohibit removing a tag without the release of the 
clearance by the employee who is responsible for it. This provision, 
which has no counterpart in existing Subpart V, is based on Sec.  
1910.269(m)(3)(xii).
    According to proposed paragraph (c)(12), action would be permitted 
to be taken to reenergize the lines or equipment only after grounds and 
tags have been removed, after all clearances have been released, and 
after all employees are in the clear. This protects employees from the 
possibility that the line or equipment could be reenergized while 
employees are still at work. The Agency does not intend for this 
provision to require the removal of all tags from all disconnecting 
means before any of them could be reclosed. It is intended to require 
that all tags for any particular switch be removed before that switch is 
closed. It is very important in a tagging system that no energy isolating 
device be returned to a position allowing energy flow if there are any 
tags on it that are protecting employees. For example, in the case of a 
5-mile section of line that is deenergized by opening switches at both 
ends of the line, after all the tags are removed from any one switch that 
one switch could then be closed.
    Proposed paragraph (c)(12), which has no counterpart in Subpart V, 
has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(m)(3)(xiii).
Section 1926.962, Grounding for the Protection of Employees
    Sometimes, normally energized lines and equipment that have been 
deenergized to permit employees to work become accidentally energized. 
This can happen in several ways, for example, by contact with another 
energized circuit, by voltage backfeed from a customer's cogeneration 
installation, by lightning contact, or by failure of the clearance 
system outlined in Sec.  1926.961.
    Transmission and distribution lines and equipment are normally 
installed outdoors where they are exposed to damage from the weather 
and from actions taken by members of the general public. Many utility 
poles are installed alongside roadways where they may be struck by 
motor vehicles. Distribution lines have been damaged by falling trees, 
and transmission line insulators have been used for target practice. 
Additionally, customers fed by a utility company's distribution line 
may have cogeneration or backup generation capability, sometimes 
without the utility company's knowledge. All these factors can 
reenergize a deenergized transmission or distribution line or 
equipment. Energized lines can be knocked down onto deenergized lines. 
A backup generator or a cogenerator can cause voltage backfeed on the 
deenergized power line. Lastly, lightning, even miles from the 
worksite, can reenergize a line. All of these problems pose hazards to 
employees working on deenergized transmission and distribution lines 
and equipment. In fact, these problems were a factor in 14 of the 
accidents in 269-Exhibit 9-2.
    Grounding the lines and equipment is used to protect employees from 
injury should such reenergizing occur. Grounding also provides 
protection against induced voltages and static charges on a line. 
(These induced and static voltages can be high enough to endanger 
employees, either directly from electric shock or indirectly from 
involuntary reaction.)
    Grounding, as a temporary protective measure, involves connecting 
the deenergized lines and equipment to earth through conductors. As 
long as the conductors remain deenergized, this maintains the lines and 
equipment at the same potential as the earth. However, if voltage is 
impressed on a line, the voltage on the grounded line rises to a value 
dependent upon the impressed voltage, the impedance between its source 
and the grounding point, and the impedance of the grounding conductor.
    Various techniques are used to limit the voltage to which an 
employee working on a grounded line would be exposed. Bonding is one of 
these techniques. Conductive objects within the reach of the employee 
are bonded together to create an equipotential work area for the 
employee. Within this area of equal potentials, voltage differences are 
limited to a safe value.
    The requirements proposed in Sec.  1926.962 have been taken 
directly from Sec.  1910.269(n). Existing Sec.  1926.954 contains 
current provisions related to grounding for the protection of 
employees. OSHA has reviewed existing Sec.  1926.954 and has found that 
it is not as protective as Sec.  1910.269(n) and contains redundant and 
unnecessary requirements. For example, as noted under the summary and 
explanation of proposed Sec.  1926.960(b)(2), existing Sec.  
1926.950(b)(2) requires electric lines and equipment to be considered 
as energized until determined to be deenergized by tests or other 
appropriate methods or means. Existing Sec.  1926.954(a) similarly 
requires all conductors and equipment to be treated as energized until 
tested or otherwise determined to be deenergized or until grounded. 
These two provisions do not adequately protect employees from 
accidentally reenergized lines and equipment. As noted in the earlier 
discussion, electric power transmission and distribution lines and 
equipment can become reenergized even after they have been deenergized. 
Therefore, OSHA concluded in the Sec.  1910.269 rulemaking that 
grounding deenergized lines and equipment is essential except under 
limited circumstances. The Agency is proposing to continue that 
approach here. In developing proposed Sec.  1926.962, OSHA eliminated 
redundant requirements from existing Sec.  1926.954, consolidated 
related requirements from the existing standard, and strengthened the 
current requirements to protect employees better.\53\
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    \53\ As previously noted, existing Sec.  1926.954(a) requires 
conductors and equipment to be considered as energized until 
determined to be deenergized or until grounded. Paragraph (c) of 
existing Sec.  1926.954 requires bare communications conductors on 
poles or structures to be treated as energized unless they are 
protected by insulating materials. The hazard addressed by these 
requirements is covered by proposed Sec.  1926.960(b)(2), discussed 
earlier in this preamble.
    When equipment is being installed, it poses the same hazard to 
an employee that any other conductive object being manipulated near 
exposed energized parts does. Requirements contained in proposed 
Sec.  1926.960(c) and (d) adequately address this hazard. The 
installation of lines however does pose additional hazards. First, 
the lines may be subject to hazardous induced voltage. Second, 
because of their length, new overhead lines are much more likely to 
contact existing energized lines than new equipment is. This can 
happen, for example, through failure of the stringing and tensioning 
equipment being used to install the new lines or through failure of 
the existing lines or support structures. These hazards are 
addressed in proposed Sec.  1926.964(b), which specifically covers 
the installation and removal of overhead lines. Lastly, new 
underground lines, which are run as insulated cable, do not pose 
electrical hazards.
    For these reasons, OSHA is not proposing to carry existing Sec.  
1926.954(b) forward. However, comments are requested on whether or 
not the proposal adequately protects employees from hazards 
associated with the installation of new lines and equipment.
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    Proposed Sec.  1926.962 addresses protective grounding and 
bonding.\54\ As noted in paragraph (a), entire Sec.  1926.962 applies 
to the grounding of deenergized transmission and distribution lines and 
equipment for the purpose of protecting employees. Additionally, 
paragraph (a) indicates that paragraph (d) of proposed Sec.  1926.962 
would apply to the protective grounding of other equipment, such as 
aerial lift trucks, as well. Under normal conditions, such equipment 
would not be connected to a source of electric energy. However, to 
protect employees in case of accidental contact of the equipment with 
live parts, protective grounding is required elsewhere in the standard 
(in Sec.  1926.964(c)(11), for example); to ensure the adequacy of this 
grounding, the provisions of paragraph (d) must be followed.
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    \54\ As used throughout the rest of this discussion and within 
proposed Sec.  1926.962, the term ``grounding'' includes bonding. 
Technically, grounding refers to the connection of a conductive part 
to ground, whereas bonding refers to connecting conductive parts to 
each other. However, for convenience, OSHA is using the term 
``grounding'' to refer to both techniques of minimizing voltages to 
which an employee will be exposed.
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    The general requirement contained in paragraph (b) of proposed 
Sec.  1926.962 states the conditions under which lines and equipment 
must be grounded. Basically, in order for lines or equipment to be 
treated as deenergized, they must be deenergized under proposed Sec. 1926.961 
and grounded. Grounding could be omitted only if the installation of a ground 
is impracticable (such as during the initial stages of work on underground 
cables, when the conductor is not exposed for grounding) or if the conditions 
resulting from the installation of a ground would introduce more serious hazards
than work without grounds. It is expected that conditions warranting the absence 
of protective grounds would be rare.
    If grounds are not installed and the lines and equipment are to be 
treated as deenergized, however, precautions have to be observed, and 
certain conditions must be met. Obviously, the lines and equipment 
would still have to be deenergized by the procedures of Sec.  1926.961. 
Also, there would have to be no possibility of contact with another 
source of voltage and no hazard of induced voltage present. Since these 
precautions and conditions do not protect against the possible 
reenergizing of the lines or equipment under all conditions, the 
omission of grounding is permitted only in very limited circumstances.
    Paragraph (f) of existing Sec.  1926.954 allows grounds to be 
omitted without the additional restrictions proposed in Sec.  
1926.962(b)(1) through (b)(3). However, the existing standard requires 
the lines or equipment to be treated as energized in such cases. While 
the proposal does not specifically permit omitting grounds for 
conductors that are treated as energized, it does not require grounding 
unless the equipment is to be considered as deenergized. (See the 
discussion of proposed Sec.  1926.960(b)(2), earlier in this section of 
the preamble.)
    Paragraph (f) of existing Sec.  1926.954 also addresses where 
grounds must be placed. The existing standard requires grounds to be 
placed between the work location and all sources of energy and as close 
as practicable to the work location. Alternatively, grounds could be 
placed at the work location. If work is to be performed at more than 
one location, the existing standard would require the line section to 
be grounded and short circuited at one location and would require the 
conductor on which work is being performed to be grounded at the work 
location. Although these requirements are intended to protect employees 
in case the line on which they are working is accidentally reenergized, 
the existing provisions do not ensure that the grounding practices and 
equipment are adequate to provide this protection.
    OSHA proposed requirements similar to those in existing Sec.  
1926.954(f) when it proposed Sec.  1910.269(n). In developing final 
Sec.  1910.269(n), OSHA reviewed the accidents in 269-Ex. 9-2 and 269-
Ex. 9-2A for those involving improper protective grounding. There were 
nine accidents in these two exhibits related to protective grounding. 
In three cases, inadequate grounds were present. Based on the fact that 
grounding is a backup measure, intended to provide protection only when 
all other safety-related work practices fail, OSHA concluded that this 
was a significant incidence of faulty grounding.
    Grounding practices that do not provide an equipotential zone in 
which an employee is safeguarded from voltage differences do not 
provide complete protection. In case the line is accidentally 
reenergized, voltages to which an employee would be exposed due to 
inadequate grounding would be lethal, as can be seen by some of the 
exhibits in the Sec.  1910.269 rulemaking record (269-Ex. 6-27, 57). 
The employee would be protected only if he or she is not in contact 
with the line until the energy source is cleared by circuit protective 
devices.
    For these reasons, OSHA is proposing to require grounds that will 
protect employees in the event that the line or equipment on which they 
are working is reenergized. Proposed Sec.  1926.962(c) would require 
protective grounds to be so located and arranged that employees are not 
exposed to hazardous differences in potential. The proposal would allow 
employers and employees to use whatever grounding method they prefer as 
long as employees are protected. For employees working at elevated 
positions on poles and towers, single point grounding may be necessary, 
together with grounding straps to provide an equipotential zone for the 
worker. Employees in insulated aerial lifts working at midspan between 
two conductor supporting structures may be protected by grounding at 
convenient points on both sides of the work area. Bonding the aerial 
lift to the grounded conductor would ensure that the employee remains 
at the potential of the conductor in case of a fault. Other methods may 
be necessary to protect workers on the ground, including grounding mats 
and insulating platforms. The Agency believes that this performance-
oriented approach would provide the flexibility needed by employers, 
but would also afford the best protection to employees.
    Paragraph (d) of proposed Sec.  1926.962 contains requirements that 
grounding equipment would have to meet. So that the protective 
grounding equipment does not fail, it would be required to have an 
ampacity high enough so that the fault current could be carried for the 
amount of time necessary to allow protective devices to interrupt the 
circuit. This provision, which has been taken from the first sentence 
of Sec.  1910.269(n)(4)(i), is contained in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of 
proposed Sec.  1926.962.
    The design of electric power distribution lines operating at 600 
volts or less frequently provides a maximum fault current and fault 
interrupting time that exceeds the current carrying capability of the 
circuit conductors. In other words, the maximum fault current on 
distribution secondaries of 600 volts or less is typically high enough 
to melt the phase conductors carrying the fault current. If protective 
grounding equipment were required to carry the maximum amount of fault 
current without regard to whether the phase conductors would fail, the 
size of the grounding equipment would be impractical. However, OSHA 
does not interpret Sec.  1910.269(n)(4)(i) to require protective 
grounding equipment to be capable of carrying more current than 
necessary to allow the phase conductors to fail. A protective grounding 
jumper sized slightly larger than a phase conductor would be sufficient 
to meet the general industry standard, although the language of the 
first sentence of Sec.  1910.269(n)(4)(i) does not make this clear.
    To clarify this requirement, OSHA is proposing, in Sec.  
1926.962(d)(1)(ii), to permit, specifically, the use of protective 
grounding equipment that would not be large enough to carry the maximum 
fault current indefinitely but that would be large enough to carry this 
current until the phase conductor fails.\55\ This would be permitted 
only under certain conditions. First, the grounding equipment must be 
able to carry the maximum fault current until the conductor being 
protected fails. Second, the conductor must only be considered as 
grounded where it is protected by the grounding equipment. In other 
words, the portion of the phase conductor between the grounding 
equipment and the employee being protected must remain intact under 
fault conditions. Third, since the phase conductor will likely fall 
once it fails, no employee must be in a position where they would be 
endangered by any failed conductor. OSHA has not restricted this 
provision to lines and equipment operating at 600 volts or less because 
the Agency believes that employees would be protected with these 
provisions regardless of voltage. However, OSHA requests comments on 
the issue of whether or not proposed

Sec.  1926.962(d)(1)(ii) should be restricted to lines and equipment 
operating at 600 volts or less.
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    \55\ OSHA is also proposing to make a similar change in Sec.  
1910.269.
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    Paragraph (d)(1)(iii) of Sec.  1926.962 would require protective 
grounding equipment to have an ampacity of at least No. 2 AWG copper. 
This provision would ensure that protective grounding equipment has a 
suitable minimum ampacity and mechanical strength.
    Under paragraph (d)(2), the impedance of the grounding equipment 
would be required to be low enough to ensure the quick operation of the 
protective devices.
    Paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) help ensure the prompt clearing of the 
circuit supplying voltage to the point where the employee is working. 
Thus, the grounding equipment limits the duration and reduces the 
severity of any electric shock, though it does not itself prevent shock 
from occurring. (As discussed earlier, proposed Sec.  1926.962(c) 
requires employees to be protected from hazardous differences in 
electrical potential.) OSHA has included a note referencing the ASTM 
standard on protective grounding equipment (ASTM F855-03) so that 
employers will be able to find additional information that may be 
helpful in their efforts to comply with the standard.
    Existing Sec.  1926.954(h), (i), and (j) contain requirements 
relating to the impedance and ampacity of personal protective grounds. 
Paragraph (i) requires tower clamps to have adequate ampacity, and 
paragraph (j) contains the same requirement for ground leads with an 
additional restriction that they be no smaller than No. 2 AWG copper. 
Paragraph (i) requires the impedance of a grounding electrode (if one 
is used) to be low enough to remove the danger of harm to employees or 
to permit prompt operation of protective devices.
    OSHA believes that the entire grounding system should be capable of 
carrying the maximum fault current and should have an impedance low 
enough to protect employees. The existing standard contains no 
requirements for the impedance of grounding conductors or clamps, nor 
does it contain requirements relating to the ampacity of grounding 
clamps other than tower clamps. By addressing specific portions of the 
grounding systems but not addressing others, the existing standard does 
not require complete protection for employees. Because the proposal's 
grounding requirements apply to the entire grounding system, OSHA 
believes that the proposal will provide better protection for employees 
than the existing rule.
    Paragraph (e) of Sec.  1926.962 would require lines and equipment 
that are to be grounded to be tested for voltage before a ground is 
installed. If a previously installed ground is evident, no test would 
need to be conducted. This requirement would prevent energized 
equipment from being grounded, which could result in injury to the 
employee installing the ground. This requirement is the same as 
existing Sec.  1926.954(d).
    Paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) propose procedures for installing and 
removing grounds. To protect employees in the event that the 
``deenergized'' equipment to be grounded is or becomes energized, the 
proposal would require the ``equipment end'' of the grounding device to 
be applied last and removed first and that a live-line tool be used for 
both procedures in order to protect workers.
    These provisions are similar to existing Sec.  1926.954(e)(1) and 
(e)(2), except that the existing standard recognizes the use of a 
``suitable device'' in addition to a live-line tool. OSHA is concerned 
that this language implies that rubber insulating gloves could be used 
to install and remove grounds under any circumstance. It should be 
noted that it is unsafe for an employee to be too close when connecting 
or disconnecting a ground. Therefore, OSHA is proposing to eliminate 
the phrase ``or other insulated device'' from the rule. OSHA will, 
however, consider any device that is insulated for the voltage and that 
allows an employee to apply or remove the ground from a safe position 
to be a live-line tool for the purposes of Sec.  1926.962(f)(1) and 
(f)(2).
    These two paragraphs in the proposal are based on existing Sec.  
1910.269(n)(6) and (n)(7). The proposal, however, would permit the use 
of insulated equipment other than live-line tools to attach protective 
grounds to, and to remove them from, lines and equipment operating at 
600 volts or less, if the employer ensures that the line or equipment 
is not energized at the time or if the employer can demonstrate that 
the employee would be protected from any hazard that could develop if 
the line or equipment is energized. For example, test equipment could 
be connected to a line that is to be grounded, and the protective 
ground could be applied by an employee wearing rubber gloves while the 
test equipment indicated that the line was deenergized. After the 
ground was in place the test equipment could be removed.
    Some electric utilities have complained that lines and equipment 
operating at 600 volts or less cannot always accommodate the placement 
and removal of a protective ground by a line-line tool. OSHA is 
proposing these alternatives to enable protective grounds to be placed 
on this equipment in a manner that will still protect employees.\56\
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    \56\ OSHA is also proposing to make similar changes in Sec.  
1910.269.
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    It should be noted that, during the periods before the ground is 
installed and after it is removed, the line or equipment involved must 
be considered as energized (under proposed Sec.  1926.960(b)(2)). As a 
result, the minimum approach distances specified in proposed Sec.  
1926.960(c)(1) would apply when grounds are installed or removed.
    With certain underground cable installations, a fault at one 
location along the cable can create a substantial potential difference 
between the earth at that location and the earth at other locations. 
Under normal conditions, this is not a hazard. However, if an employee 
is in contact with a remote ground (by being in contact with a 
conductor that is grounded at a remote station), he or she can be 
exposed to the difference in potential (because he or she is also in 
contact with the local ground). To protect employees in such 
situations, proposed Sec.  1926.962(g) would prohibit grounding cables 
at remote locations if a hazardous potential transfer could occur under 
fault conditions. This proposed provision has no counterpart in 
existing Subpart V.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.962(h) addresses the removal of grounds for 
test purposes. Under the proposal, grounds would be permitted to be 
removed for test purposes. Existing Subpart V contains a comparable 
requirement in Sec.  1926.954(g). However, the existing standard simply 
requires employees to take extreme caution when grounds are removed for 
testing. OSHA does not believe that the existing language contains 
sufficient safeguards for employees. Therefore, the Agency is proposing 
performance criteria that testing procedures would be required to meet. 
During the test procedure, the employer would be required to ensure 
that each employee uses insulating equipment and is isolated from any 
hazards involved, and the employer would be required to institute any 
additional measures as may be necessary to protect each exposed 
employee in case the previously grounded lines and equipment become 
energized. OSHA believes that the proposal would protect employees 
better than the existing rule.

Section 1926.963, Testing and Test Facilities
    Proposed Sec.  1926.963 contains safety work practices covering 
electrical hazards arising out of the special testing of lines and 
equipment (namely, in-service and out-of-service, as well as new, lines 
and equipment) to determine maintenance needs and fitness for service. 
Generally, the need to conduct tests on new and idle lines and 
equipment as part of normal checkout procedures, in addition to 
maintenance evaluation, is specified in the National Electrical Safety 
Code (ANSI C2). Basically, as stated in paragraph (a), the rules would 
apply only to testing involving interim measurements utilizing high 
voltage, high power, or combinations of both, as opposed to testing 
involving continuous measurements as in routine metering, relaying and 
normal line work.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.963 has been taken directly from Sec.  
1910.269(o). Existing Subpart V has no counterpart to these proposed 
requirements. The Agency believes that these high-voltage and high-
current tests are performed during construction work and that employers 
would benefit by the inclusion of these provisions within the 
construction standard in place of a reference to Sec.  1910.269. 
However, it may be that this type of work is performed too infrequently 
to warrant repeating the requirements in Subpart V. OSHA requests 
comments on the need to include proposed Sec.  1926.963 in Subpart V.
    For the purposes of these proposed requirements, high-voltage 
testing is assumed to involve voltage sources having sufficient energy 
to cause injury and having magnitudes generally in excess of 1,000 
volts, nominal. High-power testing involves sources where fault 
currents, load currents, magnetizing currents, or line dropping 
currents are used for testing, either at the rated voltage of the 
equipment under test or at lower voltages. Proposed Sec.  1926.963 
covers such testing in laboratories, in shops and substations, and in 
the field and on transmission and distribution lines.
    Examples of typical special tests in which either high-voltage 
sources or high-power sources are used as part of operation and 
maintenance of electric power transmission and distribution systems 
include cable-fault locating, large capacitive load tests, high current 
fault-closure tests, insulation resistance and leakage tests, direct-
current proof tests, and other tests requiring direct connection to 
power lines.
    Excluded from the scope of proposed Sec.  1926.963 are routine 
inspection and maintenance measurements made by qualified employees in 
accordance with established work practice rules where the hazards 
associated with the use of intrinsic high-voltage or high-power sources 
require only those normal precautions peculiar to such periodic work. 
Obviously, the work practices for these routine tests would have to 
comply with the rest of proposed Subpart V. Because this type of 
testing poses hazards that are identical to other types of routine 
electric power transmission and distribution work, OSHA believes that 
the requirements of proposed Subpart V excluding Sec.  1926.963 
adequately protect employees performing these tests. Two typical 
examples of such excluded test work procedures would be ``phasing-out'' 
testing and testing for a ``no voltage'' condition. To clarify the 
scope of this section, a note to this effect is included after 
paragraph (a).
    Paragraph (b)(1) of proposed Sec.  1926.963 would require employers 
to establish work practices governing employees engaged in certain 
testing activities. These work practices are intended to delineate 
precautions that employees must observe for protection from the hazards 
of high-voltage or high-power testing. For example, if high-voltage 
sources are used in the testing, employees would be required to follow 
the safety practices established under paragraph (b)(1) to protect 
against such typical hazards as inadvertent arcing or voltage 
overstress destruction, as well as accidental contact with objects that 
have become residually charged by induced voltage from electric field 
exposure. If high-power sources are used in the testing, employees 
would be required to follow established safety practices to protect 
against such typical hazards as ground voltage rise as well as exposure 
to excessive electromagnetically-caused physical forces associated with 
the passage of heavy current.
    These practices would apply to work performed at both permanent and 
temporary test areas (that is, areas permanently located in the 
controlled environment of a laboratory or shop and in areas temporarily 
located in a non-controlled field environment). At a minimum, the 
safety work practices include:
    (1) Guarding the test area to prevent inadvertent contact with 
energized parts,
    (2) Safe grounding practices to be observed,
    (3) Precautions to be taken in the use of control and measuring 
circuits, and
    (4) Periodic checks of field test areas.
    Paragraph (b)(2) complements the general rule on the use of safe 
work practices in test areas with a proposed requirement that all 
employees involved in this type of work be trained in these safety test 
practices. This paragraph, which makes explicit the types of training 
required by the general training provisions in proposed Sec.  
1926.950(b), would further require a periodic review of these practices 
to be conducted from time to time as a means of providing reemphasis 
and updating.
    Although specific work practices used in test areas are generally 
unique to the particular test being conducted, three basic elements 
affecting safety are commonly found to some degree at all test sites: 
guarding, grounding, and the safe utilization of control and measuring 
circuits. By considering safe work practices in these three categories, 
OSHA has attempted to achieve a performance-oriented standard 
applicable to high-voltage and high-power testing and test facilities.
    OSHA believes that guarding can best be achieved when it is 
provided both around and within test areas. By controlling access to 
all parts that are likely to become energized by either direct or 
inductive coupling, the standard will prevent accidental contact by 
employees. Within test areas, whether temporary or permanent, a degree 
of safety can be achieved by observing guarding practices that control 
access to test areas. Paragraph (c)(1) would therefore require that 
such guarding be provided if the test equipment or apparatus under test 
may become energized as part of the testing by either direct or 
inductive coupling. A combination of guards and barriers is intended to 
provide protection to all employees in the vicinity.
    Paragraph (c)(2) would require permanent test areas to be guarded 
by having them completely enclosed by walls or some other type of 
physical barrier. In the case of field testing, paragraph (c)(3) 
attempts to achieve a level of safety for temporary test sites 
comparable to that achieved in laboratory test areas. For these areas, 
a barricade of tapes and cones or observation by an attendant would be 
acceptable methods of guarding. Proposed paragraph (c)(3) would accept 
any barrier or barricade that provides a means of limiting access to 
the test area physically and visually equivalent to safety tape with 
signs or would accept guarding by means of a test observer stationed 
where the entire test area could be monitored.
    Since the effectiveness of the temporary guarding means can be
severely compromised by failing to remove it when it is not required, 
frequent safety checks must be made to monitor its use. For example, 
leaving barriers in place for a week at a time when testing is 
performed only an hour or two per day is likely to result in disregard 
for the barriers. For this reason, paragraph (c)(4) would require the 
temporary barriers to be removed when they are no longer needed.
    Suitable grounding is another important work practice that can be 
employed for the protection of personnel from the hazards of high-
voltage or high-power testing. If high currents are intentionally 
employed in the testing, an isolated ground-return conductor, adequate 
for the service, is required so that no intentional passage of heavy 
current, with its attendant voltage rise, will occur in the ground grid 
or in the earth. Another safety consideration involving grounding is 
that all conductive parts accessible to the test operator during the 
time that the equipment is operating at high voltage be maintained at 
ground potential, except portions of the equipment that are isolated 
from the test operator by suitable guarding. Paragraph (d) proposes 
requirements for proper grounding at test sites.
    Paragraph (d)(1) would require that grounding practices be 
established and implemented for test facilities to ensure that 
unguarded conductive parts accessible to the operator are grounded and 
that all ungrounded terminals of test equipment or apparatus under test 
are treated as energized until reliably determined otherwise. Paragraph 
(d)(2) would require visible grounds to be properly applied before work 
is performed on the circuit or item or apparatus under test.
    Paragraph (d)(3) addresses hazards resulting from the use of 
inadequate ground-returns in which a voltage rise in the ground grid or 
in the earth can result whenever high currents are employed in the 
testing. Test personnel who may be exposed to such potentials would be 
required to be protected from the hazards involved. This paragraph 
would require the use of an isolated ground return so that no 
intentional passage of current, with its attendant voltage rise, could 
occur in the ground grid or in the earth. However, under some 
conditions (such as system fault testing), it may be necessary to 
perform the test under actual operating conditions, or it may otherwise 
be impractical to provide an isolated ground return. In such cases, it 
would not be reasonable to require an isolated ground-return conductor 
system. Therefore, paragraph (d)(3) would provide an exception to the 
requirement for such an isolated ground return. The exception would 
apply if the isolated ground-return cannot be provided because of the 
distance involved and if employees are protected from hazardous step 
and touch potentials that may develop. Consideration must always be 
given to the possibility of voltage gradients developing in the earth 
during impulse, short-circuit, inrush, or oscillatory conditions. Such 
voltages may appear between the feet of an observer, or between his or 
her body and a grounded object, and are usually referred to as ``step'' 
and ``touch'' potentials. Examples of acceptable protection from step 
and touch potentials include suitable electrical protective equipment 
and the removal of employees from areas that may expose them to 
hazardous potentials.
    Another grounding situation is recognized by paragraph (d)(4) in 
which grounding through the power cord of test equipment may be 
inadequate and actually increase the hazard to test operators. 
Normally, an equipment grounding conductor is required in the power 
cord of test equipment to connect it to a grounding connection in the 
power receptacle. However, in some circumstances, this practice can 
prevent satisfactory measurements, or current induced in the grounding 
conductor can cause a hazard to personnel. If these conditions exist, 
the use of the equipment grounding conductor within the cord would not 
be mandatory, and paragraph (d)(4) would require that an equivalent 
safety ground be provided.
    Paragraph (d)(5) would further require that a ground be placed on 
the high-voltage terminal and any other exposed terminals when the test 
area is entered after equipment is deenergized. In the case of high 
capacitance equipment or apparatus, before a direct ground can be 
applied, the initial grounding discharge would have to be accomplished 
through a resistor having an adequate energy rating.
    Paragraph (d)(6) recognizes the hazards associated with field 
testing in which test trailers or test vehicles are used. In addition 
to proposing that the chassis of such vehicles be grounded, paragraph 
(d)(6) provides for a performance-oriented approach by proposing that 
protection be provided against hazardous touch potentials by bonding, 
by insulation, or by isolation. The protection provided by each of 
these methods is described in the following examples:
    (1) Protection by bonding can be effected by providing, around the 
vehicle, an area covered by a metallic mat or mesh of substantial 
cross-section and low impedance which is bonded to the vehicle at 
several points and is also bonded to an adequate number of driven 
ground rods or, where available, to an adequate number of accessible 
points on the station ground grid. All bonding conductors must be of 
sufficient electrical size to keep the voltage developed during maximum 
anticipated current tests at a safe value. The mat must be of a size 
that precludes simultaneous contact with the vehicle and with the earth 
or with metallic structures not adequately bonded to the mat.
    (2) Protection by insulation can be accomplished, for example, by 
providing around the vehicle an area of dry wooden planks covered with 
rubber insulating blankets. The physical extent of the insulated area 
must be sufficient to prevent simultaneous contact with the vehicle, or 
the ground lead of the vehicle, and with the earth or with metallic 
structures in the vicinity.
    (3) Protection by isolation can be implemented by providing an 
effective means to exclude personnel from any area where simultaneous 
contact could be made with the vehicle (or conductive parts 
electrically connected to the vehicle) and with other conductive 
materials. A combination of barriers together with effective, 
interlocked gates may be employed to ensure that the system is 
deenergized when an employee is entering or leaving the test area.
    Finally, a third category of safe work practices applicable to 
employees performing testing work, which complements the first two 
safety work practices of guarding and grounding, involves work 
practices associated with the installation of control and measurement 
circuits utilized at test facilities. Practices necessary for the 
protection of personnel and equipment from the hazards of high-voltage 
or high-power testing must be observed for every test where special 
signal-gathering equipment is used (that is, meters, oscilloscopes, and 
other special instruments). In addition, special settings of protective 
relays and the reexamination of backup schemes may be necessary to 
ensure an adequate level of safety during the tests or to minimize the 
effects of the testing on other parts of the system under test. As a 
consequence, paragraphs (e)(1) through (e)(3) address the principal 
safe work practices involving control and measuring circuit utilization 
within the test area.
    Generally, control and measuring circuit wiring should remain 
within the test area. If this is not possible, however, paragraph 
(e)(1) proposes requirements to minimize hazards should it become necessary 
to have the test wiring routed outside the test area. Cables and other wiring 
would have to be contained within a grounded metallic sheath and terminated in a 
grounded metal enclosure, or other precautions would have to be taken 
to provide equivalent safety, such as guarding the area so that 
employees do not have access to parts that might rise to hazardous 
potentials.
    Paragraph (e)(2) covers the avoidance of possible hazards arising 
from inadvertent contact with energized accessible terminals or parts 
of meters and other test instruments. Meters with such terminals or 
parts would have to be isolated from test personnel.
    Work practices involving the proper routing and connection of 
temporary wiring to protect against damage are covered in paragraph 
(e)(3). This paragraph would also require the various functional wiring 
used for the test set-up to be kept separate, to the maximum extent 
possible, in order to minimize the coupling of hazardous voltages into 
the control and measuring circuits.
    A final safety work practice requirement related to control 
circuits is addressed by paragraph (e)(4). This paragraph would require 
the presence of a test observer who can, in cases of emergency, 
immediately deenergize all test circuits for safety purposes.
    Since the environment in which field tests are conducted differs in 
important respects from that of laboratory tests, extra care must be 
taken to ensure appropriate levels of safety. Permanent fences and 
gates for isolating the field test area are not usually provided, nor 
is there a permanent conduit for the instrumentation and control 
wiring. As a further hazard, there may be other sources of high-voltage 
electric energy in the vicinity in addition to the source of test 
voltage.
    It is not always possible in the field to prevent ingress of 
persons into a test area physically, as is accomplished by the fences 
and interlocked gates of the laboratory environment. Consequently, 
readily recognizable means are required to discourage such ingress; 
and, before test potential or current is applied to a test area, the 
test operator in charge must ensure that all necessary barriers are in 
place.
    As a consequence of these safety considerations, paragraph (f)(1) 
would call for a safety check to be made at temporary or field test 
areas at the beginning of each group of continuous tests (that is, a 
series of tests conducted one immediately after another). Paragraph 
(f)(2) would require that, as a minimum for the safety check, the 
person responsible for the testing verify, before the initiation of a 
continuous period of testing, the status of a general group of safety 
conditions. These conditions include the state of guards and status 
signals, the marking and availability of disconnects, the provision of 
ground connections and personal protective equipment, and the 
separation of circuits.
Section 1926.964, Overhead Lines
    Proposed Sec.  1926.964 would apply to work involving overhead 
lines or equipment. The types of work performed on overhead lines and 
addressed by this paragraph include the installation and removal of 
overhead lines, live-line bare-hand work, and work on towers and 
structures. While performing this type of work, employees are typically 
exposed to the hazards of falls and electric shock.
    Section 1926.955 of existing Subpart V covers overhead lines. 
Several requirements in the existing standard are redundant, and OSHA 
believes that the existing section is poorly organized. For example, 
paragraphs (c) and (d) both apply to the installation of lines parallel 
to existing lines. Existing paragraph (c)(3) requires lines being 
installed where there is a danger of hazardous induced voltage to be 
grounded unless provisions are made to isolate or insulate employees. 
Paragraph (d)(1) of existing Sec.  1926.955 contains a similar 
requirement, and the rest of paragraph (d) specifies exactly how the 
grounding is to be installed.
    Paragraph (q) of Sec.  1910.269 also addresses work on overhead 
lines. OSHA believes that the newer standard is much better organized, 
contains no redundancies, and better protects employees than the older 
construction standard. Therefore, the Agency has used Sec.  
1910.269(q), rather than Sec.  1926.955, as the base document in 
developing proposed Sec.  1926.964. OSHA has, however, taken 
requirements that pertain specifically to construction work from 
existing Sec.  1926.955 and incorporated them into the proposal. 
Paragraph (q) of Sec.  1910.269 does not contain these requirements, 
because it does not apply to construction. For example, existing Sec.  
1926.955(b) applies to metal tower construction, and no comparable 
provisions are contained in Sec.  1910.269. OSHA is therefore proposing 
requirements from Sec.  1926.955(b).
    Paragraph (a)(2) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 would require the 
employer to determine that elevated structures such as poles and towers 
are of adequate strength to withstand the stresses that will be imposed 
by the work to be performed. For example, if the work involves removing 
and reinstalling an existing line on a utility pole, the pole will be 
subjected to the weight of the employee (a vertical force) and to the 
release and replacement of the force imposed by the overhead line (a 
vertical and possibly a horizontal force). The additional stress 
involved may cause the pole to break, particularly if the pole has 
rotted at its base. If the pole or structure cannot withstand the loads 
to be imposed, it would have to be reinforced so that failure does not 
occur. This rule would protect employees from hazards posed by the 
failure of the pole or other elevated structure. This requirement, 
which is equivalent to existing Sec.  1926.955(a)(2), (a)(3), and 
(a)(4), has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(q)(1)(i).
    As the last step in ascertaining whether a wood pole is safe to 
climb, as would be required under paragraph (a)(2), checking the actual 
condition of the pole is important because of the possibility of decay 
and other conditions adversely affecting the strength of the pole. 
Appendix D of final Sec.  1910.269 contains methods of inspecting and 
testing the condition of wood structures before they are climbed. These 
methods, which can be used in ascertaining whether a wood pole is 
capable of sustaining the forces imposed by an employee climbing it, 
have been taken from Appendix D to Sec.  1910.269. It should be noted 
that the employer would also be required to ascertain whether the pole 
is capable of sustaining any additional forces that will be imposed 
during the work.
    OSHA realizes that the employee at the worksite will be the one to 
inspect the structure for deterioration and will also determine whether 
it is safe to climb. However, it is the employer's responsibility to 
ensure that this is accomplished, regardless of who performs the work. 
Additionally, some work might involve changing the loading on the 
structure. For example, replacement transformers might be heavier, and 
the equipment needed to perform the work will impose extra stress on 
the pole. The employee in the field is not necessarily skilled in 
structural engineering, and a determination as to whether or not the 
pole could withstand the stresses involved would almost always need to 
be performed by the employer's engineering staff. (Typically, this task 
is performed in the initial design of the system or when changes are 
made.) For this reason, OSHA believes it is necessary to specify in the 
standard the employer's responsibility in this regard. However, the 
Agency expects the determination of the condition of the pole or structure
to be made at the worksite by an employee who is capable of making this 
determination. The employer fulfills the obligation imposed by the standard 
by ensuring that the design of support structures is sound, by training his 
or her employees in proper inspection and evaluation techniques, and by 
enforcing company rules 
that adhere to the standard.
    When poles are handled near overhead lines, it is necessary to 
protect the pole from contact with the lines. Paragraph (a)(3)(i) of 
proposed Sec.  1926.964 would prohibit letting the pole come into 
direct contact with the overhead lines. Measures commonly used to 
prevent such contact include installation of insulating guards on the 
pole and pulling conductors away from the area where the pole will go. 
This provision, which is equivalent to existing Sec.  
1926.955(a)(5)(i), has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(q)(1)(ii).
    Paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 would require 
employees handling the poles to be insulated from the pole. This 
provision has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(q)(1)(iii). The comparable 
provision in Sec.  1926.955(a)(6)(i) prohibits employees from 
contacting mechanized equipment used to set, move, or remove poles, 
unless the employees are using electrical protective equipment. OSHA 
has proposed to cover hazards of using mechanical equipment near 
energized parts in Sec.  1926.958, discussed earlier in this section of 
the preamble. The Agency believes that the proposal will eliminate the 
redundant and conflicting requirements contained in existing Subpart V. 
Similarly, existing Sec.  1926.955(a)(5)(ii), (a)(6)(ii), and (a)(8) 
are not being carried forward into this proposal, because the hazards 
they address (those related to operation of mechanical equipment near 
energized parts) are already adequately covered under proposed Sec.  
1926.958.
    Paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (a)(3)(ii) would protect employees from 
hazards caused by falling power lines and by contact of the pole with 
the line. They would be in addition to the requirements in proposed 
Sec.  1926.958(d) for operations involving mechanical equipment.
    To protect employees from falling into holes into which poles are 
to be placed, paragraph (a)(3)(iii) would require the holes to be 
guarded by barriers or attended by employees. This provision, which is 
equivalent to existing Sec.  1926.955(a)(7), has been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(q)(1)(iv).
    Paragraph (b) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 addresses the installation 
and removal of overhead lines. The provisions contained in this 
paragraph have been taken from Sec.  1910.269(q)(2), which was based in 
large part on existing Sec.  1926.955(c) (stringing and removing lines) 
and Sec.  1926.955(d) (stringing adjacent to energized lines). However, 
the proposed rule, like Sec.  1910.269(q)(2), combines these provisions 
into a single paragraph (b). OSHA believes that the proposed 
provisions, which combine and simplify the construction requirements 
for stringing overhead lines, will be easier for employers and 
employees to understand.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.964(b)(1) would require precautions to be taken 
to prevent the line being installed or removed from contacting existing 
energized power lines. Common methods of accomplishing this include the 
use of the following techniques: stringing conductors by means of the 
tension stringing method (which keeps the conductors off the ground and 
clear of energized circuits) and the use of rope nets and guards (which 
physically prevent one line from contacting another). These 
precautions, or equivalent measures, are necessary to protect employees 
against electric shock and against the effects of equipment damage 
resulting from accidental contact of the line being installed with 
energized parts.
    Even though the precautions taken under paragraph (b)(1) minimize 
the possibility of accidental contact, there is still a significant 
risk that the line being installed or removed could contact energized 
lines. OSHA believes that the hazards posed during line installation or 
removal are equivalent to those posed during the operations of 
mechanical equipment near energized parts. Employees are exposed to 
hazardous differences in potential if the conductor being installed or 
equipment being used makes contact with an energized line. The methods 
of protection that can be applied are also the same in both cases. 
Therefore, the Agency believes that the approach used for the hazard of 
contact between mechanical equipment and overhead lines should also be 
used for the hazard of contact between a line being installed or 
removed and an existing energized conductor. To accomplish this, 
paragraph (b)(2) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 simply adopts the 
requirements of Sec.  1926.958(d)(3) by reference when conductors are 
installed or removed close enough to energized conductors that certain 
failures could energize the pulling or tensioning equipment in use or 
the cable being installed or removed. Basically, the employer would be 
required to institute measures to protect employees from hazardous 
differences in potential at the work location. (See the discussion of 
proposed Sec.  1926.958(d)(3) and Appendix C to Subpart V for 
acceptable methods of compliance.)
    Paragraph (b)(3) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 would require the 
disabling of the automatic-reclosing feature of the devices protecting 
any circuit that operates at more than 600 volts and that passes under 
conductors being installed. If it is not made inoperative, this feature 
would cause the circuit protective devices to reenergize the circuit 
after they had tripped, exposing the employees to additional or more 
severe injury.
    Paragraph (b)(1) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 would require the use 
of techniques that minimize the possibility of contact between the 
existing and new conductors. Paragraph (b)(2) of proposed Sec.  
1926.964 would require the use of measures that protect employees from 
hazardous differences in potential. These two paragraphs provide the 
primary protection to employees installing conductors. Paragraph (b)(3) 
is a redundant form of protection; it provides an additional measure of 
safety in case the first two provisions are violated.\57\ Therefore, 
this paragraph would apply only to circuit reclosing devices that are 
designed to permit the disabling of the automatic reclosing feature. 
The Agency believes that the combination of these three paragraphs in 
proposed Sec.  1926.964 will provide effective protection against the 
electrical hazards associated with installing or removing lines near 
energized parts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \57\ Disabling the reclosing feature of circuit protective 
devices does not provide any protection against the initial contact 
with the energized circuit involved. It only prevents the devices 
from reenergizing the circuit after they open it on a fault 
condition as would occur, for example, when a line being strung by 
employee drops onto an energized conductor.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paragraph (b)(4) proposes rules protecting workers from the hazard 
of voltage induced on lines being installed near (and usually parallel 
to) other energized lines. These rules, which provide supplemental 
provisions on grounding, would be in addition to those elsewhere in the 
standard. In general, when employees may be exposed to the hazard of 
induced voltage on overhead lines, the lines being installed must be 
grounded to minimize the voltage and to protect employees handling the 
lines from electric shock.
    Paragraph (b)(4) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 would require a 
determination of the ``approximate'' voltage, unless the line being 
installed is assumed to carry a hazardous induced voltage. 
Additionally, workers would be able to treat the line as energized rather 
than comply with the additional grounding requirements contained in this 
paragraph.
    The proposal does not provide specific guidance for determining 
whether or not a hazard exists due to induced voltage. The hazard 
depends not only on the voltage of the existing line, but also on the 
length of the line being installed and the distance between the 
existing line and the new one. Electric shock, whether caused by 
induced or other voltage, poses two different hazards. First, the 
electric shock could cause an involuntary reaction, which could cause a 
fall or other injury. Second, the electric shock itself could cause 
respiratory or cardiac arrest. If no precautions are taken to protect 
employees from hazards associated with involuntary reactions from 
electric shock, a hazard is presumed to exist if the induced voltage is 
sufficient to pass a current of 1 milliampere through a 500-ohm 
resistor. (The 500-ohm resistor represents the resistance of an 
employee. The 1 milliampere current is the threshold of perception.) If 
employees are protected from injury due to involuntary reactions from 
electric shock, a hazard is presumed to exist if the resultant current 
would be more than 6 milliamperes (the let-go threshold for women). It 
would be up to the employer to ensure that employees are protected 
against serious injury from any voltages induced on lines being 
installed and to determine whether the voltages are high enough to 
warrant the adoption of the additional provisions on grounding spelled 
out in paragraphs (b)(4)(i) through (b)(4)(v) of proposed Sec.  
1926.964. These rules propose the following requirements:
    (1) Grounds must be installed in increments of no more than 2 miles 
(paragraph (b)(4)(i));
    (2) Grounds must remain in place until the installation is 
completed between dead ends (paragraph (b)(4)(ii));
    (3) Grounds must be removed as the last phase of aerial cleanup 
(paragraph (b)(4)(iii));
    (4) Grounds must be installed at each work location and at all open 
dead-end or catch-off points or the next adjacent structure (paragraph 
(b)(4)(iv)) if employees are working on bare conductors; and
    (5) Bare conductors being spliced must be bonded and grounded 
(paragraph (b)(4)(v)).
    Paragraph (b)(5) would require reel handling equipment to be in 
safe operating condition and to be leveled and aligned. Proper 
alignment of the stringing machines will help prevent failure of the 
equipment, conductors, and supporting structures, which could result in 
injury to workers.
    Prevention of the failure of the line pulling equipment and 
accessories is also the purpose of paragraphs (b)(6), (b)(7), and 
(b)(8). These provisions, respectively, would require the operation to 
be performed within the load limits of the equipment, would require the 
repair or replacement of defective apparatus, and would prohibit the 
use of conductor grips not specifically designed for use in pulling 
operations. Equipment that has been damaged beyond manufacturing 
specifications or that has been damaged to the extent that its load 
ratings would be reduced are considered to be defective. Load limits 
and design specifications are normally provided by the manufacturer, 
but they can also be found in engineering and materials handbooks (see, 
for example, The Lineman's and Cableman's Handbook, 269-Ex. 8-5).
    When the tension stringing method is used, the pulling rig (which 
takes up the pulling rope and thereby pulls the conductors into place) 
is separated from the reel stands and tensioner (which pay out the 
conductors and apply tension to them) by one or more spans (the 
distance between the structures supporting the conductors). In an 
emergency, the pulling equipment operator may have to shut down the 
operation. Paragraph (b)(9) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 would require 
communication to be maintained between the reel tender and the pulling 
rig operator, so that in case of emergency at the conductor supply end, 
the pulling rig operator can shut the equipment down before injury-
causing damage occurs.
    Paragraph (b)(10) would prohibit the operation of the pulling rig 
under unsafe conditions. OSHA has included an explanatory note 
following paragraph (b)(10) providing examples of unsafe conditions.
    Paragraph (b)(11) would prohibit employees from unnecessarily 
working directly beneath overhead operations or on the cross arm. This 
provision would minimize exposure of employees to injury resulting from 
the failure of equipment, conductors, or supporting structures during 
pulling operations.
    Under certain conditions, work must be performed on transmission 
and distribution lines while they remain energized. Sometimes, this 
work is accomplished using rubber insulating equipment or live-line 
tools. However, this equipment has voltage and other limitations which 
make it impossible to insulate the employee performing work on live 
lines under all conditions. In such cases, usually on medium- and high-
voltage transmission lines, the work is performed using the live-line 
bare-hand technique. If work is to be performed ``bare handed,'' the 
employee works from an insulated aerial platform and is electrically 
bonded to the energized line. Since there is essentially no potential 
difference across the worker's body, he or she is protected from 
electric shock. Paragraph (c) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 addresses the 
live-line bare-hand technique.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.964(c) has been taken directly from Sec.  
1910.269(q)(3). Existing Sec.  1926.955(e) contains similar 
requirements for live-line bare hand work. Substantive differences 
between the proposal and the existing rule are outlined in the 
following summary and explanation of proposed Sec.  1926.964(c). 
Because live-line bare-hand work is performed on overhead lines, OSHA 
has proposed to place requirements for this type of work in the section 
relating to work on overhead lines. This is consistent with existing 
Subpart V. However, it is technically possible to perform live-line 
bare-hand work on other types of installations as well (in substations, 
for example). OSHA requests comments on whether or not the live-line 
bare-hand requirements should be consolidated with the other 
regulations relating to work on energized lines contained in proposed 
Sec.  1926.960.
    Paragraph (c)(1) would require employees using or supervising the 
use of the live-line bare-hand method on energized lines to be trained 
in the use of the technique. Periodic retraining would have to be 
provided as required under paragraph (b) of proposed Sec.  1926.950. 
Without this training, employees would not be able to perform the 
highly specialized work safely.
    Before work can be started, the voltage of the lines on which work 
is to be performed must be known. This voltage determines the minimum 
approach distances and the types of equipment which can be used. If the 
voltage is higher than expected, the minimum approach distance will be 
too small and the equipment may not be safe for use. Therefore, 
paragraph (c)(2) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 would require a 
determination to be made of the voltage of the circuit, of the minimum 
approach distances to ground of lines and other energized parts on 
which work is to be performed, and of the voltage limitations of 
equipment to be used.
    Because an employee performing live-line bare-hand work is at the 
same potential as the line on which he or she is working, the employee 
has exposure to two different voltages. First, the employee is exposed 
to the phase-to-ground voltage with respect to any grounded object, such 
as a pole or tower. Second, the employee is exposed to the full phase-to-phase 
voltage with respect to the other phases on the circuit. Thus, there 
are two sets of minimum approach distances applicable to live-line 
bare-hand work-one for the phase-to-ground exposure (the distance from 
the employee to a grounded object) and one for the phase-to-phase 
exposure (the distance from the employee to another phase). The phase-
to-phase voltage is higher than the phase-to-ground voltage. 
Consequently, the phase-to-phase-based minimum approach distance is 
greater than the phase-to-ground-based minimum approach distance.
    Paragraph (c)(3) would require insulated tools and equipment to be 
designed, tested, and intended for live-line bare-hand work and that 
they be kept clean and dry. This requirement is important to ensure 
that equipment does not fail under constant contact with high voltage 
sources. The proposed rule would apply to insulated tools (such as 
live-line tools), insulated equipment (such as insulated ladders), and 
aerial devices and platforms used in live-line work. The Agency 
considers insulated equipment that is designed for long-duration 
contact with energized parts at the voltage on which it is used (such 
as a live-line tool) to meet this requirement. Insulating equipment 
designed for brush contact only is not suitable for live-line bare-hand 
work.
    Paragraph (c)(4) would require the automatic-reclosing feature of 
circuit protective devices to be made inoperative if the design of 
those devices permits. In case of a fault at the worksite, it is 
important for the circuit to be deenergized as quickly as possible and 
for it to remain deenergized once the protective devices have opened 
the circuit.\58\ This prevents any possible injuries from becoming more 
severe. Additionally, this measure helps limit the possible switching 
surge voltage, which provides an extra measure of safety. This 
provision is comparable to existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(5), which 
requires this feature to be rendered inoperable ``where practical.'' 
The proposal eliminates this phrase because OSHA believes that it is 
essential that a line which becomes deenergized on a fault not be 
reenergized if it is possible to do so. During live-line bare-hand 
work, employees have no other back-up system providing for their safety 
as they would for work on deenergized lines.\59\ Thus, if the employee 
causes a fault on the line, the line must not become reenergized 
automatically.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \58\ If the circuit protective devices do not provide an 
autoreclosing feature, the circuit will remain deenergized by 
design. In addition, voltage surges caused by circuit reclosing 
would not occur.
    \59\ Personal protective grounding provides supplementary 
protection in case the deenergized line is reenergized.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sometimes the weather makes live-line bare-hand work unsafe. For 
example, lightning strikes on lines being worked can create severe 
transient voltages, against which the minimum approach distances 
required by proposed Sec.  1926.960(c)(1) may not provide complete 
protection. Additionally, the wind can reduce the minimum approach 
distance below acceptable values. To provide protection against 
environmental conditions that can increase the hazards by an 
unacceptable degree, proposed paragraph (c)(5) would prohibit live-line 
bare-hand work under conditions that make the work hazardous in spite 
of the precautions taken under the proposed rule. Also, work would not 
be allowed under any conditions that reduce the minimum approach 
distances below required values. If insulating guards are provided to 
prevent hazardous approach to other energized parts and to ground, then 
work could be performed under conditions reducing the minimum approach 
distances.
    Existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(6) prohibits live-line bare-hand work 
only during thunderstorms. OSHA believes that expanding the prohibition 
to include any weather condition making it unsafe to perform this type 
of work will better protect employees. The language for the proposed 
rule has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(q)(3)(v).
    Proposed Sec.  1926.964(c)(6) would require the use of a conductive 
device, usually in the form of a conductive bucket liner, which creates 
an area of equipotential in which the employee can work safely. The 
employee must be bonded to this device by means of conductive shoes or 
leg clips or by another effective method. Additionally, if necessary to 
protect employees further (that is, if differences in electrical 
potential at the worksite pose a hazard to employees), electrostatic 
shielding would be required. Proposed Sec.  1926.964(c)(6), which has 
been taken from Sec.  1910.269(q)(3)(vi), is essentially identical to 
existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(7).
    To avoid receiving a shock caused by charging current, the employee 
must bond the conductive bucket liner (or other conductive device) to 
the energized conductor before he or she touches the conductor. 
Typically, a hot stick is used to bring a bonding jumper (already 
connected to the conductive bucket liner) into contact with the live 
line. This connection brings the equipotential area surrounding the 
employee to the same voltage as that of the line. Proposed Sec.  
1926.964(c)(7) would require the conductive device to be bonded to the 
energized conductor before any employee contacts the energized 
conductor and would require this connection to be maintained until work 
is completed. Proposed Sec.  1926.964(c)(7), which has been taken from 
Sec.  1910.269(q)(3)(vii), is essentially identical to existing Sec.  
1926.955(e)(14).
    Proposed Sec.  1926.964(c)(8) would require aerial lifts used for 
live-line bare-hand work to be equipped with upper controls that are 
within reach of any employee in the bucket and with lower controls that 
permit override operation at the base of the boom. Upper controls are 
necessary so that employees in the bucket can precisely control the 
lift's direction and speed of approach to the live line. Control by 
workers on the ground responding to directions from those in the bucket 
could lead to contact by an employee in the lift with the energized 
conductor before the bonding jumper is in place. Controls are needed at 
ground level, however, so that employees in the lift who might be 
disabled as a result of an accident or illness could be promptly 
lowered and assisted. For this reason, paragraph (c)(9) would prohibit 
operation of the ground level controls except in case of emergency. 
Proposed paragraphs (c)(8) and (c)(9), which have been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(q)(3)(viii) and (q)(3)(ix), are essentially identical to 
existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(12) and (e)(13).
    Proposed Sec.  1926.964(c)(10) would require all aerial lift 
controls to be checked to ensure that they are in proper working order 
before any employee is lifted into the working position. This 
paragraph, which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(q)(3)(x), is 
essentially identical to existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(10).
    To protect employees on the ground from the electric shock that 
would be received upon touching the truck supporting the aerial lift, 
proposed Sec.  1926.964(c)(11) would require the truck to be grounded 
or barricaded and treated as energized. If the truck is grounded, the 
insulation of the lift limits the voltage on the body of the truck to a 
safe level. The proposed rule, which has been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(q)(3)(xi), is similar to existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(9). The 
existing requirement in Subpart V, however, also includes a provision 
for using the outriggers on the aerial lift to stabilize the equipment. 
The hazard addressed by this provision is covered in proposed Sec. 1926.959(b)(1), 
discussed earlier in this section of the preamble.
    Aerial lifts that are used in live-line bare-hand work are exposed 
to the full line-to-ground voltage of the circuit for the duration of 
the job. To ensure that the insulating value of the lift being used is 
high enough to protect employees, proposed Sec.  1926.964(c)(12) would 
require a boom-current test to be made before work is started each day. 
The test would also be required when a higher voltage is encountered 
and when conditions change to a degree that warrants retesting the 
equipment.
    Under the standard, the test consists of placing the bucket in 
contact with a source of voltage equal to that being encountered during 
the job and keeping it there for at least 3 minutes. This is normally 
accomplished at the worksite by placing the bucket in contact with the 
energized line on which work is to be performed (without anyone in it, 
of course).
    Paragraph (c)(12), which has been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(q)(3)(xii), is similar to existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(11). To 
provide employees with a level of protection equivalent to that 
provided by American National Standard for Vehicle-Mounted Elevating 
and Rotating Aerial Devices (ANSI A92.2-2001), Sec.  1926.964(c)(12) 
proposes to permit a leakage current of up to 1 microampere per 
kilovolt of nominal phase-to-ground voltage. In contrast, the 
corresponding provision in existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(11) allows up to 
1 microampere of current for every kilovolt of phase-to-phase voltage. 
(For a three-phase, Y-connected system, the phase-to-phase voltage 
equals 1.73 times the phase-to-ground voltage.) Because the national 
consensus standard and Sec.  1910.269(q)(3)(xii) contain the more 
protective language, OSHA is proposing the maximum leakage current of 1 
microampere per kilovolt of phase-to-ground voltage from the general 
industry standard.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.964(c)(12) would also require the suspension of 
related work activity any time (not only during tests) a malfunction of 
the equipment is evident. This proposed requirement is intended to 
prevent the failure of insulated aerial devices during use. Only work 
from an aerial lift is affected. Work not involving an aerial lift 
could be continued. Halting work from the lift will protect employees 
in the lift, as well as those on the ground, from the electrical 
hazards involved.
    Proposed paragraphs (c)(13), (c)(14), and (c)(15) of proposed Sec.  
1926.964 would require the minimum approach distances specified in 
Table V-2 through Table V-6 to be maintained from grounded objects and 
from objects at a potential different from that at which the bucket is 
energized. These provisions, which are based on Sec.  
1910.269(q)(3)(xiii), (q)(3)(iv), and (q)(3)(v), are essentially 
identical to existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(15), (e)(16), and (e)(17), 
except for the change in the minimum approach distances. (See the 
summary and explanation of proposed Sec.  1926.960(c)(1) for a 
discussion of the derivation of minimum approach distances.) Paragraph 
(c)(13) would apply to minimum approach distances in general; paragraph 
(c)(14) would cover minimum approach distances to be used as the 
employee approaches or leaves the energized conductor; and paragraph 
(c)(15) relates to the distance between the bucket and the end of a 
bushing or insulator string. The latter two paragraphs clarify that the 
employee and the bucket are considered to be at phase potential as the 
employee is approaching the energized part and that the phase-to-ground 
minimum approach distance must be maintained from grounded objects. 
Similarly, the employee must maintain the phase-to-phase minimum 
approach distance from the other phases on the system. OSHA requests 
comments on whether proposed paragraphs (c)(14) and (c)(15) should 
address objects at different phase potential in addition to objects at 
ground potential.
    Proposed paragraph (c)(16) would prohibit the use of hand lines 
between the bucket and boom and between the bucket and ground. Such use 
of lines could set up a potential difference between the employee in 
the bucket and the power line when the employee contacts the hand line. 
If the hand line is a nonconductive type and if it is not supported 
from the bucket, it may be used from the conductor to ground. Unless 
the rope is insulated for the voltage, employees on the ground must 
treat it as energized. Lastly, ropes used for live-line bare-hand work 
may not be used for other purposes.
    This provision, which has been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(q)(3)(xvi), is similar to existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(18). 
However, the existing standard, in Sec.  1926.955(e)(18)(ii), prohibits 
conductive materials over 36 inches long from being placed in the 
aerial lift bucket. Exceptions are made for ``appropriate length 
jumpers, armor rods, and tools.'' OSHA is proposing to revoke this 
requirement. The proposal would require the minimum approach distance 
to be maintained regardless of the length of any conductive object. 
Thus, existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(18)(ii) is unnecessary.
    Proposed Sec. Sec.  1926.964(c)(17) would prohibit passing 
uninsulated equipment or materials to an employee bonded to an 
energized part. Passing uninsulated objects to an employee who is 
bonded to an energized conductor would bridge the insulation to ground 
and endanger the employee. This proposed provision, which is based on 
Sec.  1910.269(q)(3)(xvii), has no counterpart in existing Sec.  
1926.955(e).
    Proposed Sec.  1926.964(c)(18) would require a durable 
nonconductive chart reflecting the minimum approach distances 
prescribed by Table V-2 through Table V-6 to be mounted so that it is 
visible to the operator of the boom. Of course, a table prescribing 
minimum approach distances greater than those required would also be 
acceptable. This provision, which has been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(q)(3)(xviii), is essentially identical to existing Sec.  
1926.955(e)(20)(i).
    Proposed Sec.  1926.964(c)(19) would require a non-conductive 
measuring device to be available and readily accessible to the employee 
in the lift. This provision has been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(q)(3)(xix). Existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(20)(ii) recommends, but 
does not require, an insulating measuring device. OSHA believes that 
this should be a requirement, rather than a recommendation, so that 
employees can accurately determine whether the required minimum 
approach distances are being maintained. Under the existing standard, 
an employee might be required by the employer to estimate the distance. 
Compliance with paragraphs (c)(18) and (c)(19) in proposed Sec.  
1926.964 would assist the employee in accurately determining the 
minimum approach distances required by the standard.
    Existing Sec.  1926.955(e)(19) prohibits an aerial lift used in 
live-line bare-hand work from being overstressed while lifting or 
supporting weights. OSHA has not proposed to include this requirement 
under Sec.  1926.964. The hazard addressed by the existing requirement 
is a general hazard, which is present any time the aerial lift is used, 
not just during live-line bare-hand work. OSHA believes that this 
hazard is better treated in proposed Sec.  1926.959(c), which would 
require mechanical equipment to be operated within its design 
limitations.
    Paragraph (d) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 addresses hazards 
associated with towers and other structures supporting overhead lines. 
This paragraph has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(q)(4).
    Paragraph (b) of existing Sec.  1926.955 addresses metal tower 
construction.

Many of the requirements in the existing rules cover the same hazards 
as other provisions in the construction standards. For example, Sec.  
1926.955(b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3) address hazards associated with 
footing excavations. Power transmission and distribution workers are 
fully protected from these hazards by Subpart P of Part 1926.\60\ 
Therefore, the proposed revision of Subpart V contains no counterparts 
to these existing requirements. Existing paragraphs (b)(5)(i) and 
(b)(7) contain simple references to other Part 1926 requirements. 
Existing paragraphs (b)(5)(iii), (b)(6)(i), (b)(6)(v), and (b)(8), 
which address a few of the hazards associated with mechanical 
equipment, contain requirements that are equivalent to provisions in 
existing Subpart N of Part 1926 or proposed Sec.  1926.959. The 
proposed revision of Subpart V contains counterparts to none of these 
six paragraphs. OSHA believes that eliminating these provisions will 
reduce redundancy and will eliminate the potential for conflicts 
between different standards.
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    \60\ Two of the requirements in the existing paragraphs are 
covered in other places. Under the last sentence of existing Sec.  
1926.955(b)(1), ladders must be used to provide access for pad- or 
pile-type footing excavations more than 4 feet deep. This hazard is 
already addressed in Sec.  1926.1051(a), which requires a stairway 
or a ladder to be provided for access to breaks in elevation of more 
than 48 cm, unless a ramp, runway, sloped embankment, or personnel 
hoist is available. Existing Sec.  1926.955(b)(3)(iii) addresses the 
stability of equipment used near excavations. Proposed Sec.  
1926.959(b) and (c) cover hazards associated with instability of 
mechanical equipment.
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    To protect employees on the ground from hazards presented by 
falling objects, proposed Sec.  1926.964(d)(1) would prohibit workers 
from standing under a tower or other structure, unless their presence 
is necessary to assist employees working above. This provision, which 
has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(q)(4)(i), is equivalent to existing 
Sec.  1926.955(b)(4)(i) and (b)(5)(ii). The proposal eliminates the 
redundancy presented by these two existing requirements.
    Paragraph (d)(2) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 relates to operations 
that involve lifting and positioning tower sections. This provision 
requires tag lines or other similar devices to be used to control tower 
sections being positioned, unless the employer can demonstrate that the 
use of such devices would create a greater hazard. The use of tag lines 
protects employees from being struck by tower sections that are in 
motion. This provision, which has been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(q)(4)(ii), is the same as Sec.  1926.955(b)(4)(ii) and 
(b)(6)(ii). The proposal eliminates the redundancy presented by these 
two existing requirements.
    Paragraph (d)(3) of proposed Sec.  1926.964 would require loadlines 
to remain in place until the load is secured so that it cannot topple 
and injure an employee. This provision, which has been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(q)(4)(iii), is essentially identical to Sec.  
1926.955(b)(4)(iii) and (b)(6)(iii). The proposal eliminates the 
redundancy presented by these two existing requirements.
    Some weather conditions can make work from towers and other 
overhead structures more hazardous than usual. For example, icy 
conditions may make slips and falls much more likely, in fact even 
unavoidable. Under such conditions, work from towers and other 
structures would generally be prohibited by proposed Sec.  
1926.964(d)(4). However, when emergency restoration work \61\ is 
involved, the additional risk may be necessary for public safety, and 
the standard permits such work to be performed even in bad weather. 
This provision, which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(q)(4)(iv), is 
essentially identical to existing Sec.  1926.955(b)(6)(iv).
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    \61\ Emergency restoration work is considered to be that work 
needed to restore an electric power transmission or distribution 
installation to an operating condition to the extent necessary to 
safeguard the general public.
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Section 1926.965, Underground Electrical Installations
    In many electric distribution systems, electric equipment is 
installed in enclosures, such as manholes and vaults, set beneath the 
earth. Proposed Sec.  1926.965 addresses safety for these underground 
electrical installations. As noted in Sec.  1926.965(a), the 
requirements proposed in this section are in addition to requirements 
contained elsewhere in the standard (and elsewhere in Part 1926) 
because Sec.  1926.965 only contains considerations unique to 
underground facilities. For example, proposed Sec.  1926.953, relating 
to enclosed spaces, also applies to underground operations involving 
entry into an enclosed space.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.965 has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(t). 
Existing Subpart V contains requirements for work on underground lines 
in Sec.  1926.956. Differences between the existing rules and the 
proposed rules are explained in the following summary and explanation 
of proposed Sec.  1926.965.
    Paragraph (b) of proposed Sec.  1926.965 would require the use of 
ladders or other climbing devices for entrance into and exit from 
manholes and subsurface vaults that are more than 1.22 meters (4 feet) 
deep. Because employees can easily be injured in the course of jumping 
into subsurface enclosures or in climbing on the cables and hangers 
which have been installed in these enclosures, the standard requires 
the use of appropriate devices for employees entering and exiting 
manholes and vaults. The practice of climbing on equipment such as 
cables and cable hangers is specifically prohibited by paragraph (b). 
This proposed provision has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(t)(1). 
Subpart V contains no counterpart to this requirement.
    Paragraph (c) of proposed Sec.  1926.965 would require equipment 
used to lower materials and tools into manholes or vaults to be capable 
of supporting the weight and requires this equipment to be checked for 
defects before use. Paragraph (c) would also require employees to be in 
the clear when tools or materials are lowered into the enclosure. This 
provision protects employees against being injured by falling tools and 
material. It should be noted that, because work addressed by this 
paragraph exposes employees to the danger of head injury, Sec.  
1926.95(a) requires employees to wear head protection when they are 
working in underground electrical installations. Proposed paragraph (c) 
has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(t)(2). Subpart V contains no 
counterpart to this requirement.
    Paragraph (d) of proposed Sec.  1926.965 would require attendants 
for manholes. During the time work is being performed in a manhole that 
contains energized electric equipment, an employee would be required to 
be available in the immediate vicinity (but not normally in the 
manhole) to render emergency assistance. However, the attendant would 
be allowed to enter the manhole, for brief periods, to provide other 
than emergency assistance to those inside.
    The provisions in paragraph (d) are being proposed so that 
emergency assistance can be provided to employees working in manholes, 
where the employees work unobserved and where undetected injury could 
occur. Taken from Sec.  1910.269(t)(3) and from existing Sec.  
1926.956(b)(1), these proposed requirements are intended to protect 
employees within the manhole without exposing the attendants outside to 
a risk of injury greater than that faced by those inside.
    Because the hazards addressed by paragraph (t)(3) are primarily 
related to electric shock, allowing the attendant to enter the manhole
briefly \62\ has no significant effect on the safety of the employee he 
or she is protecting. In case of electric shock, the attendant would still 
be able to provide assistance. The proposed rule would require the attendant 
to be trained in first aid and in CPR to ensure that emergency treatment will 
be available if needed.
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    \62\ The attendant would be permitted to remain within the 
manhole only for the short period of time necessary to assist the 
employee inside the manhole with a task that one employee cannot 
perform alone. For example, if a second employee is needed to help 
lift a piece of equipment into place, the attendant could enter only 
for the amount of time that is needed to accomplish this task. 
However, if significant portions of the job require the assistance 
of a second worker in the manhole, the attendant would not be 
permitted to remain in the manhole for the length of time that would 
be necessary, and a third employee would be required.
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    If other hazards are believed to endanger the employee in the 
manhole, paragraph (h) of proposed Sec.  1926.953 would also apply.\63\ 
This provision would require attendants for work in an enclosed space 
(for example, a manhole) if a hazard exists because of traffic patterns 
in the area of the opening to the enclosed space. Thus, an attendant 
would be required when traffic patterns in the area around the manhole 
opening endanger an entrant exiting the manhole. In such situations, 
the employee on the surface would be exposed to the same hazards 
against which he or she is trying to protect the original entrant if 
the attendant were to enter the manhole or vault. Therefore, the 
proposal would not permit attendants required under Sec.  1926.953(h) 
to enter the manhole. To clarify the application of the two different 
attendant requirements, a note has been included following Sec.  
1926.965(d)(2). The note indicates that if an attendant is also 
required under Sec.  1926.953(h), one person may serve to satisfy both 
requirements, but is not permitted to enter the manhole.
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    \63\ Additionally, as noted in the discussion of proposed Sec.  
1926.953, earlier in this preamble, the entry would have to be 
conducted in accordance with Sec.  1910.146, the generic permit-
required confined spaces standard, if proposed Sec. Sec.  1926.953 
and 1926.965 would not adequately protect the entrants.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OSHA has included a second note following Sec.  1926.965(d)(2). 
This note serves as a reminder that Sec.  1926.960(b) would prohibit 
unqualified employees from working in areas containing unguarded, 
uninsulated energized lines or parts of equipment operating at 50 volts 
or more.
    Paragraph (d)(3) of proposed Sec.  1926.965 would permit an 
employee working alone to enter a manhole or vault for the purpose of 
inspection, housekeeping, taking readings, or similar work. As noted 
earlier, the purpose of requiring an attendant under proposed Sec.  
1926.965(d) is to provide assistance in case an electric shock occurs. 
When an employee is performing the types of work listed in this 
provision, there is very little chance that he or she would suffer an 
electric shock. Thus, the Agency believes it is safe for an employee to 
perform duties such as housekeeping and inspection without the presence 
of an attendant.
    Under paragraph (d)(4) of proposed Sec.  1926.965, reliable 
communications would be required to be maintained among all employees 
involved in the job, including any attendants, the employees in the 
manhole, and employees in separate manholes working on the same job. 
This requirement, which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(t)(3)(iv), 
has no counterpart in Sec.  1926.956(b)(1).
    To install cables into the underground ducts, or conduits, that 
will contain them, employees use a series of short jointed rods or a 
long flexible rod inserted into the ducts. The insertion of these rods 
into the ducts is known as ``rodding.'' The rods are used to thread the 
cable-pulling rope through the conduit. After the rods have been 
withdrawn and the cable-pulling ropes have been inserted, the cables 
can then be pulled through by mechanical means.
    Paragraph (e) of proposed Sec.  1926.965 would require duct rods to 
be inserted in the direction presenting the least hazard to employees. 
To make sure that a rod does not contact live parts at the far end of 
the duct line being rodded, which would be in a different manhole or 
vault, the proposal would also require an employee to be stationed at 
the remote end of the rodding operation to ensure that the required 
minimum approach distances are maintained. This provision, which has 
been taken from Sec.  1910.269(t)(4), has no counterpart in existing 
Subpart V.
    To prevent accidents resulting from working on the wrong cable, one 
that may be energized, proposed Sec.  1926.965(f) would require the 
identification of the proper cable when multiple cables are present in 
a work area. The identification must be made by electrical means (for 
example, a meter), unless the proper cable is obvious because of 
appearance, location, or other means of readily identifying the proper 
cable. This proposed paragraph, which has been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(t)(5), is similar to existing Sec.  1926.956(c)(4), (c)(5), 
and (c)(6); however, existing Sec.  1926.956(c)(4) and (c)(5) apply 
only to excavations. The proposal would apply the requirements to all 
underground installations.
    If any energized cables are to be moved during underground 
operations, paragraph (g) of proposed Sec.  1926.965 would require them 
to be inspected for possible defects that could lead to a fault. (If a 
defect is found, paragraph (h) would apply.) These provisions protect 
employees against possibly defective cables, which could fault upon 
being moved, leading to serious injury. This paragraph in the proposal, 
which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(t)(6), has no counterpart in 
existing Subpart V.
    Since defective energized cables may fail with an enormous release 
of energy, precautions must be taken to minimize the possibility of 
such an occurrence while an employee is working in a manhole. 
Therefore, paragraph (h) of proposed Sec.  1926.965 would, in general, 
prohibit employees from working in a manhole which contains an 
energized cable with a defect that could lead to a fault. The proposal 
lists typical abnormalities that could expose employees to injury as: 
oil or compound leaking from a cable or joint (splice), a broken cable 
sheath or joint sleeve, hot localized surface temperatures on a cable 
or joint, or a joint that is swollen beyond normal tolerances. Examples 
of abnormalities are listed in a note following Sec.  1926.965(h). The 
note states that the listed conditions are presumed to lead to or be an 
indication of a possible impending fault. An employer could demonstrate 
that any one of these conditions, in a particular case, is not 
indicative of an impending fault, in which case proposed Sec.  
1926.965(h) would not require protective measures to be taken. This 
provision, which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(t)(7), has no 
counterpart in existing Subpart V.
    In the Sec.  1910.269 rulemaking, OSHA concluded that employees may 
work in a manhole that contains an energized cable with abnormalities 
only when service load conditions and feasible alternatives prevent 
deenergizing the cable and only when the employees are protected from a 
failure (January 31, 1994, 59 FR 4416).
    Under some service load conditions, it may not be feasible for the 
electric utility to deenergize the cable with the defect at the same 
time that another line is deenergized for maintenance work. In such 
cases, paragraph (h)(1) of proposed Sec.  1926.965 would allow the 
defective cable or splice to remain energized as long as the employees 
in the manhole are protected against the possible effects of a failure 
by shields or other devices capable of containing the adverse effects 
of a failure. For example, a ballistic blanket wrapped around a 
defective splice can protect against injury from the effects of a fault in the 
splice. The energy that could be released in case of a fault is known, 
and the energy absorbing capability of a shield or other device can be 
obtained from the manufacturer or can be calculated. As long as the 
energy absorbing capability of the shield or other device exceeds the 
available fault energy, employees will be protected. The proposal would 
require employees to be protected, regardless of the type of device 
used and of how it is applied. Additionally, the proposal would permit 
this option to be used only ``when service load conditions and a lack 
of feasible alternatives require that the cable remain energized.'' 
Employers are required to use alternatives, such as the use of shunts 
or other means of supplying areas with power, whenever feasible before 
allowing access.
    Paragraph (h)(2) addresses work that could itself cause a fault in 
a cable, such as removing asbestos covering on a cable or using a power 
tool to break concrete encasing a cable. This type of work can damage 
the cable and create an internal fault. The energy released by the 
fault could injure not only the employee performing the work but any 
other employees nearby. Paragraph (h)(2) would require the same 
protective measures in those situations as paragraph (h)(1), that is, 
deenergizing the cable or, under certain conditions, using shields or 
other protective devices capable of containing the effects of the 
fault.
    Paragraph (i) of proposed Sec.  1926.965 would require metallic 
sheath continuity to be maintained while work is performed on 
underground cables. Bonding across an opening in a cable's sheath 
protects employees against shock from a difference in potential between 
the two sides of the opening. As an alternative to bonding, the cable 
sheath could be treated as energized. (The voltage to which the sheath 
is to be considered energized is equal to the maximum voltage that 
could be seen across the sheath under fault conditions.) This 
requirement, which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(t)(8), is 
essentially identical to existing Sec.  1926.956(c)(7), except that the 
proposal would allow the cable sheath to be treated as energized in 
lieu of bonding. This is consistent with other parts of the proposal, 
such as proposed Sec.  1926.960(j), which recognize treating objects as 
energized as an alternative to grounding.
Section 1926.966, Substations
    Proposed Sec.  1926.966 addresses work performed in substations. As 
is the case elsewhere in the standard, the provisions of this paragraph 
are intended to supplement (rather than modify) the more general 
requirements contained in other portions of Subpart V, such as Sec.  
1926.960 on working on or near live parts.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.966(b) would require enough space to be 
provided around electric equipment to allow ready and safe access to 
and operation and maintenance of the equipment. This rule would prevent 
employees from contacting exposed live parts as a result of 
insufficient maneuvering room. A note has been included to recognize, 
as constituting compliance, the provisions of ANSI C2-2002 for the 
design of workspace for electric equipment. This provision, which has 
been taken from Sec.  1910.269(u)(1), has no counterpart in existing 
Subpart V.
    OSHA realizes that older installations may not meet the dimensions 
set forth in the latest version of the national consensus standard. The 
Agency believes that the language of proposed Sec.  1926.966(b) is 
sufficiently performance oriented that older installations built to 
specifications in the standards that were in effect at the time they 
were constructed would meet the requirement for sufficient workspace 
provided that the installation and work practices used enable employees 
to perform work safely within the space and to maintain the minimum 
approach distances specified in proposed Sec.  1926.960(c)(1). In fact, 
the note for this provision states that the NESC specifications are 
guidelines. The ANSI standard is specifically not being incorporated by 
reference here. However, OSHA has included the following language in 
the note to proposed Sec.  1926.966(b):

    Note to paragraph (b) of this section: Guidelines for the 
dimensions of access and workspace about electric equipment in 
substations are contained in American National Standard National 
Electrical Safety Code, ANSI C2-2002. Installations meeting the ANSI 
provisions comply with paragraph (b) of this section. An 
installation that does not conform to this ANSI standard will, 
nonetheless, be considered as complying with paragraph (b) of this 
section if the employer can demonstrate that the installation 
provides ready and safe access based on the following evidence:
    (1) That the installation conforms to the edition of ANSI C2 
that was in effect at the time the installation was made,
    (2) That the configuration of the installation enables employees 
to maintain the minimum approach distances required by Sec.  
1926.960(c)(1) of this Part while they working on exposed, energized 
parts, and
    (3) That the precautions taken when work is performed on the 
installation provide protection equivalent to the protection that 
would be provide by access and working space meeting ANSI C2-2002.


    This language accomplishes three goals. First, it explains that an 
installation need not be in conformance with ANSI C2-2002 in order to 
be considered as complying with proposed Sec.  1926.966(b). Second, it 
informs employers whose installations do not conform to the latest ANSI 
standard of how they can demonstrate compliance with the OSHA standard. 
Third, it ensures that, however old an installation is, it provides 
sufficient space to enable employees to work within the space without 
significant risk of injury.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.966(c) would require draw-out-type circuit 
breakers to be inserted and removed while the breaker is in the open 
position. (A draw-out-type circuit breaker is one in which the 
removable portion may be withdrawn from the stationary portion without 
the necessity of unbolting connections or mounting supports.) 
Additionally, if the design of the control devices permits, the control 
circuit for the circuit breaker would have to be rendered inoperative. 
(Some circuit breaker and control device designs do not incorporate a 
feature allowing the control circuit for the breaker to be rendered 
inoperative.) These provisions are intended to prevent arcing which 
could injure employees. This proposed paragraph, which has been taken 
from Sec.  1910.269(u)(2), has no counterpart in existing Subpart V.
    Because voltages can be impressed or induced on large metal objects 
near substation equipment, proposed Sec.  1926.966(d) would require 
conductive fences around substations to be grounded. Continuity across 
openings is also required in order to eliminate voltage differences 
between adjacent parts of the fence.
    This provision has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(u)(3). Existing 
Sec.  1926.957(g)(1) requires ``[a]dequate interconnection with 
ground'' to be maintained between temporary and permanent fences. 
Existing Subpart V does not require permanent substation fences to be 
grounded. However, OSHA believes that grounding metal fences, whether 
they are temporary or permanent, is essential to the safety of 
employees working near the fences.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.966(e) addresses the guarding of rooms 
containing electric supply equipment. This paragraph has been taken 
from Sec.  1910.269(u)(4). The only provisions in existing Subpart V 
addressing guarding of live parts in substations are contained in
Sec.  1926.957(c) and (g). These two provisions require barricades or 
barriers to be installed (paragraph (c)) and for temporary fences to be 
installed if sections of permanent fencing are removed (paragraph (g)). 
Existing Sec.  1926.957(g)(2) also requires gates to unattended 
substations to be locked.
    The existing requirements only address temporary guarding measures. 
Permanent guarding of live parts, which is generally more substantial 
than the tape and cone barricades permitted under the existing rule, is 
never mentioned in existing Sec.  1926.957. OSHA's proposed revision of 
the substation rules addresses guarding of live parts in substations in 
a more comprehensive manner and should provide better protection for 
employees.
    OSHA believes that it is important to prohibit unqualified persons 
from areas containing energized electric supply equipment regardless of 
the work they would be performing. Employees working in these areas 
must be trained in the hazards involved and in the appropriate work 
practices, as would be required by proposed Sec.  1926.950(b)(2). 
Otherwise, they would not be able to distinguish hazardous circuit 
parts from non-hazardous equipment and would not be familiar with the 
appropriate work practices, regardless of the jobs they are performing. 
There have been accidents that involve contact of unqualified persons 
with energized parts in such areas.
    Subpart V is intended to apply to electrical installations for 
which OSHA has few design requirements. The Subpart K electrical 
installation standards typically do not apply to electric power 
transmission and distribution installations, and such installations may 
pose hazards in addition to those of exposed live parts. For example, 
equipment enclosures may be ungrounded. If the requirements of Subpart 
K are not being met, then it is important to prevent unqualified 
persons from gaining access to areas containing electric power 
transmission and distribution equipment.
    If, on the other hand, the installation conforms to Subpart K, at 
least with respect to the guarding of live parts and to the grounding 
of enclosures for these parts, unqualified employees may safely access 
substation areas. In Subpart K, suitable protection is provided by 
Sec. Sec.  1926.403(j)(2), 1926.403(i)(2), and 1926.404(f)(7) for 
employees working in substations. These provisions prohibit unqualified 
persons from accessing areas containing exposed live parts operating at 
50 volts through 600 volts and located less than 8 feet above the floor 
or other working surface. Unqualified persons are also prohibited from 
areas containing live parts operating at more than 600 volts, unless 
the live parts are completely enclosed in metal enclosures or are 
installed at an elevation of at least 8 feet, 6 inches. The metal 
enclosures must be grounded, and the minimum height increases with 
increasing voltage.
    OSHA is proposing to adopt requirements here that follow the 
Subpart K approach. Proposed Sec.  1926.966(e) sets forth criteria for 
access by unqualified persons to spaces containing electric supply 
lines or equipment. Paragraph (e)(1) divides areas containing electric 
supply equipment into three categories as follows:
    (1) Areas where exposed live parts operating at 50 to 150 volts to 
ground are located within 2.4 meters (8 feet) of the ground or other 
working surface,
    (2) Areas where live parts operating at between 150 and 601 volts 
and located within 2.4 meters (8 feet) of the ground or other working 
surface are guarded only by location, as permitted under paragraph 
(f)(1), and
    (3) Areas where live parts operating at more than 600 volts are 
located, unless:
    (a) The live parts are enclosed within grounded, metal-enclosed 
equipment whose only openings are designed so that foreign objects 
inserted in these openings will be deflected from energized parts, or
    (b) The live parts are installed at a height above ground and any 
other working surface that provides protection at least equivalent to 
an 2.4-meter (8-foot) height at 50 volts.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.966(e)(2) through (e)(5) propose requirements 
that would apply to these areas. The areas would have to be so enclosed 
as to minimize the possibility that unqualified persons will enter; 
warning signs would have to be displayed; and entrances not under the 
observation of an attendant would have to be kept locked. Additionally, 
unqualified persons would not be permitted to enter these areas while 
the electric supply lines or equipment are energized.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.966(f) also addresses guarding of live parts. 
This paragraph, which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(u)(5), has no 
counterpart in existing Subpart V.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.966(f)(1) would require live parts operating at 
more than 150 volts to be guarded (by physical guards or by location) 
or insulated. This provision protects qualified employees from 
accidentally contacting energized parts. Guidance for clearance 
distances appropriate for guarding by location can be found in ANSI C2. 
Installations meeting ANSI C2-2002 are considered to meet paragraph 
(f)(1), which is based on Section 124A.1 of that standard.
    OSHA will consider installations that do not meet ANSI C2-2002 as 
meeting proposed paragraph (f)(1) provided the employer can demonstrate 
that the installation provides sufficient clearance based on the 
following evidence:
    (1) That the installation meets the requirements of the edition of 
ANSI C2 that was in effect at the time the installation was made,
    (2) That each employee is isolated from live parts at the point of 
closest approach, and
    (3) That the precautions taken protect employees to the same degree 
as the clearances specified in ANSI C2-2002.
    This approach would afford employers flexibility in complying with 
the standard and would afford employees protection from injury due to 
sparkover from live circuit parts.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.966(f)(2) would require the guarding of live 
parts within a compartment to be maintained during operation and 
maintenance functions. This guarding is intended to prevent accidental 
contact with energized parts and to prevent objects from being dropped 
on energized parts. However, since access must be gained to energized 
equipment by qualified employees, an exception to this proposed 
requirement allows the removal of guards for fuse replacement and other 
necessary access by qualified persons. In such cases, proposed 
paragraph (f)(3) would protect other employees working nearby by 
requiring the installation of protective barriers around the work area.
    So that employees can receive pertinent information on conditions 
that affect safety at the substation, paragraph (g)(1) would require 
employees who do not regularly work at the station to report their 
presence to the employee in charge. Typical conditions affecting safety 
in substations include the location of energized equipment in the area 
and the limits of any deenergized work area. Proposed paragraph (g)(2) 
would require this specific information to be communicated to employees 
during the job briefing required by proposed Sec.  1926.952. These two 
requirements have been taken from Sec.  1910.269(u)(6).
    Existing Sec.  1926.957(a)(1) requires authorization to be obtained 
from the person in charge of the substation before work is performed. 
The proposal would not require authorization. OSHA does not believe 
that such a requirement is necessary. As noted, proposed Sec.  
1926.966(g)(1) would require employees who do not regularly work in
the substation to report their presence to the employee in charge. The 
main purpose of this rule is for the flow of important safety-related 
information from the employee in charge to employees about to work in 
the substation. As long as this information is imparted to the 
employees performing the work and as long as the requirements proposed 
in the revision of Subpart V are followed, the work can be performed 
safely. The Agency does not believe that the requirement that the work 
be authorized is necessary for employee safety; however, OSHA requests 
comments on whether or not the lack of authorization to perform work 
can lead to accidents.
    Existing Sec.  1926.957(a)(2) is essentially identical to proposed 
Sec.  1926.966(g)(2), except that the existing rule, in paragraph 
(a)(2)(ii), also requires the determination of what protective 
equipment and precautions are necessary. Since the job briefing is 
already required to cover these areas under proposed Sec.  1926.952(b), 
existing Sec.  1926.957(a)(2)(ii), which applies only to work in 
energized substations, would no longer be necessary.
Section 1926.967, Special Conditions
    Proposed Sec.  1926.967 proposes requirements for special 
conditions that are encountered during electric power transmission and 
distribution work.
    Since capacitors store electric charge and can release electrical 
energy even when disconnected from their sources of supply, some 
precautions may be necessary--in addition to those proposed in Sec.  
1926.961 (deenergizing lines and equipment) and Sec.  1926.962 
(grounding)--when work is performed on capacitors or on lines that are 
connected to capacitors. Proposed Sec.  1926.967(a), which has been 
taken from Sec.  1910.269(w)(1), contains precautions which will enable 
this equipment to be considered as deenergized. This proposed paragraph 
has no counterpart in existing Subpart V.
    Under proposed Sec.  1926.967(a)(1), capacitors on which work is to 
be performed would have to be disconnected from their sources of supply 
and, after a 5-minute wait, short-circuited. This not only removes the 
sources of electric current but relieves the capacitors of their charge 
as well. It should be noted that ANSI/IEEE Standard No. 18-2002 
requires all capacitors to have an internal resistor across its 
terminals to reduce the voltage to 50 volts or less within 5 minutes 
after the capacitor is disconnected from an energized source.
    For work on individual capacitors in a series-parallel capacitor 
bank, each unit must be short-circuited between its terminals and the 
capacitor tank or rack, and the rack must be grounded; otherwise, 
individual capacitors could retain a charge. These considerations are 
proposed in paragraph (a)(2). Lastly, paragraph (a)(3) also requires 
lines to which capacitors are connected to be short-circuited before 
the lines can be considered deenergized.
    A note referring to the requirements for deenergizing electric 
transmission and distribution lines and equipment (proposed Sec.  
1926.961) and for grounding (proposed Sec.  1926.962) has been included 
following Sec.  1926.967(a) to alert readers to the appropriate 
requirements for deenergizing and grounding.
    Although the magnetic flux density in the core of a current 
transformer is usually very low, resulting in a low secondary voltage, 
it will rise to saturation if the secondary circuit is opened while the 
transformer primary is energized. If this occurs, the magnetic flux 
will induce a voltage in the secondary winding high enough to be 
hazardous to the insulation in the secondary circuit and to personnel. 
Because of this hazard to workers, proposed Sec.  1926.967(b) would 
prohibit the opening of the secondary circuit of a current transformer 
while the primary is energized. If the primary cannot be deenergized 
for work to be performed on the secondary, then the secondary circuit 
would have to be bridged so that an open-circuit condition does not 
result. This provision, which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(w)(2), 
has no counterpart in existing Subpart V.
    In a series streetlighting circuit, the lamps are connected in 
series, and the same current flows in each lamp. This current is 
supplied by a constant-current transformer, which provides a constant 
current at a variable voltage from a source of constant voltage and 
variable current. Like the current transformer, the constant current 
source attempts to supply current even when the secondary circuit is 
open. The resultant open-circuit voltage can be very high and hazardous 
to employees. For this reason, Sec.  1926.967(c)(2) proposes a 
requirement, similar to that in proposed paragraph (b), that either the 
streetlighting transformer be deenergized or the circuit be bridged to 
avoid an open-circuit condition. In addition, proposed Sec.  
1926.967(c)(1) would require streetlighting circuits with an open 
circuit voltage of more than 600 volts to be worked in accordance with 
the requirements on overhead lines in proposed Sec.  1926.964 or on 
underground electrical installations in proposed Sec.  1926.965, as 
appropriate. These provisions, which have been taken from Sec.  
1910.269(w)(3), have no counterpart in existing Subpart V.
    Frequently, electric power transmission and distribution employees 
must work at night or in enclosed places, such as manholes, that are 
not illuminated by the sun. Since inadvertent contact with live parts 
can be fatal, good lighting is important to the safety of these 
workers. Therefore, proposed Sec.  1926.967(d) would require sufficient 
illumination to be provided so that work can be performed safely. This 
provision, which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(w)(4), is 
comparable to existing Sec.  1926.950(f). The existing requirement, 
however, applies only at night. OSHA believes that it is important for 
employees to have sufficient lighting to perform the work safely no 
matter what the time of day is. The note following proposed Sec.  
1926.967(d) refers to Sec.  1926.56 for specific levels of illumination 
that are required under various conditions.
    To protect employees working in areas that expose them to the 
hazards of drowning, proposed Sec.  1926.967(e) would require the 
provision and use of personal flotation devices. Additionally, to 
ensure that these devices would provide the necessary protection upon 
demand, they would have to be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, be 
maintained in safe condition, and be inspected frequently enough to 
ensure that they do not have defects or other conditions that would 
render them unsuitable for use. Lastly, employees would not be 
permitted to cross streams unless a safe means of passage is provided. 
This provision, which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(w)(5), would 
replace existing Sec.  1926.950(g). The existing rule simply references 
other construction standards on body belts, safety straps, and 
lanyards, on safety nets, and on protection for working near water, 
namely Sec. Sec.  1926.104, 1926.105, and 1926.106. OSHA is proposing 
language identical to that contained in Sec.  1910.269 for consistency 
with that standard, which the Agency believes affords better protection 
for electric power transmission and distribution employees. However, 
comments are invited on whether or not existing Sec.  1926.950(g) would 
better protect employees.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.967(f) references Subpart P of Part 1926 for 
requirements on excavations. This provision is equivalent to existing 
Sec.  1926.956(c)(2), which references Sec. Sec.  1926.651 and 1926.652 
of that subpart. The proposed rule clearly indicates that all of the 
requirements of Subpart P apply.
    Employees working in areas with pedestrian or vehicular traffic are 
exposed to additional hazards compared to employees working on an 
employer's premises, where public access is restricted. One serious 
additional hazard faced by workers exposed to the public is that of 
being struck by a vehicle (or even by a person). To protect employees 
against being injured as a result of traffic mishaps, proposed Sec.  
1926.967(g) would require the placement of warning signs or flags or 
other warning devices to channel approaching traffic away from the work 
area if the conditions in the area pose a hazard to employees. If 
warning signs are not sufficient protection or if employees are working 
in an area in which there are excavations, barricades must be erected. 
Additionally, warning lights are required for night work. This proposed 
paragraph also references Sec.  1926.200(g)(2), which covers traffic 
control devices. This provision in OSHA's construction standards 
incorporates Part VI of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, 
1988 Edition, Revision 3, September 3, 1993, FHWA-SA-94-027, or Part VI 
of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Millennium Edition, 
December 2000, Federal Highway Administration, by reference. Proposed 
Sec.  1926.967, which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(w)(6), has no 
counterpart in existing Subpart V.
    Proposed Sec.  1926.967(h) addresses the hazards of voltage 
backfeed due to sources of cogeneration or due to the configuration of 
the circuit involved. Under conditions of voltage backfeed, the lines 
upon which work is to be performed remain energized after the main 
source of power has been disconnected. According to this proposed 
provision, the lines would have to be worked as energized, under 
proposed Sec.  1926.960, or could be worked as deenergized, following 
proposed Sec. Sec.  1926.961 and 1926.962. The referenced requirements 
contain the appropriate controls and work practices to be taken in case 
of voltage backfeed. This proposed paragraph, which has been taken from 
Sec.  1910.269(w)(7), has no counterpart in existing Subpart V.
    Sometimes, electric power transmission and distribution work 
involves the use of lasers. Appropriate requirements for the 
installation, operation, and adjustment of lasers are contained in 
existing Sec.  1926.54 of the construction standards. Rather than 
develop different requirements for electric power transmission and 
distribution work, OSHA has decided to reference Sec.  1926.54 in 
paragraph (i) of proposed Sec.  1926.967. This proposed paragraph, 
which has been taken from Sec.  1910.269(w)(8), has no counterpart in 
existing Subpart V.
    To ensure that hydraulic equipment retains its insulating value, 
paragraph (j) of proposed Sec.  1926.967 would require the hydraulic 
fluid used in insulated sections of such equipment to be of the 
insulating type. Paragraph (d)(1) of Sec.  1926.302 requires hydraulic 
fluid used in hydraulic powered tools to be fire-resistant. Because 
available insulating fluids are not fire-resistant, proposed Sec.  
1926.967(j) would exempt insulating hydraulic fluid from Sec.  
1926.302(d)(1). Proposed Sec.  1926.967(j) is essentially identical to 
existing Sec.  1926.950(i).
    Proposed Sec.  1926.967(k) addresses communication facilities 
associated with electric power transmission and distribution systems. 
Typical communications installations include those for microwave 
signaling and power line carriers. This proposed paragraph, which has 
been taken from Sec.  1910.269(s), has no counterpart in existing 
Subpart V.
    Microwave signaling systems are addressed by paragraph (k)(1) of 
proposed Sec.  1926.967. To protect employees' eyes from being injured 
by microwave radiation, paragraph (k)(1)(i) would require employers to 
ensure that employees do not look into an open waveguide or antenna 
that is connected to an energized source of microwave radiation.
    Existing Sec.  1910.97, which covers non-ionizing radiation, 
prescribes a warning sign with a special symbol indicating non-ionizing 
radiation hazards. Paragraph (k)(1)(ii) of proposed Sec.  1926.967 
would require areas that contain radiation in excess of the radiation 
protection guide set forth in Sec.  1910.97 to be posted with the 
warning sign. Also, the proposal would require the lower half of that 
sign to be labeled as follows:

Radiation in this area may exceed hazard limitations and special 
precautions are required. Obtain specific instruction before 
entering.

    The sign is intended to warn employees about the hazards present in 
the area and to inform them that special instructions are necessary to 
enter the area.
    In Sec.  1910.97, the radiation protection guide is advisory only. 
Paragraph (k)(1)(iii) of proposed Sec.  1926.967 would make the guide 
mandatory for electric power transmission and distribution work by 
requiring the employer to institute measures that prevent any 
employee's exposure from being greater than that set forth in the 
guide. These measures may be of an administrative nature (such as 
limitations on the duration of exposure) or of an engineering nature 
(such as a design of the system that limits the emitted radiation to 
that permitted by the guide) or may involve the use of personal 
protective equipment. This proposed provision would not require 
employers to follow the hierarchy of controls normally required for the 
protection of employees from occupational hazards. Employees exposed to 
radiation levels beyond that permitted by the radiation protection 
guide are typically performing maintenance tasks. OSHA typically 
permits the use of personal protective equipment in these situations. 
No employees are exposed to these levels on a routine basis. The Agency 
requests comments on whether the proposal adequately protects employees 
and whether the standard should require employers to follow the 
hierarchy of controls.
    Power line carrier systems use the power line itself to carry 
signals between equipment at different points on the line. Because of 
this, the proposal would require, in Sec.  1926.967(k)(2), that work 
associated with power line carrier installations be performed according 
to the requirements for work on energized lines.
Section 1926.968, Definitions
    Proposed Sec.  1926.968 contains definitions of terms used in the 
standard. Since these definitions have been taken, in large part, from 
consensus standards and existing OSHA rules and since the definitions 
included are generally self-explanatory, OSHA expects these terms to be 
well understood, and no explanation is given here, except for the 
definition of the term ``qualified employee.'' For other terms whose 
meaning may not be readily apparent, the Agency has provided an 
explanation in the discussion of the provision in which the term first 
appears. (For example, the explanation of the definitions of ``host 
employer'' is given in the discussion of proposed Sec.  1926.950(c)(1), 
earlier in this section of the preamble.)
    The definition of ``qualified employee'' is based on the definition 
of that term as set forth in Sec.  1910.269(x). This definition reads 
as follows:

    One knowledgeable in the construction and operation of the 
electric power generation, transmission, and distribution equipment 
involved, along with the associated hazards.

    OSHA does not intend to require employees to be knowledgeable in 
all aspects of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution 
equipment in order to be considered as ``qualified.'' OSHA believes 
that the proposed definition will convey the Agency's true intent. It 
should be noted that the proposal uses the term ``qualified employee'' 
to refer only to employees who have the training to work on energized 
electric power transmission and distribution installations. Paragraph 
(b)(2) of proposed Sec.  1926.950 sets out the training an employee 
would have to have to be considered a qualified employee. A note to 
this effect has been included following the definition of this term.
    Appendices. OSHA is including seven appendices to proposed Subpart 
V.
    Appendix A refers to Appendix A to Sec.  1910.269, which contains 
flow charts depicting the interface between Sec.  1910.269 and the 
following standards: Sec.  1910.146, Permit-required confined spaces; 
Sec.  1910.147, The control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout); and 
Part 1910, Subpart S, Electrical. While these general industry 
standards are not applicable to construction work, employers will still 
need this information when the construction work performed under 
Subpart V interfaces with general industry work. Thus, Appendix A will 
assist employers in determining which of these standards applies in 
different situations.
    Appendix B provides information relating to the determination of 
appropriate minimum approach distances as proposed by Sec.  
1926.950(c)(1) and Sec.  1926.964(c). This appendix is based on 
Appendix B to Sec.  1910.269, with revisions necessary to reflect the 
changes to the minimum approach distances proposed for Sec.  1910.269 
and Subpart V. OSHA requests information on whether Appendix B requires 
additional changes, beyond what the Agency is proposing, to make it 
consistent with current technology. (See the summary and explanation of 
proposed Sec.  1926.960(c)(1).) OSHA intends to revise the explanatory 
material in Appendix B similarly when the Agency issues the final rule.
    Appendix C provides information relating to the protection of 
employees from hazardous step and touch potentials as addressed in 
Sec.  1926.959(d)(3)(iii)(D), Sec.  1926.963(d)(3)(ii), and Sec.  
1926.964(b)(2).
    Appendix D contains information on the inspection and testing of 
wood poles addressed in Sec.  1926.964(a)(2).
    Appendix E contains references to additional sources of information 
that may be used to supplement the requirements of proposed Subpart V. 
The national consensus standards referenced in this appendix contain 
detailed specifications to which employers may refer in complying with 
the more performance-oriented requirements of OSHA's proposed rule. 
Except as specifically noted in Subpart V, however, compliance with the 
national consensus standards would not be a substitute for compliance 
with the provisions of the OSHA standard.
    Appendix F provides guidance on the selection of protective 
clothing for employees exposed to electric arcs as addressed in 
proposed Sec.  1926.960(g).
    Appendix G contains guidelines for the inspection of work 
positioning equipment to assist employers in complying with proposed 
Sec.  1926.954(b)(3)(i).

C. Part 1910 Revisions

    The construction of electric power transmission and distribution 
lines and equipment nearly always exposes employees to the same hazards 
as the maintenance of electric power lines and equipment. Power line 
workers use the same protective equipment and safety techniques in both 
types of work. During the course of a workday, these employees can 
perform both types of work.
    For example, a power line crew could be assigned to replace two 
transformers that have failed. In one case, the transformer is replaced 
with an equivalent one; in the other case, it is replaced with a 
transformer with a different kilovolt-ampere rating. When the employees 
perform the first job, they are performing maintenance work covered by 
Part 1910. However, the second job is considered to be construction and 
is covered by Part 1926. The employees would almost certainly use 
identical work practices and protective equipment for both jobs.
    Because of this, OSHA believes that it is important to have the 
same requirements apply regardless of the type of work being performed. 
If the corresponding Part 1910 and Part 1926 standards are the same, 
employers can adopt one set of work rules covering all types of work. 
Employers and employees would not be faced with having to decide 
whether a particular job was construction or maintenance--a factor that 
in virtually every instance has no bearing on the safety of employees.
    Therefore, in this rulemaking, OSHA is proposing revisions to 
Sec. Sec.  1910.137 and 1910.269 so that the construction and 
maintenance standards will be the same.\64\ The following distribution 
table presents the major revisions and OSHA's rationale for proposing 
them.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \64\ Subpart V does not contain requirements for electric power 
generation installations or for line-clearance tree-trimming work. 
See the summary and explanation of proposed Sec.  1926.950(a)(3), 
earlier in this preamble.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Proposed part        Rationale and
  Proposed part 1910 revision     1926 revision           comments
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sec.   1910.137(A)(1)(ii),      Sec.               Section 1910.137
 (b)(2)(vii), and Tables I-2,    1926.97(a)(1)(ii   would be revised to
 I-3, I-4, and I-5.              ), (c)(2)(vii),    include Class 00
                                 and Tables E-1,    rubber insulating
                                 E-2, E-3, and E-   gloves.
                                 4.
The note following Sec.         The note           The note would be
 1910.137(a)(3)(ii)(B).          following Sec.     revised to include
                                 1926.97(a)(3)(ii   the latest ASTM
                                 )(B).              standards.
                                                    References to ASTM
                                                    definition and to an
                                                    ASTM guide for
                                                    visual inspection of
                                                    rubber insulating
                                                    equipment have been
                                                    included to provide
                                                    additional useful
                                                    information for
                                                    complying with the
                                                    OSHA standard.
A new note following Sec.       The note           A reference to an
 1910.137(b)(2)(ii).             following Sec.     ASTM guide for
                                 1926.97(b)(2)(ii   visual inspection of
                                 ).                 rubber insulating
                                                    equipment has been
                                                    included to provide
                                                    additional useful
                                                    information for
                                                    complying with the
                                                    OSHA standard.
Sec.   1910.137(b)(2)(vii)(B)   Sec.               Existing Sec.
 and (C).                        1926.97(c)(2)(vi   1910.137(b)(2)(vii)(
                                 i)(B) and (C).     B) would be split
                                                    into two separate
                                                    CFR units.
Sec.   1901.137(c) [New]......  Sec.   1926.97(b)  A new paragraph would
                                                    be added to cover
                                                    electrical
                                                    protective equipment
                                                    that is not made of
                                                    rubber. See the
                                                    summary and
                                                    explanation of
                                                    proposed Sec.
                                                    1926.97(b).
Sec.   1910.269(a)(2)(i)......  Sec.               Existing Sec.
                                 1926.950(b)(1).    1910.269(a)(2)(i)
                                                    would be split into
                                                    three separate CFR
                                                    units. The last of
                                                    those units,
                                                    paragraph
                                                    (a)(2)(i)(c), would
                                                    introduce a new
                                                    requirement that the
                                                    degree of training
                                                    be determined by the
                                                    risk to the
                                                    employee. See the
                                                    discussion of
                                                    proposed Sec.
                                                    1926.950(b)(1)(iii).
Sec.   1910.269(a)(2)(ii)(E)    Sec.               A new paragraph would
 [New].                          1926.950(b)(2)(v   be added to require
                                 ).                 qualified employees
                                                    to be trained to
                                                    recognize and to
                                                    control or avoid
                                                    electrical hazards.
                                                    See the discussion
                                                    of proposed Sec.
                                                    1926.950(b)(2)(v).
Sec.   1910.269(a)(2)(vii)....  Sec.               The existing
                                 1926.950(b)(7).    requirement for
                                                    employers to certify
                                                    that employees have
                                                    been trained would
                                                    be replaced with a
                                                    requirement for
                                                    employers to
                                                    determine that
                                                    employees have
                                                    demonstrated
                                                    proficiency in the
                                                    work practices
                                                    involved. In
                                                    addition, a new note
                                                    would be added to
                                                    clarify how training
                                                    received in a
                                                    previous job would
                                                    satisfy the training
                                                    requirements. See
                                                    the discussion of
                                                    proposed Sec.
                                                    1926.950(b)(7).
Sec.   1910.269(a)(4) [New]...  Sec.               A new paragraph would
                                 1926.950(c).       be added to require
                                                    host and contract
                                                    employers to share
                                                    information on
                                                    safety-related
                                                    matters. See the
                                                    discussion of
                                                    proposed Sec.
                                                    1926.950(c).
Sec.   1910.269(c)............  Sec.   1926.952..  The existing
                                                    provision would be
                                                    reorganized and
                                                    renumbered. A new
                                                    requirement would be
                                                    added to ensure that
                                                    employers provide
                                                    the employee in
                                                    charge with
                                                    sufficient
                                                    information to be
                                                    able to complete the
                                                    job safely. See the
                                                    discussion of
                                                    proposed Sec.
                                                    1926.952.
The note following Sec.         None.............  This note would be
 1910.269(e)(6).                                    removed. It
                                                    currently references
                                                    Sec.   1910.146 for
                                                    the definition of
                                                    ``entry.'' OSHA is
                                                    proposing to add a
                                                    definition of this
                                                    term to Sec.
                                                    1910.269, so this
                                                    note would be
                                                    unnecessary.
Sec.   1910.269(e)(8).........  Sec.               OSHA is proposing to
                                 1926.952(h).       remove the
                                                    requirement to
                                                    provide an attendant
                                                    if there is reason
                                                    to believe a hazard
                                                    exists in the
                                                    enclosed space.
                                                    Paragraph (e)(1) of
                                                    Sec.   1910.269
                                                    requires the entry
                                                    to conform to Sec.
                                                    1910.146 if there
                                                    are hazards for
                                                    which the
                                                    requirements of Sec.
                                                      1910.269(e) and
                                                    (t) do not provide
                                                    adequate protection.
                                                    Thus, if an employer
                                                    has reason to
                                                    believe that a
                                                    hazard exists
                                                    despite the
                                                    precautions taken
                                                    under Sec.
                                                    1910.269(e) and (t),
                                                    then Sec.   1910.146
                                                    applies, and an
                                                    attendant would be
                                                    required by that
                                                    standard.
Sec.   1910.269(e)(8).........  Sec.               The existing
                                 1926.953(i).       requirement would be
                                                    revised to clarify
                                                    that the test
                                                    instrument must have
                                                    an accuracy of < plus-
                                                    minus>10 percent.
Sec.   1910.269(e)(12)........  Sec.               The existing
                                 1926.953(m).       requirement would be
                                                    revised to require
                                                    the employer to be
                                                    able to demonstrate
                                                    that ventilation was
                                                    maintained long
                                                    enough to ensure
                                                    that a safe
                                                    atmosphere exists
                                                    before employees
                                                    enter an enclosed
                                                    space.
Sec.   1910.269(g)(2).........  Sec.               The existing
                                 1926.954(b).       requirements would
                                                    be revised to
                                                    maintain consistency
                                                    with the
                                                    construction
                                                    provisions. See the
                                                    discussion of
                                                    proposed Sec.
                                                    1926.954(b).
Sec.   1910.269(l)(2)(i)......  Sec.               The existing
                                 1926.960(c)(1)(i   requirement would be
                                 ).                 clarified to
                                                    indicate that an
                                                    energized part must
                                                    be under the full
                                                    control of the
                                                    employee for rubber
                                                    insulating gloves or
                                                    rubber insulating
                                                    gloves and sleeves
                                                    to be considered as
                                                    sufficient
                                                    insulation from that
                                                    part. See the
                                                    discussion of
                                                    proposed Sec.
                                                    1926.960(c)(1).
Sec.   1910.269(l)(3) and (4).  Sec.               OSHA is proposing to
                                 1926.960(c)(2)     revise the existing
                                 and (d).           requirements to
                                                    ensure that
                                                    employees use
                                                    electrical
                                                    protective equipment
                                                    whenever they can
                                                    reach within the
                                                    minimum approach
                                                    distance of an
                                                    energized part. See
                                                    the discussion of
                                                    Sec.
                                                    1926.960(c)(2) and
                                                    (d).
Sec.   1910.269(l)(6)           Sec.               OSHA is proposing to
 [Revised] and (12) [New].       1926.960(f) and    revise the existing
                                 (g).               requirements on
                                                    clothing in Sec.
                                                    1910.269(l)(6)(ii)
                                                    and (iii) to require
                                                    employees to be
                                                    protected from
                                                    electric arcs. See
                                                    the discussion of
                                                    proposed Sec.
                                                    1926.960(g).
Table R-6.....................  Table V-2........  The existing table
                                                    would be revised so
                                                    that it contains the
                                                    same minimum
                                                    approach distances
                                                    as ANSI C2 (on which
                                                    it is based). See
                                                    the discussion of
                                                    proposed Sec.
                                                    1926.960(c)(1).
Sec.   1910.269(m)(3)(viii)...  Sec.               The existing
                                 1926.961(c)(3)(i   provision would be
                                 i).                revised to require
                                                    independent crews to
                                                    coordinate
                                                    energizing and
                                                    deenergizing lines
                                                    and equipment if no
                                                    system operator is
                                                    in charge. The new
                                                    provision would
                                                    prevent one crew
                                                    from energizing a
                                                    line or equipment
                                                    that another crew
                                                    was working on.
Sec.   1910.269(n)(4).........  Sec.               The existing
                                 1926.962(d).       requirement would be
                                                    revised to allow
                                                    smaller protective
                                                    grounds under
                                                    certain conditions.
                                                    See the discussion
                                                    of proposed Sec.
                                                    1926.962(d).
Sec.   1910.269(n)(6) and       Sec.               The existing
 (n)(7).                         1926.962(f).       requirement would be
                                                    revised to allow
                                                    insulating equipment
                                                    other than a live-
                                                    line tool to place
                                                    grounds on or remove
                                                    them from circuits
                                                    of 600 volts or less
                                                    under certain
                                                    conditions. See the
                                                    discussion of Sec.
                                                    1926.962(f).
Sec.   1910.269(p)(4)(i)......  Sec.               OSHA is proposing to
                                 1926.959(d)(1).    clarify the existing
                                                    provision to
                                                    indicate that, if an
                                                    insulated aerial
                                                    lift comes closer to
                                                    an energized part
                                                    than the minimum
                                                    approach distance,
                                                    the aerial lift must
                                                    maintain the minimum
                                                    approach distance
                                                    from objects at a
                                                    different potential.
                                                    See the discussion
                                                    of Sec.
                                                    1926.959(d)(1).
Sec.   1910.269(t)(3), (7),     Sec.               OSHA is proposing to
 and (8).                        1926.965(d),       apply these
                                 (h), and (i).      requirements to
                                                    vaults as well as
                                                    manholes.
                                                    Additionally, OSHA
                                                    is proposing to add
                                                    a requirement to
                                                    address work that
                                                    could cause a cable
                                                    to fail. See the
                                                    discussion of
                                                    proposed Sec.
                                                    1926.965(d), (h),
                                                    and (i).
The notes following Sec.        The notes          The references in
 1910.269(u)(1), (u)(5)(i),      following and      these notes to ANSI
 (v)(3), and (v)(5).             Sec.               C2-1987 would be
                                 1926.966(b)        updated to ANSI C2-
                                 (f)(1).            2002.
Sec.   1910.269(x)............  Sec.   1926.968..  OSHA is proposing to
                                                    add definitions of
                                                    ``contract
                                                    employer,'' ``host
                                                    employer,'' and
                                                    ``entry.'' See the
                                                    discussion of
                                                    proposed Sec.  Sec.
                                                     1926.950(c) and
                                                    1926.953.
Appendix F to Sec.   1910.269   Appendix F to      OSHA is proposing to
 [New].                          Subpart V.         add a new appendix
                                                    containing
                                                    information on
                                                    protecting employees
                                                    from electric arcs.
Appendix G to Sec.   1910.269   Appendix G to      OSHA is proposing to
 [New].                          Subpart V.         add a new appendix
                                                    containing
                                                    guidelines for the
                                                    inspection of work
                                                    positioning
                                                    equipment.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There are some differences in language between proposed Subpart V 
and existing Sec.  1910.269. Some of these differences are because 
Sec.  1910.269 applies to electric power generation installations and 
related work practices but Subpart V does not. For example, existing 
Sec.  1910.269(b)(1)(ii) addresses CPR training requirements for fixed 
work locations ``such as generating stations.'' The corresponding 
construction provision in proposed Sec.  1926.951(b)(1)(ii) contains 
the exact same requirement, but lists ``substations'' as examples of 
fixed work locations. OSHA intends to retain such differences in the 
final rule.
    Other differences result from the application of construction 
standards when construction work is performed instead of general 
industry standards when maintenance work is performed. For example, 
proposed Sec.  1926.969(a)(1) contains exemptions from Sec. Sec.  
1926.550(a)(15) and 1926.600(a)(6) \65\ for the operation of mechanical 
equipment by qualified employees near overhead power lines. Existing 
Sec.  1910.269 contains no similar requirement because the 
corresponding general industry provision, Sec.  1910.333(c)(3), does 
not apply to qualified employees performing work covered by Sec.  
1910.269. In a similar fashion, proposed Sec.  1926.953(a) does not 
contain Sec.  1910.269(e)'s exemption from paragraphs (d) through (k) 
of Sec.  1910.146 dealing with permit-space entries, as that general 
industry standard does not apply to construction work. OSHA intends to 
retain such differences in the final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \65\ These provisions generally require that a 3.05-meter (10-
foot) minimum clearance be provided between mechanical equipment and 
overhead power lines.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On the other hand, OSHA has identified several nonsubstantive 
differences between the existing language in Sec. Sec.  1910.137 and 
1910.269 and the language proposed in Sec.  1926.97 and Subpart V. 
Table IV-8 identifies these differences. The Agency intends to carry 
those changes into final Sec. Sec.  1910.137 and 1910.269. OSHA invites 
comments and questions on any differences between the proposed 
standards and existing Sec. Sec.  1910.137 and 1910.269 and on how the 
respective final rules should be made consistent.

           Table IV-8.--Provisions With Nonsubstantive Changes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Section 1926.97 provisions with        Correspondong provisions in
   nonsubstantive changes in language        existing Sec.   1910.137
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1926.97(c)(2)(xii), Note...............
1910.137(b)(2)(xii), Note..............
----------------------------------------
       Subpart V Provisions with           Corresponding provisions in
   Nonsubstantive Changes in Language        Existing Sec.   1910.269
----------------------------------------
1926.950(a)(2).........................  1910.269(a)(1)(iii).
1926.950(b)(2), introductory text......  1910.269(a)(2)(ii),
                                          introductory text.
1926.950(b)(2), Note...................  1910.269(a)(2)(ii), Note.
1926.950(b)(4)(i)......................  1910.269(a)(2)(iv)(A).
1926.955(b)(4).........................  1910.269(h)(2)(iii).
1926.956(d)(3).........................  1910.269(i)(4)(ii).
1926.957(a)............................  1910.269(j)(1).
1926.961(c)(9)(i)......................  1910.269(m)(3)(x)(A).
1926.961(c)(10)........................  1910.269(m)(3)(xi).
1926.962(b), introductory text.........  1910.269(n)(2), introductory
                                          text.
1926.966(e)(1)(iii), introductory text.  1910.269(u)(4)(i)(C),
                                          introductory text.
1926.968, definition of ``designated     1910.269(x), definition of
 employee''..                             ``designated employee''.
1926.968, Note to the definition of      1910.269(x), Note to the
 ``guarded''.                             definition of ``guarded''.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes:
(1) This table does not list provisions in which the only change was to
  break up paragraphs with multiple requirements into separately
  numbered paragraphs. See, for example, proposed Sec.
  1926.960(b)(1)(i), (b)(1)(ii), and (b)(2), which were taken from the
  introductory text to existing Sec.   1910.269(1)(1).
(2) This table also does not list provisions in which the only change
  was a conversion to international standard (SI) units. See, for
  example, proposed Sec.   1926.966 (e)(1)(iii)(B), which was taken from
  existing Sec.   1910.269(u)(4)(i)(C)(2).

    OSHA expects that final Subpart V will differ from proposed Subpart 
V because of changes adopted based on the rulemaking record. When the 
final rule is published, the Agency intends to make corresponding 
changes to Sec.  1910.269 to keep the two rules the same, except to the 
extent that substantial differences between construction work and 
general industry work warrant different standards. Similarly, the 
Agency intends to adopt changes to Sec.  1910.137 so that it is the 
same as Sec.  1926.97. Therefore, OSHA is seeking comment on entire 
Sec. Sec.  1910.137 and 1910.269. Comments received on the general 
industry standards will be considered in adopting the final 
construction standards and vice versa. In particular, the Agency has 
requested comments on several issues in the proposed revision of 
Subpart V and in proposed new Sec.  1926.97. Some of these issues are 
directed towards requirements in those construction standard that are 
taken from general industry provisions that OSHA is not proposing to 
revise. For example, earlier in this section of the preamble, the 
Agency requests comments on whether AEDs should be required as part of 
the medical and first aid requirements in proposed Sec.  1926.951. (See 
the summary and explanation of proposed Sec.  1926.951(b)(1).) Although 
OSHA has not proposed to revise the corresponding general industry 
provision, existing Sec.  1910.269(b)(1), the Agency intends to revise 
that general industry provision if the rulemaking record supports a 
requirement for AEDs. Therefore, OSHA encourages all rulemaking 
participants to respond to these issues regardless of whether the 
participants are covered by the construction standards. Table IV-9 is a 
cross-reference table to help interested parties to find the section in 
Subpart V that corresponds to a particular paragraph in Sec.  1910.269.

               Table IV-9.--Provisions in Subpart V Corresponding to Paragraphs in Sec.   1910.269
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          Corresponding section in
     Paragraph  in Sec.   1910.269                subpart V                             Topic
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(a)....................................  Sec.   1926.950...........  General, scope, and training.
(b)....................................  Sec.   1926.951...........  Medical services and first aid.
(c)....................................  Sec.   1926.952...........  Job briefing.
(e)....................................  Sec.   1926.953...........  Enclosed spaces.
(f)....................................  Sec.   1926.967(f)........  Excavations.
(g)....................................  Sec.   1926.954...........  Personal protective equipment.
(h)....................................  Sec.   1926.955...........  Ladders and platforms.
(i)....................................  Sec.   1926.956...........  Hand and portable power tools.
(j)....................................  Sec.   1926.957...........  Live-line tools.
(k)....................................  Sec.   1926.958...........  Materials handling and storage.
(l)....................................  Sec.   1926.960...........  Working on or near exposed energized parts.
(m)....................................  Sec.   1926.961...........  Deenergizing lines and equipment for
                                                                      employee protection.
(n)....................................  Sec.   1926.962...........  Grounding for the protection of employees.
(o)....................................  Sec.   1926.963...........  Testing and test facilities.
(p)....................................  Sec.   1926.959...........  Mechanical equipment.
(q)....................................  Sec.   1926.964...........  Overhead lines.
(s)....................................  Sec.   1926.967(k)........  Communication facilities.
(t)....................................  Sec.   1926.965...........  Underground electrical installations.
(u)....................................  Sec.   1926.966...........  Substations.
(w)....................................  Sec.   1926.967...........  Special conditions.
(x)....................................  Sec.   1926.968...........  Definitions.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Paragraphs (d), (r), and (v) have no counterparts in Subpart V.

    Foot protection for electrical hazards. OSHA is also proposing to 
revise Sec.  1910.136(a). Existing Sec.  1910.136(a) reads as follows:
    (a) General requirements. The employer shall ensure that each 
affected employee uses protective footwear when working in areas where there is 
a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects 
piercing the sole, and where such employee's feet are exposed to 
electrical hazards.
    The Agency is concerned that this language is being interpreted to 
recognize the use of electrical hazard footwear as a primary form of 
electrical protection. Electrical hazard footwear is constructed to 
provide insulation of the wearer's feet from ground. This can provide a 
small degree of protection from electric shock for the wearer. This 
protection is limited to voltages of 600 volts or less under dry 
conditions and is intended to be a secondary form of electrical 
insulation.\66\ Conductive footwear, which is not electrical hazard 
footwear, is designed to prevent static electricity buildup. This is 
one method of protecting against static electrical discharges that can 
damage equipment or, in hazardous locations, could possibly lead to 
fires or explosions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \66\ Primary insulation normally insulates an employee directly 
from an energized part. Rubber insulating gloves and rubber 
insulating blankets are examples of primary electrical protection. 
Secondary insulation normally insulates an employee's feet from a 
grounded surface. Electrical hazard footwear and rubber insulating 
matting are examples of secondary electrical protection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Interpreting existing Sec.  1910.136(a) so as to recognize 
electrical hazard footwear as a primary form of electrical protection 
could expose employees to electric shock hazards if they believe that 
the real primary form of electrical protection (for example, rubber 
insulating gloves or blankets) is no longer necessary. This is true for 
several reasons. First, electrical hazard footwear only insulates an 
employee's feet from ground. The employee can still be grounded through 
other parts of his or her body. Second, the insulation provided by 
electrical hazard footwear is good only under dry conditions. This 
footwear provides little if any protection once it becomes wet or damp. 
Lastly, the voltage rating on electrical hazard footwear is only 600 
volts.
    OSHA believes that, because of these limitations, electrical hazard 
footwear should not be addressed by Sec.  1910.136, which is designed 
to provide protection to employees' feet. The Agency also believes that 
the need for conductive footwear, whether or not it provides protection 
for the foot, is adequately addressed by the general requirement in 
Sec.  1910.132(a) to provide personal protection equipment. Therefore, 
OSHA is proposing to delete language relating to electrical hazards 
from Sec.  1910.136(a).
    Paragraph (d) of Sec.  1910.132 addresses hazard assessment and 
selection of personal protective equipment. Paragraph (f) of Sec.  
1910.132 addresses training in the use of personal protective 
equipment. As noted in Sec.  1910.132(g), paragraphs (d) and (f) of 
existing Sec.  1910.132 do not apply to electrical protective equipment 
covered by Sec.  1910.137. While training is covered in other 
electrical standards (for example, in Sec.  1910.268, 
telecommunications, in Sec.  1910.269, electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution, and in Sec.  1910.332, training in 
electrical safety-related work practices), many of the hazard 
assessment requirements in Sec.  1910.132(d) are not addressed in any 
other OSHA electrical standard. OSHA requests comments on whether 
electrical protective equipment should be added to the scope of Sec.  
1910.132(d) or Sec.  1910.132(f) or both.

D. Effective Date

    When a final rule is promulgated, OSHA typically provides a delay 
in effective date to allow employers to become familiar with the rule 
and to come into compliance. Some of the provisions in the proposal 
would require some employers to purchase new equipment. For example, 
the requirements proposed in Sec. Sec.  1910.269(l)(11) and 1926.960(g) 
would require some employers to purchase flame-resistant clothing. OSHA 
requests comments generally on what an appropriate delay in effective 
date should be and specifically on how long employers will need to make 
purchases necessary for compliance with the proposed rule.
    Some of the proposed provisions would require employers to replace 
existing noncomplying equipment with equipment that meets the proposal. 
For example, proposed Sec.  1926.954(b)(2)(xi) would require snaphooks 
used with work positioning equipment to be of the locking type. Some 
employers may still use nonlocking snaphooks with work positioning 
equipment. OSHA requests information on the extent to which nonlocking 
snaphooks are used. The Agency also requests information on the useful 
life of such equipment and on whether OSHA should allow sufficient time 
for noncomplying equipment to be replaced as it wears out. Such a delay 
would minimize the costs incurred by employers but would expose 
employees to hazards for a longer period.

V. Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis and Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis

A. Executive Summary

Introduction
    OSHA is required by the OSH Act to ensure and demonstrate that 
standards promulgated under the Act are technologically and 
economically feasible. Executive Order 12866, the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act also require OSHA 
to estimate the costs, assess the benefits, and analyze the impacts of 
the rules that the Agency promulgates.
    Accordingly, OSHA has prepared this Preliminary Regulatory Impact 
Analysis (PRIA) for OSHA's proposal to update its standards addressing 
electric power generation, transmission, and distribution work, and the 
use of electrical protective equipment. For purposes of this analysis, 
the terms ``proposal'' and ``proposed standard'' include all elements 
of this proposed rulemaking, including proposed changes to 29 CFR 
1910.269, proposed changes to 29 CFR 1926, proposed changes involving 
electrical protective equipment requirements, and other associated 
revisions and additions. The consolidated set of proposed actions was 
analyzed in its entirety; only those parts that were identified as 
involving nonnegligible costs are explicitly reflected in the analysis 
of compliance costs and impacts.
    In some past notices of proposed rulemakings, OSHA has included 
only an Executive Summary of the PRIA in the preamble to the proposal. 
For this rulemaking, OSHA is including the entire PRIA in this Federal 
Register notice for the convenience of the public.
Need for Regulation
    Employees in work environments addressed by the proposed standards 
are exposed to a variety of significant hazards that can and do cause 
serious injury and death. The risks to employees are excessively large 
due to the existence of market failures, and existing and alternative 
methods of alleviating these negative consequences have been shown to 
be insufficient. After carefully weighing the various potential 
advantages and disadvantages of using a regulatory approach to improve 
upon the current situation, OSHA preliminarily concludes that in this 
case the proposed mandatory standards represent the best choice for 
reducing the risks to employees. In addition, rulemaking is necessary 
in this case in order to replace older existing standards with updated, 
clear, and consistent safety standards.
Affected Establishments
    The proposal affects establishments in a variety of different 
industries involving electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution. The proposed standards primarily affect firms that 
construct, operate, maintain, or repair electric power generation, 
transmission, or distribution systems. These firms include electric 
utilities as well as contractors who are hired by utilities and who are 
primarily classified in the construction industry. In addition, 
potentially affected firms are found in a variety of manufacturing and 
other industries which own or operate their own electric power 
generation, transmission, or distribution systems as a secondary part 
of their business operations. The proposal also potentially affects 
establishments performing line-clearance tree-trimming operations.
Benefits, Net Benefits, and Cost Effectiveness
    The proposed revisions to the OSHA standards addressing electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution work, as comprised by 
the proposed rulemaking, are expected to result in an increased degree 
of safety for the affected employees. These changes are expected to 
reduce the numbers of accidents, fatalities, and injuries associated 
with the relevant tasks, as well as reducing the severity of certain 
injuries, such as burns or injuries that could be sustained as a result 
of an arrested fall, that may still occur while performing some of the 
affected procedures.
    An estimated 74 fatalities and 444 injuries occur annually among 
employees involved in electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution work addressed by the provisions of this rulemaking. Based 
on a review and analysis of the incident reports associated with the 
reported injuries and fatalities, full compliance with the proposed 
standards would prevent 79.0 percent of the relevant injuries and 
fatalities, compared with 52.9 percent prevented with full compliance 
with the existing standards. Thus, the increase in safety that would be 
provided by the proposed standards is represented by the prevention of 
an additional 19 fatalities and 116 injuries annually. Applying an 
average monetary value of $50,000 per prevented injury, and a value of 
$6.8 million per prevented fatality, results in an estimated monetized 
benefit of about $135 million annually.
    The net monetized benefits of the proposed standard are estimated 
to be about $101.1 million annually ($135 million in benefits and $33.9 
million in costs). Note that these net benefits exclude any 
unquantified benefits associated with revising the standards to provide 
updated, clear, and consistent regulatory requirements to the public.
    Additional benefits associated with this rulemaking involve 
providing updated, clear, and consistent safety standards regarding 
electric power generation, transmission, and distribution work to the 
relevant employers, employees, and interested members of the public. 
OSHA believes that the updated standards enhance worker safety and are 
easier to understand and to apply. They will benefit employers and 
employees by facilitating compliance while improving safety. The 
benefits associated with providing updated, clear, and consistent 
safety standards have not been monetized or quantified.
    Table V-1 summarizes the costs, benefits, net benefits, and cost 
effectiveness of the proposed standard.

                                 Table V-1.--Net Benefits and Cost Effectiveness
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annualized Costs:
    Determination of Appropriate Protective Clothing.......  $11.0 million.
    Provision of Appropriate Protective Clothing...........  $8.4 million.
    Host/Contractor Communications.........................  $7.8 million.
    Expanded Job Briefings.................................  $5.1 million.
    Additional Training....................................  $1.2 million.
    Other Costs............................................  $0.4 million.
        Total Annual Costs.................................  $33.9 million.
Annual Benefits:
    Number of Injuries Prevented...........................  116.
    Number of Fatalities Prevented.........................  19.
    Monetized Benefits (Assuming $50,000 per Injury and      135 million.
     $6.8 million per Fatality Prevented).
    OSHA standards that are updated and consistent.........  Unquantified.
        Total Annual Benefits..............................  116 injuries and 19 fatalities prevented.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Net Benefits (Benefits Minus Costs): $101 million annually.

Cost Effectiveness

    Compliance with the proposed standards would result in the 
prevention of 1 fatality and 6 injuries per $1.8 million in costs, or, 
alternatively, $4.00 of benefits per dollar of cost.
Compliance Costs
    The estimated costs of compliance for this rulemaking represent the 
additional costs necessary for employers to achieve full compliance. 
They do not include costs associated with current compliance with the 
new requirements imposed by the rulemaking; nor do they include costs 
associated with achieving full compliance with existing applicable 
requirements. The total annualized cost of compliance with the proposed 
rulemaking is estimated to be about $33.9 million.
    The largest component of the compliance costs, at $11.0 million 
annually, is comprised of the costs necessary to comply with the 
requirement for the employer to make a determination regarding the type 
and extent of flame-resistant apparel necessary to protect employees in 
the event that employees may be exposed to an electric arc.
    Other provisions of the proposed standards involving compliance 
costs include requirements for more protective clothing ($8.4 million), 
requirements for various communications between host employers and 
contractors ($7.8 million), expanded requirements for conducting job 
briefings ($5.1 million), and revised training requirements ($1.2 
million).
Economic Impacts
    To assess the nature and magnitude of the economic impacts 
associated with compliance with the proposed rulemaking, OSHA developed 
quantitative estimates of the potential economic impact of the requirements on 
entities in each of the affected industry sectors. The estimated costs 
of compliance were compared with industry revenues and profits to 
provide an assessment of potential economic impacts.
    The costs of compliance with the proposed rulemaking are not large 
in relation to the corresponding annual financial flows associated with 
the regulated activities. The estimated costs of compliance represent 
about 0.01 percent of revenues and 0.14 percent of profits on average 
across all entities; compliance costs do not represent more than 0.24 
percent of revenues or more than 4.03 percent of profits in any 
affected industry.
    The economic impact of the proposed rulemaking is most likely to 
consist of a small increase in prices for electricity, of about 0.01 
percent on average. It is unlikely that a price increase on the 
magnitude of 0.01 percent will significantly alter the services 
demanded by the public or any other affected customers or 
intermediaries. If the compliance costs of the proposed rulemaking can 
be substantially recouped with such a minimal increase in prices, there 
may be little effect on profits.
    In general, for most establishments, it would be very unlikely that 
none of the compliance costs could be passed along in the form of 
increased prices. In the event that unusual circumstances may inhibit 
even a price increase of 0.01 percent to be realized, profits in any of 
the affected industries would be reduced by a maximum of about 4 
percent.
    OSHA concludes that compliance with the requirements of the 
proposed rulemaking is economically feasible in every affected industry 
sector.
    In addition, based on an analysis of the costs and economic impacts 
associated with this rulemaking, OSHA preliminarily concludes that the 
effects of the proposed standards on international trade, employment, 
wages, and economic growth for the United States would be negligible.
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended in 1996 by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, requires the preparation 
of an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for certain proposed 
rules promulgated by agencies (5 U.S.C. 601-612). Under the provisions 
of the law, each such analysis shall contain: (1) A description of the 
impact of the proposed rule on small entities; (2) a description of the 
reasons why action by the agency is being considered; (3) a succinct 
statement of the objectives of, and legal basis for, the proposed rule; 
(4) a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of 
small entities to which the proposed rule will apply; (5) a description 
of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance 
requirements of the proposed rule; (6) an identification, to the extent 
practicable, of all relevant Federal rules which may duplicate, overlap 
or conflict with the proposed rule; and (7) a description and 
discussion of any significant alternatives to the proposed rule which 
accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and which 
minimize any significant economic impact of the proposed rule on small 
entities.
    OSHA has analyzed the potential impact of the proposed rule on 
small entities. As a result of this analysis, OSHA preliminarily 
concludes that the compliance costs are equivalent to over 5 percent of 
profits for some groups of affected small entities (as identified later 
in this analysis). Therefore, OSHA has prepared an Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis in conjunction with this rulemaking to describe 
the potential effects on small entities and to enable the Agency and 
the public to fully consider alternatives to the proposal.

B. Need for Rule

    Employees performing work involving electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution are exposed to a variety of significant 
hazards, such as fall, electric shock, and burn hazards, that can and 
do cause serious injury and death. As detailed below, OSHA estimates 
that, on average, 444 serious injuries and 74 fatalities occur annually 
among these workers.
    Although some of these incidents may have been prevented with 
better compliance with existing safety standards, research and analyses 
conducted by OSHA have found that many preventable injuries and 
fatalities would continue to occur even if full compliance with the 
existing standards were achieved. Relative to full compliance with the 
existing standards, an estimated additional 116 injuries and 19 
fatalities would be prevented through full compliance with the proposed 
standards.
    Additional benefits associated with this rulemaking involve 
providing updated, clear, and consistent safety standards regarding 
electric power generation, transmission, and distribution work. The 
existing OSHA standards for the construction of electric power 
transmission and distribution systems are over 30 years old and 
inconsistent with the more recently promulgated OSHA standards 
addressing repair and maintenance work.
    OSHA has different standards covering construction work on electric 
power transmission and distribution systems and general industry work 
on the same systems. In most instances, the work practices used by 
employees to perform construction or general industry work on these 
systems are the same. The application of OSHA's construction or general 
industry standards to a particular job depends upon whether the 
employer is altering the system (construction work) or maintaining the 
system (general industry work). For example, employers changing a 
cutout (disconnect switch) on a transmission and distribution system 
would be performing construction work if they were upgrading the 
cutout, but general industry work if they were simply replacing the 
cutout with the same model.
    Since the work practices used by the employees would most likely be 
identical, the applicable OSHA standards should be identical. OSHA's 
existing requirements are not, however. Conceivably, for work involving 
two or more cutouts, different and conflicting OSHA standards might 
apply. The inconsistencies between the two standards create 
difficulties for employers attempting to develop appropriate work 
practices for their employees. For this reason, employers and employees 
have told OSHA that it should make the two standards identical. This 
proposal does so.
    OSHA has preliminarily determined that the proposal is needed to 
reduce the number of fatalities and injuries occurring among workers 
involved in electric power generation, transmission, and distribution 
and to make the relevant standards clear and consistent. Before 
reaching this preliminary conclusion, many alternatives were 
considered, including regulatory alternatives and alternative 
approaches that would not involve the promulgation of revised 
standards.

C. Examination of Alternative Approaches

Alternative Regulatory Approaches
    To determine the appropriate regulatory requirements to address 
occupational risks for employees working on electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution systems, OSHA considered many different 
factors and potential alternatives. The Agency examined the incidence 
of injuries and fatalities and their direct and underlying causes to 
ascertain where existing standards needed to be strengthened. These 
standards were reviewed, current practices in the industry were assessed, 
information and comments from experts were collected, and the available data 
and research were scrutinized.
    OSHA faces several constraints in determining which regulatory 
requirements should apply. As required under Section 3(8) of the OSH 
Act, the requirements of an OSHA standard must be ``reasonably 
necessary or appropriate to provide safe or healthful employment and 
places of employment.'' Also, as required under Section 6(b)(8) of the 
OSH Act, the requirements of an OSHA standard may only differ 
substantially from existing national consensus standards to the extent 
that the OSHA standard will better effectuate the purposes of the OSH 
Act than the corresponding national consensus standards. OSHA standards 
must also be technologically and economically feasible, as noted 
earlier, and be cost-effective.
    A full discussion of the basis for the particular regulatory 
requirements chosen is provided in Section IV, Summary and Explanation 
of Proposed Rule, earlier in this preamble. The regulatory alternatives 
considered by OSHA are discussed in the Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis later in this section of the preamble.
Alternative Nonregulatory Approaches
    Introduction. The stated purpose of the OSH Act is to ``assure so 
far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and 
healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.'' 
This congressional mandate provides the basis for OSHA's proposed 
rulemaking on electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution, which is designed to mitigate the occupational hazards 
associated with work on electric power systems.
    Before issuing a standard, OSHA must assess whether there are 
other, nonregulatory approaches available that may provide an equal or 
higher level of benefits. Executive Order 12866 directs regulatory 
agencies to assess whether an unregulated private market can achieve 
the same level of social benefits as that expected to result from 
Federal regulation:

Section 1. Statement of Regulatory Philosophy and Principles.

    (a) The Regulatory Philosophy. Federal Agencies should 
promulgate only such regulations as are required by law, are 
necessary to interpret the law, or made necessary by compelling 
public need, such as material failures of private markets to protect 
or improve the health and safety of the public, the environment, or 
the well-being of the American people. In deciding whether and how 
to regulate, agencies should assess all costs and benefits of 
available regulatory alternatives, including the alternative of not 
regulating.

    The discussion below considers several nonregulatory alternatives 
to OSHA's proposed rulemaking: Private market incentives, information 
dissemination programs, tort liability options, and workers' 
compensation programs.
    Private Market Incentives. Economic theory suggests that the need 
for government regulations would be greatly reduced if private markets 
worked efficiently and effectively to provide health and safety 
protections for employees. At issue is whether the private market will 
be able to produce a level of safety and health for employees that will 
be equal to or greater than that potentially afforded by the proposed 
OSHA standards. In particular, OSHA examined whether the level of risk 
of experiencing an injury caused by workplace hazards that would be 
provided by an unregulated market would be at least as protective of 
employee safety as the proposed electric power rulemaking.
    Theoretically, unregulated markets are capable of achieving an 
efficient allocation of resources if certain assumptions are satisfied. 
Necessary assumptions include elements such as perfect and free 
information, perfect and costless mobility of labor and other factors 
of production, and an absence of any externalities.
    A major conclusion of the ``perfect competition model'' of economic 
theory is that, in the presence of full information about market 
choices and outcomes and with complete mobility of the factors of 
production, the private market would produce an efficient allocation of 
resources.
    In the presence of perfect and complete information regarding 
occupational risks, labor markets would reflect the presence of 
different degrees of risk across different industries, firms, and 
occupations. In such a market, wage premiums would be paid to 
compensate workers engaged in hazardous occupations for the added risk 
they confront on the job.
    In this theoretical framework, wages would vary directly with the 
riskiness of a job (other things being equal), and employers would have 
an incentive to make investments to reduce occupational health and 
safety risks to the extent workers would demand compensation for being 
exposed to such risks. In other words, because employers would have to 
pay their workers a premium to induce them to work in a risky 
environment, employers would be willing to pay to make that environment 
less risky by introducing technologies and practices that lower risks 
to workers.
    In addition, a perfectly competitive market will theoretically lead 
to the efficient allocation of resources only if all of the costs and 
benefits (pecuniary and nonpecuniary) associated with the behavior of 
market participants and with market transactions are fully borne by 
those directly involved. In economic terms, this implies that there 
will not be any negative externalities associated with economic 
activities.
    If all of the costs associated with occupational safety and health 
risks would in fact be internalized, then market decisions about 
occupational safety and health conditions made by employers and workers 
would be based on a consideration of the full social costs of their 
economic actions. However, if some of the effects of these actions are 
externalized (that is, some costs are not borne by employers and 
employees but by other parties who are external to the transaction), 
then those costs will not be adequately incorporated into the decisions 
of managers and workers. The resultant market allocation of resources 
can then be expected to be less efficient.
    Costs and other impacts that are imposed on society and are not 
borne directly by the economic participants involved in an activity or 
transaction are referred to as externalities. The existence of such 
externalities is one reason why an unregulated private market often 
fails to produce an efficient allocation of resources. The presence of 
these externalities also implies that economic efficiency can 
potentially be improved with regulatory interventions.
    In a theoretically perfect market without externalities, firms 
would decide how much to spend on reducing safety and health risks 
based on the full costs associated with the presence of such risks. The 
costs include pain and suffering, impacts on the quality of the lives 
of families, and effects on society as a whole. Workers would decide 
whether they were willing to work in a particular job based on the 
relative riskiness of the job and the extent to which they believe the 
wages offered to them provide adequate compensation for these risks.
    Research conducted by OSHA and information from several other 
sources show that many firms have responded to the risks posed to 
workers by electric power systems. Employers have increasingly 
recognized the costs associated with these risks and have implemented 
measures to reduce the occupational risks faced by their employees.
    In fact, many risk control programs already implemented by 
employers go beyond the provisions required by the existing OSHA 
standards or by the proposed OSHA standards. The fact that employers 
are implementing these programs demonstrates that economic incentives 
do exist at least to some degree to motivate employers in the direction 
of reducing the risks associated with occupational exposures to the 
hazards of electric power work.
    However, OSHA notes that many other employers continue to fall 
short of their obligations to provide even minimum safety protections 
for their employees. Such circumstances persist despite ongoing 
attempts by OSHA and other groups to provide information and assistance 
to employers to increase awareness and reduce the risks involved with 
work involving electric power systems.
    The benefits section of this preliminary analysis shows that 
preventable injuries and fatalities continue to occur every year. The 
evidence indicates that market forces cannot alone curb occupational 
risks adequately.
    Among employees engaged in work involving electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution systems, there does not 
appear to be any risk premium reflected in wage rates that would 
differentiate between employers based on the extent of risks faced by 
employees. In fact, as presented in Section IV, Summary and Explanation 
of Proposed Rule, earlier in this preamble, there is some evidence that 
in these industries, wages for workers in similar jobs performing 
similar types of work are negatively correlated with the degree of risk 
involved: Employees of utilities tend to earn more than their 
counterparts working for contractors, and yet the fatality and injury 
rate is higher among employees of the contractors.
    There are a variety of reasons why workers may not be paid the risk 
premiums that would theoretically be necessary to ensure that markets 
provide efficient levels of expenditures on safety and health. Workers 
have imperfect knowledge about the nature and magnitude of occupational 
risk factors. Many workers are not likely to be fully aware of the 
extent and nature of occupational risks associated with various 
different jobs and different employers at different points in time.
    Even if workers have adequate information regarding the risks of 
occupational injuries, they may be unable to adequately incorporate 
this information into their decisions about choosing a job or staying 
on the job. Other factors and circumstances may affect employment 
choices, and decisions cannot be changed easily. There are also 
significant costs associated with job searches and changing jobs.
    Assessing occupational risks for the purpose of determining the 
acceptability of wages offered is made even more difficult when 
differences in risk between two firms are significant but cannot be 
readily observed or predicted over the pertinent time periods. If 
differences in occupational risk between various establishments are not 
fully incorporated into the employment decisions of workers, the wage 
premiums paid for risky jobs will not accurately reflect the relative 
occupational risks associated with specific jobs in different firms. 
Thus, firms will have little incentive to individually reduce risk 
beyond levels present in other firms.
    In addition, many employers may simply be unaware of the direct and 
indirect costs associated with occupational risks. Some employers may 
regard these costs as beyond their control or as part of general 
overhead costs. Employers may also not be fully aware of the 
availability of cost-effective ways of ameliorating or eliminating 
these risks and reducing the corresponding costs.
    A significant problem that prevents risk premiums in an unregulated 
market from achieving the theoretical results that may potentially 
reduce occupational risks involves imperfections in the operation of 
labor markets. Changing jobs can be costly, and in some circumstances 
the costs may preclude a decision to change jobs solely on the basis of 
the occupational health risks involved. Factors that may make job 
changes particularly costly include nontransferability of occupational 
skills or seniority within a company, the difficulty of acquiring 
sufficient human capital to seek alternative employment opportunities, 
the costs and uncertainty associated with relocating to take advantage 
of better employment opportunities, the existence of institutional 
factors such as the nontransferability of pension plans and seniority 
rights, and the risk of prolonged periods of unemployment.
    Often, differences in occupational risk between two firms must be 
very marked before a worker will change jobs on that basis. Therefore, 
wage rates determined by a market in which the protection of 
occupational safety and health is unregulated are unlikely to fully 
compensate workers for occupational health and safety risks, including 
those related to the risks of concern here.
    Information Dissemination Programs. OSHA and other organizations 
currently produce and disseminate a considerable amount of information 
regarding the risks associated with work involving electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution and the methods that can be 
used to reduce these risks. The dissemination of such information would 
continue in conjunction with the promulgation of the proposed 
standards; alternatively, in lieu of issuing mandatory standards, OSHA 
could rely on current or expanded information dissemination programs to 
generate the incentives necessary to produce further reductions in 
injuries and fatalities. Better informed workers can more accurately 
assess the occupational risks associated with different jobs, thereby 
facilitating those market interactions that result in wage premiums for 
relatively risky occupations.
    There are several reasons, however, why reliance on information 
dissemination programs will not yield the level of social benefits 
achievable through compliance with the proposed electric power rules. 
First, there are no reliable incentives or mechanisms that would ensure 
that appropriate and sufficiently detailed information could be 
produced, or that such information would actually be distributed among 
and relied upon by workers. Furthermore, hazards associated with work 
on electric power systems are highly specific to individual tasks and 
work environments. The development of accurate knowledge about these 
occupational risks would require each employer to make available 
specific information about the risks present in his or her projects 
expected to be undertaken in the future. The lack of adequate 
incentives or mechanisms and the potentially large costs associated 
with the collection and reporting of the necessary information makes 
effective information dissemination difficult to implement in practice.
    In addition, even if workers are better informed about workplace 
risks and hazards, other factors, such as barriers to labor mobility, 
that contribute to market failure would still remain. Finally, as 
argued above, workers may not be able to evaluate information about long-term
risks accurately when making employment decisions. Better information, therefore, 
will not ensure that the market will produce wage risk premiums in a manner 
that is consistent with an efficient allocation of resources.
    Currently, in addition to the applicable OSHA standards, there are 
consensus standards, voluntary guidelines, and other information 
sources for preventing injuries and fatalities while working on 
electric power generation, transmission, and distribution systems. 
Although many employers have adopted many of the practices and 
procedures recommended by these sources, many other employers have been 
less successful in the widespread implementation of all of the 
recommendations of these voluntary guidelines. The Costs of Compliance 
section of this preliminary analysis provides further information 
regarding current compliance with specific elements in sectors covered 
by the proposal.
    Thus, the experience and observations regarding electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution work show that, while 
improved access to information about occupational risks can provide for 
more rational decision-making in the private market, voluntary 
information programs will not produce an adequately low level of 
occupational risk.
    Tort Liability Options. Employees currently are generally 
restricted from using tort law to force employers to pay for costs and 
damages associated with fatalities and injuries that occur on the job. 
Greater worker use of tort law in seeking redress from injuries 
associated with occupational risks involving work on electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution is another example of a 
possible nonregulatory alternative to the proposed rule. If employees 
were able to effectively sue their employers for damages caused by 
work-related hazards, and if other conditions regarding the cost and 
availability of information, knowledge and mobility of workers, and 
externalities are satisfied, then the need for an OSHA standard would 
potentially be reduced or eliminated.
    A tort may be described, in part, as a civil wrong (other than 
breach of contract) for which the courts provide a remedy in the form 
of an action for damages. The application of the tort system to 
occupationally related injuries and illnesses would mean that a worker 
whose disability resulted from exposure to a work place risk would sue 
the employer to recover damages. The tort system could thus shift the 
liability for the direct costs of occupational injury from the worker 
to the employer, at least under certain specific circumstances.
    With limited exceptions, however, the tort system has not been a 
viable alternative to regulation in dealings between employees and 
employers, for a number of reasons. All States have legislation making 
workers' compensation either the exclusive or principal legal remedy 
available to employees. Generally, tort law can be applied only to 
third-party producers or suppliers of hazardous products or equipment, 
for example, asbestos products. It is often difficult, however, to 
demonstrate that workplace injuries have been caused by defective or 
negligently designed products or equipment.
    Moreover, legal proceedings generally fail to fully internalize 
costs because of the substantial legal fees and uncertainties 
associated with bringing court actions. In deciding whether or not to 
sue, the victim must be sure that the potential award will exceed both 
the expense and hardship of bringing the lawsuit. Legal expenses 
commonly include a contingency fee for the plaintiff's lawyer, plus 
court fees and the costs of accumulating evidence and witnesses. The 
accused firm must also pay for its defense.
    In sum, the use of legal action as an alternative to regulation is 
limited because of the expense, delays, and uncertainties involved, and 
because under current State laws, workers' compensation will normally 
be an exclusive remedy that will prevent a worker from filing a suit at 
all. The tort system, therefore, does not serve adequately to protect 
workers from exposure to risks in the workplace.
    Workers' Compensation Programs. The existing workers' compensation 
programs serve to partially address the market failures that result in 
insufficient reductions in occupational risks. An alternative to a 
mandatory standard would be a continued reliance on these and other 
existing programs (including possible modifications or enhancements to 
these programs) to address occupational risk. The workers' compensation 
system was implemented in part as a result of the perceived failure of 
the unregulated market to compel employers to sufficiently reduce 
occupational health and safety risks and to compensate employees for 
bearing those risks. The system seeks to shift some of the burden of 
the costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses from 
workers to employers. By so doing, workers' compensation requirements 
can ensure that more of the costs of occupational injuries and 
illnesses are incorporated into decisions of employers even if 
employees do not have full information regarding their risks or are 
unable to receive full wage compensation for such risks. Originally 
designed to force more of the social costs of occupational injuries and 
illnesses to be internalized, the workers' compensation program has in 
practice fallen short of fully achieving this goal and does not fully 
compensate workers for occupationally related injuries and illnesses.
    Compensation tends to be especially inadequate in permanent 
disability cases, in part because of time limits on benefit 
entitlements and in part because of the failure of the system to adjust 
benefits for changes in a worker's expected earnings over time. Several 
States restrict permanent, partial, and total disability benefits 
either by specifying a maximum number of weeks for which benefits can 
be paid, or by imposing a ceiling on dollar benefits. Both temporary 
and permanent disability payments are commonly limited by imposing a 
ceiling on the income per week that can be paid. In addition, under 
workers' compensation, no award is made for pain and suffering.
    The extent to which income is replaced by each type of indemnity 
payment (that is, temporary or permanent partial) differs. First, 
although rules vary by State, temporary disability income is designed 
in most states to replace two-thirds of the worker's before-tax income. 
However, most States place a maximum and a minimum on the amount of 
money paid out to the worker, regardless of his or her actual former 
income.
    The Worker Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) has studied the 
extent to which workers' compensation replaces after-tax income in 19 
states. These studies show that temporary total disability payments 
replace between 80 and 100 percent of the after-tax income of the 
majority of workers in all of the States examined [5].\67\ From 3 to 44 
percent of workers receive less than 80 percent of their after-tax 
income, and from 0 to 16 percent receive more than 100 percent of their 
previous after-tax income (as a result of the ``floor'' on payments). 
In 15 of the 19 States examined, more workers receive less than 80 
percent of their former after-tax income than receive more than 100 
percent of their former income. WCRI does not provide estimates of the 
average replacement rates for all workers in a State. However, based on
these data, it seems reasonable to assume that, on average, workers 
receive no more than 90 percent of their after-tax income while on 
temporary disability.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \67\ References appear at the end of this section of the 
preamble.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to not fully replacing after tax income, workers' 
compensation payments, which are not taxable, provide no replacement 
for tax losses to the Federal, State or local government as a result of 
an illness. This loss is properly considered part of the social losses 
associated with an illness or injury. Typically taxes, including State 
and Federal income taxes and employee and employer contribution to 
social security taxes will be approximately 30 percent of income. The 
taxes not paid when an individual is unable to work thus add an 
additional 30 percent of worker income as losses associated with 
injuries and illnesses not covered by workers' compensation.
    In summary, workers' compensation often covers less than 65 percent 
of the financial losses associated with the costs of injuries, and does 
not cover any portion of losses due to pain and suffering. Thus, even 
if the financial costs were fully internalized by employers, workers' 
compensation would be insufficient to assure adequate economic 
incentives to address work-related injuries and illnesses.
    For workers' compensation to be able to internalize costs of work-
related injuries and illnesses, it would be necessary for the costs an 
employer pays for workers' compensation to be directly related to the 
employer's risk of causing work-related injuries or illnesses.
    Most workers' compensation programs nominally include the 
employer's injury experience as a factor in determining the level of 
the employer's insurance premiums. However, the majority of firms are 
not rated individually for their safety and health record; that is, 
they are not ``experience rated.'' For example, small firms often are 
ineligible for experience rating because of the high year-to-year 
variance in their claim rates. Such firms are class rated, and rate 
reductions are granted only if the experience of the entire class 
improves. Segregation of loss experience into classes is somewhat 
arbitrary, and an individual firm may be classified with other firms 
that have substantially different accident rates. Even when firms have 
an experience rating, the premiums paid may not accurately reflect 
their true degree of risk. In addition, a firm's experience rating is 
generally based on the benefits paid to ill or injured workers, not on 
the firm's safety and health record or on the actual risks faced by 
employees. Thus, in some cases employers may have more of an incentive 
to reduce premiums by contesting claims than by initiating safety and 
health measures.
    For employers who rely on workers' compensation insurance, the 
payment of premiums represents the employer's major cost for the 
occurrence of occupational injuries and illnesses. However, the 
mechanism for determining an employer's workers' compensation premium 
frequently fails to reflect the real costs associated with a particular 
employer's record. As a result, efforts made by an employer to reduce 
the incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses are not 
necessarily reflected in reduced workers' compensation premiums. 
Similarly, firms that devote fewer resources to promoting worker safety 
and health often may not incur commensurately higher workers' 
compensation costs. Consequently, the program does not provide direct 
incentives for most employers to reduce the occupational health and 
safety risks in their workplaces.
    Finally, workers' compensation is an insurance mechanism through 
which participants spread and share the risk of injury and illness 
claims, and the costs associated with occupational injuries and 
illnesses are often spread throughout the economy through risk sharing 
stemming from participation in health insurance programs. For example, 
some direct costs may not be incurred or attributed to employers 
because many workers go to their private physician rather than the 
company's physician for work-related injuries and illnesses, even 
though there are systemic mechanisms in place to ensure that work-
related injuries are treated through the workers' compensation system. 
The social burden of adverse health effects is also shared by taxpayer-
supported programs such as welfare, social security disability and 
death benefits, and Medicare. Employers have, therefore, less incentive 
to avoid such losses than they would if they were directly liable for 
all such claims. This transfer of risk is another reason why the market 
does not fully internalize the social costs of occupationally related 
injuries and illnesses.
    The workers' compensation system does provide economic incentives 
for larger firms, especially those that self-insure for workers' 
compensation, because these firms internalize a greater portion of the 
true costs of the work-related injuries and illnesses incurred by their 
workers. Thus, larger firms can generally be expected to have done more 
to reduce the costs associated with occupational risks than smaller 
firms.
    In summary, the workers' compensation system suffers from several 
defects that seriously reduce its effectiveness in providing incentives 
for firms to create safe and healthful workplaces. First, because the 
scheduled benefits are often significantly less than the actual losses 
experienced by injured or ill workers and the social losses experienced 
by tax payers, the existence of workers' compensation programs limits 
an employer's liability to levels significantly below the actual costs 
of the injury or illness. Second, premiums for individual firms are 
often unrelated or only loosely related to that firm's risk 
environment. The firm, therefore, does not receive the proper economic 
incentives and consequently fails to invest sufficient resources in 
reducing workplace injuries and illnesses. The economic costs not borne 
by the employer are imposed on the employee directly or on society 
through social welfare programs.
    Summary. OSHA has determined that certain workers are exposed to 
occupational risks associated with work on electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution systems. The private market has not been 
effective in sufficiently reducing this level of risk due to a lack of 
complete information about safety risks in specific work environments, 
limits on worker mobility, and other factors that contribute to the 
failure of markets to provide an efficient allocation of resources. 
Options for improving the operations of markets include information 
dissemination programs, tort liability options, and workers' 
compensation programs. After considering each of these options, OSHA 
has concluded that none of them will provide the level of benefits 
achievable by the proposed electric power systems rules.

D. Profile of Affected Industries

    The proposal affects establishments in a variety of different 
industries involving electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution. The proposal primarily affects firms that construct, 
operate, maintain, or repair electric power generation, transmission, 
or distribution systems. These firms include electric utilities as well 
as contractors who are hired by utilities and who are primarily 
classified in the construction industry. In addition, potentially 
affected firms are found in a variety of manufacturing and other 
industries that own or operate their own electric power generation, 
transmission, or distribution systems as a secondary part of their 
business operations. The proposal also potentially affects establishments 
performing line-clearance tree-trimming operations.
    Table V-2 presents data on the numbers of establishments and 
numbers of employees for each affected industry. Across all industries, 
an estimated 20,765 establishments and 227,683 employees may be 
affected by the proposed standards.

                    Table V-2.--Profile of Potentially Affected Establishments and Employees
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                  Potentially
                                                                               Potentially       affected full-
             Industry code                         Industry name                 affected       time equivalent
                                                                              establishments    (FTE) employees
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910...........................  Water, sewer, and pipeline                       847                951
                                          construction.
NAICS 234920...........................  Power and communication                         2829              26179
                                          transmission line construction.
NAICS 234930...........................  Industrial nonbuilding structure                 266               1391
                                          construction.
NAICS 234990...........................  All other heavy construction.....                656               5573
NAICS 235310...........................  Electrical contractors...........               1613              16342
NAICS 235910...........................  Structural steel erection                        652                300
                                          contractors.
NAICS 235950...........................  Building equipment and other                     952                281
                                          machine installation contractors.
NAICS 235990...........................  All other special trade                         2612                734
                                          contractors.
NAICS 221110...........................  Electric power generation........               1745              43103
NAICS 221120...........................  Electric power transmission,                    6190              71441
                                          control, and distribution.
NAICS 2211.............................  Publicly owned utilities.........                923               9864
Various................................  Industrial power generators......                933              16504
SIC 0783...............................  Ornamental shrub and tree                        547              35020
                                          services.
                                                                           --------------------
    Total..............................  .................................              20765            227683
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [2], Appendix C, pages 1-2.

    As shown in Table V-2, the construction industries with the largest 
numbers of affected employees are Power and Communication Transmission 
Line Construction and Electrical Contractors, which together account 
for over 42,000 employees of the affected work force. Other potentially 
affected construction industries include Water, Sewer, and Pipeline 
Construction, Industrial Nonbuilding Structure Construction, All Other 
Heavy Construction, Structural Steel Erection Contractors, Building 
Equipment and Other Machine Installation Contractors, and All Other 
Special Trade Contractors.
    Table V-2 also shows that firms classified as utilities account for 
over 8,000 of the potentially affected establishments, and for over 
120,000 of the potentially affected employees. Utilities include 
establishments classified in the Electric Power Generation industry and 
in the Electric Power Transmission, Control, and Distribution industry.
    The U.S. Department of Commerce Census data on the numbers of 
utilities and the numbers of workers employed by utilities do not 
include utilities that are owned by public sector entities. Thus, data 
for utilities owned by the public sector are shown separately in Table 
V-2.
    Potentially affected utilities include publicly-owned utilities 
that operate in OSHA State-plan States. (State-plan States, 
representing about half of total U.S. employment, are States that 
operate their own occupational safety and health programs; these States 
are obligated, under formal agreements with OSHA, to impose OSHA-
equivalent State regulatory requirements on public employees within 
their jurisdiction.) The number of potentially affected public entities 
and the corresponding number of employees are shown separately in Table 
V-2. Over 900 establishments and over 9,000 employees are part of 
publicly-owned utilities potentially affected by the proposed 
standards.
    Table V-2 further shows the numbers of potentially affected 
establishments and employees that are part of firms in a variety of 
manufacturing and other industries who own or operate their own 
electric power generation, transmission, or distribution systems as a 
secondary part of their business operations. Over 900 establishments 
and 16,000 employees potentially affected by the proposed standards are 
accounted for by these firms. Based on their primary business activity, 
these establishments are classified as part of the following industry 
sectors: Oil and Gas Extraction; Mining; Water, Sewer, and Other 
Systems; Food Manufacturing; Wood Product Manufacturing; Paper 
Manufacturing; Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing; Chemical 
Manufacturing; Primary Metal Manufacturing; Wholesale Trade, Durable 
Goods; Educational Services; and Hospitals.
    Finally, Table V-2 presents figures for the numbers of potentially 
affected establishments and employees in the Ornamental Shrub and Tree 
Services industry. OSHA estimates that over 500 establishments and over 
35,000 employees in this industry are potentially affected by the 
provisions in the proposal involving requirements associated with 
providing fall protection while working in aerial lifts.

E. Benefits, Net Benefits, and Cost Effectiveness

    The proposed revisions to the OSHA standards addressing electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution work are expected to 
result in an increased degree of safety for the affected employees. 
These changes are expected to reduce the numbers of accidents, 
fatalities, and injuries associated with the relevant tasks, as well as 
reducing the severity of certain injuries, such as burns or injuries 
that could be sustained as a result of an arrested fall, that may still 
occur while performing some of the affected procedures.
    To develop estimates of the potential benefits associated with this 
proposal, CONSAD Corp., under contract to OSHA, researched and reviewed 
potential sources of useful data. CONSAD, in consultation with the 
Agency, determined that the most reliable data sources for this purpose 
included OSHA's Integrated Management Information System (IMIS), and 
the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries developed by the Bureau of 
Labor Statistics (BLS).
    From these sources, CONSAD identified and analyzed injuries and
fatalities that would be addressed by this proposal. This analysis was 
based on over 9 years of data contained in these databases. CONSAD 
identified relevant cases in the databases by determining the criteria 
provided in the databases that would apply to such cases, such as the 
nature of the injury, the occupation of the employee, the source of the 
injury, and the industry classification of the employer. CONSAD then 
reviewed individual accident abstracts to make a final determination 
whether to include the accident as one addressed by the proposed 
standards. A description of the methodological approach used for 
analyzing these data is included in the final report submitted to OSHA 
by CONSAD Corporation [1].
    CONSAD's analysis found that an average of 74 fatalities and 25 
injuries involving circumstances directly addressed by the existing or 
proposed standards are recorded annually in the relevant databases. 
These figures represent minimums since they are associated with 
documented cases.
    The actual number of fatalities addressed by this rulemaking may be 
somewhat higher, but OSHA does not currently have a basis for 
estimating how many pertinent fatalities may have occurred that would 
not be represented by the relevant data sources. OSHA requests 
information and comments from the public regarding this issue.
    The actual number of injuries addressed by this rulemaking is 
almost certainly much greater than the number included in the data 
sources. OSHA requires data to be included in its IMIS database only if 
an incident involves at least one fatality or three or more 
hospitalized injuries. However, some individual States have more 
stringent reporting requirements and thus include some additional 
injuries among the cases submitted to the IMIS database.
    CONSAD performed an analysis of the IMIS fatality and injury data 
by State that were relevant to this rulemaking. This analysis found 
that the ratio of injuries to fatalities in California, which requires 
all hospitalized injuries to be reported, was over six.
    Applying this ratio to the number of known fatalities addressed by 
this rulemaking results in an estimated 444 injuries occurring 
annually. It should be noted that even this figure excludes injuries 
that for various reasons may not be reported to or included in the IMIS 
database, such as single injuries that result in no hospitalizations. 
OSHA requests any information and comments from the public that may 
help improve the accuracy of this estimate.
    Thus, OSHA estimates that 74 fatalities and 444 injuries occur 
annually among employees involved in electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution work addressed by the provisions of this 
rulemaking.
    Based on a review and analysis of the incident reports associated 
with the reported injuries and fatalities, OSHA estimates that full 
compliance with the existing standards would have prevented about 53 
percent of the injuries and fatalities. In comparison, full compliance 
with the proposed standards would have prevented 79.0 percent of the 
relevant injuries and fatalities. Thus, the increase in safety that 
would be provided by the proposed standards is represented by the 
prevention of an additional 19 fatalities and 116 injuries annually.
    Applying an average monetary value of $50,000 per prevented injury 
and a value of $6.8 million per prevented fatality results in an 
estimated monetized benefit of $135 million. In estimating the value of 
preventing a fatality, OSHA has followed the approach established by 
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA's approach is 
detailed in Chapter 7 of EPA's Guidelines for Preparing Economic 
Analyses, which provides a detailed review of the methods for 
estimating mortality risk values and summarizes the values obtained in 
the literature [6]. Synthesizing the results from 26 relevant studies, 
EPA arrived at a mean value of a statistical life (VSL) of $4.8 million 
(in 1990 dollars). EPA recommends this central estimate, updated for 
inflation (the value is $6.8 million in 2003 dollars) for application 
in regulatory analyses. This VSL estimate is also within the range of 
the substantial majority of such estimates in the literature of $1 
million to $10 million per statistical life, as discussed in OMB 
Circular A-4.
    In estimating the value of preventing an injury, OSHA reviewed the 
available research literature. A critical review of 39 different 
studies estimating the value of a statistical injury is provided by Kip 
Viscusi and Joseph Aldy in their 2003 study [7]. Viscusi and Aldy found 
that most studies have estimates in the range of $20,000 to $70,000 per 
injury, and several studies have even higher values. The range of 
values is partly explained by the measure of nonfatal job risks used: 
some studies use an overall injury rate, and other studies use only 
injuries resulting in lost workdays. The injuries that would be 
prevented by this proposed electric power standard are hospitalized 
injuries, which are likely to be more severe, on average, than lost 
workday injuries. In addition, the proposed standard is expected to 
reduce the incidence of burn injuries, which tend to be more severe 
injuries, involving more pain and suffering, more expensive treatments, 
and generally longer recovery periods than lost workday injuries. Thus, 
for this rulemaking, an estimated value of a statistical injury in the 
upper part of the reported range of estimates would be supported. In 
their paper, Viscusi and Aldy reviewed the available willingness to pay 
(WTP) literature to identify their range of estimates; using WTP to 
value non-fatal injury and illness is the recommended approach, as 
discussed in OMB Circular A-4.
    The net monetized benefits of the proposed standard are estimated 
to be about $101.1 million annually ($135 million in benefits and $33.9 
million in costs). Note that these net benefits exclude any 
unquantified benefits associated with revising the standards to provide 
updated, clear, and consistent regulatory requirements to the public.
    Table V-4 provides an overview of the estimated benefits associated 
with this proposed rulemaking. OSHA requests comments from the public 
regarding these figures and any other aspects of the estimation of the 
benefits associated with this rulemaking. Table V-3 summarizes the 
costs, benefits, net benefits, and cost effectiveness of the proposed 
standard.

             Table V-3.--Net Benefits and Cost Effectiveness
------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annualized Costs
    Determination of Appropriate Protective       $11.0 million.
     Clothing.
    Provision of Appropriate Protective Clothing  $8.4 million.
    Host/Contractor Communications..............  $7.8 million.
    Expanded Job Briefings......................  $5.1 million.
    Additional Training.........................  $1.2 million.
    Other Costs.................................  $0.4 million.
        Total Annual Costs......................  $33.9 million.
Annual Benefits
    Number of Injuries Prevented................  116
    Number of Fatalities Prevented..............  19
    Monetized Benefits (Assuming $50,000 per      $135 million.
     Injury and $6.8 million per Fatality
     Prevented).
    OSHA standards that are updated and           unquantified.
     consistent.
        Total Annual Benefits...................  116 injuries and 19
                                                   fatalities prevented.

Net Benefits (Benefits Minus Costs): $101 million annually Cost
 Effectiveness
    Compliance with the proposed standards would result in the
     prevention of 1 fatality and 6 injuries per $1.8 million in costs,
     or, alternatively, $4.00 of benefits per dollar of costs..
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Additional benefits associated with this proposal involve providing 
updated, clear, and consistent safety standards regarding electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution work to the relevant 
employers, employees, and interested members of the public. The 
existing OSHA standards for the construction of electric power 
transmission and distribution systems are over 30 years old and 
inconsistent with the more recently promulgated standards addressing 
repair and maintenance work. OSHA believes that the updated standards 
are easier to understand and to apply and will benefit employers by 
facilitating compliance while improving safety.
    As explained earlier, the inconsistencies between OSHA's existing 
standards related to electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution for construction and general industry work create numerous 
difficulties for employers and employees. The benefits associated with 
providing updated, clear, and consistent safety standards are great, 
but they have not been monetized or quantified. OSHA requests comments 
regarding how these benefits can or should be estimated.
    With particular regard to the benefits associated with requirements 
for protective clothing, OSHA estimates that an average of at least 8 
electric utility burn accidents occur each year, leading to 12 nonfatal 
injuries and 2 fatalities per year. Of the reports indicating the 
extent of the burn injury, 75 percent reported third degree burns. 
Proper protective clothing is expected to reduce the number of 
fatalities and the severity of these injuries.
    Requiring the use of body harnesses instead of body belts is also 
expected to reduce fatalities and injuries among affected workers. 
There are several problems with body belts. First, they are more likely 
to result in serious injury during a fall because they place greater 
stress on the workers' body. Second, body belts virtually eliminate the 
possibility of self rescue after the fall, and increase the probability 
of serious internal injuries as the worker hangs suspended. Studies 
performed in Europe and by the U.S. Air Force indicate high risks 
associated with the body belt both in fall arrest and suspension modes. 
Third, it is harder for supervisors to determine visually if the worker 
is using appropriate fall protection when belts are used. By contrast, 
it can easily be seen from a distance whether a harness is being worn. 
Finally, there is a greater risk that a worker could slip out of a body 
belt than out of a harness. As a result of these considerations, many 
employers have already switched to requiring harnesses rather than 
belts. French and German worker safety standards prohibit the use of 
body belts, and British standards impose major restrictions on their 
use. Studies documenting the inappropriateness of and the safety risks 
associated with the use of body belts as part of a fall arrest system 
include Exhibits 2-36, 3-7, 3-9, 3-10, and 3-13 in OSHA docket S-206 
(Fall Protection), and Exhibits 9-33, 11-3, 11-4, 11-5, and 11-6 in 
OSHA docket S-700 (Powered Platforms).
    An average of about fifteen fatalities annually involve falls from 
aerial lifts; in these cases, the employees were generally not wearing 
a belt or a harness. Since most employees do, in fact, wear a belt or a 
harness (according to the CONSAD report, current compliance is over 80 
percent), there are likely to be at least 60 falls annually in which a 
belt or harness was relied upon to arrest a fall.
    Employees who rely only on a belt for fall protection have been 
determined to be at significant risk of serious injury, and the use of 
body belts as part of a fall arrest system has been determined to be 
generally inappropriate, as OSHA has already established with an 
extensive record on the subject as part of the final rule for fall 
protection in construction. For a complete discussion of this issue, 
see the Summary and Explanation section of the preamble to the final 
OSHA rule on fall protection in construction (59 FR 40672, August 9, 
1994).

                                     Table V-4.--Overview of Annual Benefits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Injuries                     Fatalities
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Addressed by the Proposed Rulemaking.........  444..........................  74
Preventable Through Full Compliance with Existing    235..........................  39
 Standards (52.9 percent).
Additional Preventable with Full Compliance with     116..........................  19
 Proposed Standards (26.1 percent).
Monetized Benefits, Assuming Value of $50,000 per    $5.8 million.................  $129.2 million
 injury, $6.8 million per fatality.
                                                    --------------------------------
    Total Monetized Benefits.......................                         $135 million
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Additional benefits associated with this rulemaking involve providing OSHA standards that are updated,
  clear, and consistent.
Sources: CONSAD [1]; OSHA, Office of Regulatory Analysis.

F. Technological Feasibility

    In accordance with the OSH Act, OSHA is required to demonstrate 
that occupational safety and health standards promulgated by the Agency 
are technologically feasible. In fulfillment of this requirement, OSHA 
has reviewed the requirements that would be imposed by the proposal, 
and has assessed their technological feasibility. As a result of this 
review, OSHA has determined that compliance with the requirements of the 
proposal is technologically feasible for all affected industries.
    The proposal would require employers to provide protective 
equipment and clothing, to provide training, and to implement work 
practices to reduce the hazards associated with work involving electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution. Compliance with all 
of the proposed requirements can be achieved with readily and widely 
available technologies. OSHA believes that there are no technological 
constraints associated with compliance with any of the proposed 
requirements, and requests comments regarding this conclusion.

G. Costs of Compliance

Introduction
    This section of the preliminary analysis presents the estimated 
costs of compliance for the proposed electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution rulemaking. The estimated costs of 
compliance represent the additional costs necessary for employers to 
achieve full compliance. They do not include costs associated with 
current compliance with the new requirements; nor do they include costs 
associated with achieving full compliance with existing applicable 
requirements.
    For purposes of this analysis, the terms ``proposal'' and 
``proposed standard'' include all elements of this proposed rulemaking, 
including proposed changes to 29 CFR 1910.269, proposed changes to 29 
CFR 1926, proposed changes involving electrical protective equipment 
requirements, and other associated revisions and additions. The 
consolidated set of proposed actions was analyzed in its entirety; only 
those parts that were identified as involving nonnegligible costs are 
explicitly reflected in the analysis of compliance costs and impacts.
    Table V-5 presents the total annualized estimated costs by 
provision and by industry sector. As shown in Table V-5, the total 
annualized cost of compliance with the proposed rulemaking is estimated 
to be about $33.9 million.
    The largest component of the compliance costs, at $11.0 million 
annually, is comprised of the costs necessary to comply with the 
requirement for the employer to make a determination regarding the type 
and extent of flame-resistant apparel necessary to protect employees in 
the event that employees may be exposed to an electric arc. For 
purposes of estimating costs of compliance with this provision, OSHA 
expects generally that utilities will conduct system-wide analyses of 
the extent of potential hazards in various parts of the system and will 
communicate the relevant information to contractors. The contractors, 
in turn, will use the information provided by the utilities to 
determine the appropriate type and extent of flame-resistant apparel 
that employees on a particular project must wear.

                                           Table V-5.--Summary of Compliance Cost by Industry and by Provision
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Existing                                 Determination
                                           Revised    1910.269 for      Host-      Expanded job        of       Provision of     Use of     Total annual
    Industry code       Industry name     training    construction    contractor     briefing     appropriate    appropriate  harnesses in   compliance
                                        requirements     (except    communication  requirements    protective     clothing    aerial lifts      costs
                                                        training)    requirements                   clothing
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910.........  Water, Sewer,         $25,850        $3,043        $84,325       $37,642        $23,055       $79,174            $0      $253,089
                        and Pipeline
                        Construction.
NAICS 234920.........  Power and             614,829        83,773      1,062,275       945,140        581,517     2,071,169             0     5,358,702
                        Communication
                        Transmission
                        Line
                        Construction.
NAICS 234930.........  Industrial              2,358             0        114,887        42,827         47,048        94,957             0       302,077
                        Nonbuilding
                        Structure
                        Construction.
NAICS 234990.........  All Other Heavy       138,029        17,834        508,846       270,538        228,773       499,701             0     1,663,721
                        Construction.
NAICS 235310.........  Electrical            334,494        52,294      1,629,823       829,851        611,134     1,517,936             0     4,975,533
                        Contractors.
NAICS 235910.........  Structural              3,856             0         29,071        16,637         16,448        25,664             0        91,676
                        Steel Erection
                        Contractors.
NAICS 235950.........  Building                5,481             0         27,230        15,584         15,407        24,039             0        87,741
                        Equipment and
                        Other Machine
                        Installation
                        Contractors.
NAICS 235990.........  All Other              16,094             0         77,081        55,111         54,532        76,318             0       279,136
                        Special Trade
                        Contractors.
NAICS 221110.........  Electric Power         11,645             0      1,021,719       662,584      2,106,375     1,224,001             0     5,026,324
                        Generation.
NAICS 221120.........  Electric Power         25,205             0      2,725,314     1,102,340      5,900,695     2,033,643             0    11,787,197
                        Transmission,
                        Control, and
                        Distribution.
NAICS 2211...........  Publicly Owned          3,559             0        280,791       145,737        676,998       273,101             0     1,380,186
                        Utilities.
Various..............  Industrial              3,986             0        232,289       235,334        778,076       444,284        67,422     1,761,391
                        Power
                        Generators.
SIC 0783.............  Ornamental             59,968             0              0       700,013              0             0       216,578       976,559
                        Shrub and Tree
                        Services.
                                       ---------------
    Total............  ...............    $1,245,355      $156,944     $7,793,651    $5,059,338    $11,040,058    $8,363,987      $284,000  $33,943,333
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [2], Appendix C; OSHA estimates.

    As shown in Table V-5, other provisions of the proposed standards 
involving compliance costs include requirements for protective clothing 
($8.4 million), requirements for various communications between host 
employers and contractors ($7.8 million), expanded requirements for 
conducting job briefings ($5.1 million), and revised training 
requirements ($1.2 million).
    The remainder of this section provides and explains the details 
underlying the calculations of the compliance costs associated with the 
proposal. OSHA estimated compliance costs for each provision of the 
proposal that involves nonnegligible costs and for each affected 
industry sector. Total annualized costs were calculated by annualizing 
nonrecurring first-year costs (at 7 percent over 10 years) and then 
adding these to recurring annual costs.
    The calculations of the estimated costs associated with compliance 
are intended to be representative of the average resources necessary to 
achieve compliance with the proposed standards. Affected establishments 
may achieve compliance through other means with an equivalent amount of 
resources.
    Labor costs are based on industry-specific wage rates published by 
BLS, adjusted upwards by 37 percent to account for benefits and other 
employee-related costs and are presented in Table V-6. Supervisory wage 
rates, including benefits, are estimated to be $22.45 per hour in the 
Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services industry, and are estimated to range 
from $31.56 to $41.00 in all other affected industries. Employee wage 
rates (except those for engineers), including benefits, are estimated 
to be $16.66 per hour in the Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services 
industry, and are estimated to range from $24.00 to $34.84 in all other 
affected industries. Wage rates for engineers, including benefits, are 
estimated to be $41.00 per hour. Clerical wage rates, including 
benefits, are estimated to be $16.78 per hour in the Ornamental Shrub 
and Tree Services industry, and are estimated to range from $17.91 to 
$23.70 in all other affected industries. [1, Table 5.3]

                 Table V-6.--Summary of Wag Rates for Calculating Compliance Costs, by Industry
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Wage rates
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Salaries (including Fringe Benefits \1\) Based on Jobs
                                                                              Description
                                                     -----------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                Power
                                                                             generation-    Utility/    Utility/
       Industry code           Industry description                           power line      other      other
                                                      Supervisor  Clerical  construction/     power      power
                                                                             maintenance/     plant      plant
                                                                            repair worker  supervisor   engineer
                                                                                 \2\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SIC 0783...................  Ornamental Shrub and         $22.45    $16.78         $16.66  ..........  .........
                              Tree Services.
NAICS 2211-10..............  Electric Power                41.00     23.70          32.66      $41.00     $44.37
                              Generation.
NAICS 2211-20..............  Electric Power                41.00     23.70          32.66       41.00      44.37
                              Transmission, Control,
                              and Distribution.
NAICS 2349-10..............  Water, Sewer, and             31.56     19.11          24.00  ..........  .........
                              Pipeline Construction.
NAICS 2349-20..............  Power and Communication       31.56     19.11          24.00  ..........  .........
                              Transmission Line
                              Const.
NAICS 2349-30..............  Industrial Nonbuilding        31.56     19.11          28.28  ..........  .........
                              Structure Construction.
NAICS 2349-90..............  All Other Heavy               31.56     19.11          26.85  ..........  .........
                              Construction.
NAICS 2353-10..............  Electrical Contractors.       33.99     17.91          25.46  ..........          ;
NAICS 2359-10..............  Structural Steel              34.13     18.08          34.84  ..........  .........
                              Erection Contractors.
NAICS 2359-50..............  Building Equipment and        34.13     18.08          34.84  ..........  .........
                              Other Machine
                              Installation Contr.
NAICS 2359-90..............  All Other Special Trade       34.13     18.08          34.84  ..........  .........
                              Contractors.
                             Major Publicly Owned          41.00     23.70          32.66       41.00      44.37
                              Utilities.
                             Industrial Generators..       41.00     23.70          33.02       41.00     44.37
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Assumes an additional 37 percent of base salary for fringe benefit costs.
\2\ Depending upon the industry and the type of work performed (that is, power generation, power line, or both),
  these workers include line workers, tree-trimming crew members, power plant workers, and substation workers.
Source: CONSAD Research Corporation, ``Analytical Support and Data Gathering for a Preliminary Economic Analysis
  for Proposed Standards for Work on Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Lines and
  Equipment (29 CFR 1910.269 and 29 CFR 1926--Subpart V),'' 2005, prepared for the U.S. Department of Labor,
  Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of Regulatory Analysis under Contract No. J9-F9-0013,
  Task Order Number 31, Pittsburgh, PA.

First-Year Costs for Revising Training Programs
    The proposed revisions to the OSHA standards addressing electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution work would require 
establishments covered by 29 CFR 1910.269 to revise existing training 
programs.
    The costs associated with such a revision were estimated as 
involving 8 hours of supervisory time plus an hour of clerical time for 
all industries except Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services. Due to the 
more limited and less complex nature of the training for employees in 
the Ornamental Shrub and Tree industry, the costs associated with 
revising a training program in this industry were estimated to involve 
4 hours of supervisory time plus half an hour of clerical time. [2, 
Appendix C, pages 3-4]
    Thus, OSHA estimates that the average cost of compliance per 
affected establishment covered by 29 CFR 1910.269 for revising existing 
training programs would be $196 for establishments in the Ornamental 
Shrub and Tree Services industry, and would range from $272 to $351 in 
all other affected industries.
    Most establishments in all affected industries either already have 
training programs that meet the requirements of the proposed standards, 
or regularly revise their training programs to account for new 
information or work practices. For these establishments, no additional 
costs would be necessary to achieve compliance with the proposed 
standards.
    Rates of current compliance were estimated for each affected 
industry. Within each industry, rates of current compliance were estimated 
separately for establishments based on their size and based on whether their 
work force was unionized or not. In the Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services 
industry, estimated rates of current compliance ranged from 50 to 75 percent.
In all other affected industries, rates of current compliance were estimated 
to range from 75 to 98 percent. [2, Appendix C, pages 3-4]
    The total estimated first-year cost of compliance for revising 
training programs was thus estimated to be $516,000, as shown in Table 
V-7. Table V-7 also shows the costs of compliance for each affected 
industry. In calculating the total annual cost associated with all of 
the revised training requirements, this nonrecurring first-year cost 
was annualized at a rate of 7 percent over 10 years and was then added 
to the other annual costs.

                           Table V-7.--First-Year Costs for Revising Training Programs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Average cost                       First-year
      Industry code            Industry name      Establishments   per affected    Compliance rate    compliance
                                                   affected (%)    establishment     (%) low/high       costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910.............  Water, Sewer, and                  95            $272              75/95      $28,036
                            Pipeline
                            Construction.
NAICS 234920.............  Power and                          95             272              75/95       95,269
                            Communication
                            Transmission Line
                            Construction.
NAICS 234930.............  Industrial                        100             272              75/95        7,859
                            Nonbuilding
                            Structure
                            Construction.
NAICS 234990.............  All Other Heavy                    95             272              75/95       23,120
                            Construction.
NAICS 235310.............  Electrical                         95             290              75/95       61,211
                            Contractors.
NAICS 235910.............  Structural Steel                  100             291              75/95       24,714
                            Erection Contractors.
NAICS 235950.............  Building Equipment                100             291              75/95       36,315
                            and Other Machine
                            Installation
                            Contractors.
NAICS 235990.............  All Other Special                 100             291              75/95      106,576
                            Trade Contractors.
NAICS 221110.............  Electric Power                    100             351              95/98       21,793
                            Generation.
NAICS 221120.............  Electric Power                    100             351              95/98       77,343
                            Transmission,
                            Control, and
                            Distribution.
NAICS 2211...............  Publicly Owned                    100             351              95/98       11,790
                            Utilities.
Various..................  Industrial Power                  100             351              98/98        6,563
                            Generators.
SIC 0783.................  Ornamental Shrub and              100             196              50/75       15,885
                            Tree Services.
                                                 -----------------
    Total................  .....................  ..............  ..............  .................     516,474
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [1], Table 5.3 and CONSAD [2], Appendix C, pages 3-4.

First-Year Costs for Provision of Additional Training for Employees 
Already Covered by 29 CFR 1910.269
    The proposed revisions to the OSHA standards addressing electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution work may involve costs 
for providing additional training.
    The costs associated with the provision of additional training were 
estimated as involving resources (including labor costs or other 
expenditures) equivalent to 1.5 hours of employee time, plus 12 minutes 
of supervisory time, plus 3 minutes of clerical time per employee for 
all affected industries except Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services. For 
establishments in the Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services industry, the 
provision of additional training was estimated as involving resources 
(including labor costs or other expenditures) equivalent to 0.75 hours 
of employee time, plus 6 minutes of supervisory time, plus 3 minutes of 
clerical time per employee. [2, Appendix C, pages 5-6]
    Half of the incremental cost of this additional training is 
attributable to the need to train current employees on the changes in 
requirements that would be associated with the adoption of the proposed 
standards and that would substitute for previous training. This part of 
the cost would only need to be incurred in the first year; in 
subsequent years, the corresponding part of the training would be 
substituted for the previous training. The other half of the additional 
training in the first year represents additional training that may be 
necessary to fully comply with the revised training requirements of the 
proposal.
    OSHA estimates that the average cost of compliance for providing 
the additional training would be $40 per employee for establishments in 
the Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services industry, and would range from 
$50 to $67 per employee in all other affected industries.
    Based on research conducted by CONSAD, most establishments in all 
affected industries are estimated to already provide training that 
fully complies with the requirements of the proposed standards [2, 
Appendix C, pages 5-6]. For these establishments, no additional costs 
would be necessary to achieve compliance.
    Rates of current compliance with the proposed requirements were 
estimated for each affected industry. Within each industry, rates of 
current compliance were estimated separately for establishments based 
on their size and based on whether their work force was unionized or 
not. In the Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services industry, estimated 
rates of current compliance ranged from 50 to 75 percent. In all other 
affected industries, rates of current compliance were estimated to 
range from 75 to 98 percent [2, Appendix C, pages 5-6].
    The total estimated first-year cost of compliance for providing 
training meeting the requirements of the proposed standards was thus 
estimated to be $572,000, as shown in Table V-8. Table V-8 also shows 
the costs of compliance for each affected industry. In calculating the 
total annual cost associated with all of the revised training 
requirements, this nonrecurring first-year cost (less the corresponding 
annual cost shown in Table V-10) was annualized at a rate of 7 percent 
over 10 years and was then added to the recurring annual costs.

 Table V-8.--First-Year Costs for Providing Additional Training to Employees Already Covered by Sec.   1910.269
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Average cost     Compliance      First-year
      Industry code            Industry name         Employees     per affected    rate (%) low/    compliance
                                                   affected (%)      employee          high            costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910.............  Water, Sewer, and                  95             $50           75/95          $4,028
                            Pipeline
                            Construction.
NAICS 234920.............  Power and                          95              50           75/95         106,246
                            Communication
                            Transmission Line
                            Construction.
NAICS 234930.............  Industrial                        100              58           75/95           6,041
                            Nonbuilding
                            Structure
                            Construction.
NAICS 234990.............  All Other Heavy                    95              55           75/95          27,622
                            Construction.
NAICS 235310.............  Electrical                         95              51           75/95          78,696
                            Contractors.
NAICS 235910.............  Structural Steel                  100              67           75/95           1,854
                            Erection Contractors.
NAICS 235950.............  Building Equipment                100              67           75/95           1,736
                            and Other Machine
                            Installation
                            Contractors.
NAICS 235990.............  All Other Special                 100              67           75/95           5,071
                            Trade Contractors.
NAICS 221110.............  Electric Power                    100              60           95/98          55,278
                            Generation.
NAICS 221120.............  Electric Power                    100              60           95/98          91,945
                            Transmission,
                            Control, and
                            Distribution.
NAICS 2211...............  Publicly Owned                    100              60           95/98          12,187
                            Utilities.
Various..................  Industrial Power                  100              61           98/98          19,744
                            Generators.
SIC 0783.................  Ornamental Shrub and              100              40           50/75         162,035
                            Tree Services.
                                                 -----------------
    Total................  .....................  ..............  ..............  ..............        572,483
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [1], Table 5.3 and CONSAD [2], Appendix C, pages 5-6.

First-Year Costs for Additional Training for Employees Not Already 
Covered by 29 CFR 1910.269
    The proposed revisions to the OSHA standards addressing electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution work include revisions 
to the existing training requirements in 29 CFR 1910.269 and more 
substantial revisions to the training requirements applicable to 
construction work.
    Companies that perform construction work associated with electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution systems would also be 
able and willing to perform (and, in fact, do perform) similar work 
involving the repair and maintenance of such systems. The distinction 
between construction work and repair or maintenance work can be 
difficult to make in some situations. For example, the distinction may 
hinge on whether a particular piece of equipment is regarded as an 
upgrade or a ``replacement-in-kind.''
    Since the nature of the work is often almost identical, companies 
are not likely to restrict themselves to only repair or maintenance 
work or to only construction work with regard to potential jobs 
involving electric power generation, transmission, and distribution. 
Thus, it would be reasonable to assume that any company involved in 
such work would have their employees trained in accordance with 
accepted industry safety practices, as required by the existing OSHA 
standard addressing this type of work in general industry in 29 CFR 
1910.269.
    Small business representatives from the affected industries 
providing comments to OSHA on a draft of the proposal generally 
indicated that construction contractors follow and comply with the 
standards applicable to general industry work (29 CFR 1910.269) for all 
of their work, including construction work. But some small business 
representatives indicated that there are some companies who follow the 
standards for construction work in 29 CFR 1926, rather than the 
standards for general industry work in 29 CFR 1910.269. [3, p. 14]
    For certain aspects of a particular construction job, it may be 
possible to avoid some expenses associated with compliance with some of 
the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.269 not dealing with training. However, 
if the employees of the company ever do any work considered repair or 
maintenance, or any other work covered by 29 CFR 1910.269, then they 
must have been trained in accordance with that standard. Thus, 
compliance with the training requirements of 29 CFR 1910.269 in 
particular is likely, even if a specific job involves only construction 
work and the employer follows the relevant provisions of the 
Construction Standard, Subpart V.
    The number of firms, if any, who actually limit themselves to 
construction work as defined by OSHA, and therefore avoid providing a 
basic training regimen for employees under 29 CFR 1910.269, is 
difficult to estimate. One small entity representative estimated that 
about 10 to 30 percent of contractors involved in electric power 
transmission and distribution work may exclusively do construction; 
another representative stated that they do not know of any contractor 
firms that do exclusively construction work [3, p. 15].
    It is not clear to what extent it is understood by potentially 
affected firms that much work that is commonly regarded as construction 
or that is commonly performed by construction companies does in fact 
fall under OSHA's definition of general industry work, which includes 
repair and maintenance. Thus, it would be easy for firms or people to 
mistakenly believe that they (or others) are only involved in 
construction work when in fact some of their work falls under the scope 
of OSHA's general industry standards.
    It is very unlikely that contractors performing electric power 
generation, transmission, or distribution work meet both of the 
following criteria: (1) They know and expect that for all projects 
performed, only construction work will be done such that the training 
required by 29 CFR 1910.269 would not be required to be provided, and 
(2) they have employees perform such work without providing them with 
what many consider to be a minimum amount of basic safety training 
applicable to this type of work, as reflected in the training 
requirements of 29 CFR 1910.269. Only contractors meeting both of these 
criteria would experience additional training costs due to the formal 
extension of the training requirements in 29 CFR 1910.269 to the 
construction industry.
    Nevertheless, for purposes of estimating the potential costs of 
compliance that may be associated with this proposal, OSHA estimates 
that 5 percent of the work force in several construction industries would need 
to be provided with the training currently required by 29 CFR 1910.269 
in order to achieve full compliance with the proposed standards.
    In the development of the proposal, OSHA was not able to identify 
any employers that performed work covered by Subpart V of Part 1926, 
but no work covered by 29 CFR 1910.269. However, OSHA has calculated 
costs based on an estimate that 5 percent of the affected construction 
work force performs no work covered by 29 CFR 1910.269, primarily in 
response to the recommendations of the SBREFA Panel, as discussed in 
the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.
    Specifically, OSHA estimates that 5 percent of the relevant work 
force would be affected in the following industries: Water, Sewer, and 
Pipeline Construction; Power and Communication Transmission Line 
Construction; All Other Heavy Construction; and Electrical Contractors. 
OSHA requests comments and information from the public regarding this 
issue and the associated estimates.
    The costs associated with the additional training that may be 
necessary to achieve full compliance with the new training provisions 
for employees not already covered by 29 CFR 1910.269 were estimated as 
involving resources (including labor costs or other expenditures) 
equivalent to 24.75 hours of employee time, plus 3 minutes of clerical 
time per employee in the affected industries.
    Thus, OSHA estimates that the average cost of compliance per 
affected employee for the required training would range from $690 to 
$772 in the affected industries.
    For the establishments and employees considered to be affected by 
the expansion of the scope of applicability of this training 
requirement, current compliance was estimated to be zero. [2, Appendix 
C, pages 5-6]
    The total estimated first-year cost of compliance for providing 
additional training for employees not already covered by 29 CFR 
1910.269 (and not already provided with such training) was thus 
estimated to be $4.1 million, as shown in Table V-9. Table V-9 also 
shows the costs of compliance for each affected industry. In 
calculating the total annual cost associated with all the revised 
training requirements, this nonrecurring first-year cost (less the 
corresponding annual cost shown in Table V-11) was annualized at a rate 
of 7 percent over 10 years and was then added to the recurring annual 
costs.

    Table V-9.--First-Year Costs for Additional Training for Employees Not Already Covered by Sec.   1910.269
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Average cost     Compliance      First-year
      Industry code            Industry name         Employees     per affected    rate (%) low     compliance
                                                   affected (%)      employee          high            costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910.............  Water, Sewer, and                   5            $690               0         $78,184
                            Pipeline
                            Construction.
NAICS 234920.............  Power and                           5             690               0       2,153,238
                            Communication
                            Transmission Line
                            Construction.
NAICS 234930.............  Industrial                          0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Nonbuilding
                            Structure
                            Construction.
NAICS 234990.............  All Other Heavy                     5             772               0         479,611
                            Construction.
NAICS 235310.............  Electrical                          5             700               0       1,344,110
                            Contractors.
NAICS 235910.............  Structural Steel                    0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Erection Contractors.
NAICS 235950.............  Building Equipment                  0  ..............  ..............               0
                            and Other Machine
                            Installation
                            Contractors.
NAICS 235990.............  All Other Special                   0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Trade Contractors.
NAICS 221110.............  Electric Power                      0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Generation.
NAICS 221120.............  Electric Power                      0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Transmission,
                            Control, and
                            Distribution.
NAICS 2211...............  Publicly Owned                      0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Utilities.
Various..................  Industrial Power                    0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Generators.
SIC 0783.................  Ornamental Shrub and                0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Tree Services.
                                                 -----------------
    Total................  .....................  ..............  ..............  ..............      4,055,143
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [1], Table 5.3; CONSAD [2], Appendix C, pages 5-6; OSHA estimates.

Annual Costs for Provision of Additional Training for Employees Already 
Covered by 29 CFR 1910.269
    The proposed revisions to the OSHA standards addressing electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution work may involve 
annual costs for providing additional training due to workforce 
turnover.
    The costs associated with the provision of additional training were 
estimated as involving resources (including labor costs or other 
expenditures) equivalent to 0.75 hours of employee time, plus 6 minutes 
of supervisory time, plus 3 minutes of clerical time per employee for 
all affected industries except Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services. For 
establishments in the Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services industry, the 
provision of additional training was estimated as involving resources 
(including labor costs or other expenditures) equivalent to 0.375 hours 
of employee time, plus 3 minutes of supervisory time, plus 3 minutes of 
clerical time per employee.
    OSHA estimates that the average cost of compliance for providing 
the additional training would be $20 per affected employee for 
establishments in the Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services industry and 
would range from $25 to $34 per affected employee in all other affected 
industries.
    The number of affected employees in each establishment was 
estimated by determining the corresponding work force turnover rate. 
The work force turnover rate associated with the relevant occupational 
category was estimated for each potentially affected industry. The 
turnover rates among employees performing electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution work were estimated to range from 11 to 
16 percent in the construction industries, were estimated to be 3 
percent in generation and utility industries, and were estimated to be 
31 percent for establishments in the Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services 
industry [2, Appendix C, p. 7-8].
    Based on research conducted by CONSAD, OSHA estimates that most 
establishments in all affected industries already provide training that 
fully complies with the requirements of the proposed standards [2, Appendix C,
pages 7-8]. For these establishments, no additional costs would be necessary 
to achieve compliance.
    Rates of current compliance with the proposed requirements were 
estimated for each affected industry. Within each industry, rates of 
current compliance were estimated separately for establishments based 
on their size and based on whether their work force was unionized or 
not. In the Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services industry, estimated 
rates of current compliance ranged from 50 to 75 percent. In all other 
affected industries, rates of current compliance were estimated to 
range from 75 to 98 percent [2, Appendix C, pages 7-8].
    The total estimated annual cost of compliance for providing 
training meeting the requirements of the proposed standards was thus 
estimated to be about $58,000, as shown in Table V-10. Table V-10 also 
shows the costs of compliance for each affected industry.

  Table V-10.--Annual Costs for Providing Additional Training for Employees Already Covered by Sec.   1910.269
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Average cost     Compliance        Annual
      Industry code            Industry name         Employees     per affected    rate (%) low/    compliance
                                                   affected (%)      employee          high            costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910.............  Water, Sewer, and                  15             $25           75/95            $299
                            Pipeline
                            Construction.
NAICS 234920.............  Power and                          15              25           75/95           7,870
                            Communication
                            Transmission Line
                            Construction.
NAICS 234930.............  Industrial                         16              29           75/95             448
                            Nonbuilding
                            Structure
                            Construction.
NAICS 234990.............  All Other Heavy                    15              28           75/95           2,046
                            Construction.
NAICS 235310.............  Electrical                         10              26           75/95           4,103
                            Contractors.
NAICS 235910.............  Structural Steel                   11              34           75/95              97
                            Erection Contractors.
NAICS 235950.............  Building Equipment                 11              34           75/95              91
                            and Other Machine
                            Installation
                            Contractors.
NAICS 235990.............  All Other Special                  11              34           75/95             280
                            Trade Contractors.
NAICS 221110.............  Electric Power                      3              30           95/98             817
                            Generation.
NAICS 221120.............  Electric Power                      3              30           95/98           1,359
                            Transmission,
                            Control, and
                            Distribution.
NAICS 2211...............  Publicly Owned                      3              30           95/98             180
                            Utilities.
Various..................  Industrial Power                    3              31           98/98             292
                            Generators.
SIC 0783.................  Ornamental Shrub and               31              20           50/75          40,447
                            Tree Services.
                                                 -----------------
    Total................  .....................  ..............  ..............  ..............         58,329
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [1], Table 5.3; CONSAD [2], Appendix C, pages 7-8; OSHA estimates.

Annual Costs for Additional Training for Employees Not Already Covered 
by 29 CFR 1910.269
    As noted earlier, OSHA has included training costs based on an 
estimate that 5 percent of the affected construction work force 
performs no work covered by 29 CFR 1910.269. Specifically, OSHA 
estimates that 5 percent of the relevant work force would be affected 
in the following industries: Water, Sewer, and Pipeline Construction; 
Power and Communication Transmission Line Construction; All Other Heavy 
Construction; and Electrical Contractors.
    The annual costs associated with this additional training were 
estimated for new affected employees as involving resources (including 
labor costs or other expenditures) equivalent to 24.75 hours of 
employee time, plus 3 minutes of clerical time per employee. OSHA 
estimates that the average cost of compliance per affected employee for 
the required training would range from $690 to $772 in the affected 
industries.
    The number of affected employees in each establishment was 
estimated by determining the corresponding work force turnover rate. 
The work force turnover rate associated with the relevant occupational 
category was estimated for each potentially affected industry. The 
turnover rates among employees performing electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution work were estimated to range from 11 to 
16 percent in the affected construction industries [2, Appendix C, p. 
9-10].
    For the establishments and employees considered to be affected by 
the expansion of the scope of applicability of this training 
requirement, current compliance was estimated to be zero [2, Appendix 
C, pages 9-10].
    The total estimated annual cost of compliance for providing 
additional training for employees not already covered by 29 CFR 
1910.269 (and not already provided with such training) was thus 
estimated to be about $542,000, as shown in Table V-11. Table V-11 also 
shows the costs of compliance for each affected industry.

    Table V-11.--Annual Costs for Provision of Additional Training for Employees Not Already Covered by Sec.
                                                    1910.269
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Average cost     Compliance        Annual
      Industry code            Industry name         Employees     per affected    rate (%) low/    compliance
                                                   affected (%)      employee          high            costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910.............  Water, Sewer, and                   1            $690               0         $11,583
                            Pipeline
                            Construction.
NAICS 234920.............  Power and                           1             690               0         318,999
                            Communication
                            Transmission Line
                            Construction.
NAICS 234930.............  Industrial                          0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Nonbuilding
                            Structure
                            Construction.
NAICS 234990.............  All Other Heavy                     1             772               0          71,053
                            Construction.
NAICS 235310.............  Electrical                          1             700               0         140,144
                            Contractors.
NAICS 235910.............  Structural Steel                    0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Erection Contractors.
NAICS 235950.............  Building Equipment                  0  ..............  ..............               0
                            and Other Machine
                            Installation
                            Contractors.
NAICS 235990.............  All Other Special                   0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Trade Contractors.
NAICS 221110.............  Electric Power                      0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Generation.
NAICS 221120.............  Electric Power                      0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Transmission,
                            Control, and
                            Distribution.
NAICS 2211...............  Publicly Owned                      0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Utilities.
Various..................  Industrial Power                    0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Generators.
SIC 0783.................  Ornamental Shrub and                0  ..............  ..............               0
                            Tree Services.
                                                 -----------------
    Total................  .....................  ..............  ..............  ..............        541,779
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [1], Table 5.3; CONSAD [2], Appendix C, pages 9-10; OSHA estimates.

Costs To Comply With Existing 29 CFR 1910.269 (Other Than Training) for 
Employees Not Already Covered by 29 CFR 1910.269
    As described earlier, OSHA believes that construction contractors 
who perform work involving electric power generation, transmission, or 
distribution generally comply with the requirements of the OSHA general 
industry standard 29 CFR 1910.269. Nevertheless, for purposes of 
estimating the potential costs of compliance associated with this 
rulemaking, costs associated with complying with existing requirements 
in 29 CFR 1910.269 were estimated for some construction establishments. 
For purposes of calculating a cost estimate, OSHA estimates that the 
equivalent of 5 percent of the work force in several construction 
industries currently are not provided with any of the additional safety 
protections that were newly provided by the existing 29 CFR 1910.269 
when that standard was updated by OSHA in 1994.
    Specifically, OSHA estimates that the compliance costs associated 
with achieving full compliance with the requirements of the existing 29 
CFR 1910.269 for the construction industry would be equivalent to that 
represented by 5 percent of the relevant work force being out of 
compliance with the requirements of the existing 29 CFR 1910.269 that 
were newly introduced in general industry in 1994. The relevant work 
force would be the affected employees in the following industries: 
Water, Sewer, and Pipeline Construction; Power and Communication 
Transmission Line Construction; All Other Heavy Construction; and 
Electrical Contractors.
    The costs necessary to achieve full compliance with the relevant 
nontraining requirements of 29 CFR 1910.269 were estimated based on 
those associated with the final rule promulgated by OSHA in 1994. Many 
of these requirements have become standard industry practice and thus 
would no longer involve additional costs. Thus, the estimate of 
compliance costs would allow for more widespread noncompliance among 
other requirements, or for the incorporation of other aspects of 
achieving compliance.
    The resources necessary to achieve compliance with the relevant 
requirements were estimated to be represented by an average of $64 per 
employee. This cost is equivalent to that associated with compliance 
with the revised 29 CFR 1910.269, as supported by the public record 
corresponding to the promulgation of that standard.
    The total estimated annual costs associated with achieving 
compliance with the nontraining requirements of the existing 29 CFR 
1910.269 for the construction industry was thus estimated to be 
$157,000, as shown in Table V-12. Table V-12 also shows the costs of 
compliance for each affected industry.

             Table V-12.--Costs To Comply With Existing 1910.269 (Other Than Training) for Employees Not Already Covered by Sec.   1910.269
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                 Average cost     Compliance      Annual
              Industry code                           Industry name                Employees       Employees     per affected    rate (%) low/  compliance
                                                                                 affected (%)    affected (%)      employee          high          costs
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------
NAICS 234910............................  Water, Sewer, and Pipeline                         5             $64               0          $3,043
                                           Construction.
NAICS 234920............................  Power and Communication Transmission               5              64               0          83,773
                                           Line Construction.
NAICS 234930............................  Industrial Nonbuilding Structure                   0  ..............  ..............               0
                                           Construction.
NAICS 234990............................  All Other Heavy Construction........               5              64               0          17,834
NAICS 235310............................  Electrical Contractors..............               5              64               0          52,294
NAICS 235910............................  Structural Steel Erection                          0  ..............  ..............               0
                                           Contractors.
NAICS 235950............................  Building Equipment and Other Machine               0  ..............  ..............               0
                                           Installation Contractors.
NAICS 235990............................  All Other Special Trade Contractors.               0  ..............  ..............               0
NAICS 221110............................  Electric Power Generation...........               0  ..............  ..............               0
NAICS 221120............................  Electric Power Transmission,                       0  ..............  ..............               0
                                           Control, and Distribution.
NAICS 2211..............................  Publicly Owned Utilities............               0  ..............  ..............               0
Various.................................  Industrial Power Generators.........               0  ..............  ..............               0

SIC 0783................................  Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services..               0  ..............  ..............               0
                                                                               -----------------
    Total...............................  ....................................  ..............  ..............  ..............        156,944
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: OSHA, Office of Regulatory Analysis.

Annual Costs for Required Communications Between Host Employers and 
Contractors
    The proposed revisions to the OSHA standards addressing electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution work would require 
certain communications to take place between host employers and 
contractors. These requirements would apply for each project that is 
performed by a contractor for a host employer.
    Under the proposed standards, the host employer would be required 
to provide to the contractor information on hazards that the contract 
employer might not be able to recognize. However, the proposed 
standards would not require the host employer to survey the work area 
for hazards, and would not require the host employer to acquire 
additional unknown information.
    The proposed standards would also require the host employer to 
report to the contractor any violations of the applicable OSHA 
standards that may happen to be observed by the host employer. This 
requirement would not impose any additional costs on host employers or 
on contractors to the extent that contractors are in compliance with 
the applicable standards.
    Contractors are also required under the proposed standards to 
inform the host employer about any unique hazards posed by the work of 
the contractor, about any unexpected hazards found in the course of 
performing the contracted work, and about the measures taken by the 
contractor to correct violations reported by the host employer and the 
measures taken to prevent such violations from recurring. These 
communications are generally considered to be consistent with current 
industry practices for projects involving contracted work on electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution systems.
    An estimated 2.7 million projects are performed by contractors for 
host employers annually. Of these, about 1.3 million are performed by 
contractors classified in the Power and Communication Transmission Line 
Construction industry, and another 0.9 million are performed by 
establishments classified in the Electrical Contractors industry. [2, 
Appendix C, p. 1]
    Projects performed by the host employers themselves would not be 
affected by the proposed new requirements. Also, projects for which 
there is no host employer would not be affected by these requirements. 
Host employer is defined in the proposal as ``[a]n employer who 
operates and maintains'' an electric power system and who hires a 
contract employer to perform work on the system. Furthermore, the 
requirements do not apply to line-clearance tree trimmers. OSHA 
requests comments regarding the scope and application of these 
requirements, and regarding additional costs, if any, that would need 
to be incurred by tree trimmers if they were to be covered by this 
requirement.
    Some projects would be sufficiently small and straightforward to 
preclude the need for any required communication. An estimated 50 
percent of the projects performed by establishments with fewer than 20 
employees would be unaffected by the proposed new communication 
requirements. All projects performed by establishments with 20 or more 
employees are considered affected by these requirements. [2, Appendix 
C, p. 11-12]
    The costs associated with these provisions were estimated as 
involving resources (including labor costs or other expenditures) 
equivalent to 10 minutes of supervisory time each for the host employer 
and for the contractor on affected projects involving establishments 
with fewer than 20 employees, and resources equivalent to 15 minutes of 
supervisory time each for the host employer and for the contractor on 
affected projects involving establishments with 20 or more employees. 
[2, Appendix C, pages 11-12]
    Thus, OSHA estimates that the average cost of compliance to 
contractors associated with the requirements for communications between 
host employers and contractors would be $5 to $6 per affected project 
performed by a smaller establishment, and $8 to $9 per affected project 
performed by a larger establishment. The corresponding cost of 
compliance to utilities associated with these requirements would range 
from $7 to $10 per affected project.
    Based on research conducted by CONSAD, OSHA believes that the 
communications that would be required by the proposed standards already 
occur for most affected projects. Employers involved in an estimated 50 
percent of the affected projects performed by smaller establishments 
are already in compliance with the proposed requirements. Depending on 
the construction contractor involved, an estimated 75 to 90 percent of 
the affected projects performed by larger contractors are also already 
in compliance. For these projects, no additional costs would be 
necessary to achieve compliance with the proposed standards. [2, 
Appendix C, p. 11-12]
    The total estimated annual cost of compliance associated with the 
proposed requirements involving communications between host employers 
and contractors was thus estimated to be $7.8 million, as shown in 
Table V-13. Table V-13 also shows the costs of compliance for each 
affected industry.

                                  Table V-13.--Costs for Required Communications Between Host Employers and Contractors
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Projects        Projects        Cost per       Compliance        Annual
            Industry code                        Industry name               performed     affected (%)   project  small/ rate (%)  low/    compliance
                                                                             annually       small/large        large           high            costs
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910.........................  Water, Sewer, and Pipeline                 49,019          50/100           $5/$8           50/75         $84,325
                                        Construction.
NAICS 234920.........................  Power and Communication                 1,282,310          50/100             5/8           65/90       1,062,275
                                        Transmission Line Construction.
NAICS 234930.........................  Industrial Nonbuilding Structure           58,790          50/100             5/8           50/75         114,887
                                        Construction.
NAICS 234990.........................  All Other Heavy Construction.....         309,377          50/100             5/8           50/75         508,846
NAICS 235310.........................  Electrical Contractors...........         939,790          50/100             6/9           50/75       1,629,823
NAICS 235910.........................  Structural Steel Erection                  15,889          50/100             6/9           50/75          29,071
                                        Contractors.
NAICS 235950.........................  Building Equipment and Other               14,883          50/100             6/9           50/75          27,230
                                        Machine Installation Contractors.
NAICS 235990.........................  All Other Special Trade                    47,250          50/100             6/9           50/75          77,081
                                        Contractors.
NAICS 221110.........................  Electric Power Generation........       1,894,521           \1\ 0            7/10  ..............       1,021,719
NAICS 221120.........................  Electric Power Transmission,            3,147,692           \1\ 0            7/10  ..............       2,725,314
                                        Control, and Distribution.
NAICS 2211...........................  Publicly Owned Utilities.........         422,708           \1\ 0            7/10  ..............         280,791
Various..............................  Industrial Power Generators......         687,667           \1\ 0            7/10  ..............         232,289
SIC 0783.............................  Ornamental Shrub and Tree               2,251,278               0  ..............  ..............               0
                                        Services.
                                                                         -----------------
    Total............................  .................................  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............      7,793,651
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Note: Projects performed directly by utilities are excluded; costs to utilities reflect costs of communication on projects contracted out.
Source: CONSAD [1], Table 5.3 and CONSAD [2], appendix C, pages 11-12.

Annual Costs Associated With Expanded Requirements for Job Briefings
    The proposed revisions to the OSHA standards would expand the 
requirements for employers to conduct job briefings prior to beginning 
work on affected electric power projects. Specifically, in addition to 
existing requirements to provide a job briefing for employees, affected 
employers would be required to provide the employee in charge of the 
job with available information to perform the job safely.
    An estimated 11.1 million projects are performed by construction 
contractors, utilities, other power generators, and line-clearance tree 
trimmers annually. Of these, about 6.2 million projects are performed 
by utilities and power generators, 2.7 million projects are performed 
by contractors classified in the construction industry, and another 2.3 
million projects are performed by establishments classified in the 
Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services industry. All of these projects 
would be potentially affected by the proposed new requirements [2, 
Appendix C, p. 1 and p. 13-14].
    Compliance with the proposed standards would be expected to be 
achieved through a small addition to routine communications that 
already take place regularly between and among employers and employees 
involved in the affected projects. The costs of compliance associated 
with the revised job briefing provisions were estimated as involving 
resources (including labor costs or other expenditures) equivalent to 5 
minutes of supervisory time and 5 minutes of employee time for each 
affected project [2, Appendix C, pages 11-12].
    Thus, OSHA estimates that the average cost of compliance associated 
with the revised requirements for job briefings would be $5 to $6 per 
affected project performed by utilities, other power generators, and 
construction contractors. The estimated average cost of compliance for 
projects performed by establishments in the Ornamental Shrub and Tree 
Services industry would be about $3 per project.
    Based on research conducted by CONSAD, OSHA estimates that the job 
briefings that would be required by the proposed standards are already 
provided for most affected projects. Employers involved in an estimated 
85 percent of the affected projects performed by establishments with 
fewer than 20 employees are already in compliance with the proposed 
requirements. Employers involved in an estimated 95 percent of the 
affected projects performed by establishments with 20 or more employees 
are also already in compliance with the proposed requirements. Among 
utilities and other power generators, an estimated 95 percent to 98 
percent of the potentially affected projects involve employers already 
fully in compliance with the proposed job briefing provisions. For 
these projects, no additional costs would be necessary to achieve 
compliance with the proposed standards. [2, Appendix C, pages 13-14]
    The total estimated annual cost of compliance associated with the 
proposed requirements regarding job briefings was thus estimated to be 
$5.1 million, as shown in Table V-14. Table V-14 also shows the costs 
of compliance for each affected industry.

                                       Table V-14.--Costs Associated With Expanded Requirements for Job Briefings
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Projects                                       Compliance        Annual
            Industry code                        Industry name               performed       Projects        Cost per      rate (%) low     compliance
                                                                             annually      affected (%)       project          high            costs
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910.........................  Water, Sewer, and Pipeline                 49,019             100               5           85/95         $37,642
                                        Construction.
NAICS 234920.........................  Power and Communication                 1,282,310             100               5           85/95         945,140
                                        Transmission Line Construction.
NAICS 234930.........................  Industrial Nonbuilding Structure           58,790             100               5           85/95          42,827
                                        Construction.
NAICS 234990.........................  All Other Heavy Construction.....         309,377             100               5           85/95         270,538
NAICS 235310.........................  Electrical Constructors..........         939,790             100               5           85/95         829,851
NAICS 235910.........................  Structural Steel Erection                  15,889             100               6           85/95          16,637
                                        Constructors.
NAICS 235950.........................  Building Equipment and Other               14,883             100               6           85/95          15,584
                                        Machine Installation
                                        Constructors.
NAICS 235990.........................  All Other Special Trade                    47,250             100               6           85/95          55,111
                                        Constructors.
NAICS 221110.........................  Electric Power Generation........       1,894,521             100               6           95/98         662,584
NAICS 221120.........................  Electric Power Transmission,            3,147,692             100               6           95/98       1,102,340
                                        Control, and Distribution.
NAICS 2211...........................  Publicly Owned Utilities.........         422,708             100               6           95/98         145,737
Various..............................  Industrial Power Generators......         687,667             100               6           98/98         235,334
SIC 0783.............................  Ornamental Shrub and Tree               2,251,278             100               3           85/95         700,013
                                        Services.
                                                                         -----------------
    Total............................  .................................  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............      5,059,338
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [1], Table 5.3 and CONSAD [2], Appendix C, pages 13-14.

Annual Costs Associated With Determinations Regarding Electric Arc 
Hazards and Appropriate Employee Protection
    Under OSHA's proposed revisions, employers are required to 
determine whether employees may be exposed to hazards from flames or 
from electric arcs. For employees exposed to hazards from electric 
arcs, the employer must estimate the available heat energy to which the 
employee would be exposed. Where the covered hazards exist, the 
employer must determine the corresponding appropriate clothing or other 
protection for employees.
    As noted in the proposal, the calculations of potential heat energy 
exposures do not need to be made separately or repeated for each 
individual project performed. Estimates that cover multiple system 
areas can be developed initially, and then information from the 
resulting system-wide analysis can be used repeatedly as needed. The 
relevant information applicable for a specific project can be 
identified and communicated to contractors by referring to the results 
of the system-wide assessment or by providing the relevant system area 
parameters (such as maximum fault current and clearing times) so that 
the contractor can perform the calculations.
    An estimated 11.1 million projects are performed by construction 
contractors, utilities, other power generators, and line-clearance tree 
trimmers annually. Of these, about 6.2 million projects are performed 
by utilities and power generators, 2.7 million projects are performed 
by contractors classified in the construction industry, and another 2.3 
million projects are performed by establishments classified in the 
Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services industry. [2, Appendix C, p. 1].
    The requirements involving determinations associated with electric 
arc hazards do not apply to projects performed by establishments 
classified in the Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services industry. In 
addition, the requirements do not apply to projects involving only 
deenergized lines and equipment, even if these could involve potential 
electric arc hazards.
    An estimated 50 percent of the projects involving electric power 
transmission and distribution involve work on deenergized lines and 
equipment; all projects involving electric power generation were 
assumed to involve energized lines or equipment. Thus, the percent of 
projects potentially affected by the requirements involving 
determinations associated with electric arc hazards ranges from 50 
percent to 100 percent across affected industries depending on the 
proportion of the work in each industry that involves energized lines 
or equipment. [2, Appendix C, p. 13-14]
    Compliance with the proposed standards would be expected to be 
achieved through the completion of a single system-wide assessment for 
each of the affected electric power generation, transmission, or 
distribution systems, in conjunction with the communication of the 
relevant results of that assessment to the appropriate persons in 
charge of specific projects. Contractors would use the necessary 
information from the system-wide analysis relevant to each particular 
project to make a determination regarding the appropriate protection to 
provide employees for each project.
    The costs of compliance associated with the proposed requirements 
to make determinations associated with electric arc hazards were 
estimated as involving resources (including labor costs or other 
expenditures) for two activities. First, costs were estimated for 
conducting and updating a system-wide assessment of potential energy 
for each utility and other power generator. Second, costs were 
estimated for making a determination regarding appropriate employee 
protection, using information from a system-wide assessment, for each 
affected project.
    The cost associated with conducting a system-wide assessment would 
depend on the size and complexity of the system, which tends to 
correspond closely to the number of employees working for the company 
that operates the system. Thus, the costs were estimated on a per-
employee basis for each affected utility. The annual cost for each 
system was estimated as involving resources (including labor costs or 
other expenditures) equivalent to the cost of 2 hours of an electric 
power system engineer's time plus 6 minutes of clerical time, per 
employee of the utility. In their report, CONSAD had estimated that on 
a per-employee basis the cost of conducting a system-wide assessment would 
be equivalent to the cost of 3 hours of an engineer's time plus 9 minutes of 
clerical time [2, Appendix C, pages 13-14]. OSHA revised these estimates 
downwards by one third to reflect subsequent changes to the proposal that 
reduced the associated costs.\68\ For example, for a utility with 1,000 
employees, the estimated annual cost would be equivalent to the cost of 2,000 
hours of an engineer's time plus 6,000 minutes of clerical time. OSHA requests
comments on the use and accuracy of this approach for purposes of estimating 
these costs. In particular, the Agency requests comments on whether employers will 
incur these costs on an annual basis or on a one-time basis, with 
smaller periodic updates.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \68\ After CONSAD completed its report, OSHA added tables to the 
appendices explaining the proposed protective clothing requirements. 
Employers may use the heat exposure levels in these tables rather 
than perform an engineering assessment for portions of their systems 
that fall within the ranges covered by the tables.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thus, the estimated average cost associated with conducting a 
system-wide assessment would be about $91 per system employee. For 
example, the estimated average annual cost for a utility with 100 
employees would be $9,100, and the average annual cost for a utility 
with 1,000 employees would be $91,000.
    The cost associated with making a determination regarding the 
appropriate employee protection, using information from a system-wide 
assessment, was estimated as involving resources (including labor costs 
or other expenditures) equivalent to 3 minutes of supervisor time for 
affected contractors and for each affected project [2, Appendix C, 
pages 13-14].
    Thus, the estimated average cost associated with making a 
determination regarding the appropriate employee protection, using 
information from a system-wide assessment, was estimated to $2 per 
project.
    Based on research conducted by CONSAD, OSHA estimates that the 
determinations that would be required by the proposed standards are 
already made for most affected projects. An estimated 75 percent of the 
establishments of utilities and other generators with fewer than 20 
employees already perform system-wide assessments regarding the 
available heat energy to which employees may be exposed. An estimated 
85 percent of the establishments of utilities and other generators with 
20 or more employees already perform system-wide assessments regarding 
the available heat energy to which employees may be exposed. For these 
utilities, no additional costs would be necessary to achieve compliance 
with the proposed standard's requirement for determining heat energy 
estimates. [2, Appendix C, p. 13-14]
    Among construction contractors, determinations regarding 
appropriate employee protection are made for an estimated 25 percent of 
the projects performed by smaller establishments and for an estimated 
50 percent of the projects performed by larger contractors. For these 
projects, no additional costs would be necessary to achieve compliance 
with the proposed standards. [2, Appendix C, p. 13-14]
    The total estimated annual cost of compliance associated with the 
proposed requirements regarding the determinations associated with 
electric arc hazards and the corresponding appropriate employee 
protection was thus estimated to be $11.0 million, as shown in Table V-
15. Table V-15 also shows the costs of compliance for each affected 
industry.

             Table V-15.--Costs Associated With Determining Maximum Potential Heat Energy and Corresponding Appropriate Employee Protection
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Projects                                       Compliance        Annual
            Industry code                        Industry name               performed       Projects        Cost per      rate (%) low/    compliance
                                                                             annually      affected (%)       project          high            costs
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910.........................  Water, Sewer, and Pipeline                 49,019              50              $2           25/50          23,055
                                        Construction.
NAICS 234920.........................  Power and Communication                 1,282,310              50               2           25/50         581,517
                                        Transmission Line Construction.
NAICS 234930.........................  Industrial Nonbuilding Structure           58,790             100               2           25/50          47,048
                                        Construction.
NAICS 234990.........................  All Other Heavy Construction.....         309,377              75               2           25/50         228,773
NAICS 235310.........................  Electrical Contractors...........         939,790              60               2           25/50         611,134
NAICS 235910.........................  Structural Steel Erection                  15,889             100               2           25/50          16,448
                                        Contractors.
NAICS 235950.........................  Building Equipment and Other               14,883             100               2           25/50          15,407
                                        Machine Installation Contractors.
NAICS 235990.........................  All Other Special Trade                    47,250             100               2           25/50          54,532
                                        Contractors.
NAICS 221110.........................  Electric Power Generation........       1,894,521              75           (\1\)           75/85       2,106,375
NAICS 221120.........................  Electric Power Transmission,            3,147,692              55           (\1\)           75/85       5,900,695
                                        Control, and Distribution.
NAICS 2211...........................  Publicly Owned Utilities.........         422,708              75           (\1\)           75/85         676,998
Various..............................  Industrial Power Generators......         687,667             100           (\1\)           85/85         778,076
SIC 0783.............................  Ornamental Shrub and Tree               2,251,278               0  ..............  ..............               0
                                        Services.
                                                                         -----------------
    Total............................  .................................  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............     11,040,058
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Note: Costs for utilities include labor costs for performing system-wide assessments regarding potential arc hazards, estimated as $91 per utility
  employee annually. Costs for contractors reflect labor costs for determining appropriate clothing based on information provided by utilities.
Source: CONSAD [1], Table 5.3 and CONSAD [2], Appendix C, pages 13-14, and OSHA estimates.

Annual Costs for Providing Flame-Resistant Apparel (FRA) and Other 
Protective Clothing
    The proposed revisions to the OSHA standards addressing electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution work include revisions 
to the requirements addressing the extent of protective clothing that 
employees must wear. Under the proposed standards, affected employers 
must provide appropriate protective clothing to employees based on the 
determination of the hazards that the employees may face.\69\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \69\ OSHA has not proposed to require employers to purchase the 
FRA needed to meet the clothing-related provisions of the proposal. 
However, for costs purposes, the Agency is assuming that all costs 
of purchasing FRA will be borne by employers. See the discussion of 
the issue of whether employers should purchase this clothing in the 
discussion of proposed Sec.  1926.960(g)(4) in Section IV, Summary 
and Explanation of Proposed Rule, earlier in this preamble.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The average costs associated with providing the clothing that would 
be necessary to achieve full compliance with the proposed standards 
were estimated as involving resources equivalent to those associated 
with the following illustrative case example. An employer could 
generally be expected to achieve compliance with the proposed 
standard's clothing provisions by purchasing eight sets of flame-
resistant apparel per employee and one switching coat or flash jacket 
for every three employees.
    A single set of flame-resistant apparel is estimated to cost about 
$110, and with 8 sets provided for each employee, the useful life of 
this apparel is expected to be 4 years. A switching coat or flash 
jacket is estimated to cost about $200 and to have an expected life of 
10 years. [2, Appendix C, p. 15-16]
    The flame-resistant apparel will generally be substituted for 
clothing that the employee or the employer would already be providing. 
The savings associated with no longer needing to purchase and launder 
the clothing that would otherwise be worn by employees were not 
included in this analysis.
    The flame-resistant apparel provided to employees is generally worn 
in lieu of clothing that would otherwise be provided by and cared for 
by the employees themselves, and typically does not require special 
laundering. Thus, the proposed requirement to provide flame-resistant 
apparel would not create additional burdens associated with laundering. 
Employers would not be required under the proposal to launder clothes 
for employees. To the extent that employers choose to begin laundering 
clothes or providing laundering services for employees in conjunction 
with providing flame-resistant apparel for them, the cost would not be 
attributable to the proposed regulatory requirements, and any such 
costs would be regarded as transfers from employers to employees rather 
than additional costs to society.
    Based on research conducted by CONSAD, OSHA estimates that most 
establishments in all affected industries already provide employees 
with flame-resistant apparel and other required protective clothing 
that fully complies with the requirements of the proposed standards. 
[2, Appendix C, pages 15-16] For these establishments, no additional 
costs would be necessary to achieve compliance.
    Rates of current compliance with the proposed requirements were 
estimated for each affected industry. Within each industry, rates of 
current compliance were estimated separately for establishments based 
on their size. Among construction contractors, the estimated average 
rate of current compliance for establishments with fewer than 20 
employees was 50 percent. The average rate of current compliance among 
construction contractor establishments with 20 or more employees was 
estimated to be 75 percent. Among electric utilities and other electric 
power generators, current compliance was estimated to be 80 percent for 
establishments with fewer than 20 employees and 90 percent for 
establishments with 20 or more employees. [2, Appendix C, p. 15-16]
    The total estimated annual cost of compliance for providing flame-
resistant apparel and other protective clothing was thus estimated to 
be $8.4 million, as shown in Table V-16. Table V-16 also shows the 
costs of compliance for each affected industry.

                                         Table V-16.--Costs Associated With Providing Flame-Resistant Apparel (FRA), Switching Coats, and Flash Jackets
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                           Useful life
                                                                                          Sets of FRA               Useful life   Switching     Cost per        of
                                                                              Employees     provided     Cost per   of FRA with   coat/flash   switching    switching    Compliance     Annual
             Industry code                          Industry name              affected       per       set of FRA    8 sets/     jacket per   coat/flash   coat/flash    rate (%)    compliance
                                                                                 (%)        employee                  employee     employee      jacket       jacket      low/high      costs
                                                                                                                      (years)                                (years)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910...........................  Water, Sewer, and Pipeline                  100            8         $110            4         0.33         $200           10        50/75      $79,174
                                          Construction.
NAICS 234920...........................  Power and Communication                     100            8          110            4         0.33          200           10        50/75    2,071,169
                                          Transmission Line Construction.
NAICS 234930...........................  Industrial Nonbuilding Structure            100            8          110            4         0.33          200           10        50/75       94,957
                                          Construction.
NAICS 234990...........................  All Other Heavy Construction......          100            8          110            4         0.33          200           10        50/75      499,701
NAICS 235310...........................  Electrical Contractors............          100            8          110            4         0.33          200           10        50/75    1,517,936
NAICS 235910...........................  Structural Steel Erection                   100            8          110            4         0.33          200           10        50/75       25,664
                                          Contractors.
NAICS 235950...........................  Building Equipment and Other                100            8          110            4         0.33          200           10        50/75       24,039
                                          Machine Installation Contractors.
NAICS 235990...........................  All Other Special Trade                     100            8          110            4         0.33          200           10        50/75       76,318
                                          Contractors.
NAICS 221110...........................  Electric Power Generation.........          100            8          110            4         0.33          200           10        80/90    1,224,001
NAICS 221120...........................  Electric Power Transmission,                100            8          110            4         0.33          200           10        80/90    2,033,643
                                          Control, and Distribution.
NAICS 2211.............................  Publicly Owned Utilities..........          100            8          110            4         0.33          200           10        80/90      273,101
Various................................  Industrial Power Generators.......          100            8          110            4         0.33          200           10        90/90      444,284
SIC 0783...............................  Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services            0  ...........  ...........  ...........  ...........  ...........  ...........  ...........            0
                                                                            --------------
    Total..............................  ..................................  ...........  ...........  ...........  ...........  ...........  ...........  ...........  ...........    8,363,987
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [2], Appendix 1P. 15-16

Annual Costs for Providing Harnesses for Fall Protection in Aerial 
Lifts
    The proposal includes provisions addressing the equipment that must 
be used as part of fall arrest systems, fall restraint systems, and 
work positioning systems. Under the proposal, employees in aerial lifts 
performing work covered by 29 CFR 1910.269 would no longer be able to 
use body belts as part of fall arrest systems and would be required to 
use harnesses; belts would still be allowed to be used under certain 
circumstances, as part of work positioning systems and fall restraint 
systems.
    The average costs associated with providing harnesses in lieu of 
belts were estimated to be about $100 per affected employee [2, 
Appendix C, pages 17-18].
    The percentage of the work force that would potentially be affected 
by the proposed regulatory changes was estimated for each industry. For 
construction contractors, utilities, and other electric power 
generators, an estimated 67 percent of the employees who perform 
electric power generation, transmission, and distribution work are 
potentially affected. Among employees in the Ornamental Shrub and Tree 
Services industry who perform line-clearance tree-trimming operations, 
an estimated 50 percent of the work force would be potentially 
affected. [2, Appendix C, pages 17-18]
    Based on research conducted by CONSAD, OSHA estimates that many 
establishments in all affectd industries already provide employees with 
harnesses as required by the applicable provisions in the proposal [2, 
Appendix C, pages 17-18]. For these establishments, no additional costs 
would be necessary to achieve compliance with the proposal.
    Rates of current compliance with the proposed requirements were 
estimated for each affected industry. Among construction contractors 
and utilities, current compliance with the requirement to provide 
harnesses was estimated to be 100 percent. OSHA already requires the 
use of harnesses for fall arrest for construction work. The average 
rate of current compliance among industrial power generators was 
estimated to be 75 percent. Among employees performing line-clearance 
tree-trimming operations, current compliance was estimated to be 25 
percent for establishments with fewer than 20 employees and 50 percent 
for establishments with 20 or more employees. [2, Appendix C, p. 17-18]
    The total estimated annual cost of compliance for providing 
harnesses for fall protection in aerial lifts was thus estimated to be 
$284,000, as shown in Table V-17. Table V-17 also shows the costs of 
compliance for each affected industry.

                 Table V-17.--Costs for Providing Harnesses for Fall Protection in Aerial Lifts
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                           Incremental
                                                               Employees     cost of     Compliance     Annual
         Industry code                  Industry name           affected    harness in    rate (%)    compliance
                                                                  (%)        lieu of      low/high      costs
                                                                               belt
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910...................  Water, Sewer, and Pipeline            67         $100      100/100           $0
                                  Construction.
NAICS 234920...................  Power and Communication               67          100      100/100            0
                                  Transmission Line
                                  Construction.
NAICS 234930...................  Industrial Nonbuilding                67          100      100/100            0
                                  Structure Construction.
NAICS 234990...................  All Other Heavy                       67          100      100/100            0
                                  Construction.
NAICS 235310...................  Electrical Contractors.....           67          100      100/100            0
NAICS 235910...................  Structural Steel Erection             67          100      100/100            0
                                  Contractors.
NAICS 235950...................  Building Equipment and                67          100      100/100            0
                                  Other Machine Installation
                                  Contractors.
NAICS 235990...................  All Other Special Trade               67          100      100/100            0
                                  Contractors.
NAICS 221110...................  Electric Power Generation..           67          100      100/100            0
NAICS 221120...................  Electric Power                        67          100      100/100            0
                                  Transmission, Control, and
                                  Distribution.
NAICS 2211.....................  Publicly Owned Utilities...           67          100      100/100            0
Various........................  Industrial Power Generators           67          100        75/75       67,422
SIC 0783.......................  Ornamental Shrub and Tree             50          100        25/50      216,578
                                  Services.
                                                             --------------
    Total......................  ...........................  ...........  ...........  ...........     284,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Source: CONSAD [2], Appendix C, p. 17-18.

H. Economic Feasibility and Impacts

    This section of the preliminary analysis presents OSHA's analysis 
of the economic impacts of the proposal, and an assessment of the 
economic feasibility of compliance with the requirements imposed by the 
rulemaking.
    A separate analysis of the potential economic impacts on small 
entities (as defined in accordance with the criteria established by the 
Small Business Administration (SBA)) and on very small establishments 
(defined as those with fewer than 20 employees) is presented in the 
following section as part of the Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
    In order to assess the nature and magnitude of the economic impacts 
associated with compliance with the proposal, OSHA developed 
quantitative estimates of the potential economic impact of the 
requirements on entities in each of the affected industry sectors. The 
estimated costs of compliance presented previously in this economic 
analysis were compared with industry revenues and profits to provide an 
assessment of potential economic impacts.
    Table V-18 presents data on the revenues associated with electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution work for each affected 
industry sector, along with the corresponding industry profits and the 
estimated costs of compliance in each sector.

                                                         Table V-18.--Potential Economic Impacts
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                        Costs as a         Costs as a
         Industry code                Industry name         Compliance costs      Comparable         Comparable         percent of         percent of
                                                                              industry revenues   industry profits       revenues           profits
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910..................  Water, Sewer, and                   $253,089       $157,458,000         $8,817,648               0.16               2.87
                                 Pipeline Construction.
NAICS 234920..................  Power and Communication            5,358,702      3,118,256,000        174,622,336               0.17               3.07
                                 Transmission Line
                                 Construction.
NAICS 234930..................  Industrial Nonbuilding               302,077      1,732,944,000         84,914,256               0.02               0.36
                                 Structure Construction.
NAICS 234990..................  All Other Heavy                    1,663,721      1,033,946,000         50,663,354               0.16               3.28
                                 Construction.
NAICS 235310..................  Electrical Contractors...          4,975,533      2,055,435,000        123,326,100               0.24               4.03
NAICS 235910..................  Structural Steel Erection             91,676        119,735,000          6,226,000               0.08               1.47
                                 Contractors.
NAICS 235950..................  Building Equipment and                87,741        113,999,000          3,647,968               0.08               2.41
                                 Other Machine
                                 Installation Contractors.
NAICS 235990..................  All Other Special Trade              279,136        160,909,000          7,401,814               0.17               3.77
                                 Contractors.
NAICS 221110..................  Electric Power Generation          5,026,324     69,385,043,000      6,730,349,171               0.01               0.07
NAICS 221120..................  Electric Power                    11,787,197    176,509,052,000     17,121,378,044               0.01               0.07
                                 Transmission, Control,
                                 and Distribution.
NAICS 2211....................  Publicly Owned Utilities.          1,380,186     25,075,725,000  .................               0.01  .................
Various.......................  Industrial Power                   1,761,391      2,630,428,000  .................               0.07  .................
                                 Generators.
SIC 0783......................  Ornamental Shrub and Tree            976,559      2,100,129,000        149,109,159               0.05               0.65
                                 Services.
                                                          --------------------
    Total.....................  .........................         33,943,333    284,193,059,000     24,460,456,070               0.01              0.14
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [2], Table 6.3 and Appendix C, adjusted for revised cost estimates.

    As evident from the data presented in Table V-18, the costs of 
compliance with the proposed rulemaking are not large in relation to 
the corresponding annual financial flows associated with the regulated 
activities. The estimated costs of compliance represent about 0.01 
percent of revenues and 0.14 percent of profits on average across all 
entities; compliance costs do not represent more than 0.24 percent of 
revenues or more than 4.03 percent of profits in any affected industry.
    The economic impact of the proposal is most likely to consist of a 
small increase in prices for electricity, of about 0.01 percent on 
average. It is unlikely that a price increase on the magnitude of 0.01 
percent will significantly alter the services demanded by the public or 
any other affected customers or intermediaries. If the compliance costs 
of the proposal can be substantially recouped with such a minimal 
increase in prices, there may be little effect on profits.
    In general, for most establishments, it would be very unlikely that 
none of the compliance costs could be passed along in the form of 
increased prices. In the event that unusual circumstances may inhibit 
even a price increase of 0.01 percent to be realized, profits in any of 
the affected industries would be reduced by a maximum of about 4 
percent.
    In profit-earning entities, compliance costs can generally be 
expected to be absorbed through a combination of increases in prices or 
reduction in profits. The extent to which the impacts of cost increases 
affect prices or profits depends on the price elasticity of demand for 
the products or services produced and sold by the entity.
    Price elasticity of demand refers to the relationship between 
changes in the price charged for a product and the resulting changes in 
the demand for that product. A greater degree of elasticity of demand 
implies that an entity or industry is less able to pass increases in 
costs through to its customers in the form of a price increase and must 
absorb more of the cost increase through a reduction in profits.
    In the case of cost increases that may be incurred due to the 
requirements of the proposal, all businesses within each of the covered 
industry sectors would be subject to the same requirements. Thus, to 
the extent potential price increases correspond to costs associated 
with achieving compliance with the standards, the elasticity of demand 
for each entity will approach that faced by the industry as a whole.
    Given the small incremental increases in prices potentially 
resulting from compliance with the proposed standards and the lack of 
readily available substitutes for the products and services provided by 
the covered industry sectors, demand is expected to be sufficiently 
inelastic in each affected industry to enable entities to substantially 
offset compliance costs through minor price increases without 
experiencing any significant reduction in total revenues or in net 
profits.
    For the economy as a whole, OSHA expects the economic impact of the 
proposed rulemaking to be both an increase in the efficiency of 
production of goods and services and an improvement in the welfare of 
society.
    First, as demonstrated by the analysis of costs and benefits 
associated with compliance with the requirements of the rule, OSHA 
expects that societal welfare will increase as a result of these 
standards, as the benefits achieved clearly and strongly justify the 
relatively small costs necessary. The impacts of the proposal involve 
net benefits of over $100 million that are achieved in a relatively 
cost-effective manner.
    Second, many of the costs associated with the injuries and 
fatalities resulting from the risks addressed by the proposal have 
until now been externalized. That is, the costs incurred by society to 
supply certain products and services associated with electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution work have not been fully 
reflected in the prices of those products and services. The costs of 
production have been partly borne by workers who suffer the 
consequences associated with the activities causing the risks. To the 
extent that fewer of these costs are externalized, the price mechanism 
will enable the market to result in a more efficient allocation of 
resources. It should be noted that reductions in externalities by 
themselves do not necessarily increase efficiency or social welfare 
unless the costs of achieving the reductions are outweighed by the 
associated benefits.
    OSHA concludes that compliance with the requirements of the 
proposal is economically feasible in every affected industry sector. 
This conclusion is based on the criteria established by the OSH Act, as 
interpreted in relevant case law.
    In general, the courts have held that a standard is economically 
feasible if there is a reasonable likelihood that the estimated costs 
of compliance ``will not threaten the existence or competitive structure 
of an industry, even if it does portend disaster for some marginal firms'' 
[United Steelworkers of America v. Marshall, 647 F.2d 1189, 1272 (D.C. Cir. 1980)].
As demonstrated by this preliminary regulatory impact analysis and the 
supporting evidence, the potential impacts associated with achieving 
compliance with the proposal fall far within the bounds of economic 
feasibility in each industry sector. OSHA does not expect compliance 
with the requirements of the proposal to threaten the viability of 
entities or the existence or competitive structure of any of the 
affected industry sectors.
    In addition, based on an analysis of the costs and economic impacts 
associated with this rulemaking, OSHA preliminarily concludes that the 
effects of the proposal on international trade, employment, wages, and 
economic growth for the United States would be negligible.
Statement of Energy Effects
    As required by Executive Order 13211, and in accordance with the 
guidance for implementing Executive Order 13211 and with the 
definitions provided therein as prescribed by the Office of Management 
and Budget, OSHA has analyzed the proposed standard with regard to its 
potential to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy.
    As a result of this analysis, OSHA has determined that this action 
is not a significant energy action as defined by the relevant OMB 
guidance.

I. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended in 1996, requires the 
preparation of an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) for 
certain proposed rules (5 U.S.C. 601-612). Under the provisions of the 
law, each such analysis shall contain:
    1. A description of the impact of the proposed rule on small 
entities;
    2. A description of the reasons why action by the agency is being 
considered;
    3. A succinct statement of the objectives of, and legal basis for, 
the proposed rule;
    4. A description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number 
of small entities to which the proposed rule will apply;
    5. A description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and 
other compliance requirements of the proposed rule, including an 
estimate of the classes of small entities which will be subject to the 
requirements and the type of professional skills necessary for 
preparation of the report or record;
    6. An identification, to the extent practicable, of all relevant 
Federal rules which may duplicate, overlap or conflict with the 
proposed rule; and
    7. A description and discussion of any significant alternatives to 
the proposed rule which accomplish the stated objectives of applicable 
statutes and which minimize any significant economic impact of the 
proposed rule on small entities, including
    (a) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting 
requirements or timetables that take into account the resources 
available to small entities;
    (b) The clarification, consolidation, or simplification of 
compliance and reporting requirements under the rule for such small 
entities;
    (c) The use of performance rather than design standards; and
    (d) An exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, 
for such small entities.
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act further states that the required 
elements of the IRFA may be performed in conjunction with or as part of 
any other agenda or analysis required by any other law if such other 
analysis satisfies the relevant provisions.
    1. Impact of the proposed rule on small entities.
    OSHA has analyzed the potential impact of the proposed standards on 
small entities, as described below.
    The total annual cost of compliance with the proposal for small 
entities is estimated to be $15.2 million [2, Table 5.7]. These costs 
were calculated by provision, by industry, and by size of 
establishment, as described in the cost of compliance section of this 
economic analysis.
    To assess the potential economic impact of the proposal on small 
entities, OSHA calculated the ratios of compliance costs to profits and 
to revenues. These ratios are presented for each affected industry in 
Table V-19. OSHA expects that among small entities potentially affected 
by the proposal, the average increase in prices necessary to completely 
offset the compliance costs would be less than 0.3 percent in each 
affected industry.

                            Table V-19.--Potential Economic Impacts on Small Entities
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                         Compliance   Compliance
                                                                            Compliance   costs as a   costs as a
             Industry code                         Industry name            costs per    percent of   percent of
                                                                               firm        sales       profits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910...........................  Water, Sewer, and Pipeline               $179         0.15         4.27
                                          Construction.
NAICS 234920...........................  Power and Communication                 1,142         0.16         4.58
                                          Transmission Line Construction.
NAICS 234930...........................  Industrial Nonbuilding Structure          590         0.02         0.30
                                          Construction.
NAICS 234990...........................  All Other Heavy Construction....        1,377         0.15         2.34
NAICS 235310...........................  Electrical Contractors..........        2,085         0.24         5.31
NAICS 235910...........................  Structural Steel Erection                  89         0.07         1.45
                                          Contractors.
NAICS 235950...........................  Building Equipment and Other               51         0.08  ...........
                                          Machine Installation
                                          Contractors.
NAICS 235990...........................  All Other Special Trade                    79         0.16         3.35
                                          Contractors.
NAICS 221110...........................  Electric Power Generation.......        1,917         0.01         0.09
NAICS 221120...........................  Electric Power Transmission,            1,917         0.01         0.09
                                          Control, and Distribution.
NAICS 2211.............................  Publicly Owned Utilities........        2,444         0.00  ...........
Various................................  Industrial Power Generators.....        2,655         0.07  ...........
SIC 0783...............................  Ornamental Shrub and Tree                 545         0.04        0.62
                                          Services.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [2], Table 6.4, adjusted for revised cost estimates.

    Only to the extent that such price increases are not possible would 
there be any effect on the average profits of small entities. Even in 
the unlikely event that no costs could be passed through, the 
compliance costs could be completely absorbed through an average 
reduction in profits of less than 3 percent in most affected 
industries, and through an average reduction in profits of less than 6 
percent in all affected industries.
    In order to further ensure that potential impacts on small entities 
were fully analyzed and considered, OSHA also separately examined the 
potential impacts of the proposed standards on very small entities, 
defined as those with fewer than 20 employees.
    To assess the potential economic impact of the proposed standards 
on very small entities, OSHA calculated the ratios of compliance costs 
to profits and to revenues. These ratios are presented for each 
affected industry in Table V-20. OSHA expects that among very small 
entities potentially affected by the proposed standards, the average 
increase in prices necessary to completely offset the compliance costs 
would be 0.4 percent or less in each affected industry.

                         Table V-20.--Potential Economic Impacts on Very Small Entities
                                      [Those with fewer than 20 employees]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                         Compliance   Compliance
                                                                            Compliance   costs as a   costs as a
             Industry code                         Industry name            costs per    percent of   percent of
                                                                               firm        sales       profits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910...........................  Water, Sewer, and Pipeline               $131         0.24         4.49
                                          Construction.
NAICS 234920...........................  Power and Communication                   679         0.28         5.63
                                          Transmission Line Construction.
NAICS 234930...........................  Industrial Nonbuilding Structure           70         0.03         3.43
                                          Construction.
NAICS 234990...........................  All Other Heavy Construction....        1,236         0.26        31.67
NAICS 235310...........................  Electrical Contractors..........        1,623         0.35         4.84
NAICS 235910...........................  Structural Steel Erection                  72         0.12        11.00
                                          Contractors.
NAICS 235950...........................  Building Equipment and Other               48         0.13         7.39
                                          Machine Installation
                                          Contractors.
NAICS 235990...........................  All Other Special Trade                    74         0.20         6.25
                                          Contractors.
NAICS 221110...........................  Electric Power Generation.......          546         0.01         0.09
NAICS 221120...........................  Electric Power Transmission,              392         0.01         0.09
                                          Control, and Distribution.
NAICS 2211.............................  Publicly Owned Utilities........          160         0.00  ...........
Various................................  Industrial Power Generators.....  ...........  ...........  ...........
SIC 0783...............................  Ornamental Shrub and Tree                 664         0.11        1.41
                                          Services.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [2], Table 6.3, adjusted for revised cost estimates.

    Only to the extent that such price increases are not possible would 
there be any effect on the average profits of small entities. Even in 
the unlikely event that no costs could be passed through, the 
compliance costs could be completely absorbed through an average 
reduction in profits of 11 percent or less in all affected industries 
except NAICS 2349-90, All Other Heavy Construction.
    In the All Other Heavy Construction industry, the reported profit 
rate for very small entities is extraordinarily low, which causes the 
compliance costs to appear relatively large in relation to profits. The 
average costs of compliance for very small entities in this industry 
represent less than 0.3 percent of corresponding revenues. OSHA 
anticipates that the compliance costs will be recouped through price 
increases of less than 0.3 percent, leaving profits unaffected. OSHA 
requests comments regarding the estimated economic impacts of the 
proposed standard on this industry.
    2. A description of the reasons why action by the agency is being 
considered.
    Employees performing work involving electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution are exposed to a variety of significant 
hazards, such as electric shock, fall, and burn hazards, that can and 
do cause serious injury and death. OSHA estimates that 444 serious 
injuries and 74 fatalities occur annually among these workers.
    Although some of these incidents may have been prevented with 
better compliance with existing safety standards, research and analyses 
conducted by OSHA have found that many preventable injuries and 
fatalities would continue to occur even if full compliance with the 
existing standards were achieved. Without counting incidents that would 
potentially have been prevented with compliance with existing 
standards, an estimated additional 116 injuries and 19 fatalities would 
be prevented annually through full compliance with the proposed 
standards.
    As explained above, additional benefits associated with this 
rulemaking involve providing updated, clear, and consistent safety 
standards regarding electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution work to the relevant employers, employees, and interested 
members of the public. The existing OSHA standards for the construction 
of electric power transmission and distribution systems are over 30 
years old and inconsistent with the more recently promulgated standards 
addressing repair and maintenance work. OSHA believes that the proposed 
updated standards are easier to understand and to apply and will 
benefit employers and employees by facilitating compliance while 
improving safety.
    3. Statement of the objectives of, and legal basis for, the 
proposed rule.
    The primary objective of the proposed standards is to provide an 
increased degree of occupational safety for employees performing 
electric power generation, transmission, and distribution work. As 
stated above, an estimated 116 injuries and 19 fatalities would be 
prevented annually through compliance with the proposed standards in 
addition to those that may be prevented through compliance with 
existing standards.
    Another objective of the proposed rulemaking is to provide updated, 
clear, and consistent safety standards regarding electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution work to the relevant 
employers, employees, and interested members of the public. The 
proposed updated standards are easier to understand and to apply, and 
they will benefit employers by facilitating compliance while improving 
safety.
    The legal basis for the rule is the responsibility given the 
Department of Labor through the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) 
Act of 1970. The OSH Act authorizes and obligates the Secretary of 
Labor to promulgate mandatory occupational safety and health standards 
as necessary ``to assure so far as possible every working man and woman 
in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our 
human resources.'' 29 U.S.C. 651(b). The legal authority can also be 
cited as 29 U.S.C. 655(b); 40 U.S.C. 333.

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]]                         
 
[[pp. 34921-34970]] Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; 
Electrical Protective Equipment

    4. Description of and estimate of the number of small entities to 
which the proposed rule will apply.
    OSHA has completed a preliminary analysis of the impacts associated 
with this proposal, including an analysis of the type and number of 
small entities to which the proposed rule would apply. In order to 
determine the number of small entities potentially affected by this 
rulemaking, OSHA used the definitions of small entities developed by 
the SBA for each industry.
    For the construction industry, SBA defines small businesses using 
revenue-based criteria. Specifically, for the four heavy construction 
industries (NAICS 2349-10, 2349-20, 2349-30, and 2349-90), firms with 
annual revenues of less than $28.5 million are classified as small 
businesses. For specialty contractors (NAICS 2353-10, 2359-10, 2359-50, 
and 2359-90), firms with annual revenues of less than $12 million are 
considered to be small businesses. For SIC 0783, Ornamental Shrub and 
Tree Services, firms with annual revenues of less than $5 million are 
considered to be small businesses. For electric utilities (NAICS 2211), 
the SBA defines small businesses using power production or 
transmission-based criteria. Specifically, firms that produce or 
transmit less than 4 million megawatt hours annually are considered to 
be small businesses.
    The proposed standards would primarily impact firms performing 
construction, maintenance, and repair work on power generation, 
transmission, and distribution facilities, lines, and equipment. Based 
on the definitions of small entities developed by SBA for each 
industry, the proposal is estimated to potentially affect a total of 
12,619 small entities.
    The estimated number of potentially affected small entities in each 
industry is presented in Table V-21. As shown in this table, of the 
12,619 small entities potentially affected, an estimated 2,661 entities 
are in the Power and Communication Transmission Line Construction 
industry, an estimated 2,552 entities are in the All Other Special 
Trade Contractors industry, an estimated 1,577 entities are in the 
Electrical Contractors industry, and an estimated 1,336 entities are in 
the Electric Power Transmission, Control, and Distribution industry.

                                               Table V-21.--Profile of Potentially Affected Small Entities
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                    Potentially affected
                                                                                                              Potentially affected   establishments with
                 Industry code                                          Industry name                          small entities (SBA      fewer than 20
                                                                                                                  definitions)            employees
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAICS 234910...................................  Water, Sewer, and Pipeline Construction....................                   797                   629
NAICS 234920...................................  Power and Communication Transmission Line Construction.....                 2,661                 2,198
NAICS 234930...................................  Industrial Nonbuilding Structure Construction..............                   253                   118
NAICS 234990...................................  All Other Heavy Construction...............................                   624                   571
NAICS 235310...................................  Electrical Contractors.....................................                 1,577                 1,435
NAICS 235910...................................  Structural Steel Erection Contractors......................                   621                   504
NAICS 235950...................................  Building Equipment and Other Machine Installation                             714                   748
                                                  Contractors.
NAICS 235990...................................  All Other Special Trade Contractors........................                 2,552                 2,418
NAICS 221110...................................  Electric Power Generation..................................                   376                   902
NAICS 221120...................................  Electric Power Transmission, Control, and Distribution.....                 1,336                 3,203
NAICS 2211.....................................  Publicly Owned Utilities...................................                   262                    33
Various........................................  Industrial Power Generators................................                   594                     0
SIC 0783.......................................  Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services.........................                   252                   100
                                                                                                             -----------------------
    Total......................................  ...........................................................                12,619               12,859
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: CONSAD [1]. Table 6.2 and Appendix C, pages 1-2.

    5. Description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other 
compliance requirements of the proposed rule.
    OSHA is proposing to revise the standards addressing the work 
practices to be used, and other requirements to be followed, for the 
operation and maintenance of, and for construction work involving, 
electric power generation, transmission, and distribution 
installations. The existing rules for this type of work were issued in 
1972 for construction work and in 1994 for work covered by general 
industry standards. The construction standards, in particular, are out 
of date and are not consistent with the more recent, corresponding 
general industry rules for the operation and maintenance of electric 
power generation, transmission, and distribution systems. As described 
in detail earlier, this proposal will make the construction and general 
industry standards for this type of work the same.
    Existing Sec.  1910.269 contains requirements for the maintenance 
and operation of electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution installations. Section 29 CFR 1910.269 is primarily a 
work-practices standard. Its requirements are based on recognized safe 
industry practices as reflected in current national consensus standards 
covering this type of work, such as the National Electrical Safety Code 
(ANSI/IEEE C2). OSHA promulgated this standard in 1994.
    Section 29 CFR 1910.269 contains provisions intended to protect 
employees from the most serious hazards they face in performing this 
type of work, primarily, those causing falls, burns, and electric 
shocks. The requirements in this standard cover training and job 
briefings, working near energized parts, deenergizing lines and 
equipment and grounding them for employee protection, work on 
underground and overhead installations, work in power generating 
stations and substations, work in enclosed spaces, and other special 
conditions and equipment unique to the generation, transmission, and 
distribution of electric energy.
    OSHA is also proposing to extend its general industry standard on 
electrical protective equipment to the construction industry. The 
current construction standards for the design of electrical protective 
equipment, which apply only to electric power transmission and 
distribution work, adopt several national consensus standards by 
reference. The proposed new standard would replace the incorporation of 
these out-of-date consensus standards with a set of performance-oriented 
requirements that are consistent with the latest revisions of these consensus 
standards and with the corresponding standard for general industry. 
Additionally, OSHA is proposing new requirements for the safe use and 
care of electrical protective equipment to complement the equipment 
design provisions. The new standard, which will apply to all 
construction work, will update the existing OSHA industry-specific 
standards and will prevent accidents caused by inadequate electrical 
protective equipment.
    As discussed in detail earlier, this transfer to the construction 
standards of the existing general industry standards (electrical 
protective equipment and 29 CFR 1910.269) is not expected to impose a 
significant burden on employers. Generally, many employers doing 
construction work also do general industry work, and thus OSHA believes 
that they would already be following the updated general industry 
standards in all of their work. The proposed standards for construction 
are also consistent with the latest national consensus standards.
    OSHA is also proposing miscellaneous changes to the two 
corresponding general industry standards. These changes address: Class 
00 rubber insulating gloves; electrical protective equipment made from 
materials other than rubber; training for electric power generation, 
transmission, and distribution workers; host-contractor 
responsibilities; job briefings; fall protection; insulation and 
working position of employees working on or near live parts; protective 
clothing; minimum approach distances; deenergizing transmission and 
distribution lines and equipment; protective grounding; operating 
mechanical equipment near overhead power lines; and working in manholes 
and vaults.
    These changes to the general industry standards, because they apply 
also to construction, would ensure that employers, where appropriate, 
face consistent requirements for work performed under the construction 
and general industry standards and would further protect employees 
performing electrical work covered under the general industry 
standards. The proposal would also update references to consensus 
standards in 29 CFR 1910.137 and 29 CFR 1910.269 and would add a new 
appendix to help employers comply with the new clothing provisions.
    Section IV, Summary and Explanation of Proposed Rule, earlier in 
this preamble, provides further detail regarding the new and revised 
provisions of the proposed rulemaking in. A description of the classes 
of small entities which would be subject to the new and revised 
requirements, and the type of professional skills necessary for 
compliance with the requirements, is presented in the preceding 
sections of this economic analysis.
    6. Federal rules which may duplicate, overlap or conflict with the 
proposed rule.
    OSHA has not identified any Federal rules which may duplicate, 
overlap, or conflict with the proposal, and requests comments from the 
public regarding this issue.
    OSHA does not believe that the proposed provisions on host-
contractor responsibilities duplicate or overlap OSHA's multi-employer 
citation policy (CPL 02-00-124). Section IV, Summary and Explanation of 
Proposed Rule, earlier in this preamble, provides clarification of the 
intent and application of the host-contractor requirements and their 
relationship to OSHA's multi-employer citation policy.
    It is not OSHA's intent that the provisions on host-contractor 
responsibilities would affect in any way the employer-employee 
relationship under the Fair Labor Standards Act or under the Internal 
Revenue Service regulations. The OSHA requirements are not intended to 
establish an employer-employee relationship with contractors or 
employees of contractors, as defined by the relevant statutes and 
regulations.
    7. Alternatives to the proposed rule which accomplish the stated 
objectives of applicable statutes and which minimize any significant 
economic impact of the proposed rule on small entities.
    OSHA evaluated many alternatives to the proposed standards to 
ensure that the proposed requirements would accomplish the stated 
objectives of applicable statutes and would minimize any significant 
economic impact of the proposal on small entities.
    In developing the proposal, and especially in establishing 
compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that affect small 
entities, the resources available to small entities were taken into 
account. Compliance and reporting requirements under the proposal 
applicable to small entities were clarified, consolidated, and 
simplified to the extent practicable. Wherever possible, OSHA has 
proposed the use of performance rather than design standards. An 
exemption from coverage of the rule for small entities was not 
considered to be a viable option because the safety and health of the 
affected employees would be unduly jeopardized.
    Many other specific alternatives to the proposed requirements were 
considered. Section IV, Summary and Explanation of Proposed Rule, 
earlier in this preamble, provides discussion and explanation of the 
particular requirements of the proposal.
    Other regulatory alternatives considered were those raised by the 
Small Business Advocacy Review Panel, which was convened for purposes 
of soliciting comments on the proposal from affected small entities. A 
discussion of these alternatives is provided later in this economic 
analysis.
    Nonregulatory alternatives were also considered in determining the 
appropriate approach to reducing occupational hazards associated with 
electric power generation, transmission, and distribution work. These 
alternatives were discussed in the section of this economic analysis 
entitled ``Examination of Alternative Approaches,'' earlier in this 
preamble.
Alternatives Considered and Changes Made in Response to Comments From 
Small Entity Representatives and Recommendations From the Small 
Business Advocacy Review Panel
    On May 1, 2003, OSHA convened a Small Business Advocacy Review 
Panel (SBAR Panel or Panel) for this rulemaking in accordance with the 
provisions of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 
1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), as codified at 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.
    The SBAR Panel consisted of representatives of OSHA, of the Office 
of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of 
Management and Budget, and of the Office of Advocacy within the U.S. 
Small Business Administration. The Panel received oral and written 
comments on a draft proposal and a draft economic analysis from small 
entities that would potentially be affected by this rulemaking. The 
Panel, in turn, prepared a written report, which was delivered to the 
Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health [3]. The report 
summarized the comments received from the small entities, and included 
recommendations from the Panel to OSHA regarding the proposal and the 
associated analysis of compliance costs.
    Table V-22 lists each of the recommendations made by the Panel and 
describes the corresponding answers or changes made by OSHA in response 
to the issues raised.

          Table V-22.--Panel Recommendations and OSHA Responses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Panel recommendations                    OSHA responses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. The Small Entity Representatives      OSHA revised its economic and
 (SERs) generally felt that OSHA had      regulatory flexibility
 underestimated the costs and may have    analysis as appropriate in
 overestimated the benefits in its        light of the additional
 preliminary economic analysis. The       information received from the
 Panel recommends that OSHA revise its    SERs. Many of the comments
 economic and regulatory flexibility      from the SERs asserting
 analysis as appropriate, and that OSHA   deficiencies in the estimates
 specifically discuss the alternative     of the compliance costs were
 estimates and assumptions provided by    the result of differing
 SERs and compare them to OSHA's          interpretations of what would
 revised estimates.                       have to be done in order to
                                          achieve compliance with
                                          particular requirements.
                                         Some SERs felt that OSHA had
                                          underestimated the time and
                                          resources that would be
                                          necessary to develop and
                                          maintain written records
                                          associated with requirements
                                          for making determinations
                                          regarding training and
                                          protective clothing, for
                                          documenting employee training,
                                          and for communicating with
                                          host employers or contractors
                                          about hazards and appropriate
                                          safety practices. OSHA has
                                          clarified that written records
                                          are not in fact required to
                                          achieve compliance with these
                                          provisions of the proposed
                                          standards.
                                         In some cases, the SERs also
                                          interpreted the draft
                                          requirements associated with
                                          job briefings, host/contractor
                                          responsibilities, and electric
                                          arc hazard calculations in
                                          ways that would involve higher
                                          compliance costs than those
                                          estimated by OSHA, but that
                                          were not consistent with the
                                          way in which OSHA intended for
                                          compliance to be achieved. In
                                          these cases, OSHA clarified
                                          what would be necessary to
                                          comply with the standards such
                                          that the corresponding
                                          potential cost and impact
                                          concerns raised by the SERs
                                          would be alleviated.
                                         With regard to the cost of
                                          training that would be
                                          necessary for employees who
                                          currently are not covered by
                                          the existing training
                                          requirements in 29 CFR
                                          1910.269, OSHA revised its
                                          compliance cost calculations
                                          to reflect that an additional
                                          24.75 hours of training per
                                          employee newly covered by the
                                          training currently required by
                                          29 CFR 1910.269 would be
                                          necessary to comply with the
                                          proposed standard for
                                          construction.
                                         The SERs generally indicated
                                          that the job briefing
                                          requirements of the proposed
                                          standards are generally
                                          consistent with current
                                          practices, and that 5 minutes
                                          for the additional job
                                          briefing requirements per
                                          project would be a reasonable
                                          estimate for the amount of
                                          time that would be involved.
                                          For purposes of estimating
                                          compliance costs with the
                                          proposal in this preliminary
                                          analysis, OSHA used estimates
                                          of current compliance of 85
                                          percent to 95 percent, and
                                          estimated that 5 minutes of
                                          supervisor time and 5 minutes
                                          of employee time would be
                                          involved per affected project.
                                         With regard to the cost
                                          associated with providing
                                          flame resistant apparel to
                                          employees, in general the SERs
                                          suggested that OSHA's estimate
                                          of two sets per employee per
                                          year for small establishments,
                                          and five sets per employees
                                          every five years for large
                                          establishments, was an
                                          underestimate. The SERs also
                                          gave OSHA broad estimates of
                                          FRA, ranging from $50 per
                                          shirt to $150 for switching
                                          flash jackets. Several SERs
                                          agreed that many companies
                                          contract out clothing supplies
                                          and laundering with uniform
                                          companies. In this preliminary
                                          analysis of compliance costs
                                          associated with the
                                          requirements to provide FRA,
                                          OSHA estimates that, on
                                          average, 8 sets of FRA
                                          clothing would be provided per
                                          employee, and that with 8 sets
                                          per employee the useful life
                                          of the FRA would average 4
                                          years. The cost per set of FRA
                                          was estimated to be $110.
                                          Laundering costs were excluded
                                          since the FRA is worn in lieu
                                          of street clothes, and
                                          laundering would be needed
                                          whether the clothing was FRA,
                                          street clothing, or any other
                                          type of clothing.
                                          Additionally, the proposal
                                          does not require employers to
                                          launder the FRA.
                                         For employees who are currently
                                          provided the training required
                                          by the existing 29 CFR
                                          1910.269 standard, OSHA notes
                                          and has clarified that
                                          training that was deemed
                                          sufficient for compliance with
                                          29 CFR 1910.269 will be
                                          considered sufficient for
                                          compliance with the proposal
                                          to allow employers to tailor
                                          their training to the risk
                                          faced by employees. OSHA has
                                          included, however, the cost of
                                          providing 1.5 hours of
                                          additional training per
                                          employee in the first year for
                                          current employees and 0.75
                                          hours of additional training
                                          for new employees in the
                                          estimation of the compliance
                                          costs associated with the
                                          proposed standards.
2. In its economic and RFA analyses,     OSHA has revised its economic
 OSHA assumed that all affected firms     and regulatory flexibility
 apply existing 29 CFR 1910.269 to        analyses to reflect the costs
 construction related activities, even    associated with some firms
 though not required to do so. The        coming into compliance with 29
 reason OSHA made this assumption is      CFR 1910.269.
 OSHA though that all affected firms     Specifically, OSHA estimated
 are either covered solely by 29 CFR      that these firms would incur
 1910, or engage in both 29 CFR 1910      compliance costs equivalent to
 and 29 CFR 1926 activities, and find     those incurred by firms who
 it easiest to adopt the general          were affected by the new
 industry standard for all activities.    requirements of 29 CFR
 SERs confirmed that most firms do in     1910.269 when it was
 fact follow 29 CFR 1910.269. However,    originally promulgated in
 they also pointed out that there are     1994.
 some firms that are engaged solely in   In addition, OSHA considered
 construction activities and thus may     the SER comments on training
 not be following the 29 CFR 1910         and revised its estimate of
 standards. The Panel recommends that     training costs accordingly.
 OSHA revise its economic and             OSHA added a separate training
 regulatory flexibility analyses to       cost for firms who are not
 reflect the costs associated with some   currently covered by the
 firms coming into compliance with 29     existing training requirements
 CFR 1910.269. The SERs also reported     in 29 CFR 1910.269, as
 that compliance training under 29 CFR    presented in the compliance
 1910.269 is extensive. One SER           cost chapter of this economic
 estimated that in excess of 30 hours     analysis.
 per employee is necessary in the first
 year. The Panel recommends that OSHA
 consider the SER comments on training
 and revise its estimate of training
 costs as necessary.
3. Most SERs were concerned that a       The proposal would not require
 ``performance standard'' such as this    employers to maintain records
 means that even in cases where OSHA      of training. Employees
 does not require recordkeeping, such     themselves can attest to the
 as for training, many small entities     training they have received,
 will find recordkeeping (1) useful for   and OSHA will determine
 internal purposes and (2) virtually      compliance with the training
 the only way they will be able to        requirements primarily through
 demonstrate compliance with the rule.    employee interviews.
 The Panel recommends that OSHA
 consider whether recordkeeping is
 necessary to demonstrate compliance
 with the standard, and, if not, that
 OSHA explicitly discuss ways in which
 employers can demonstrate compliance
 without using recordkeeping.
4. SERs pointed out that the             The proposal would not require
 requirements for observation and         host employers to observe
 follow-up would result in paperwork      contract employees. Rather, it
 and reporting requirements not           would require host employers
 presented in the cost analysis. The      to report to the contract
 Panel recommends that OSHA include       employer violations of the
 such costs and paperwork burdens in      standard's work practice
 its economic analysis as appropriate.    requirements by contract
                                          employees that the host
                                          employer observes in the
                                          normal course of conducting
                                          their own operations. For
                                          example, a host employer may
                                          observe contract employees
                                          during a quality control check
                                          of the contractor's work or
                                          while employees of the host
                                          employer are working on a
                                          project alongside employees of
                                          the contract employer.
                                          Consequently, OSHA has not
                                          included a cost for conducting
                                          observations.
                                         OSHA has eliminated the draft
                                          requirement for the host
                                          employer ``to note any
                                          failures of the contract
                                          employer to correct such
                                          violations, take appropriate
                                          measures to correct the
                                          violations, and consider the
                                          contract employer's failure to
                                          correct violations in
                                          evaluating the contract
                                          employer.'' The proposal would
                                          require the contract employer
                                          to report to the host
                                          contractor any measures taken
                                          to correct reported
                                          violations. Thus, OSHA has not
                                          included costs for the host
                                          employer to follow up to
                                          ensure that the contract
                                          employer has corrected any
                                          violations.
                                         OSHA has included estimates of
                                          the costs of information
                                          collection requirements and of
                                          the associated paperwork
                                          burdens in the paperwork
                                          analysis for the proposal.
5. Several SERs argued that requiring    OSHA has eliminated the draft
 consideration of safety records would    requirement for the host
 restrict the number of eligible          employer to obtain and
 contractors, resulting in both           evaluate information on
 increased costs and potential impacts    contractors' safety
 on small firms. Several SERs also were   performance and programs.
 concerned that the draft requirement     Consequently, the preliminary
 would result in the increased use of     regulatory flexibility
 methods such as pre-qualification in     analysis does not include
 the hiring of contractors or would       costs associated with this
 increase reliance on favored             draft provision. However, the
 contractors; the SERs said that both     Agency requests comments on
 of these effects could result in         the need for such a
 increased costs and restricted           requirement and on the
 business opportunities, especially for   associated costs and
 small businesses. The Panel recommends   restricted business
 that OSHA study the extent of such       opportunities, particularly
 costs and impacts and solicit comment    with respect to small
 on them.                                 businesses.
6. Several SERs questioned OSHA's        OSHA has reexamined its
 estimates of the number of sets of       assumptions and cost estimates
 flame resistant clothing an employee     with regard to the
 would need, and its assumptions and      requirements to provide flame-
 cost estimates. The panel recommends     resistant clothing. The
 that OSHA reexamine its assumptions      comments from the SERs and
 and cost estimates in light of these     OSHA's revised estimates are
 comments.                                described in response to Panel
                                          recommendation 1 above.

7. Many SERs questioned whether the new  OSHA has collected and compiled
 revisions to 29 CFR 1910.269 would in    information from a variety of
 fact save any lives or prevent any       sources to document and
 accidents. Some commented that they      support the need for the
 had never seen an accident that would    provisions of the proposed
 have been prevented by any of the new    standards. Data on the
 provisions. Some SERs suggested that     fatalities and injuries that
 OSHA's analysis might have included      have occurred among the
 fatalities in municipal facilities       affected work force over the
 that may not be covered by the           past decade has been analyzed
 standard. Others suggested OSHA should   specifically with regard to
 discuss the extent to which the          the effectiveness of both the
 existing general industry standard had   existing and proposed
 resulted in reduced fatalities and       requirements in preventing
 injuries, and how this compares with     such incidents. This
 OSHA estimates of how many fatalities    evaluation is summarized in
 and injuries would be prevented by the   the benefits chapter of this
 proposal. The Panel recommends that      preliminary analysis; a
 OSHA provide more documentation          detailed explanation of this
 regarding the sources and nature of      evaluation is provided in the
 the anticipated benefits attributed to   corresponding research report
 the draft proposal. The estimated        [1].
 benefits should also be reexamined in   In order to quantitatively
 light of the SER comments and            determine the effectiveness of
 experiences regarding the perceived      the existing and proposed
 effectiveness of the new provisions.     standards in preventing
 In particular, OSHA should focus         injuries and fatalities, a
 attention on the benefits associated     detailed review of the
 with the provisions on flame retardant   descriptions of accidents was
 apparel, training, host/contractor       performed. For each accident
 responsibilities, and fall protection.   reviewed, the detailed
                                          description of the accident,
                                          along with the citations
                                          issued, the nature of the
                                          injuries incurred, and the
                                          causes associated with the
                                          accident, were analyzed to
                                          estimate the likelihood that
                                          the accident would have been
                                          preventable under, first, the
                                          existing applicable standards,
                                          and second, under the proposed
                                          standard. Based on these
                                          analyses, CONSAD found that
                                          full compliance with the
                                          existing standards would have
                                          prevented 52.9 percent of the
                                          injuries and fatalities;
                                          compliance with the proposed
                                          standards, however, would
                                          prevent 79.0 percent of the
                                          relevant injuries and
                                          fatalities. The increase in
                                          safety that would be provided
                                          by the proposed standards is
                                          represented by the prevention
                                          of an additional 19 fatalities
                                          and 116 injuries annually.
                                         In addition, the proposed
                                          revisions improve safety by
                                          clarifying and updating the
                                          existing standards to reflect
                                          modern technologies, work
                                          practices, and terminology,
                                          and by making the standards
                                          consistent with current
                                          consensus standards and other
                                          related standards and
                                          documents. By facilitating the
                                          understanding of and
                                          compliance with these
                                          important safety standards,
                                          the proposal also achieves
                                          better protection of employee
                                          safety while reducing
                                          uncertainty, confusion, and
                                          compliance burdens on
                                          employers.
                                         Section IV, Summary and
                                          Explanation of Proposed Rule,
                                          earlier in this preamble,
                                          includes explanations of the
                                          need for, and the expected
                                          benefit associated with
                                          particular with, particular
                                          provisions of the proposed
                                          standard. In particular, see
                                          the summary and explanation of
                                          Sec.  Sec.   1926.950(c) (host-
                                          contractor responsibilities),
                                          1926.954(b) (fall protection),
                                          and 1926.960(g) (flame-
                                          resistant apparel) for a
                                          discussion of the need for and
                                          a qualitative explanation of
                                          the benefits of these
                                          provisions.
8. There were no comments from the SERs  As presented in the chapter on
 on OSHA's estimates of the number and    compliance costs in this
 type of small entities affected by the   preliminary analysis, OSHA has
 proposal. However, some SERs pointed     revised its analysis,
 out that there may be some small         including its estimates of
 entities that engage in only             baseline activities and its
 construction related activities. The     cost estimates, to reflect the
 Panel recommends that OSHA's estimates   possible existence of some
 of current baseline activities and       firms that are not currently
 OHSA's cost estimates reflect such       covered by the existing 29 CFR
 firms.                                   1910.269 and that do not
                                          comply with these provisions
                                          when performing construction
                                          work on electric power
                                          generation, transmission, or
                                          distribution installations.

9. Most SERs were uncertain about how    OSHA has added appendices
 to comply with performance oriented      containing guidelines on the
 provisions of the proposal, and          inspection of work positioning
 further, some felt that additional       equipment to assist employers
 expenses might be required to be         in complying with the
 confident that they were in compliance   requirement to conduct such
 with such provisions. The Panel          inspections proposed in 29 CFR
 recommends that OSHA study and address   1910.269(g)(2)(iii)(a) and 29
 these issues and consider the use of     CFR 1926.954(b)(3)(i). The
 guidance material (e.g. non-mandatory    proposal also includes
 appendices) to describe specific ways    appendices on clothing in 29
 of meeting the standard, which will      CFR 1910.269 and Subpart V of
 help small employers comply, without     29 CFR Part 1926. These
 making the standard more prescriptive.   appendices should help
                                          employers comply with the
                                          clothing provisions proposed
                                          in 29 CFR 1910.269(1)(11) and
                                          29 CFR 1926.960(g).
                                         The proposal also includes many
                                          references to consensus
                                          standards that contain
                                          information helping employers
                                          comply with various provisions
                                          of the proposed standards. For
                                          example, the note to proposed
                                          29 CFR 1926.957(b) directs
                                          empl9yers to the Institute of
                                          Electrical and Electronics
                                          Engineers' IEEE Guide for
                                          Maintenance Methods on
                                          Energized Power Lines, IEEE
                                          Std. 516-2003 for guidance on
                                          the examination, cleaning,
                                          repairing, and in-service
                                          testing of live-line tools to
                                          help employers comply with
                                          that provision in the OSHA
                                          standards. Lastly, Appendix E
                                          to 29 CFR 1910.269 and
                                          Appendix E to Subpart V of 29
                                          CFR Part 1926 contain lists of
                                          reference documents to which
                                          employers can turn for help in
                                          complying with OSHA's
                                          proposal.
                                         The preamble to the proposed
                                          standards and this preliminary
                                          analysis both contain
                                          additional descriptions of
                                          what would be considered
                                          necessary and sufficient for
                                          purposes of achieving
                                          compliance with the
                                          requirements of the proposed
                                          standards. OSHA requests
                                          comments regarding which
                                          provisions, if any, require
                                          further clarification on what
                                          specific measures would or
                                          would not constitute
                                          compliance with the standards.
                                         The Agency also requests
                                          comments on what additional
                                          guidance material is needed to
                                          assist employers in complying
                                          with the standards. OSHA also
                                          encourages interested parties
                                          to submit such guidance
                                          material for possible
                                          inclusion in the final rule.
10. Most SERs were highly critical of    OSHA has modified the
 the host contractor provisions and had   provisions on host-contractor
 trouble understanding what OSHA          responsibilities substantially
 required. If these provisions are to     from the draft requirements
 be retained, the Panel recommends that   reviewed by the SERs. The
 they be revised. The Panel recommends    Agency believes that the
 that OSHA clarify what constitutes       changes address the concerns
 adequate consideration of contractor     expressed by the SERs.
 safety performance, clarify what is     The summary and explanation of
 meant by ``observation,'' clarify how    proposed 29 CFR 1926.950(c),
 the multi-employer citation policy is    earlier in the preamble,
 related to the proposal, and clarify     provides clarification of the
 whether the requirement to communicate   intent and application of the
 hazards does or does not represent a     host-contractor requirements
 requirement for the host employer to     and their relationship to
 conduct their own risk assessment. The   OSHA's multiemployer citation
 Panel also recommends that OSHA          policy.
 examine the extent to which state       The proposal includes a
 contractor licensing could make the      requirement in 29 CFR
 host contractor provisions in the        1910.269(a)(4)(i)(A)(1) and 29
 proposal unnecessary.                    in CFR 1926.950(c)(1)(i)(A)
                                          that host employers inform
                                          contract employers of known
                                          hazards that are covered by
                                          the standards, that are
                                          related to the contract
                                          employer's work, and that
                                          might not be recognized by the
                                          contract employer or its
                                          employees. This provision does
                                          not require host employers to
                                          conduct a risk assessment of
                                          the work to be performed by
                                          the contract employer.
                                          However, proposed 29 CFR
                                          1910.269(a)(4)(i)(A)(2) and 29
                                          CFR 1926.950(c)(1)(i)(B) would
                                          require the host employer to
                                          provide information about the
                                          employer's installation to the
                                          contract employer to enable
                                          the contract employer to make
                                          the assessments required by
                                          the standards. This change
                                          should clarify that OSHA
                                          intends for the contract
                                          employer to conduct
                                          appropriate hazard
                                          identification and assessment
                                          for his or her own employees.
                                         OSHA does not believe that
                                          State contractor licensing
                                          makes the proposed host-
                                          contractor provisions
                                          unnecessary. Not all States
                                          require electric power
                                          generation, transmission, and
                                          distribution contractors to be
                                          licensed. For example,
                                          Illinois and New York do not
                                          require licensing at the State
                                          level. (See http://www.electric-find.com/) 
                                          Additionally, the States with such licensing
                                          requirements judge primarily
                                          the contractors' ability to
                                          install electric equipment in
                                          accordance with State or
                                          national installation codes
                                          and not their ability to
                                          perform electric power
                                          generation, transmission, and
                                          distribution work safely.
11. Some SERs questioned the need for    OSHA has considered these
 flame resistant clothing beyond the      issues in the development of
 existing clothing provisions in 29 CFR   the clothing requirements
 1910.269. Some argued that there was a   proposed in 29 CFR
 trade-off between possible decreased     1910.269(1)(11) and 29 CFR
 injuries from burns and heat stress      1926.960(g), as explained in
 injuries as a result of using flame      the summary and explanation of
 resistant clothing. The Panel            proposed 29 CFR 1926.960(g)
 recommends that OSHA consider and        earlier in the preamble. In
 solicit comments on these issues.        that section of the preamble,
                                          the Agency has solicited
                                          comments on a wide range of
                                          issues related to protection
                                          of employees from the hazards
                                          posed by electric arcs.

12. Many SERs were uncertain whether     OSHA has revised the clothing
 OSHA's requirements for determining      requirements in proposed 29
 the need for flame resistant clothing    CFR 1910.269(1)(11) and 29 CFR
 would allow the use of such methods as   1926.960(g) to provide
 (1) ``worst case'' analysis or (2)       additional guidance explaining
 specifying minimum levels of             ways an employer can comply.
 protection for use when a system does    For example, the Agency has
 not exceed certain limits. The Panel     included two notes and
 recommends that OSHA clarify what        additional appendix material
 methods are acceptable to meet these     explaining how an employer can
 requirements, and specify these          calculate estimates of
 methods in such a way that small         available heat energy. For
 entities can be confident that they      additional information, see
 have met the requirements of the         the summary and explanation of
 standards.                               proposed 29 CFR 1926.960(g),
                                          earlier in the preamble.
13. OSHA made some changes to the        OSHA believes that the proposed
 training provisions in 29 CFR            changes to the training
 1910.269, including dropping             requirements contained in 29
 certification requirements and           CFR 1910.269 clarify the
 allowing training to vary with risk.     standard and reduce burdens on
 OSHA stated that both of these changes   employers. If employees are
 were designed to give the rules a        trained as required under the
 greater performance orientation and to   existing general industry
 ease compliance. Some SERs felt that     standard, then no additional
 these changes might make compliance      training would be required by
 more complicated by making it less       the proposed requirement to
 clear what needs to be done. The panel   provide a level of training
 recommends that OSHA clarify the         based on the risk to the
 performance orientation of these         employer or by the proposal to
 changes and consider explaining that     remove the requirement that
 existing compliance methods would        training be certified.
 still be considered adequate under the   Moreover, no additional costs
 new rules. The Panel further             would be incurred.
 recommends that OSHA examine the        Existing 29 CFR
 requirement that employees demonstrate   1910.269(a)(2)(vii) already
 proficiency and provide examples of      requires employees to
 how that can be accomplished. The        demonstrate proficiency in the
 Panel also recommends that OSHA          work practices involved. OSHA
 consider the possibility that the        believes that most employers
 proposed draft may introduce costs to    are already complying with
 small businesses that are uncertain of   this requirement in various
 how to comply with the new performance   ways. For example, some
 oriented training provisions.            employers have employees
                                          demonstrate proficiency in
                                          climbing after completing a
                                          pole climbing class that
                                          includes climbing on practice
                                          poles as part of the
                                          curriculum. In addition, many
                                          employers use an
                                          apprenticeship program, in
                                          which journeyman line workers
                                          acting as crew leaders observe
                                          trainees over the course of
                                          the program. The trainees pass
                                          through the apprenticeship
                                          program by successfully
                                          completing each step,
                                          demonstrating proficiency in
                                          various tasks along the way,
                                          until the trainees reach the
                                          journeyman level.
14. Several SERS argued that the         OSHA has clarified the intent
 proposal placed restrictions on the      of the proposed changes to the
 length of the lanyard and that these     fall protection requirements
 restrictions were unworkable. The        proposed in 29 CFR
 Panel recommends that OSHA clarify the   1910.269(g)(2)(i) and (ii) in
 intent of the fall protection            the summary and explanation of
 provisions. Other SERs argued that       those provisions earlier in
 fall fatalities from aerial lifts were   the preamble.
 either the result of catastrophic       It is easy for an employer to
 failures in which case fall protection   enforce the use of fall arrest
 would not have prevented the death, or   equipment, which incorporates
 the result of failure to use any form    a harness, by employees
 of fall arrest or fall restraint. Some   working from aerial lifts. It
 SERs argued that some workers might      is relatively easy for an
 find harnesses more awkward than belts   employer to observe that an
 and be less likely to wear them. The     employee is wearing a harness,
 Panel recommends that OSHA consider      which extends over the
 and solicit comment on these issues.     employee's shoulders, and that
                                          a lanyard is attached to the
                                          connector between the
                                          employee's shoulders and to
                                          the anchorage on the boom of
                                          the aerial lift. Body belts,
                                          which were the predominant
                                          form of protection used in the
                                          time period represented by the
                                          accidents, are worn near an
                                          employee's hips. It is not
                                          usually possible to determine
                                          whether an employee in an
                                          aerial lift bucket is wearing
                                          a body belt or, if he or she
                                          is, whether the lanyard is
                                          attached to the D-ring on the
                                          body belt. It would be much
                                          easier for an employer to
                                          enforce the use of personal
                                          fall arrest equipment than to
                                          enforce the use of body belts
                                          even if employees do not want
                                          to wear them. Thus, to the
                                          extent that fall injuries are
                                          the result of the failure of
                                          an employee to use any form of
                                          fall protection equipment, the
                                          proposal would help prevent
                                          many of those injuries.
                                         Neither personal fall arrest
                                          systems nor work positioning
                                          equipment will protect against
                                          catastrophic failure of the
                                          boom of an aerial lift; the
                                          employee would fall with the
                                          bucket or platform. However, a
                                          personal fall arrest system,
                                          and in some cases work
                                          positioning equipment, can
                                          protect an employee if the
                                          bucket or platform detaches
                                          from the boom as long as the
                                          fall protection equipment is
                                          attached to the boom and not
                                          to the bucket or platform.
                                         In the hopes of further
                                          clarifying the standard, OSHA
                                          requests comments on the fall
                                          protection issues raised by
                                          the SERs.

15. This rule was designed by OSHA to    OSHA does not believe that the
 eliminate confusing differences          proposed provisions on host-
 between the applicable construction      contractor responsibilities
 and general industry standards, by       duplicate or overlap the
 making the standards consistent.         Agency's multiemployer policy.
 Several SERs felt this was a             See the summary and
 worthwhile goal. Some SERs felt that     explanation of proposed Sec.
 the host contractor provisions of the    1926.950(c) earlier in this
 rule could result in causing             preamble for clarification of
 contractor employees to be considered    the intent and application of
 employees of the host employer under     the host-contractor
 the Fair Labor Standards Act and under   requirements and their
 the Internal Revenue Service             relationship to OSHA's
 regulations. In addition, the SERs       multiemployer citation policy.
 identified OSHA's multi-employer        It is not OSHA's intent that
 citation policy as duplicative and       the provisions on host-
 overlapping of the host contractor       contractor responsibilities
 provisions in the proposal. The Panel    would affect in any way of the
 recommends that, if this provision is    employer-employee relationship
 retained, OSHA investigate this issue    under the Fair Labor Standards
 and clarify these provisions to assure   Act or under the Internal
 that contractor employees do not         Revenue Service regulations.
 become direct employees of the host      The OSHA requirements are not
 employer as a result of complying with   intended to establish an
 possible OSHA requirements.              employer-employee relationship
                                          with contractors or employees
                                          of contractors, as defined by
                                          the relevant statutes and
                                          regulations.
16. Some SERs were unconvinced about     OSHA requests comments on the
 the need for revisions to the existing   regulatory alternative of
 29 CFR 1910.269 standard in light of     extending the requirements of
 their potential to improve safety        29 CFR 1910.269 to
 beyond what compliance with the          construction, without further
 requirements in existing 29 CFR          modification. Commenters
 1910.269 would achieve. The Panel        should explain how, if the
 recommends that OSHA consider and        Agency adopted this option, it
 solicit comment on the regulatory        could comply with section
 alternative of extending the             6(b)(8) of the OSHA Act, which
 requirements of 29 CFR 1910.269 to       requires OSHA to explain why a
 construction, without further            promulgated rule that differs
 modification.                            substantially from a national
                                          consensus standard will better
                                          effectuate the purposes of the
                                          Act than the national
                                          consensus standard.
                                          Furthermore, as explained
                                          fully above, OSHA's analysis
                                          preliminarily finds that the
                                          additional changes to both 29
                                          CFR 1910.269 and Subpart V
                                          will prevent a significant
                                          number of fatalities and
                                          injuries each year.
17. The Panel notes that the host/       OSHA has considered these
 contractor provisions were               options and has adopted
 particularly troublesome for almost      several of them. The Agency
 all SERs, and that as a result, OSHA     has dropped the draft
 should provide either some change or     requirement for host employers
 provide extensive clarification to       to obtain and evaluate
 these provisions. The Panel recommends   information on contractor
 that OSHA consider, analyze, and         safety performance and
 solicit comment on a variety of          programs. OSHA has also
 alternatives to these provisions,        eliminated draft provisions
 including:                               that would have required the
1. Dropping all or some of these          host employer to follow up on
 provisions                               observed violations. Instead,
2. Specifying in detail methods that      the proposal, in 29 CFR
 would be considered adequate for         1910.269(a)(4)(ii)(C)(3) and
 purposes of compliance for those         in 29 CFR
 provisions retained                      1926.950(c)(2)(iii)(C), would
3. Changing the provision for             require the contract employer
 consideration of safety performance to   to report what measures the
 indicate how employers can be sure       contractor took to correct any
 they have complied with the provision    violations and to prevent
4. Changing the provisions concerning     their recurrence.
 observed violations by:                 OSHA requests comments on
 Dropping the provision           whether the changes, along
 concerning observed violations           with the accompanying summary
 entirely;                                and explanation of the
 Changing the provision           proposal, adequately clarify
 concerning observed violations to        the host-contractor
 clearly indicate that ``inspections''    requirements, whether there
 are not required;                        are other options that the
 Minimizing the amount of         Agency should consider, and
 follow-up and responsibility placed on   whether the proposed
 the host employer when a violation is    provisions will adequately
 observed;                                protect employees.
 Requiring only that the
 contractor be notified of observed
 violations (no requirement for
 subsequent monitoring of evaluation);
 Changing the provision to
 require observation for the purpose of
 determining if the contractor is
 performing safe work practices,
 requiring observed violations to be
 reported to the contractor (no
 requirement for subsequent monitoring
 or evaluation);
 Providing explicit language
 that line clearance tree trimmers are
 not covered by this provision;
 Specifying that only
 observations made by a ``safety
 professional'' or other individual
 qualified to identify hazards must be
 reported to the contractor
5. Changing the provision for hazard
 communication to make clear that the
 host employer is not required to
 conduct his or her own hazard
 analysis, but only to communicate such
 hazards of which the host employer may
 be aware

18. The Panel recommends that OSHA       OSHA has considered the options
 consider and solicit comment on two      recommended by the panel. The
 kinds of options with respect flame      Agency has adopted the second
 resistant clothing. First, OSHA should   option suggested by the Panel.
 consider the alternative of no further   Appendix F to 29 CFR 1910.269
 requirements beyond existing 29 CFR      and Appendix F to 29 CFR Part
 1910.269 for the use of flame            1926, Subpart V propose tables
 resistant clothing. Second, should the   that employers may use to
 draft requirement be retained in some    estimate available heat
 manner, OSHA should consider and         energy. Although these tables
 solicit comment on one or a              do not cover every
 combination of alternative means of      circumstance, they do address
 determining how much protection is       many exposure conditions found
 needed or required. These alternatives   in overhead electric power
 should include:                          transmission and distribution
1. Allowing the employer to estimate      work. Other assessment aids
 the exposure assuming that the           are available, and also are
 distance from the employee to the        listed in Appendix F, for
 electric arc is equal to the minimum     other exposure conditions,
 approach distance                        including typical electric
2. Providing tables showing heat energy   power generation exposures.
 for different exposure conditions as     There is less need for an
 an alternative assessment method         underground assessment aid
3. Specifying a minimum level of          since most underground work is
 protection for overhead line work (for   performed on deenergized
 example, 10 cal/cm\2\) for use when      lines.
 the system does not exceed certain      OSHA has not incorporated any
 limits as an alternative to hazard       of the other Panel-recommended
 assessment                               options into the proposal
4. Allowing the employer to reduce        because the Agency either
 protection when other factors            currently believes that they
 interfere with the safe performance of   are not sufficiently
 the work (for example, severe heat       protective or has insufficient
 stress) after the employer has           information to incorporate
 considered alternative methods of        them.
 performing the work, including the use  However, the Agency does wish
 live-line tools and deenergizing the     to facilitate compliance with
 lines and equipment, and has found       the provisions proposed in 29
 them to be unacceptable                  CFR 1910.269(1)(11) and 29 CFR
5. Allowing employers to base their       1926.960(g) requiring
 assessments on a ``worst case            employees to be protected from
 analysis.''                              electric arcs. OSHA also
6. Requiring employers to use             wishes to promulgate a rule
 appropriate flame retardant clothing     that will protect employees
 without specifying any assessment        from electric arcs in the most
 method.                                  cost-effective manner
                                          possible. The Agency
                                          encourages interested parties
                                          to provide information that
                                          can help simplify the rule or
                                          make it more cost effective or
                                          that can assist in the
                                          development of compliance
                                          assistance materials.
19. Some SERs were concerned that the    See the response to Panel
 revised training requirements            recommendation 13 above.
 complicated the question of
 demonstrating that training had been
 provided, and that the requirement
 that training be related to the risk
 would require additional training,
 additional documentation, or both. The
 Panel recommends that OSHA consider
 making it clear that employers that
 follow the existing training
 provisions in 29 CFR 1910.269 will be
 in compliance with the new rules, and
 that OSHA clarify alternative methods
 that would be considered acceptable
 for demonstrating adequacy of training
 and the relation of the training to
 risk.
20. In response to comment by some       OSHA is proposing only one new
 SERs, the Panel recommends that OSHA     requirement on job briefings,
 consider and solicit comment on the      the requirement in 29 CFR
 issues of whether the additional job     1910.269(c)(1)(i) and in 29
 briefing requirements are needed and     CFR 1926.952(a)(1). This
 how they can be met in situations in     provision requires that, in
 which the employee is working at a       assigning an employee or a
 distant location.                        group of employees to perform
                                          a job, the employer provide
                                          the employee in charge of the
                                          job with available information
                                          necessary to perform the job
                                          safely. The remainder of the
                                          changes to the job briefing
                                          requirements in 29 CFR
                                          1910.269(c) simply reorganize
                                          the existing provisions into
                                          individual paragraphs. (For
                                          additional discussion of this
                                          provision, see the summary and
                                          explanation of proposed 29 CFR
                                          1926.952(a)(1) earlier in this
                                          preamble.)
                                         The Agency believes that many
                                          employers are already
                                          providing relevant information
                                          about a job when they assign
                                          that job to a crew of
                                          employees or to an employee
                                          working alone. (For additional
                                          discussion of this provision,
                                          see the summary and
                                          explanation of proposed 29 CFR
                                          1926.952(a)(1) earlier in this
                                          preamble.) However, to make
                                          sure that all employers do so,
                                          OSHA believes that the
                                          standard should require that
                                          the employer provide relevant
                                          hazard-related information to
                                          the employees performing the
                                          work to the extent the
                                          employer knows, or can
                                          reasonably be expected to
                                          know, that information. It
                                          should be noted that this is a
                                          requirement to communicate
                                          information, not to gather
                                          information. OSHA anticipates
                                          that employers will pass along
                                          this information when they
                                          assign jobs to employees.
                                          Where the employees are
                                          working has no effect on the
                                          employer's ability to
                                          communicate the information.
                                         The Agency requests comments on
                                          whether the additional job
                                          briefing requirement is
                                          necessary and on how this
                                          provision can be met for an
                                          employee working at distant
                                          locations.

21. All of the affected SERs felt that   Over the course of the
 the provisions of the rule with          rulemaking, OSHA will examine
 respect to fall restraint systems        the issue of whether using
 would make it difficult for a person     fall restraint systems to
 using a fall restraint system to         protect employees working from
 perform the necessary work. The SERs     aerial lifts is workable. In
 also raised the possibility of safety    this regard, the Agency
 problems associated with wearing a       requests comments on
 safety harness as opposed to a safety    alternatives to the fall
 belt, such as an increased likelihood    protection requirements
 of the harness being snagged and as a    proposed in 29 CFR
 result the employee being either         1910.269(g)(2) and 29 CFR
 pulled into a wood chipper while on      1926.954(b) as they relate to
 the ground or pulled out of the bucket   aerial lifts, including the
 when it is lowered. The Panel            alternative of making no
 recommends that OSHA consider and        changes to the rule.
 solicit comment on the alternative of   OSHA will also explore with
 making no changes to its existing fall   manufacturers the
 protection requirements. If the          nonregulatory option of
 provision is retained, OSHA should       improving fall protection
 carefully examine the issue of whether   systems for use in aerial
 the fall restraint system requirements   lifts.
 in the draft make use of fall
 restraint systems unworkable in aerial
 lifts. OSHA should also consider the
 nonregulatory alternative of working
 with aerial device manufacturers and
 aerial device users (for example,
 electric and telecommunications
 utilities, painting and electrical
 contractors, tree-trimming firms) in
 the development of improved fall
 restraint systems that are more
 comfortable than existing systems and
 maintain the appropriate degree of
 protection for employees.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

J. References

    1. CONSAD Research Corporation, ``Analytical Support and Data 
Gathering for a Preliminary Economic Analysis for Proposed Standards 
for Work on Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and 
Distribution Lines and Equipment (29 CFR 1910.269 and 29 CFR 1926--
Subpart V),'' 2005, prepared for the U.S. Department of Labor, 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of Regulatory 
Analysis under Contract No. J9-F9-0013, Task Order Number 31, 
Pittsburgh, PA.
    2. CONSAD Research Corporation, ``Compliance Cost and Economic 
Impact Estimates Including All Publicly-owned Utilities in OSHA 
State-plan States and Excluding Laundering Costs for Flame Resistant 
Apparel (FRA),'' Memorandum to the Office of Regulatory Analysis 
(ORA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 
February 25, 2004.
    3. OSHA Small Business Advocacy Review Panel, ``Report of the 
Small Business Advocacy Review Panel on the Draft OSHA Standard for 
Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution,'' 
submitted to Mr. John Henshaw, Assistant Secretary for Occupational 
Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration, June 27, 2003.
    4. U.S. Office of Management and Budget, ``Informing Regulatory 
Decisions: 2004 Draft Report to Congress on the Costs and Benefits 
of Federal Regulations and Unfunded Mandates on State, Local, and 
Tribal Entities.''
    5. Workers' Compensation Research Institute, ``WCRI Research 
Brief, Special Edition,'' Volume 9, Number 4S, Cambridge, MA, 
December 1993. Also available in OSHA Docket S-777, Exhibit 26-1608, 
and discussed in Exhibit 900, p. IV-56.
    6. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Guidelines for 
Preparing Economic Analyses. EPA 240-R-00-003. September 2000. 
Internet address: http://yosemite1.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/webpages/Guidelines.html; 
also available in OSHA Docket No. H-0054a, Exhibit 35-334.
    7. Viscusi, Kip and Aldy, Joseph, ``The Value of a Statistical 
Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates Throughout the World'', 
The Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 27:1; 5-76, 2003.
    8. U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information 
and Regulatory Affairs, ``Progress in Regulatory Reform: 2004 Report 
to Congress on the Costs and Benefits of Federal Regulations and 
Unfunded Mandates on State, Local, and Tribal Entities' December, 
2004.

VI. State Plan Standards

    The 26 States or territories with OSHA-approved occupational safety 
and health plans must adopt an equivalent amendment or one that is at 
least as protective to employees within 6 months of the publication 
date of the final standard. These are: Alaska, Arizona, California, 
Connecticut (for State and local government employees only), Hawaii, 
Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New 
Mexico, New Jersey (for State and local government employees only), New 
York (for State and local government employees only), North Carolina, 
Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, 
Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, and Wyoming.

VII. Environmental Impact Analysis

    The provisions of this proposal have been reviewed in accordance 
with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 
of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality 
NEPA regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), and the Department of 
Labor's NEPA Procedures (29 CFR Part 11). As a result of this review, 
OSHA has determined that the proposed standards will have no 
significant adverse effect on air, water, or soil quality, plant or 
animal life, use of land, or other aspects of the environment.

VIII. Unfunded Mandates

    Section 3 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act makes clear 
that OSHA cannot enforce compliance with its regulations or standards 
on the U.S. government ``or any State or political subdivision of a 
State.'' Under voluntary agreement with OSHA, some States enforce 
compliance with their State standards on public sector entities, and 
these agreements specify that these State standards must be equivalent 
to OSHA standards. Thus, although OSHA has included compliance costs 
for the affected public sector entities in its analysis of the expected 
impacts associated with the proposal, the proposal would not involve 
any unfunded mandates being imposed on any State or local government 
entity. OSHA also concludes that the proposal would not impose an 
unfunded mandate on the private sector in excess of $100 million in 
expenditures in any one year.

IX. Federalism

    OSHA has reviewed this proposed rule in accordance with the 
Executive Order on Federalism (Executive Order 13132, 64 FR 43255, 
August 10, 1999), which requires that agencies, to the extent possible, 
refrain from limiting State policy options, consult with States prior 
to taking any actions that would restrict State policy options, and 
take such actions only when there is clear constitutional authority and 
the presence of a problem of national scope. The Order provides for 
preemption of State law only if there is a clear Congressional intent for 
the Agency to do so. Any such preemption is to be limited to the extent possible.
    Section 18 of the OSH Act expresses Congress's intent to preempt 
State laws where OSHA has promulgated occupational safety and health 
standards. A State can avoid preemption on issues covered by Federal 
standards only if it submits, and obtains Federal approval of, a plan 
for the development of such standards and their enforcement. 29 U.S.C. 
667, Gade v. National Solid Wastes Management Association, 505 U.S. 88 
(1992). Occupational safety and health standards developed by such Plan 
States must, among other things, be at least as effective in providing 
safe and healthful employment and places of employment as the Federal 
standards. Subject to the statutory limitations of the OSH Act, State-
Plan States are free to develop and enforce their own requirements for 
occupational safety and health protections related to the maintenance 
and construction of electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution installations. Therefore, OSHA concludes that this action 
does not significantly limit State policy options.

X. OMB Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    The proposed revisions of the general industry and construction 
standards for electric power generation, transmission, and distribution 
and for electrical protective equipment contain collection-of-
information (paperwork) requirements that are subject to review by the 
Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995 (PRA-95), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., and OMB's regulations at 5 CFR 
part 1320. The Paperwork Reduction Act defines ``collection of 
information'' as ``the obtaining, causing to be obtained, soliciting, 
or requiring the disclosure to third parties or the public, of facts or 
opinions by or for an agency, regardless of form or format * * * (44 
U.S.C. 3502(3)(A)). OMB is currently reviewing OSHA's request for 
approval of the proposed collections.
    The pending Information Collection Request (ICR) discusses the new 
paperwork requirements found in the proposed rule, as well as the 
removal of the existing collection of information for training 
certification in the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and 
Distribution Standard (Sec.  1910.269(a)(2)(vii)) under OMB Control 
Number 1218-0190. Since this package contains a full discussion of 
removing the training certification, reviewers do not need to obtain 
ICR 1218-0190. Commenters may submit comments on the new collections, 
as well as the removal of the Sec.  1910.269(a)(2)(vii) training 
certification requirement, under ICR number 1218-0NEW.
    The title, description of the need for and proposed use of the 
information, summary of the collections of information, description of 
respondents, and frequency of response of the information collection 
are described below with an estimate of the annual cost and reporting 
burden as required by Sec.  1320.5(a)(1)(iv). The reporting burden 
includes the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining 
the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of 
information.
    OSHA invites comments on the collection-of-information requirements 
and the estimated burden hours associated with these collections, 
including comments on the following:
     Whether the proposed information-collection requirements 
are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, 
including whether the information is useful;
     The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and 
cost) of the information-collection requirements, including the 
validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
     The quality, utility, and clarity of the information 
collected; and
     Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply, 
for example, by using automated or other technological techniques for 
collecting and transmitting information.
    Title: Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Standard for 
construction (Sec. Sec.  1926.950 through 1926.968); and Electrical 
Protective Equipment Standard (Sec.  1926.97).
    Description and Proposed Use of the Collections of Information: The 
proposed standards would impose new information collection requirements 
for purposes of the PRA and would remove one existing information 
collection requirement. These collection of information requirements 
(Sec. Sec.  1926.97(c)(2)(xii), 1926.950(c)(1)(i), 1926.950(c)(1)(ii), 
1926.950(c)(2)(iii), 1926.953(a), 1910.269(a)(4)(i)(A), 
1910.269(a)(4)(i)(B), and 1910.269(a)(4)(ii)(C)) are being reviewed by 
OMB. OSHA is proposing to remove the training certification requirement 
contained in Sec.  1910.269(a)(2)(vii) under control number 1218-0190.
    These provisions are needed to protect employees against the 
electric shock hazards that might be present in the workplace and 
against other hazards that might be present during electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution work. The new information 
collection requirements, including those related to certification of 
rubber insulated gloves and rubber blankets, the host employer 
informing the contract employer of any known job related hazards that 
might be present on the job, the contract employer communicating all 
the hazards to his or her employees, and the use of a permit that will 
control access to an enclosed space after it has been determined that 
the space may endanger the life of employees, are important tools for 
controlling or eliminating hazards faced by employees. The employer's 
failure to generate and disclose the information required in these 
standards would significantly affect OSHA's effort to reduce the number 
of injuries and fatalities related to hazards posed by electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution work.
    Summary of the Collections of Information: The following are new 
collections of information contained in the Electric Power Generation, 
Transmission, and Distribution Standard for general industry (Sec.  
1910.269); the Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Standard 
for construction (Sec. Sec.  1926.950 through 1926.968); and the 
Electrical Protective Equipment Standard for construction (Sec.  
1926.97).

Section 1926.97--Electrical Protective Equipment--Special Requirements.

    Paragraph (c)(2)(xii) of Sec.  1926.97 requires the employer to 
certify that equipment has been tested in accordance with the 
requirements of paragraphs (c)(2)(iv), (c)(2)(vii)(C), (c)(2)(viii), 
(c)(2)(ix), and(c)(2)(xi) of that section. The certification must 
identify the equipment that passed the test and the date it was tested. 
Marking of equipment and entering the results of the tests and the 
dates of testing onto logs are two acceptable means of meeting this 
requirement.

Section 1926.950, Sec.  1910.269--Host Employer-Contract Employer 
Responsibilities.

    Paragraph (c)(1)(i) of Sec.  1926.950 and paragraph (a)(4)(i)(A) of 
Sec.  1910.269 require the host employer to inform the contractor of 
any known hazards that might be related to his work and that might not 
be recognized by the contractor. The host employer must also inform the 
contractor of any information needed to do assessments required by the 
standard.
    Paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of Sec.  1926.950 and paragraph (a)(4)(i)(B) 
of Sec.  1910.269 require the host employer to report any observed 
contract-employer related violations of the standards to the contract employer.
    Paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of Sec.  1926.950 and paragraph (a)(4)(ii)(C) 
of Sec.  1910.269 require the contract employer to advise the host 
employer of unique hazards presented by the contract employer's work, 
unanticipated hazards found during the contract employer's work that 
the host employer did not mention, and measures the contractor took to 
correct and prevent recurrences of violations reported by the host 
employer.

Section 1926.953--Enclosed Spaces--General

    Paragraph (a) of Sec.  1926.953 covers enclosed spaces that may be 
entered by employees. This paragraph applies to routine entry into 
enclosed spaces. If, after the precautions given in Sec. Sec.  1926.953 
and 1926.965 are taken, the hazards remaining in the enclosed space 
endanger the life of an entrant or could interfere with escape from the 
space, then entry into the enclosed space must meet the permit-space 
entry requirements of paragraphs (d) through (k) of Sec.  1910.146, 
some of which involve collections of information aimed at protecting 
employees from the hazards of entry into confined spaces. These 
provisions contain practices and procedures to protect employees from 
the hazards of entry into permit-required confined spaces. Section 
1910.146 already has a control number.

Section 1910.269(a)(2)(vii)--Training--Certification. [Amendment]

    Paragraph (a)(2)(vii) of existing Sec.  1910.269 requires the 
employer to certify that each employee has received the training 
required by paragraph (a)(2). This certification must be made when the 
employee demonstrates proficiency in the work practices involved and 
must be maintained for the duration of the employee's employment. OSHA 
is proposing to remove the certification requirement contained in Sec.  
1910.269(a)(2)(vii).
    Respondents: Employers who construct, install, or repair electric 
power lines and equipment outside of or on buildings, structures, and 
other premises. See section V, Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis 
and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, earlier in this preamble, 
for the number of employers (respondents) covered by the proposed 
collection of information requirements.
    Frequency of Response: On occasion. The collections of information 
involved include the host employer communicating the potentially known 
hazards to the contract employer and certifying tests performed on 
electrical protective equipment. This information will provide 
protection for employees against the electric shock hazards that might 
be present in the workplace.
    Average Time per Response: Time per response ranges from 5 minutes 
for the host employer to inform a contract employer of the hazards to 
10 minutes for the contract employer to instruct his or her employees 
of the potential hazards known on the jobsite.
    Total Burden Hours: 122,276. The estimated total cost of these 
burden hours is approximately $4,800,000.
    Estimated Costs (Operating and Maintenance): 0.
    In summary, the new collections of information (1218-0NEW) will add 
122,276 hours, while the removal of the training certification will 
result in a reduction of 11,520 hours (1218-0190). The proposal will 
yield a net increase of 110,756 hours.
    Interested parties who wish to comment on the paperwork 
requirements in this proposal must send their written comments to the 
OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. S-215, Occupational Safety and Health, 
Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, and to 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, New Executive Office 
Building, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street, 
NW., Washington, DC 20503, Attn: OSHA Desk Officer (RIN 1218-AB67). The 
Agency also encourages commenters to include their comments on 
paperwork requirements with their other comments on the proposed rule 
submitted to OSHA.
    Copies of the referenced information collection request are 
available for inspection and copying in the OSHA Docket Office and will 
be provided to persons who request copies by telephoning Todd Owen at 
(202) 693-1941. For electronic copies of the information collection 
request, contact the OSHA Web page on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov/.

XI. Public Participation--Comments and Hearings

    OSHA encourages members of the public to participate in this 
rulemaking by submitting comments on the proposal, and by providing 
oral testimony and documentary evidence at the informal public hearing 
that the Agency will convene after the comment period ends. In this 
regard, the Agency invites interested parties having knowledge of, or 
experience with, safety related to working on electric power 
generation, transmission, or distribution installations to participate 
in this process, and welcomes any pertinent data and cost information 
that will provide it with the best available evidence on which to 
develop the final standard.
    This section describes the procedures the public must use to submit 
their comments to the docket in a timely manner, and to schedule an 
opportunity to deliver oral testimony and provide documentary evidence 
at the informal public hearings. Comments, notices of intention to 
appear, hearing testimony, and documentary evidence will be available 
for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You also should 
read the earlier sections titled DATES and ADDRESSES for additional 
information on submitting comments, documents, and requests to the 
Agency for consideration in this rulemaking.
    Written Comments. OSHA invites interested parties to submit written 
data, views, and arguments concerning this proposal. In particular, 
OSHA encourages interested parties to comment on the various issues 
raised in the summary and explanation of the proposed rule (see Section 
IV, Summary and Explanation of Proposed Rule, earlier in this 
preamble). When submitting comments, parties must follow the procedures 
specified earlier in the sections titled DATES and ADDRESSES. The 
comments must clearly identify the provision of the proposal you are 
addressing, the position taken with respect to each issue, and the 
basis for that position. Comments, along with supporting data and 
references, received by the end of the specified comment period will 
become part of the proceedings record, and will be available for public 
inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office.
    Informal Public Hearing. Pursuant to section 6(b)(3) of the Act, 
members of the public will have an opportunity at an informal public 
hearing to provide oral testimony concerning the issues raised in this 
proposal. The hearings will commence at 10 A.M. on December 6, 2005. At 
that time, the presiding administrative law judge (ALJ) will resolve 
any procedural matters relating to the proceeding. The hearings will 
reconvene on subsequent days at 9 A.M.
    The legislative history of section 6 of the OSH Act, as well as 
OSHA's regulation governing public hearings (29 CFR 1911.15), establish 
the purpose and procedures of informal public hearings. Although the 
presiding officer of such hearings is an ALJ, and questioning by 
interested parties is allowed on crucial issues, the proceeding is 
informal and legislative in purpose. Therefore, the hearing provides 
interested parties with an opportunity to make effective and
expeditious oral presentations in the absence of procedural restraints 
or rigid procedures that could impede or protract the rulemaking 
process. In addition, the hearing is an informal administrative 
proceeding, rather than adjudicative one in which the technical rules 
of evidence would apply, because its primary purpose is to gather and 
clarify information. The regulations that govern public hearings, and 
the prehearing guidelines issued for this hearing, will ensure 
participants fairness and due process, and also will facilitate the 
development of a clear, accurate, and complete record. Accordingly, 
application of these rules and guidelines will be such that questions 
of relevance, procedure, and participation generally will favor 
development of the record.
    Conduct of the hearing will conform to the provisions of 29 CFR 
part 1911, ``Rules of Procedure for Promulgating, Modifying, or 
Revoking Occupational Safety and Health Standards.'' The regulation at 
29 CFR 1911.4, ``Additional or Alternative Procedural Requirements,'' 
specifies that the Assistant Secretary may, on reasonable notice, issue 
alternative procedures to expedite proceedings or for other good cause. 
Although the ALJs who preside over these hearings make no decision or 
recommendation on the merits of OSHA's proposal, they do have the 
responsibility and authority to ensure that the hearing progresses at a 
reasonable pace and in an orderly manner.
    To ensure that interested parties receive a full and fair informal 
hearing as specified by 29 CFR part 1911, the ALJ has the authority and 
power to: Regulate the course of the proceedings; dispose of procedural 
requests, objections, and comparable matters; confine the presentations 
to matters pertinent to the issues raised; use appropriate means to 
regulate the conduct of the parties who are present at the hearing; 
question witnesses, and permit others to question witnesses; and limit 
the time for such questioning. At the close of the hearing, the ALJ 
will establish a post-hearing comment period for parties who 
participated in the hearing. During the first part of this period, the 
participants may submit additional data and information to OSHA; during 
the second part of this period, they may submit briefs, arguments, and 
summations.
    Notice of Intention to Appear to Provide Testimony at the Informal 
Public Hearing. Interested parties who intend to provide oral testimony 
at the informal public hearings must file a notice of intention to 
appear by using the procedures specified earlier in the sections titled 
DATES and ADDRESSES. This notice must provide the: Name, address, and 
telephone number of each individual who will provide testimony, and 
their preferred hearing location; capacity (for example, the name of 
the establishment or organization the individual is representing and 
the individual's occupational title and position) in which each 
individual will testify; approximate amount of time required for each 
individual's testimony; specific issues each individual will address, 
including a brief statement of the position that the individual will 
take with respect to each of these issues; and a brief summary of any 
documentary evidence the individual intends to present.
    OSHA emphasizes that the hearings are open to the public, and that 
interested parties are welcome to attend. However, only a party who 
files a complete notice of intention to appear may ask questions and 
participate fully in the proceedings. While a party who did not file a 
notice of intention to appear may be allowed to testify at the hearing 
if time permits, this determination is at the discretion of the 
presiding ALJ.
    Hearing Testimony and Documentary Evidence. Any party requesting 
more than 10 minutes to testify at the informal public hearing, or who 
intends to submit documentary evidence at the hearing, must provide the 
complete text of the testimony and the documentary evidence as 
specified earlier in the sections titled DATES and ADDRESSES. The 
Agency will review each submission and determine if the information it 
contains warrants the amount of time requested. If OSHA believes the 
requested time is excessive, it will allocate an appropriate amount of 
time to the presentation, and will notify the participant of this 
action, and the reasons for the action, before the hearing. The Agency 
may limit to 10 minutes the presentation of any participant who fails 
to comply substantially with these procedural requirements; in such 
instances, OSHA may request the participant to return for questioning 
at a later time.
    Certification of the Record and Final Determination after the 
Informal Public Hearing. Following the close of the hearing and post-
hearing comment period, the presiding ALJ will certify the record to 
the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health; 
the record will consist of all of the written comments, oral testimony, 
and documentary evidence received during the proceeding. However, the 
ALJ does not make or recommend any decisions as to the content of the 
final standard. Following certification of the record, OSHA will review 
the proposed provisions in light of all the evidence received as part 
of the record, and then will issue the final rule based on the entire 
record.

XII. List of Subjects in 29 CFR Parts 1910 and 1926

    Electric power, Fire prevention, Hazardous substances, Occupational 
safety and health, Safety.

XIII. Authority and Signature

    This document was prepared under the direction of Jonathan L. 
Snare, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and 
Health, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.
    This action is taken pursuant to sections 4, 6, and 8 of the 
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657), 
Secretary of Labor's Order No. 5-2002 (67 FR 65008), and 29 CFR part 
1911.

    Signed at Washington, DC this 7th day of June, 2005.
Jonathan L. Snare,
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor.

    Accordingly, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
proposes that parts 1910 and 1926 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations be amended as follows:

PART 1910--[AMENDED]

Subpart I--Personal Protective Equipment

    1. The authority citation for Subpart I of Part 1910 would be 
revised to read as follows:

    Authority: Sections 4, 6, and 8 of the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657); Secretary of Labor's 
Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 
35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), or 5-2002 (67 FR 65008) as applicable, 
and 29 CFR Part 1911.
    Sections 29 CFR 1910.133, 1910.135, and 1910.136 also issued 
under 5 U.S.C. 553.

    2. Paragraph (a) of Sec.  1910.136 would be revised to read as 
follows:

Sec.  1910.136  Foot protection.

    (a) General requirements. The employer shall ensure that each 
affected employee uses protective footwear when working in areas where 
there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects or 
due to objects piercing the sole.
* * * * *
    3. Section 1910.137 would be amended as follows:
    a. Paragraph (a)(1)(ii) and the note following paragraph 
(a)(3)(ii)(B) would be revised to read as follows:


Sec.  1910.137  Electrical protective equipment.

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) Each item shall be clearly marked as follows:
    (A) Class 00 equipment shall be marked Class 00.
    (B) Class 0 equipment shall be marked Class 0.
    (C) Class 1 equipment shall be marked Class 1.
    (D) Class 2 equipment shall be marked Class 2.
    (E) Class 3 equipment shall be marked Class 3.
    (F) Class 4 equipment shall be marked Class 4.
    (G) Non-ozone-resistant equipment other than matting shall be 
marked Type I.
    (H) Ozone-resistant equipment other than matting shall be marked 
Type II.
    (I) Other relevant markings, such as the manufacturer's 
identification and the size of the equipment, may also be provided.
* * * * *
    (3) * * *
    (ii) * * *
    (B) * * *

    Note to paragraph (a) of this section: Rubber insulating 
equipment meeting the following national consensus standards is 
deemed to be in compliance with paragraph (a) of this section:
    American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 120-02a, 
Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Gloves.
    ASTM D 178-01el, Standard Specification for Rubber 
Insulating Matting.
    ASTM D 1048-99, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating 
Blankets.
    ASTM D 1049-98el, Standard Specification for Rubber 
Insulating Covers.
    ASTM D 1050-90, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating 
Line Hose.
    ASTM D 1051-02, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating 
Sleeves.
    These standards contain specifications for conducting the 
various tests required in paragraph (a) of this section. For 
example, the a-c and d-c proof tests, the breakdown test, the water 
soak procedure, and the ozone test mentioned in this paragraph are 
described in detail in the ASTM standards.
    ASTM F 1236-96, Standard Guide for Visual Inspection of 
Electrical Protective Rubber Products, presents methods and 
techniques for the visual inspection of electrical protective 
equipment made of rubber. This guide also contains descriptions and 
photographs of irregularities that can be found in this equipment.
    ASTM F 819-00el, Standard Terminology Relating to 
Electrical Protective Equipment for Workers, sets definitions of 
terms relating to the electrical protective equipment covered under 
this section.

* * * * *
    b. A new note would be added following paragraph (b)(2)(ii) to read 
as follows:
* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) * * *

    Note to paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section: ASTM F 1236-96, 
Standard Guide for Visual Inspection of Electrical Protective Rubber 
Products, presents methods and techniques for the visual inspection 
of electrical protective equipment made of rubber. This guide also 
contains descriptions and photographs of irregularities that can be 
found in this equipment.

* * * * *
    c. Paragraph (b)(2)(vii) would be revised to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (vii) Protector gloves shall be worn over insulating gloves, except 
as follows:
    (A) Protector gloves need not be used with Class 0 or Class 00 
gloves, under limited-use conditions, where small equipment and parts 
manipulation necessitate unusually high finger dexterity.

    Note to paragraph (b)(2)(vii)(A) of this section: Extra care is 
needed in the visual examination of the glove and in the avoidance 
of handling sharp objects.

    (B) Any other class of glove may be used for similar work without 
protector gloves if the employer can demonstrate that the possibility 
of physical damage to the gloves is small and if the class of glove is 
one class higher than that required for the voltage involved.
    (C) Insulating gloves that have been used without protector gloves 
may not be reused until they have been tested under the provisions of 
paragraphs (b)(2)(viii) and (b)(2)(ix) of this section.
* * * * *
    d. Tables I-2, I-3, I-4, and I-5 would be revised to read as 
follows:
* * * * *

                                     Table I-2.--A-C Proof-Test Requirements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Maximum proof-test current, mA (gloves only)
                                    Proof-test   ---------------------------------------------------------------
       Class of equipment         voltage  rms V   267-mm (10.5-  356-mm (14-in)  406-mm (16-in)  457-mm (18-in)
                                                     in) glove         glove           glove           glove
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
00..............................           2,500               8              12  ..............  ..............
0...............................           5,000               8              12              14              16
1...............................          10,000  ..............              14              16              18
2...............................          20,000  ..............              16              18              20
3...............................          30,000  ..............              18              20              22
4...............................          40,000  ..............  ..............              22              24
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                 Table I-3.--D-C Proof-Test Requirements
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Proof-test
                     Class of equipment                        voltage
------------------------------------------------------------------------
00.........................................................       10,000
0..........................................................       20,000
1..........................................................       40,000
2..........................................................       50,000
3..........................................................       60,000
4..........................................................      70,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The d-c voltages listed in this table are not appropriate for
  proof testing rubber insulating line hose or covers. For this
  equipment, d-c proof tests shall use a voltage high enough to indicate
  that the equipment can be safely used at the voltages listed in Table
  I-5. See ASTM D 1050-90 and ASTM D 1049-98el for further information
  on proof tests for rubber insulating line hose and covers,
  respectively.


                                    Table I-4.--Glove Tests--Water Level 1, 2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   A-C proof test            D-C proof test
                       Class of glove                        ---------------------------------------------------
                                                                   mm           in           mm           in
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
00..........................................................           38          1.5           38          1.5
0...........................................................           38          1.5           38          1.5
1...........................................................           38          1.5           51          2.0
2...........................................................           64          2.5           76          3.0
3...........................................................           89          3.5          102          4.0
4...........................................................          127          5.0          153         6.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The water level is given as the clearance from the cuff of the glove to the water line, with a tolerance of
  13 mm. (0.5 in.).
\2\ If atmospheric conditions make the specified clearances impractical, the clearances may be increased by a
  maximum of 25 mm. (1 in.).


                          Table I-5.--Rubber Insulating Equipment Voltage Requirements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Maximum use
                       Class of equipment                         voltage \1\ A-  Retest voltage  Retest voltage
                                                                       C rms        \2\ A-C rms     \2\ D-C avg
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
00..............................................................             500           2,500          10,000
0...............................................................           1,000           5,000          20,000
1...............................................................           7,500          10,000          40,000
2...............................................................          17,000          20,000          50,000
3...............................................................          26,000          30,000          60,000
4...............................................................          36,000          40,000         70,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The maximum use voltage is the A-C voltage (rms) classification of the protective equipment that designates
  the maximum nominal design voltage of the energized system that may be safely worked. The nominal design
  voltage is equal to the phase-to-phase voltage on multiphase circuits. However, the phase-to-ground potential
  is considered to be the nominal design voltage:
(1) If there is no multiphase exposure in a system area and if the voltage exposure is limited to the phase-to-
  ground potential, or
(2) If the electrical equipment and devices are insulated or isolated or both so that the multiphase exposure on
  a grounded wye circuit is removed.
\2\ The proof-test voltage shall be applied continuously for at least 1 minute, but no more than 3 minutes.

* * * * *
    e. A new paragraph (c) would be added to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (c) Requirements for other types of electrical protective 
equipment. The following requirements apply to the design and 
manufacture of electrical protective equipment that is not covered by 
paragraph (a) of this section:
    (1) Voltage withstand. Insulating equipment used for the protection 
of employees shall be capable of withstanding, without failure, the 
voltages that may be imposed upon it.

    Note to paragraph (c)(1) of this section: Such voltages include 
transient overvoltages, such as switching surges, as well as nominal 
line voltage. See Appendix B to Sec.  1910.269 for a discussion of 
transient overvoltages on electric power transmission and 
distribution systems.

    (2) Equipment current. (i) Protective equipment used for the 
primary insulation of employees from energized circuit parts shall be 
capable of passing a current test when subjected to the highest nominal 
voltage on which the equipment is to be used.
    (ii) When insulating equipment is tested in accordance with 
paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section, the equipment current may not 
exceed 1 microampere per kilovolt of phase-to-phase applied voltage.

    Note 1 to paragraph (c)(2) of this section: This paragraph 
applies to equipment that provides primary insulation of employees 
from energized parts. It is not intended to apply to equipment used 
for secondary insulation or equipment used for brush contact only.

    Note 2 to paragraph (c)(2) of this section: For a-c excitation, 
this current consists of three components:
    (1) Capacitive current because of the dielectric properties of 
the insulating material itself,
    (2) Conduction current through the volume of the insulating 
equipment, and
    (3) Leakage current along the surface of the tool or equipment.
    The conduction current is normally negligible. For clean, dry 
insulating equipment, the leakage current is small, and the 
capacitive current predominates.

Subpart R--Special Industries

    4. The authority citation for Subpart R would be revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: Sections 4, 6, and 8 of the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657); Secretary of Labor's 
Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 
35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), 5-2002 (67 F.R. 65008) 
as applicable; 29 CFR part 1911.
    Section 1910.272 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 553.

    5. Section 1910.269 would be amended as follows:
    a. Paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (a)(2)(vii) would be revised and new 
paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(E) and (a)(4) would be added to read as follows:

Sec.  1910.269  Electric power generation, transmission, and 
distribution.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (2) Training. (i) All employees shall be trained as follows:
    (A) Employees shall be trained in and familiar with the safety-
related work practices, safety procedures, and other safety 
requirements in this subpart that pertain to their respective job 
assignments.
    (B) Employees shall also be trained in and familiar with any other 
safety practices, including applicable emergency procedures (such as 
pole top and manhole rescue), that are not specifically addressed by 
this subpart but that are related to their work and are necessary for 
their safety.
    (C) The degree of training shall be determined by the risk to the 
employee for the task involved.
    (ii) * * *
    (E) The recognition of electrical hazards to which the employee may 
be exposed and the skills and techniques necessary to control or avoid 
those hazards.
* * * * *
    (vii) Demonstration of proficiency. The employer shall determine 
that each employee has demonstrated proficiency in the work practices 
involved before that employee is considered as having completed the 
training required by paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    Note 1 to paragraph (a)(2)(vii) of this section: Though they are 
not required by this paragraph, employment records that indicate 
that an employee has successfully completed the required training 
are one way of keeping track of when an employee has demonstrated 
proficiency.

    Note 2 to paragraph (a)(2)(vii) of this section: Employers may 
rely on an employee's previous training as long as the employer: (1) 
Confirms that the employee has the job experience appropriate to the 
work to be performed, (2) through an examination or interview, makes 
an initial determination that the employee is proficient in the 
relevant safety-related work practices before he or she performs any 
work covered by this subpart, and (3) supervises the employee 
closely until that employee has demonstrated proficiency in all the 
work practices he or she will employ.

* * * * *
    (4) Contractors. (i) Host employer responsibilities. (A) The host 
employer shall inform contract employers of:
    (1) Known hazards that are covered by this section, that are 
related to the contract employer's work, and that might not be 
recognized by the contract employer or its employees; and
    (2) Information about the employer's installation that the contract 
employer needs to make the assessments required by this section.
    (B) The host employer shall report observed contract-employer-
related violations of this section to the contract employer.
    (ii) Contract employer responsibilities. (A) The contract employer 
shall ensure that each of his or her employees is instructed in the 
hazards communicated to the contract employer by the host employer.

    Note to paragraph (a)(4)(ii)(A) of this section: This 
instruction is in addition to the training required by paragraph 
(a)(2) of this section.

    (B) The contract employer shall ensure that each of his or her 
employees follows the work practices required by this section and 
safety-related work rules required by the host employer.
    (C) The contract employer shall advise the host employer of:
    (1) Any unique hazards presented by the contract employer's work,
    (2) Any unanticipated hazards found during the contract employer's 
work that the host employer did not mention, and
    (3) The measures the contractor took to correct any violations 
reported by the host employer under paragraph (a)(4)(i)(B) of this 
section and to prevent such violations from recurring in the future.
* * * * *
    b. Paragraph (c) would be revised to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (c) Job briefing. (1) Before each job. (i) In assigning an employee 
or a group of employees to perform a job, the employer shall provide 
the employee in charge of the job with available information necessary 
to perform the job safely.

    Note to paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section: The information 
provided by the employer to the employee in charge is intended to 
supplement the training required under Sec.  1910.269(a)(2). It may 
be provided at the beginning of the day for all jobs to be performed 
that day rather than at the start of each job. The information is 
also intended to be general in nature, with work-site specific 
information to be provided by the employee in charge after the crew 
arrives at the work site.

    (ii) The employer shall ensure that the employee in charge conducts 
a job briefing meeting paragraphs (c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this 
section with the employees involved before they start each job.
    (2) Subjects to be covered. The briefing shall cover at least the 
following subjects: hazards associated with the job, work procedures 
involved, special precautions, energy source controls, and personal 
protective equipment requirements.
    (3) Number of briefings. (i) If the work or operations to be 
performed during the work day or shift are repetitive and similar, at 
least one job briefing shall be conducted before the start of the first 
job of each day or shift.
    (ii) Additional job briefings shall be held if significant changes, 
which might affect the safety of the employees, occur during the course 
of the work.
    (4) Extent of briefing. (i) A brief discussion is satisfactory if 
the work involved is routine and if the employees, by virtue of 
training and experience, can reasonably be expected to recognize and 
avoid the hazards involved in the job.
    (ii) A more extensive discussion shall be conducted:
    (A) If the work is complicated or particularly hazardous, or
    (B) If the employee cannot be expected to recognize and avoid the 
hazards involved in the job.

    Note to paragraph (c)(4) of this section: The briefing must 
always touch on all the subjects listed in paragraph (c)(2) of this 
section.

    (5) Working alone. An employee working alone need not conduct a job 
briefing. However, the employer shall ensure that the tasks to be 
performed are planned as if a briefing were required.
* * * * *
    c. The note following paragraph (e)(6) would be removed and 
paragraphs (e)(7), (e)(8), and (e)(12) would be revised to read as 
follows:
* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (7) Attendants. While work is being performed in the enclosed 
space, a person with first aid training meeting paragraph (b) of this 
section shall be immediately available outside the enclosed space to 
provide assistance if a hazard exists because of traffic patterns in 
the area of the opening used for entry. That person is not precluded 
from performing other duties outside the enclosed space if these duties 
do not distract the attendant from monitoring employees within the 
space.

    Note to paragraph(e)(7) of this section: See paragraph (t)(3) of 
this section for additional requirements on attendants for work in 
manholes.

    (8) Calibration of test instruments. Test instruments used to 
monitor atmospheres in enclosed spaces shall be kept in calibration and 
shall have a minimum accuracy of 10 percent.
* * * * *

    (12) Specific ventilation requirements. If continuous forced air 
ventilation is used, it shall begin before entry is made and shall be 
maintained long enough for the employer to be able to demonstrate that 
a safe atmosphere exists before employees are allowed to enter the work 
area. The forced air ventilation shall be so directed as to ventilate 
the immediate area where employees are present within the enclosed 
space and shall continue until all employees leave the enclosed space.
* * * * *
    d. Paragraph (g)(2) would be revised to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (g) * * *
    (2) Fall protection. (i) Personal fall arrest systems shall meet 
the requirements of Subpart M of Part 1926 of this Chapter.

    Note to paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this section: This paragraph 
applies to all personal fall arrest systems used in work covered by 
this section.

    (ii) Body belts and positioning straps for work positioning shall 
meet the requirements of Sec.  1926.954(b)(2) of this Chapter.

    Note to paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this section: This paragraph 
applies to all work positioning equipment used in work covered by 
this section.

    (iii) The following requirements apply to the care and use of 
personal fall protection equipment:
    (A) Work positioning equipment shall be inspected before use each 
day to determine that the equipment is in safe working condition. 
Defective equipment may not be used.

    Note to paragraph (g)(2)(iii)(A) of this section: Appendix G to 
this section contains guidelines for the inspection of work 
positioning equipment.

    (B) Personal fall arrest systems shall be used in accordance with 
Sec.  1926.502(d) of this chapter. However, the attachment point need 
not be located as required by Sec.  1926.502(d)(17) of this chapter if 
the body harness is being used as work positioning equipment and if the 
maximum free fall distance is limited to 0.6 m (2 ft).
    (C) A personal fall arrest system or work positioning equipment 
shall be used by employees working at elevated locations more than 1.2 
m (4 ft) above the ground on poles, towers, or similar structures if 
other fall protection has not been provided. Fall protection equipment 
is not required to be used by a qualified employee climbing or changing 
location on poles, towers, or similar structures, unless conditions, 
such as, but not limited to, ice, high winds, the design of the 
structure (for example, no provision for holding on with hands), or the 
presence of contaminants on the structure, could cause the employee to 
lose his or her grip or footing.

    Note 1 to paragraph (g)(2)(iii)(C) of this section: This 
paragraph applies to structures that support overhead electric power 
generation, transmission, and distribution lines and equipment. It 
does not apply to portions of buildings, such as loading docks, to 
electric equipment, such as transformers and capacitors, nor to 
aerial lifts. The duty to provide fall protection associated with 
walking and working surfaces is contained in Subpart M of Part 1926 
of this chapter; the duty to provide fall protection associated with 
aerial lifts is contained in Sec.  1910.67.

    Note 2 to paragraph (g)(2)(iii)(C) of this section: Employees 
who have not completed training in climbing and the use of fall 
protection are not considered ``qualified employees'' for the 
purposes of this provision. Unqualified employees (including 
trainees) are required to use fall protection any time they are more 
than 1.2 m (4 ft) above the ground.

    (D) Work positioning systems shall be rigged so that an employee 
can free fall no more than 0.6 m (2 ft) unless no anchorage is 
available.
    (E) Anchorages for work positioning equipment shall be capable of 
supporting at least twice the potential impact load of an employee's 
fall or 13.3 kN (3,000 lbf), whichever is greater.
    (F) Unless the snaphook is a locking type and designed specifically 
for the following connections, snaphooks on work positioning equipment 
may not be engaged:
    (1) Directly to webbing, rope, or wire rope;
    (2) To each other;
    (3) To a D ring to which another snaphook or other connector is 
attached;
    (4) To a horizontal lifeline; or
    (5) To any object which is incompatibly shaped or dimensioned in 
relation to the snaphook such that unintentional disengagement could 
occur by the connected object being able to depress the snaphook keeper 
and release itself.
* * * * *
    e. The heading to paragraph (h) would be revised to read as 
follows:
* * * * *
    (h) Ladders and platforms. * * *
* * * * *
    f. Paragraphs (l)(2)(i), (l)(3), (l)(4), and (l)(6) would be 
revised and a new paragraph (l)(11) would be added to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (l) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) The employee is insulated from the energized part (insulating 
gloves or insulating gloves and sleeves worn in accordance with 
paragraph (l)(3) of this section are considered insulation of the 
employee from the energized part upon which the employee is working 
provided that the employee has control of the part in a manner 
sufficient to prevent exposure to uninsulated portions of the body), or
* * * * *
    (3) Type of insulation. (i) If the employee is to be insulated from 
energized parts by the use of insulating gloves (under paragraph 
(l)(2)(i) of this section), insulating sleeves shall also be used. 
However, insulating sleeves need not be used under the following 
conditions:
    (A) If exposed energized parts on which work is not being performed 
are insulated from the employee and
    (B) If such insulation is placed from a position not exposing the 
employee's upper arm to contact with other energized parts.
    (ii) If the employee is to be insulated from energized parts by the 
use of insulating gloves or insulating gloves with sleeves:
    (A) The insulating equipment shall be put on in a position where 
the employee cannot reach into the minimum approach distance given in 
paragraph (l)(2) of this section; and
    (B) The insulating equipment may not be removed until the employee 
is in a position where he or she cannot reach into the minimum approach 
distance given in paragraph (l)(2) of this section.
    (4) Working position. (i) The employer shall ensure that each 
employee, to the extent that other safety-related conditions at the 
worksite permit, works in a position from which a slip or shock will 
not bring the employee's body into contact with exposed, uninsulated 
parts energized at a potential different from the employee.
    (ii) If work is performed near exposed parts energized at more than 
600 volts but not more than 72.5 kilovolts and if the employee is not 
insulated from the energized parts or performing live-line bare-hand 
work, the employee shall work from a position where the employee cannot 
reach into the minimum approach distance given in paragraph (l)(2) of 
this section.
* * * * *
    (6) Conductive articles. When work is performed within reaching 
distance of exposed energized parts of equipment, the employer shall 
ensure that each employee removes or renders nonconductive all exposed 
conductive articles, such as key or watch chains, rings, or wrist watches or 
bands, unless such articles do not increase the hazards associated with 
contact with the energized parts.
* * * * *
    (11) Clothing. (i) The employer shall assess the workplace to 
determine if each employee is exposed to hazards from flames or from 
electric arcs.
    (ii) For each employee exposed to hazards from electric arcs, the 
employer shall make a reasonable estimate of the maximum available heat 
energy to which the employee would be exposed.

    Note 1 to paragraph (l)(11)(ii) of this section: Appendix F to 
this section provides guidance on the estimation of available heat 
energy.

    Note 2 to paragraph (l)(11)(ii) of this section: This paragraph 
does not require the employer to estimate the heat energy exposure 
for every job task performed by each employee. The employer may make 
broad estimates that cover multiple system areas provided the 
employer uses reasonable assumptions about the energy exposure 
distribution throughout the system and provided the estimates 
represent the maximum exposure for those areas. For example, the 
employer could estimate the heat energy just outside a substation 
feeding a radial distribution system and use that estimate for all 
jobs performed on that radial system.

    (iii) The employer shall ensure that each employee who is exposed 
to hazards from electric arcs does not wear clothing that could melt 
onto his or her skin or that could ignite and continue to burn when 
exposed to the heat energy estimated under paragraph (l)(11)(ii) of 
this section.

    Note to paragraph (l)(11)(iii) of this section: Clothing made 
from the following types of fabrics, either alone or in blends, is 
prohibited by this paragraph, unless the employer can demonstrate 
that the fabric has been treated to withstand the conditions that 
may be encountered or that the clothing is worn in such a manner as 
to eliminate the hazard involved: acetate, nylon, polyester, rayon.

    (iv) The employer shall ensure that an employee wears clothing that 
is flame resistant under any of the following conditions:
    (A) The employee is subject to contact with energized circuit parts 
operating at more than 600 volts,
    (B) The employee's clothing could be ignited by flammable material 
in the work area that could be ignited by an electric arc, or
    (C) The employee's clothing could be ignited by molten metal or 
electric arcs from faulted conductors in the work area.

    Note to paragraph (l)(11)(iv)(C) of this section: This paragraph 
does not apply to conductors that are capable of carrying, without 
failure, the maximum available fault current for the time the 
circuit protective devices take to interrupt the fault.

    (v) The employer shall ensure that each employee who is exposed to 
hazards from electric arcs wears clothing with an arc rating greater 
than or equal to the heat energy estimated under paragraph (l)(11)(ii) 
of this section.

    Note to paragraph (l)(11) of this section: See Appendix F to 
this section for further information on the selection of appropriate 
clothing.

* * * * *
    g. Table R-6 would be revised to read as follows:
* * * * *

                             Table R-6--A-C Live-Line Work Minimum Approach Distance
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Distance
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
   Nominal voltage in kilovolts phase to phase       Phase-to-ground exposure         Phase-to-phase exposure
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         m             ft-in             m             ft-in
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.051 to 0.300 \1\..............................           Avoid Contact
                                                           Avoid Contact
0.301 to 0.750 \1\..............................            0.31             1-0            0.31             1-0
0.751 to 15.0...................................            0.65             2-2            0.67             2-3
15.1 to 36.0....................................            0.77             2-7            0.86            2-10
36.1 to 46.0....................................            0.84             2-9            0.96             3-2
46.1 to 72.5....................................            1.00             3-3            1.20            3-11
72.6 to 121.....................................            0.95             3-2            1.29             4-3
138 to 145......................................            1.09             3-7            1.50            4-11
161 to 169......................................            1.22             4-0            1.71             5-8
230 to 242......................................            1.59             5-3            2.27             7-6
345 to 362......................................            2.59             8-6            3.80            12-6
500 to 550......................................            3.42            11-3            5.50            18-1
765 to 800......................................            4.53           14-11            7.91           26-0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ For single-phase systems, use the voltage to ground.
Note 1: These distances take into consideration the highest surge an employee will be exposed to on any system
  with air as the insulating medium and the maximum voltages shown.
Note 2: The clear live-line tool distance shall equal or exceed the values for the indicated voltage ranges.
Note 3: See Appendix B to this section for information on how the mimimum approach distances listed in the
  tables were derived.

* * * * *
    h. Paragraph (m)(3)(viii) would be revised to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (m) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (viii) If two or more independent crews will be working on the same 
lines or equipment, each crew shall independently comply with the 
requirements in this paragraph (m)(3). The independent crews shall 
coordinate deenergizing and reenergizing the lines or equipment if 
there is no system operator in charge of the lines or equipment.
* * * * *
    i. Paragraphs (n)(4), (n)(6), and (n)(7) would be revised to read 
as follows:
* * * * *
    (n) * * *
    (4) Protective grounding equipment. (i) Protective grounding 
equipment shall be capable of conducting the maximum fault current that 
could flow at the point of grounding for the time necessary to clear 
the fault.
    (ii) If the protective grounding equipment required under paragraph 
(n)(4)(i) of this section would be larger than the conductor to which 
it is attached, this equipment may be reduced in size provided that it 
is sized and placed so that:
    (A) The conductor being grounded will fail before the protective 
grounding equipment,
    (B) The conductor is only considered as grounded where it is 
protected against failure by the protective grounding equipment, and
    (C) No employees would be endangered by the failed conductor.
    (iii) This equipment shall have an ampacity greater than or equal 
to that of No. 2 AWG copper.
    (iv) Protective grounds shall have an impedance low enough so that 
they do not delay the operation of protective devices in case of 
accidental energizing of the lines or equipment.

    Note to paragraph (n)(4) of this section: Guidelines for 
protective grounding equipment are contained in American Society for 
Testing and Materials Standard Specifications for Temporary 
Protective Grounds to Be Used on De-Energized Electric Power Lines 
and Equipment, ASTM F 855-03.

* * * * *
    (6) Order of connection. When a ground is to be attached to a line 
or to equipment, the ground-end connection shall be attached first, and 
then the other end shall be attached by means of a live-line tool. For 
lines or equipment operating at 600 volts or less, insulating equipment 
other than a live-line tool may be used if the employer ensures that 
the line or equipment is not energized at the time the ground is 
connected or if the employer can demonstrate that each employee would 
be protected from hazards that may develop if the line or equipment is 
energized.
    (7) Order of removal. When a ground is to be removed, the grounding 
device shall be removed from the line or equipment using a live-line 
tool before the ground-end connection is removed. For lines or 
equipment operating at 600 volts or less, insulating equipment other 
than a live-line tool may be used if the employer ensures that the line 
or equipment is not energized at the time the ground is disconnected or 
if the employer can demonstrate that each employee would be protected 
from hazards that may develop if the line or equipment is energized.
* * * * *
    j. Paragraph (p)(4)(i) would be revised to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (p) * * *
    (4) Operations near energized lines or equipment. (i) Mechanical 
equipment shall be operated so that the minimum approach distances of 
Table R-6 through Table R-10 are maintained from exposed energized 
lines and equipment. However, the insulated portion of an aerial lift 
operated by a qualified employee in the lift is exempt from this 
requirement if the applicable minimum approach distance is maintained 
between the uninsulated portions of the aerial lift and exposed objects 
at a different potential.
* * * * *
    k. Paragraphs (t)(3), (t)(7), and (t)(8) would be revised to read 
as follows:
* * * * *
    (t) * * *
    (3) Attendants for manholes and vaults. (i) While work is being 
performed in a manhole or vault containing energized electric 
equipment, an employee with first aid and CPR training meeting 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be available on the surface in 
the immediate vicinity of the manhole or vault entrance to render 
emergency assistance.
    (ii) Occasionally, the employee on the surface may briefly enter a 
manhole or vault to provide assistance, other than emergency.

    Note 1 to paragraph (t)(3)(ii) of this section: An attendant may 
also be required under paragraph (e)(7) of this section. One person 
may serve to fulfill both requirements. However, attendants required 
under paragraph (e)(7) of this section are not permitted to enter 
the manhole or vault.

    Note 2 to paragraph (t)(3)(ii) of this section: Employees 
entering manholes or vaults containing unguarded, uninsulated 
energized lines or parts of electric equipment operating at 50 volts 
or more are required to be qualified under paragraph (l)(1) of this 
section.

    (iii) For the purpose of inspection, housekeeping, taking readings, 
or similar work, an employee working alone may enter, for brief periods 
of time, a manhole or vault where energized cables or equipment are in 
service, if the employer can demonstrate that the employee will be 
protected from all electrical hazards.
    (iv) Reliable communications, through two-way radios or other 
equivalent means, shall be maintained among all employees involved in 
the job.
* * * * *
    (7) Protection against faults. (i) Where a cable in a manhole or 
vault has one or more abnormalities that could lead to or be an 
indication of an impending fault, the defective cable shall be 
deenergized before any employee may work in the manhole or vault, 
except when service load conditions and a lack of feasible alternatives 
require that the cable remain energized. In that case, employees may 
enter the manhole or vault provided they are protected from the 
possible effects of a failure by shields or other devices that are 
capable of containing the adverse effects of a fault.

    Note to paragraph (t)(7)(i) of this section: Abnormalities such 
as oil or compound leaking from cable or joints, broken cable 
sheaths or joint sleeves, hot localized surface temperatures of 
cables or joints, or joints that are swollen beyond normal tolerance 
are presumed to lead to or be an indication of an impending fault.

    (ii) If the work being performed in a manhole or vault could cause 
a fault in a cable, that cable shall be deenergized before any employee 
may work in the manhole or vault, except when service load conditions 
and a lack of feasible alternatives require that the cable remain 
energized. In that case, employees may enter the manhole or vault 
provided they are protected from the possible effects of a failure by 
shields or other devices that are capable of containing the adverse 
effects of a fault.
    (8) Sheath continuity. When work is performed on buried cable or on 
cable in a manhole or vault, metallic sheath continuity shall be 
maintained or the cable sheath shall be treated as energized.
* * * * *
    l. In the Notes following paragraphs (u)(1), (u)(5)(i), (v)(3), and 
(v)(5)(i), ``ANSI C2-1987'' would be revised to read ``ANSI C2-2002'' 
wherever it appears.
    m. Definitions of ``Contract employer,'' ``Entry,'' and ``Host 
employer'' would be added, in alphabetical order, to Sec.  1910.269(x), 
to read as follows:
* * * * *
    (x) * * *
    Contract employer. An employer who performs work covered by this 
section for a host employer.
* * * * *
    Entry (as used in paragraph (e) of this section). The action by 
which a person passes through an opening into an enclosed space. Entry 
includes ensuing work activities in that space and is considered to 
have occurred as soon as any part of the entrant's body breaks the 
plane of an opening into the space.
* * * * *
    Host employer. An employer who operates and maintains an electric 
power generation, transmission, or distribution installation covered by 
this section and who hires a contract employer to perform work on that 
installation.
* * * * *
    n. A new Appendix F would be added to Sec.  1910.269 to read as 
follows:
* * * * *

Appendix F to Section 1910.269--Clothing

I. Introduction

    Paragraph (1)(11) of Sec.  1910.269 addresses clothing worn by 
an employee. This paragraph requires employers to: (1) Assess the 
workplace for flame and arc hazards (paragraph (1)(11)(i)); (2) 
estimate the available heat energy from electric arcs to which 
employees could be exposed (paragraph (1)(11)(ii)), (3) ensure that 
employees wear clothing that has an arc rating greater than or equal 
to the available heat energy (paragraph (1)(11)(v)), (4) ensure that 
employees wear clothing that could not melt or ignite and continue 
to burn in the presence of electric arcs to which an employee could 
be exposed (paragraph (1)(11)(iii)), and (5) ensure that employees 
wear flame-resistant clothing \1\ under certain conditions 
(paragraph (1)(11)(iv)). This appendix contains information to help 
employers estimate available heat energy as required by Sec.  
1910.269(1)(11)(ii), select clothing with an arc rating suitable for 
the available heat energy as required by Sec.  1910.269(1)(11)(v), 
and ensure that employees do not wear flammable clothing that could 
lead to burn injury as addressed by Sec. Sec.  1910.269(1)(11)(iii) 
and (1)(11)(iv).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Flame-resistant clothing includes clothing that is 
inherently flame resistant and clothing that has been chemically 
treated with a flame retardant. (See ASTM F1506-02a, Standard 
Performance Specification for Textile Materials for Wearing Apparel 
for Use by Electrical Workers Exposed to Momentary Electric Arc and 
Related Thermal Hazards.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Protection Against Burn Injury

A. Estimating Available Heat Energy

    The first step in protecting employees from burn injury 
resulting from an electric arc is to estimate the potential heat 
energy if an arc does occur. There are various methods of 
calculating values of available heat energy from an electric 
circuit. These methods are listed in Table 7. Each method requires 
the input of various parameters, such as fault current, the expected 
length of the electric arc, the distance from the arc to the 
employee, and the clearing time for the fault (that is, the time the 
circuit protective devices take to open the circuit and clear the 
fault). Some of these parameters, such as the fault current and the 
clearing time, are known quantities for a given system. Other 
parameters, such as the length of the arc and the distance between 
the arc and the employee, vary widely and can only be estimated.

 Table 7.--Methods of Calculating Incident Heat Energy From an Electric
                                   Arc
------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Standard for Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces,
 NFPA 70E-2004, Annex D, ``Sample Calculation of Flash Protection
 Boundary.''
2. Doughty, T.E., Neal, T.E., and Floyd II, H.L., ``Predicting Incident
 Energy to Better Manage the Electric Arc Hazard on 600 V Power
 Distribution Systems,'' Record of Conference Papers IEEE IAS 45th
 Annual Petroleum and Chemical Industry Conference, September 28-30,
 1998.
3. Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations, IEEE 1584-2002.
4. Heat Flux Calculator, a free software program created by Alan
 Privette (widely available on the Internet).
5. ARCPRO, a commercially available software program developed by
 Kinectrics, Toronto, ON, CA.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The amount of heat energy calculated by any of the methods is 
approximately directly proportional to the square of the distance 
between the employee and the arc. In other words, if the employee is 
very close to the arc, the heat energy is very high; but if he or 
she is just a few more centimeters away, the heat energy drops 
substantially. Thus, estimating the distance from the arc to the 
employee is key to protecting employees.
    In estimating available heat energy, the employer must make some 
reasonable assumptions about how far the employee will be from the 
electric arc. In some instances, such as during some work performed 
using live-line tools, the employee will be at least the minimum 
approach distance from an energized part. However, in this 
situation, the arc could still extend towards the employee. Thus, in 
this case, a reasonable estimate of the distance between the 
employee and the arc would be the minimum approach distance minus 
twice the sparkover distance.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The sparkover distance equals the shortest possible arc 
length.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In other cases, as during rubber glove work, parts of the 
employee's body will be closer to an energized part than the minimum 
approach distance. An employee's chest will be about 380 millimeters 
(15 in.) from an energized conductor during rubber glove work on 
that conductor. Because there should not be any surfaces at a 
potential other than the conductor between the employee and the 
conductor, it is reasonable to assume that the arc will not extend 
towards the employee. Thus, in this situation, it would be 
reasonable to use 380 millimeters (15 in.) as the distance between 
the employee and the arc.
    The standard permits an employer to make broad estimates of 
available heat energy covering multiple system areas using 
reasonable assumptions about the energy exposure distribution. For 
example, the employer can use the maximum fault current and clearing 
time to cover several system areas at once. Table 8 presents 
estimates of available energy for different parts of an electrical 
system operating at 4 to 46 kV. The table is for open-air, phase-to-
ground electric arc exposures typical for overhead systems operating 
at these voltages. The table assumes that the employee will be 380 
millimeters (15 in.) from the electric arc, which is a reasonable 
estimate for rubber glove work. To use the table, an employer would 
use the voltage, maximum fault current, and maximum clearing time 
for a system area and select the appropriate heat energy (5, 8, or 
12 calories) from the table. For example, an employer might have a 
12,470-volt power line supplying a system area. The power line can 
supply a maximum fault current of 8 kiloamperes with a maximum 
clearing time of 10 cycles. This system falls in the 4.0-to-15.0-kV 
range; the fault current is less than 10 kA (the second row in that 
voltage range); and the clearing time is under 14.5 cycles (the 
first column to the right of the fault current column). Thus, the 
available heat energy for this part of the system will be 5 calories 
or less (from the column heading), and the employer could select 
clothing with a 5-calorie rating to meet Sec.  1910.269(l)(11)(v).
    Table 9 presents similar estimates for systems operating at 
voltages of 46.1 to 800 kV. This table is also for open-air, phase-
to-ground electric arc exposures typical for overhead systems 
operating at these voltages. The table assumes that the arc length 
will be equal to the sparkover distance \3\ and that the employee 
will be a distance from the arc equal to the minimum approach 
distance minus twice the arc length.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ The dielectric strength of air is about 10 kV for every 25.4 
mm (1 in.). Thus, the arc length can be estimated to be the phase-
to-ground voltage divided by 10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The employer will need to use other methods for estimating 
available heat energy in situations not addressed by Table 8 or 
Table 9. The calculation methods listed in Table 7 will help 
employers do this. In addition, employers can use Table 
130.7(C)(9)(a), Table 130.7(C)(10), and Table 130.7(C)(11) of NFPA 
70E-2004 to estimate the available heat energy (and to select 
appropriate protective clothing) for many situations not addressed 
in the tables in this appendix, including lower-voltage, phase-to-
phase arc, and enclosed arc exposures.

    Table 8.--Available Heat Energy for Various Fault Currents, Clearing Times, and Voltages of 4.0 to 46.0 kV
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   5-cal maximum   8-cal maximum  12-cal maximum
               Voltage range  (kV)                 Fault current   clearing time   clearing time   clearing time
                                                       (kV)          (cycles)        (cycles)        (cycles)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.0 to 15.0.....................................               5            37.3            59.6            89.4
                                                              10            14.5            23.2            34.8
                                                              15             8.0            12.9            19.3
                                                              20             5.2             8.3            12.5
15.1 to 25.0....................................               5            34.5            55.2            82.8
                                                              10            14.2            22.7            34.1
                                                              15             8.2            13.2            19.8
                                                              20             5.5             8.8            13.2
25.1 to 36.0....................................               5            16.9            27.0            40.4
                                                              10             7.1            11.4            17.1
                                                              15             4.2             6.8            10.1
                                                              20             2.9             4.6             6.9
36.1 to 46.0....................................               5            13.3            21.2            31.9
                                                              10             5.7             9.1            13.7
                                                              15             3.5             5.6             8.4
                                                              20             2.5             4.0            6.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes:
(1) This table is for open-air, phase-to-ground electric arc exposures. It is not intended for phase-to-phase
  arcs or enclosed arcs (arc in a box).
(2) The table assumes that the employee will be 380 mm (15 in.) from the electric arc. The table also assumes
  the arc length to be the sparkover distance for the maximum voltage of each voltage range, as follows:
4.0 to 15.0 kV 51 mm (2 in.).
15.1 to 25.0 kV 102 mm (4 in.).
25.1 to 36.0 kV 152 mm (6 in.).
36.1 to 46.0 kV 229 mm (9 in.).


    Table 9.--Available Heat Energy for Various Fault Currents, Clearing Times, and Voltages of 46.1 to 800 kV
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   5-cal maximum   8-cal maximum  12-cal maximum
               Voltage range  (kV)                 Fault current   clearing time   clearing time   clearing time
                                                       (kV)          (cycles)        (cycles)        (cycles)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
46.1 to 72.5....................................              20            10.6            17.0            25.5
                                                              30             6.6            10.5            15.8
                                                              40             4.6             7.3            11.0
                                                              50             3.4             5.5             8.3
72.6 to 121.....................................              20            10.3            16.5            24.7
                                                              30             5.9             9.4            14.1
                                                              40             3.9             6.2             9.3
                                                              50             2.7             4.4             6.6
138 to 145......................................              20            12.2            19.5            29.3
                                                              30             7.0            11.2            16.8
                                                              40             4.6             7.4            11.1
                                                              50             3.3             5.3             7.9
161 to 169......................................              20            11.6            18.6            27.9
                                                              30             7.2            11.5            17.2
                                                              40             5.0             8.0            12.0
                                                              50             3.8             6.0             9.0
230 to 242......................................              20            13.0            20.9            31.3
                                                              30             8.0            12.9            19.3
                                                              40             5.6             9.0            13.5
                                                              50             4.2             6.8            10.1
345 to 362......................................              20            28.3            45.3            67.9
                                                              30            17.5            28.1            42.1
                                                              40            12.2            19.6            29.4
                                                              50             9.2            14.7            22.1
500 to 550......................................              20            23.6            37.8            56.7
                                                              30            14.6            23.3            35.0
                                                              40            10.2            16.3            24.4
                                                              50             7.6            12.2            18.3
765 to 800......................................              20            54.5            87.3           130.9
                                                              30            33.7            53.9            80.9
                                                              40            23.6            37.8            56.7
                                                              50            17.8            28.4           42.6
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes:
(1) This table is for open-air, phase-to-ground electric are exposures. It is not intended for phase-to-phase
  arcs or enclosed arcs (arc in a box)

(2) The table assumes that the arc length will be the phase-to-ground voltage divided by 10 and that the
  distance from the arc to the employee is the minumum approach distance minus twice the arc length.

B. Selecting protective clothing

    Table 10 presents protective clothing guidelines for exposure to 
electric arcs. Protective clothing meeting the guidelines in this 
table are expected, based on extensive laboratory testing, to be 
capable of preventing second-degree burn injury to an employee 
exposed to the corresponding range of calculated incident heat 
energy from an electric arc. It should be noted that actual electric 
arc exposures may be more or less severe than the laboratory 
exposures because of factors such as arc movement, arc length, 
arcing from reclosing of the system, secondary fires or explosions, 
and weather conditions. Therefore, it is possible that an employee 
will sustain a second-degree or worse burn wearing clothing 
conforming to the guidelines in Table 10 under certain 
circumstances. Such clothing will, however, provide an appropriate 
degree of protection for an employee who is exposed to electric arc 
hazards.

   Table 10.--Protective Clothing Guidelines for Electric Arc Hazards
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Clothing
  Range of calculated      description       Clothing       Arc thermal
 incident energy  cal/     (number of      weight  oz/yd    performance
        cm \2\               layers)            \2\        value  (ATPV)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0-2...................  Untreated Cotton           4.5-7             N/A
                         (1).
2-5...................  FR Shirt (1)....           4.5-8             5-7
5-10..................  T-Shirt plus FR             9-12           10-17
                         Shirt and FR
                         Pants (2).
10-20.................  T-Shirt plus FR            16-20           22-25
                         Shirt plus FR
                         Coverall (3).
20-40.................  T-Shirt plus FR            24-30             55
                         Shirt plus
                         Double Layer
                         Switching Coat
                         (4).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
FR--Flame resistant.
ATPV--Arc Thermal Performance Value based on ASTM F1959 test method.
  (The method was modified as necessary to test the performance of the
  three- and four-layer systems.)
Source: ``Protective Clothing Guidelines for Electric Arc Exposure,''
  Neal, T. E. Bingham, A. H., Doughty, R. L., IEEE Petroleum and
  Chemical Industry Conference Record, September 1996, p. 294.

    It should be noted that Table 10 permits untreated cotton 
clothing for exposures of 2-cal/cm\2\ or less. Cotton clothing will 
reduce a 2-cal/cm\2\ exposure below the 1.6-cal/cm\2\ level 
necessary to cause burn injury and is not expected to ignite at such 
low heat energy levels. Although untreated cotton clothing is deemed 
to meet the requirement for suitable arc ratings in Sec.  
1910.269(l)(11)(v) and the prohibition against clothing that could 
ignite and continue to burn in Sec.  1910.269(l)(11)(iii) when the 
available heat energy is 2 cal/cm\2\ or less, this type of clothing 
is still prohibited under certain conditions by Sec.  
1910.269(l)(11)(iv), as discussed further below.
    Protective performance of any particular fabric type generally 
increases with fabric weight, as long as the fabric does not ignite 
and continue to burn. Multiple layers of clothing usually block more 
heat and are normally more protective than a single layer of the 
equivalent weight.
    Exposed skin is expected to sustain a second-degree burn for 
incident energy levels of 1.6 cal/cm\2\ or more. Though it is not 
required by the standard, if the heat energy estimated under Sec.  
1910.269(l)(11)(ii) is greater than or equal to 1.6 cal/cm\2\, the 
employer should require each exposed employee to have no more than 
10 percent of his or her body unprotected. Due to the unpredictable 
nature of electric arcs, the employer should also consider requiring 
the protection of bare skin from any exposure exceeding 0.8 cal/
cm\2\ so as to minimize the risk of burn injury.

III. Protection Against Ignition

    Paragraph (l)(11)(iii) of Sec.  1910.269 prohibits clothing that 
could melt onto an employee's skin or that could ignite and continue 
to burn when exposed to the available heat energy estimated by the 
employer. Meltable fabrics, such as acetate, nylon, and polyester, 
even in blends, must be avoided. When these fibers melt, they can 
adhere to the skin, transferring heat more rapidly, exacerbating any 
burns, and complicating treatment. This can be true even if the 
meltable fabric is not directly next to the skin. The remainder of 
this section focuses on the prevention of ignition.
    Paragraph (l)(11)(v) of Sec.  1910.269 requires clothing with an 
arc rating greater than or equal to the employer's estimate of 
available heat energy. As explained earlier, untreated cotton is 
acceptable for exposures of 2 cal/cm\2\ or less. If the exposure is 
greater than that, the employee must wear flame-resistant clothing 
with a suitable arc rating. However, even though an employee is 
wearing a layer of flame-resistant clothing, there are circumstances 
under which flammable layers of clothing would be exposed and 
subject to ignition. For example, if the employee is wearing 
flammable clothing (for example, winter coveralls) over the layer of 
flame-resistant clothing, the outer flammable layer can ignite. 
Similarly, clothing ignition is possible if the employee is wearing 
flammable clothing under the flame-resistant clothing and the 
underlayer is exposed by an opening in the flame-resistant clothing. 
Thus, it is important for the employer to consider the possibility 
of clothing ignition even when an employee is wearing clothing with 
a suitable arc rating.
    Table 11 lists the minimum heat energy under electric arc 
conditions that can reasonably be expected to ignite different 
weights and colors of cotton fabrics. The values listed, expressed 
in calories per square centimeter, represent a 10 percent 
probability of ignition with a 95 percent confidence level. If the 
heat energy estimated under Sec.  1910.269(l)(11)(ii) does not 
exceed the values listed in Table 11 for a particular weight and 
color of cotton fabric, then an outer layer of that material would 
not be expected to ignite and would be considered as being permitted 
under Sec.  1910.269(l)(11)(iii).\4\ Conversely, if the heat energy 
estimated under Sec.  1910.269(l)(11)(ii) exceeds the values listed 
in Table 11 for a particular weight and color of cotton fabric, that 
material may not be worn as an outer layer of garment and may not be 
otherwise exposed due to an opening in the flame-resistant clothing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ An underlayer of clothing with an arc rating greater than or 
equal to the estimate of available heat energy would still be 
required under Sec.  1910.269(l)(11)(v).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For white cotton fabrics of a different weight from those 
listed, choose the next lower weight of white cotton fabric listed 
in Table 11. For cotton fabrics of a different color and weight 
combination than those listed, select a value from the table 
corresponding to an equal or lesser weight of blue cotton fabric. 
For example, for a 6.0-oz/yd\2\ brown twill fabric, select 4.6 cal/
cm\2\ for the ignition threshold, which corresponds to 5.2-oz/
yd2 blue twill. If a white garment has a silkscreen logo, 
insignia, or other similar design included on it, then the entire 
garment will be considered as being of a color other than white. 
(The darker portion of the garment can ignite earlier than the rest 
of the garment, which would cause the entire garment to burn.)
    Employers may choose to test samples of genuine garments rather 
than rely on the values given in Table 11. The appropriate electric 
arc ignition test method is given in ASTM F 1958/F 1958M-99, 
Standard Test Method for Determining the Ignitability of Non-flame-
Resistant Materials for Clothing by Electric Arc Exposure Method 
Using Mannequins. Using this test method, employers may substitute 
actual test data analysis results representing an energy level that 
is reasonably certain not to be capable of igniting the fabric. For 
example, based on test data, the employer may select a level representing
a 10 percent probability of ignition with a 95 percent confidence level, 
representing a 1 percent probability of ignition according to actual test 
results, or representing an energy level that is two standard deviations below 
the mean ignition threshold. The employer may also select some other 
comparable level.

            Table 11.--Ignition Threshold for Cotton Fabrics
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Fabric description
---------------------------------------------------------    Ignition
  Weight (oz/yd                                              threshold
       \2\               Color               Weave         (cal/cm \2\)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.6.............  White.............  Jersey knit.......             4.3
5.2.............  Blue..............  Twill.............             4.6
6.2.............  White.............  Fleece............             6.4
6.9.............  Blue..............  Twill.............             5.3
8.0.............  Black.............  Twill.............             6.1
8.3.............  White.............  Sateen............            11.6
11.9............  Tan...............  Duck..............            11.3
12.8............  Blue..............  Denim.............            15.5
13.3............  Blue..............  Denim.............           15.9
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: ``Testing Update on Protective Clothing & Equipment for Electric
  Arc Exposure,'' IEEE Paper No. PCIC-97-35.

    Clothing loses weight as it wears. This can lower the ignition 
threshold, especially if the garment has threadbare areas or is 
torn.
    Adding layers of clothing beneath an outer layer of flammable 
fabric has no significant effect on the heat energy needed to ignite 
the outer fabric layer. Therefore, the outer layer of clothing must 
be treated as if it were a single layer to determine the proper 
ignition threshold.
    Flammable clothing worn in conjunction with flame-resistant 
clothing is not permitted to pose an ignition hazard.\5\ Flammable 
clothing may not be worn as an outer layer if it could be exposed to 
heat energy above the ignition threshold. Outer flame-resistant 
layers may not have openings that expose flammable inner layers that 
could be ignited.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Paragraph (l)(11)(iii) of Sec.  1910.269 prohibits clothing 
that could ignite and continue to burn when exposed to the heat 
energy estimated under paragraph (l)(11)(ii).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    When an outer flame-resistant layer would be unable to resist 
breakopen,\6\ the next (inner) layer should be flame-resistant.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Breakopen is the creation of holes, tears, or cracks in the 
exposed fabric such that incident energy is not longer effectively 
blocked.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Grounding conductors can become a source of electric arcing if 
they cannot carry fault current without failure. These possible 
sources of electric arcs \7\ must be considered in determining 
whether the employee's clothing could ignite under Sec.  
1910.269(l)(11)(iv)(C).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Static wires and pole ground are examples of grounding 
conductors that might not be capable of carrying fault current 
without failure. Grounds that can carry the maximum available fault 
current are not a concern and need not be considered a possible 
electric arc souce.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Flammable clothing can also be ignited by arcing that occurs 
when a conductor contacts an employee or by nearby material that 
ignites upon exposure to an electric arc. These sources of ignition 
must be considered in determining whether the employee's clothing 
could ignite under Sec.  1910.269(l)(11)(iv)(A) and (l)(11)(iv)(C).
    o. A new Appendix G would be added to Sec.  1910.269 to read as 
follows:
    Appendix G to Section 1910.269--Work Positioning Equipment 
Inspection Guidelines

I. Body Belts

    Inspect body belts to ensure that:
    A. Hardware has no cracks, nicks, distortion, or corrosion;
    B. No loose or worn rivets are present;
    C. The waist strap has no loose grommets;
    D. The fastening straps are not made of 100 percent leather;
    E. No worn materials that could affect the safety of the user 
are present; and
    F. D-rings are compatible with the snaphooks with which they 
will be used.

    Note: An incompatibility between a snaphook and a D-ring may 
cause snaphook rollout, or unintentional disengagement of the 
snaphook from the D-ring. Employers should take extra precaution 
when determining compatibility between snaphooks and D-rings of 
different manufacturers.

II. Positioning Straps

    Inspect positioning straps to ensure that:
    A. The warning center of the strap material is not exposed;
    B. No cuts, burns, extra holes, or fraying of strap material is 
present;
    C. Rivets are properly secured;
    D. Straps are not made from 100 percent leather; and
    E. Snaphooks do not have cracks, burns, or corrosion.

III. Climbers

    Inspect pole and tree climbers to ensure that:
    A. Gaffs on pole climbers are no less than 32 millimeters in 
length measured on the underside of the gaff;
    B. Gaffs on tree climbers are no less than 51 millimeters in 
length measured on the underside of the gaff;
    C. Gaffs and leg irons are not fractured or cracked;
    D. Stirrups and leg irons are free of excessive wear;
    E. Gaffs are not loose;
    F. Gaffs are free of deformation that could adversely affect 
use;
    G. Gaffs are properly sharpened; and
    H. There are no broken straps or buckles.

PART 1926--[Amended]

Subpart E--Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment

    6. The authority citation for Subpart E of Part 1926 would be 
revised to read as follows:

    Authority: Sec. 107, Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards 
Act (Construction Safety Act) (40 U.S.C. 333); Secs. 4, 6, and 8 of 
the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 
657); Secretary of Labor's Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 
25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), or 
5-2002 (67 F.R. 65008) as applicable; and 29 CFR Part 1911.

    7. Section 1926.97 would be added to read as follows:

Sec.  1926.97  Electrical protective equipment.

    (a) Design requirements. Insulating blankets, matting, covers, line 
hose, gloves, and sleeves made of rubber shall meet the following 
requirements:
    (1) Manufacture and marking of rubber insulating equipment. (i) 
Blankets, gloves, and sleeves shall be produced by a seamless process.
    (ii) Each item shall be clearly marked as follows:
    (A) Class 00 equipment shall be marked Class 00.
    (B) Class 0 equipment shall be marked Class 0.
    (C) Class 1 equipment shall be marked Class 1.
    (D) Class 2 equipment shall be marked Class 2.
    (E) Class 3 equipment shall be marked Class 3.
    (F) Class 4 equipment shall be marked Class 4.
    (G) Nonozone-resistant equipment other than matting shall be marked 
Type I.
    (H) Ozone-resistant equipment other than matting shall be marked 
Type II.
    (I) Other relevant markings, such as the manufacturer's 
identification and the size of the equipment, may also be provided.
    (iii) Markings shall be nonconducting and shall be applied in such 
a manner as not to impair the insulating qualities of the equipment.
    (iv) Markings on gloves shall be confined to the cuff portion of 
the glove.
    (2) Electrical requirements. (i) Equipment shall be capable of 
withstanding the a-c proof-test voltage specified in Table E-1 or the 
d-c proof-test voltage specified in Table E-2.
    (A) The proof test shall reliably indicate that the equipment can 
withstand the voltage involved.
    (B) The test voltage shall be applied continuously for 3 minutes 
for equipment other than matting and shall be applied continuously for 
1 minute for matting.
    (C) Gloves shall also be capable of withstanding the a-c proof-test 
voltage specified in Table E-1 after a 16-hour water soak. (See the 
note following paragraph (a)(3)(ii)(B) of this section.)
    (ii) When the a-c proof test is used on gloves, the 60-hertz proof-
test current may not exceed the values specified in Table E-1 at any 
time during the test period.
    (A) If the a-c proof test is made at a frequency other than 60 
hertz, the permissible proof-test current shall be computed from the 
direct ratio of the frequencies.
    (B) For the test, gloves (right side out) shall be filled with tap 
water and immersed in water to a depth that is in accordance with Table 
E-3. Water shall be added to or removed from the glove, as necessary, 
so that the water level is the same inside and outside the glove.
    (C) After the 16-hour water soak specified in paragraph 
(a)(2)(i)(C) of this section, the 60-hertz proof-test current may 
exceed the values given in Table E-1 by not more than 2 milliamperes.
    (iii) Equipment that has been subjected to a minimum breakdown 
voltage test may not be used for electrical protection. (See the note 
following paragraph (a)(3)(ii)(B) of this section.)
    (iv) Material used for Type II insulating equipment shall be 
capable of withstanding an ozone test, with no visible effects. The 
ozone test shall reliably indicate that the material will resist ozone 
exposure in actual use. Any visible signs of ozone deterioration of the 
material, such as checking, cracking, breaks, or pitting, is evidence 
of failure to meet the requirements for ozone-resistant material. (See 
the note following paragraph (a)(3)(ii)(B) of this section.)
    (3) Workmanship and finish. (i) Equipment shall be free of harmful 
physical irregularities that can be detected by the tests or 
inspections required under this section.
    (ii) Surface irregularities that may be present on all rubber goods 
because of imperfections on forms or molds or because of inherent 
difficulties in the manufacturing process and that may appear as 
indentations, protuberances, or imbedded foreign material are 
acceptable under the following conditions:
    (A) The indentation or protuberance blends into a smooth slope when 
the material is stretched.
    (B) Foreign material remains in place when the insulating material 
is folded and stretches with the insulating material surrounding it.

    Note to paragraph (a) of this section: Rubber insulating 
equipment meeting the following national consensus standards is 
deemed to be in compliance with paragraph (a) of this section:
    American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 120-02a, 
Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Gloves.

    ASTM D 178-01 \e1\, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating 
Matting.
    ASTM D 1048-99, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating 
Blankets.
    ASTM D 1049-98e1, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating 
Covers.
    ASTM D 1050-90, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Line 
Hose.
    ASTM D 1051-02, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating 
Sleeves.
    These standards contain specifications for conducting the various 
tests required in paragraph (a) of this section. For example, the a-c 
and d-c proof tests, the breakdown test, the water soak procedure, and 
the ozone test mentioned in this paragraph are described in detail in 
the ASTM standards.
    ASTM F 1236-96, Standard Guide for Visual Inspection of Electrical 
Protective Rubber Products, presents methods and techniques for the 
visual inspection of electrical protective equipment made of rubber. 
This guide also contains descriptions and photographs of irregularities 
that can be found in this equipment.
    ASTM F 819-00 \e1\, Standard Terminology Relating to Electrical 
Protective Equipment for Workers, includes definitions of terms 
relating to the electrical protective equipment covered under this 
section.

    (b) Requirements for other types of electrical protective 
equipment. The following requirements apply to the design and 
manufacture of electrical protective equipment that is not covered by 
paragraph (a) of this section:
    (1) Voltage withstand. Insulating equipment used for the protection 
of employees shall be capable of withstanding, without failure, the 
voltages that may be imposed upon it.

    Note to paragraph (b)(1) of this section: Such voltages include 
transient overvoltages, such as switching surges, as well as nominal 
line voltage. See Appendix B to Subpart V of this Part for a 
discussion of transient overvoltages on electric power transmission 
and distribution systems.

    (2) Equipment current. (i) Protective equipment used for the 
primary insulation of employees from energized circuit parts shall be 
capable of passing a current test when subjected to the highest nominal 
voltage on which the equipment is to be used.
    (ii) When insulating equipment is tested in accordance with 
paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the equipment current may not 
exceed 1 microampere per kilovolt of phase-to-phase applied voltage.

    Note 1 to paragraph (b)(2) of this section: This paragraph 
applies to equipment that provides primary insulation of employees 
from energized parts. It is not intended to apply to equipment used 
for secondary insulation or equipment used for brush contact only.

    Note 2 to paragraph (b)(2) of this section: For a-c excitation, 
this current consists of three components:
    1. Capacitive current because of the dielectric properties of 
the insulating material itself,
    2. Conduction current through the volume of the insulating 
equipment, and
    3. Leakage current along the surface of the tool or equipment.
    The conduction current is normally negligible. For clean, dry 
insulating equipment, the leakage current is small, and the 
capacitive current predominates.

    (c) In-service care and use of rubber insulating equipment. (1) 
General. Electrical protective equipment shall be maintained in a safe, 
reliable condition.
    (2) Specific requirements. The following specific requirements 
apply to insulating blankets, covers, line hose, gloves, and sleeves 
made of rubber:
    (i) Maximum use voltages shall conform to those listed in Table E-
4.
    (ii) Insulating equipment shall be inspected for damage before each 
day's use and immediately following any incident that can reasonably be 
suspected of having caused damage. Insulating gloves shall be given an 
air test, along with the inspection.

    Note to paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section: ASTM F 1236-96, 
Standard Guide for Visual Inspection of Electrical Protective Rubber 
Products, presents methods and techniques for the visual inspection 
of electrical protective equipment made of rubber. This guide also 
contains descriptions and photographs of irregularities that can be 
found in this equipment.

    (iii) Insulating equipment with any of the following defects may 
not be used:
    (A) A hole, tear, puncture, or cut;
    (B) Ozone cutting or ozone checking (the cutting action produced by 
ozone on rubber under mechanical stress into a series of interlacing 
cracks);
    (C) An embedded foreign object;
    (D) Any of the following texture changes: swelling, softening, 
hardening, or becoming sticky or inelastic.
    (E) Any other defect that damages the insulating properties.
    (iv) Insulating equipment found to have other defects that might 
affect its insulating properties shall be removed from service and 
returned for testing under paragraphs (c)(2)(viii) and (c)(2)(ix) of 
this section.
    (v) Insulating equipment shall be cleaned as needed to remove 
foreign substances.
    (vi) Insulating equipment shall be stored in such a location and in 
such a manner as to protect it from light, temperature extremes, 
excessive humidity, ozone, and other injurious substances and 
conditions.
    (vii) Protector gloves shall be worn over insulating gloves, except 
as follows:
    (A) Protector gloves need not be used with Class 0 or Class 00 
gloves, under limited-use conditions, where small equipment and parts 
manipulation necessitate unusually high finger dexterity.

    Note to paragraph (c)(2)(vii)(A) of this section: Extra care is 
needed in the visual examination of the glove and in the avoidance 
of handling sharp objects.

    (B) Any other class of glove may be used for similar work without 
protector gloves if the employer can demonstrate that the possibility 
of physical damage to the gloves is small and if the class of glove is 
one class higher than that required for the voltage involved.
    (C) Insulating gloves that have been used without protector gloves 
may not be reused until they have been tested under the provisions of 
paragraphs (c)(2)(viii) and (c)(2)(ix) of this section. (viii) 
Electrical protective equipment shall be subjected to periodic 
electrical tests. Test voltages and the maximum intervals between tests 
shall be in accordance with Table E-4 and Table E-5.
    (ix) The test method used under paragraphs (c)(2)(viii) and 
(c)(2)(xi) of this section shall reliably indicate whether the 
insulating equipment can withstand the voltages involved.

    Note to paragraph (c)(2)(ix) of this section: Standard 
electrical test methods considered as meeting this requirement are 
given in the following national consensus standards:
    American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 120-02a, 
Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Gloves.
    ASTM D 1048-99, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating 
Blankets.
    ASTM D 1049-98\e1\, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating 
Covers.
    ASTM D 1050-90, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating 
Line Hose.
    ASTM D 1051-02, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating 
Sleeves.
    ASTM F 478-92, Standard Specification for In-Service Care of 
Insulating Line Hose and Covers.
    ASTM F 479-95, Standard Specification for In-Service Care of 
Insulating Blankets.
    ASTM F 496-02a, Standard Specification for In-Service Care of 
Insulating Gloves and Sleeves.


    (x) Insulating equipment failing to pass inspections or electrical 
tests may not be used by employees, except as follows:
    (A) Rubber insulating line hose may be used in shorter lengths with 
the defective portion cut off.
    (B) Rubber insulating blankets may be salvaged by severing the 
defective area from the undamaged portion of the blanket. The resulting 
undamaged area may not be smaller than 560 mm by 560 mm (22 inches by 
22 inches) for Class 1, 2, 3, and 4 blankets.
    (C) Rubber insulating blankets may be repaired using a compatible 
patch that results in physical and electrical properties equal to those 
of the blanket.
    (D) Rubber insulating gloves and sleeves with minor physical 
defects, such as small cuts, tears, or punctures, may be repaired by 
the application of a compatible patch. Also, rubber insulating gloves 
and sleeves with minor surface blemishes may be repaired with a 
compatible liquid compound. The repaired area shall have electrical and 
physical properties equal to those of the surrounding material. Repairs 
to gloves are permitted only in the area between the wrist and the 
reinforced edge of the opening.
    (xi) Repaired insulating equipment shall be retested before it may 
be used by employees.
    (xii) The employer shall certify that equipment has been tested in 
accordance with the requirements of paragraphs (c)(2)(iv), 
(c)(2)(vii)(C), (c)(2)(viii), (c)(2)(ix), and (c)(2)(xi) of this 
section. The certification shall identify the equipment that passed the 
test and the date it was tested.


    Note to paragraph (c)(2)(xii) of this section: Marking of 
equipment and entering onto logs the results of the tests and the 
dates of testing are two acceptable means of meeting this 
requirement.


                                     Table E-1.--A-C Proof-Test Requirements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Maximum proof-test current, mA (gloves only)
                                                  Proof-test ---------------------------------------------------
               Class of equipment                  voltage       267-mm
                                                    rms V      (10.5-in)   356-mm (14-  406-mm (16-  457-mm (18-
                                                                 glove      in) glove    in) glove    in) glove
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
00.............................................        2,500            8           12  ...........  ...........
0..............................................        5,000            8           12           14           16
1..............................................       10,000  ...........           14           16           18
2..............................................       20,000  ...........           16           18           20
3..............................................       30,000  ...........           18           20           22
4..............................................       40,000  ...........  ...........           22           24
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 Table E-2.--D-C Proof-Test Requirements
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Proof-test
                     Class of equipment                        voltage
------------------------------------------------------------------------
00.........................................................       10,000
0..........................................................       20,000
1..........................................................       40,000
2..........................................................       50,000
3..........................................................       60,000
4..........................................................      70,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The d-c voltages listed in this table are not appropriate for
  proof testing rubber insulating line hose or covers. For this
  equipment, d-c proof tests shall use a voltage high enough to indicate
  that the equipment can be safely used at the voltages listed in Table
  E-4. See ASTM D 1050-90 and ASTM D 1049-98e1 for further information
  on proof tests for rubber insulating line hose and covers,
  respectively.


                                    Table E-3.--Glove Tests--Water Level 1 2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   A-C proof test            D-C proof test
                       Class of glove                        ---------------------------------------------------
                                                                   mm           in           mm           in
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
00..........................................................           38          1.5           38          1.5
0...........................................................           38          1.5           38          1.5
1...........................................................           38          1.5           51          2.0
2...........................................................           64          2.5           76          3.0
3...........................................................           89          3.5          102          4.0
4...........................................................          127          5.0          153         6.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The water level is given as the clearance from the cuff of the glove to the water line, with a tolerance of
  13 mm. (0.5 in.).
\2\ If atmospheric conditions make the specified clearances impractical, the clearances may be increased by a
  maximum of 25 mm. (1 in.).


                          Table E-4.--Rubber Insulating Equipment Voltage Requirements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Maximum use
                      Class of equipment                       voltage \1\ A-C   Retest voltage   Retest voltage
                                                                     rms          \2\ A-C rms      \2\ D-C avg
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
00...........................................................              500            2,500           10,000
0............................................................            1,000            5,000           20,000
1............................................................            7,500           10,000           40,000
2............................................................           17,000           20,000           50,000
3............................................................           26,000           30,000           60,000
4............................................................           36,000           40,000          70,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The maximum use voltage is the a-c voltage (rms) classification of the protective equipment that designates
  the maximum nominal design voltage of the energized system that may be safely worked. The nominal design
  voltage is equal to the phase-to-phase voltage on multiphase circuits. However, the phase-to-ground potential
  is considered to be the nominal design voltage:
(1) If there is no multiphase exposure in a system area and if the voltage exposure is limited to the phase-to-
  ground potential, or
(2) If the electrical equipment and devices are insulated or isolated or both so that the multiphase exposure on
  a grounded wye circuit is removed.
\2\ The proof-test voltage shall be applied continuously for at least 1 minute, but no more than 3 minutes.


         Table E-5.--Rubber Insulating Equipment Test Intervals
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Type of equipment                       When to test
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rubber insulating line hose............  Upon indication that insulating
                                          value is suspect and after
                                          repair.
Rubber insulating covers...............  Upon indication that insulating
                                          value is suspect and after
                                          repair.
Rubber insulating blankets.............  Before first issue and every 12
                                          months thereafter; \1\ upon
                                          indication that insulating
                                          value is suspect; and after
                                          repair.
Rubber insulating gloves...............  Before first issue and every 6
                                          months thereafter; \1\ upon
                                          indication that insulating
                                          value is suspect; after
                                          repair; and after use without
                                          protectors.
Rubber insulating sleeves..............  Before first issue and every 12
                                          months thereafter; \1\ upon
                                          indication that insulating
                                          value is suspect; and after
                                          repair.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ If the insulating equipment has been electrically tested but not
  issued for service, it may not be placed into service unless it has
  been electrically tested within the previous 12 months.

    8. The authority citation for Subpart V of Part 1926 would be 
revised to read as follows:

    Authority: Sec. 107, Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards 
Act (Construction Safety Act) (40 U.S.C. 333); Secs. 4, 6, and 8 of 
the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 
657); Secretary of Labor's Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 
25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), or 
5-2002 (67 F.R. 65008) as applicable; and 29 CFR Part 1911.

    9. Subpart V of Part 1926 would be revised to read as follows:

Subpart V--Electric Power Transmission and Distribution

Sec.
1926.950 General.
1926.951 Medical services and first aid.
1926.952 Job briefing.
1926.953 Enclosed spaces.
1926.954 Personal protective equipment.
1926.955 Ladders and platforms.
1926.956 Hand and portable power tools.
1926.957 Live-line tools.
1926.958 Materials handling and storage.
1926.959 Mechanical equipment.
1926.960 Working on or near exposed energized parts.
1926.961 Deenergizing lines and equipment for employee protection.
1926.962 Grounding for the protection of employees.
1926.963 Testing and test facilities.
1926.964 Overhead lines.
1926.965 Underground electrical installations.
1926.966 Substations.
1926.967 Special conditions.
1926.968 Definitions applicable to this subpart.

Subpart V--Electric Power Transmission and Distribution

Sec.  1926.950  General.

    (a) Application. (1) Scope. This subpart, except for paragraph 
(a)(3) of this section, covers the construction of electric power 
transmission and distribution lines and equipment. As used in this 
subpart the term ``construction'' includes the erection of new electric 
transmission and distribution lines and equipment, and the alteration, 
conversion, and improvement of existing electric transmission and 
distribution lines and equipment.
    (2) Other Part 1926 standards. This subpart applies in addition to 
all other applicable standards contained in this Part 1926. Employers 
covered under this subpart are not exempt from complying with other 
applicable provisions in Part 1926 by the operation of Sec.  1910.5(c) 
of this chapter. Specific references in this subpart to other sections 
of Part 1926 are provided for emphasis only.
    (3) Applicable Part 1910 requirements. Line-clearance tree-trimming 
operations and work involving electric power generation installations 
shall comply with Sec.  1910.269 of this chapter.
    (b) Training. (1) All employees. (i) Employees shall be trained in 
and familiar with the safety-related work practices, safety procedures, 
and other safety requirements in this subpart that pertain to their 
respective job assignments.
    (ii) Employees shall also be trained in and familiar with any other 
safety practices, including applicable emergency procedures (such as 
pole top and manhole rescue), that are not specifically addressed by 
this subpart but that are related to their work and are necessary for 
their safety.
    (iii) The degree of training shall be determined by the risk to the 
employee for the task involved.
    (2) Qualified employees. Each qualified employee shall also be 
trained and competent in:
    (i) The skills and techniques necessary to distinguish exposed live 
parts from other parts of electric equipment,
    (ii) The skills and techniques necessary to determine the nominal 
voltage of exposed live parts,
    (iii) The minimum approach distances specified in this subpart 
corresponding to the voltages to which the qualified employee will be 
exposed,
    (iv) The proper use of the special precautionary techniques, 
personal protective equipment, insulating and shielding materials, and 
insulated tools for working on or near exposed energized parts of 
electric equipment, and
    (v) The recognition of electrical hazards to which the employee may 
be exposed and the skills and techniques necessary to control or avoid 
those hazards.

    Note to paragraph (b)(2) of this section: For the purposes of 
this subpart, a person must have the training required by paragraph 
(b)(2) of this section in order to be considered a qualified person.

    (3) Supervision and annual inspection. The employer shall 
determine, through regular supervision and through inspections 
conducted on at least an annual basis, that each employee is complying 
with the safety-related work practices required by this subpart.
    (4) Additional training. An employee shall receive additional 
training (or retraining) under any of the following conditions:
    (i) If the supervision or annual inspections required by paragraph 
(b)(3) of this section indicate that the employee is not complying with 
the safety-related work practices required by this subpart, or
    (ii) If new technology, new types of equipment, or changes in 
procedures necessitate the use of safety-related work practices that 
are different from those which the employee would normally use, or
    (iii) If he or she must employ safety-related work practices that 
are not normally used during his or her regular job duties.

    Note to paragraph (b)(4)(iii) of this section: OSHA would 
consider tasks that are performed less often than once per year to 
necessitate retraining before the performance of the work practices 
involved.

    (5) Type of training. The training required by paragraph (b) of 
this section shall be of the classroom or on-the-job type.
    (6) Training goals. The training shall establish employee 
proficiency in the work practices required by this subpart and shall 
introduce the procedures necessary for compliance with this subpart.
    (7) Demonstration of proficiency. The employer shall determine that 
each employee has demonstrated proficiency in the work practices 
involved before that employee is considered as having completed the 
training required by paragraph (b) of this section.

    Note 1 to paragraph (b)(7) of this section: Though they are not 
required by this paragraph, employment records that indicate that an 
employee has successfully completed the required training are one 
way of keeping track of when an employee has demonstrated 
proficiency.

    Note 2 to paragraph (b)(7) of this section: Employers may rely 
on an employee's previous training as long as the employer: (1) 
Confirms that the employee has the job experience appropriate to the 
work to be performed, (2) through an examination or interview, makes 
an initial determination that the employee is proficient in the 
relevant safety-related work practices before he or she performs any 
work covered by this subpart, and (3) supervises the employee 
closely until that employee has demonstrated proficiency in all the 
work practices he or she will employ.

    (c) Contractors. (1) Host employer responsibilities. (i) The host 
employer shall inform contract employers of:
    (A) Known hazards that are covered by this section, that are 
related to the contract employer's work, and that might not be 
recognized by the contract employer or its employees; and
    (B) Information about the employer's installation that the contract 
employer needs to make the assessments required by this subpart.
    (ii) The host employer shall report observed contract-employer-
related violations of this section to the contract employer.
    (2) Contract employer responsibilities. (i) The contract employer 
shall ensure that each of his or her employees is instructed in the 
hazards communicated to the contract employer by the host employer.

    Note to paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section: This instruction is 
in addition to the training required by paragraph (b) of this 
section.
    (ii) The contract employer shall ensure that each of his or her 
employees follows the work practices required by this subpart and 
safety-related work rules required by the host employer.
    (iii) The contract employer shall advise the host employer of:
    (A) Any unique hazards presented by the contract employer's work,
    (B) Any unanticipated hazards found during the contract employer's 
work that the host employer did not mention, and
    (C) The measures the contractor took to correct any violations 
reported by the host employer under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this 
section and to prevent such violations from recurring in the future.
    (d) Existing conditions. Existing conditions related to the safety 
of the work to be performed shall be determined before work on or near 
electric lines or equipment is started. Such conditions include, but 
are not limited to, the nominal voltages of lines and equipment, the 
maximum switching transient voltages, the presence of hazardous induced 
voltages, the presence and condition of protective grounds and 
equipment grounding conductors, the condition of poles, environmental 
conditions relative to safety, and the locations of circuits and 
equipment, including power and communication lines and fire protective 
signaling circuits.

Sec.  1926.951  Medical services and first aid.

    (a) General. The employer shall provide medical services and first 
aid as required in Sec.  1926.50.
    (b) Additional requirements. In addition to the requirements of 
Sec.  1926.50, the following requirements also apply:
    (1) Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid training. When 
employees are performing work on or associated with exposed lines or 
equipment energized at 50 volts or more, persons trained in first aid 
including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) shall be available as 
follows:
    (i) For field work involving two or more employees at a work 
location, at least two trained persons shall be available. However, 
only one trained person need be available if all new employees are 
trained in first aid, including CPR, within 3 months of their hiring 
dates.
    (ii) For fixed work locations such as substations, the number of 
trained persons available shall be sufficient to ensure that each 
employee exposed to electric shock can be reached within 4 minutes by a 
trained person. However, where the existing number of employees is 
insufficient to meet this requirement (at a remote substation, for 
example), all employees at the work location shall be trained.
    (2) First aid supplies. First aid supplies required by Sec.  
1926.50(d) shall be placed in weatherproof containers if the supplies 
could be exposed to the weather.
    (3) First aid kits. Each first aid kit shall be maintained, shall 
be readily available for use, and shall be inspected frequently enough 
to ensure that expended items are replaced, but at least once per year.

Sec.  1926.952  Job briefing.

    (a) Before each job. (1) Initial briefing by the employer. In 
assigning an employee or a group of employees to perform a job, the 
employer shall provide the employee in charge of the job with available 
information necessary to perform the job safely.

    Note to paragraph (a)(1) of this section: The information 
provided by the employer to the employee in charge is intended to 
supplement the training required under Sec.  1926.950(b). It may be 
provided at the beginning of the day for all jobs to be performed 
that day rather than at the start of each job. The information is 
also intended to be general in nature, with work-site specific 
information to be provided by the employee in charge after the crew 
arrives at the work site.

    (2) Briefing by the employee in charge. The employer shall ensure 
that the employee in charge conducts a job briefing meeting paragraphs 
(b), (c), and (d) of this section with the employees involved before 
they start each job.
    (b) Subjects to be covered. The briefing shall cover at least the 
following subjects: hazards associated with the job, work procedures 
involved, special precautions, energy source controls, and personal 
protective equipment requirements.
    (c) Number of briefings. (1) One before each shift. If the work or 
operations to be performed during the work day or shift are repetitive 
and similar, at least one job briefing shall be conducted before the 
start of the first job of each day or shift.
    (2) Additional briefings. Additional job briefings shall be held if 
significant changes, which might affect the safety of the employees, 
occur during the course of the work.
    (d) Extent of briefing. (1) Short discussion. A brief discussion is 
satisfactory if the work involved is routine and if the employees, by 
virtue of training and experience, can reasonably be expected to 
recognize and avoid the hazards involved in the job.
    (2) Detailed discussion. A more extensive discussion shall be 
conducted:
    (i) If the work is complicated or particularly hazardous, or
    (ii) If the employee cannot be expected to recognize and avoid the 
hazards involved in the job.


    Note to paragraph (d) of this section: The briefing must always 
touch on all the subjects listed in paragraph (b) of this section.


    (e) Working alone. An employee working alone need not conduct a job 
briefing. However, the employer shall ensure that the tasks to be 
performed are planned as if a briefing were required.


Sec.  1926.953  Enclosed spaces.

    (a) General. This paragraph covers enclosed spaces that may be 
entered by employees. It does not apply to vented vaults if a 
determination is made that the ventilation system is operating to 
protect employees before they enter the space. This paragraph applies 
to routine entry into enclosed spaces. If, after the precautions given 
in this section and in Sec.  1926.965 are taken, the hazards remaining 
in the enclosed space endanger the life of an entrant or could 
interfere with escape from the space, then entry into the enclosed 
space shall meet the permit-space entry requirements of paragraphs (d) 
through (k) of Sec.  1910.146 of this chapter.


    Note to paragraph (a) of this section: Entries into enclosed 
spaces conducted in accordance with the permit-space entry 
requirements of paragraphs (d) through (k) of Sec.  1910.146 of this 
chapter are considered as complying with this section.


    (b) Safe work practices. The employer shall ensure the use of safe 
work practices for entry into and work in enclosed spaces and for 
rescue of employees from such spaces.
    (c) Training. Employees who enter enclosed spaces or who serve as 
attendants shall be trained in the hazards of enclosed space entry, in 
enclosed space entry procedures, and in enclosed space rescue 
procedures.
    (d) Rescue equipment. Employers shall provide equipment to ensure 
the prompt and safe rescue of employees from the enclosed space.
    (e) Evaluation of potential hazards. Before any entrance cover to 
an enclosed space is removed, the employer shall determine whether it 
is safe to do so by checking for the presence of any atmospheric 
pressure or temperature differences and by evaluating whether there 
might be a hazardous atmosphere in the space. Any conditions making it 
unsafe to remove the cover shall be eliminated before the cover is 
removed.

    Note to paragraph (e) of this section: The evaluation called for 
in this paragraph may take the form of a check of the conditions 
expected to be in the enclosed space. For example, the cover could 
be checked to see if it is hot and, if it is fastened in place, 
could be loosened gradually to release any residual pressure. A 
determination must also be made of whether conditions at the site 
could cause a hazardous atmosphere, such as an oxygen deficient or 
flammable atmosphere, to develop within the space.

    (f) Removal of covers. When covers are removed from enclosed 
spaces, the opening shall be promptly guarded by a railing, temporary 
cover, or other barrier intended to prevent an accidental fall through 
the opening and to protect employees working in the space from objects 
entering the space.
    (g) Hazardous atmosphere. Employees may not enter any enclosed 
space while it contains a hazardous atmosphere, unless the entry 
conforms to the generic permit-required confined spaces standard in 
Sec.  1910.146 of this chapter.
    (h) Attendants. While work is being performed in the enclosed 
space, a person with first aid training meeting Sec.  1926.951(b)(1) 
shall be immediately available outside the enclosed space to provide 
assistance if a hazard exists because of traffic patterns in the area 
of the opening used for entry. That person is not precluded from 
performing other duties outside the enclosed space if these duties do 
not distract the attendant from monitoring employees within the space.

    Note to paragraph (h) of this section: See Sec.  1926.965 for 
additional requirements on attendants for work in manholes and 
vaults.

    (i) Calibration of test instruments. Test instruments used to 
monitor atmospheres in enclosed spaces shall be kept in calibration and 
shall have a minimum accuracy of 10 percent.
    (j) Testing for oxygen deficiency. Before an employee enters an 
enclosed space, the internal atmosphere shall be tested for oxygen 
deficiency with a direct-reading meter or similar instrument, capable 
of collection and immediate analysis of data samples without the need 
for off-site evaluation. If continuous forced air ventilation is 
provided, testing is not required provided that the procedures used 
ensure that employees are not exposed to the hazards posed by oxygen 
deficiency.
    (k) Testing for flammable gases and vapors. Before an employee 
enters an enclosed space, the internal atmosphere shall be tested for 
flammable gases and vapors with a direct-reading meter or similar 
instrument capable of collection and immediate analysis of data samples 
without the need for off-site evaluation. This test shall be performed 
after the oxygen testing and ventilation required by paragraph (j) of 
this section demonstrate that there is sufficient oxygen to ensure the 
accuracy of the test for flammability.
    (l) Ventilation and monitoring. If flammable gases or vapors are 
detected or if an oxygen deficiency is found, forced air ventilation 
shall be used to maintain oxygen at a safe level and to prevent a 
hazardous concentration of flammable gases and vapors from 
accumulating. A continuous monitoring program to ensure that no 
increase in flammable gas or vapor concentration occurs may be followed 
in lieu of ventilation, if flammable gases or vapors are detected at 
safe levels.

    Note to paragraph (l) of this section: See the definition of 
``hazardous atmosphere'' for guidance in determining whether or not 
a given concentration of a substance is considered to be hazardous.


    (m) Specific ventilation requirements. If continuous forced air 
ventilation is used, it shall begin before entry is made and shall be 
maintained long enough for the employer to be able to demonstrate that 
a safe atmosphere exists before employees are allowed to enter the work 
area. The forced air ventilation shall be so directed as to ventilate 
the immediate area where employees are present within the enclosed 
space and shall continue until all employees leave the enclosed space.
    (n) Air supply. The air supply for the continuous forced air 
ventilation shall be from a clean source and may not increase the 
hazards in the enclosed space.
    (o) Open flames. If open flames are used in enclosed spaces, a test 
for flammable gases and vapors shall be made immediately before the 
open flame device is used and at least once per hour while the device 
is used in the space. Testing shall be conducted more frequently if 
conditions present in the enclosed space indicate that once per hour is 
insufficient to detect hazardous accumulations of flammable gases or 
vapors.

    Note to paragraph (o) of this section: See the definition of 
``hazardous atmosphere'' for guidance in determining whether or not 
a given concentration of a substance is considered to be hazardous.


Sec.  1926.954  Personal protective equipment.

    (a) General. Personal protective equipment shall meet the 
requirements of Subpart E of this Part.
    (b) Fall protection. (1) Personal fall arrest systems. Personal 
fall arrest systems shall meet the requirements of Subpart M of this 
part.


    Note to paragraph (b)(1) of this section: This paragraph applies 
to all personal fall arrest systems used in work covered by this 
Subpart.


    (2) Work positioning equipment. Body belts and positioning straps 
for work positioning shall meet the following requirements:
    (i) Hardware for body belts and positioning straps shall meet the 
following requirements:
    (A) Hardware shall be made of drop-forged, pressed, or formed steel 
or equivalent material.
    (B) Hardware shall have a corrosion-resistant finish.
    (C) Hardware surfaces shall be smooth and free of sharp edges.
    (ii) Buckles shall be capable of withstanding an 8.9-kN (2,000-lbf) 
tension test with a maximum permanent deformation no greater than 0.4 
mm (0.0156 in.).
    (iii) D rings shall be capable of withstanding a 22-kN (5,000-lbf) 
tensile test without cracking or breaking.
    (iv) Snaphooks shall be capable of withstanding a 22-kN (5,000-lbf) 
tension test without failure.

    Note to paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section: Tensile failure of 
a snaphook is indicated by distortion of the snaphook sufficient to 
release the keeper.


    (v) Top grain leather or leather substitute may be used in the 
manufacture of body belts and positioning straps; however, leather and 
leather substitutes may not be used alone as a load bearing component 
of the assembly.
    (vi) Plied fabric used in positioning straps and in load bearing 
parts of body belts shall be so constructed in such a way that no raw 
edges are exposed and that the plies do not separate.
    (vii) Positioning straps shall be capable of withstanding the 
following tests:
    (A) A dielectric test of 819.7 volts, AC, per centimeter (25000 
volts per foot) for 3 minutes without visible deterioration;
    (B) A leakage test of 98.4 volts, AC, per centimeter (3000 volts 
per foot) with a leakage current of no more than 1 mA;

    Note to paragraphs (b)(2)(vii)(A) and (b)(2)(vii)(B) of this 
section: Positioning straps that pass direct current tests at 
equivalent voltages are considered as meeting this requirement.


    (C) Tension tests of 20 kN (4500 lbf) for sections free of buckle 
holes and of 15 kN (3500 lbf) for sections with buckle holes;
    (D) A buckle tear test with a load of 4.4 kN (1000 lbf); and
    (E) A flammability test in accordance with Table V-1.

                      Table V-1.--Flammability Test
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Test method                 Criteria for passing the test
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vertically suspend a 500-mm (19.7-inch)  Any flames on the positioning
 length of strapping holding up a 100-    strap shall self extinguish.
 kg (200.5-lb) weight.
Use a butane or propane burner with a    The positioning strap shall
 76-mm (3-inch) flame.                    continue to support the 100-kg
                                          (220.5-lb) mass.
Direct the flame to an edge of the
 strapping at a distance of 25 mm (1
 inch).
Remove the flame after 5 seconds.......
Wait until any flames on the
 positioning strap go out.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (viii) The cushion part of the body belt shall contain no exposed 
rivets on the inside and shall be at least 76 mm (3 in.) in width.
    (ix) Tool loops shall be so situated on the body of a body belt 
that 100 mm (4 in.) of the body belt in the center of the back, 
measuring from D ring to D ring, is free of tool loops and any other 
attachments.
    (x) Copper, steel, or equivalent liners shall be used around the 
bars of D rings to prevent wear between these members and the leather 
or fabric enclosing them.
    (xi) Snaphooks shall be of the locking type meeting the following 
requirements:
    (A) The locking mechanism shall first be released or a destructive 
force shall be placed on the keeper before the keeper will open.
    (B) A force in the range of 6.6 N (1.5 lbf) to 17.6 N (4 lbf) shall 
be required to release the locking mechanism.
    (C) With the locking mechanism released and with a force applied on 
the keeper against the face of the nose, the keeper may not begin to 
open with a force of 11.0 N (2.5 lbf) or less and shall begin to open 
with a maximum force of 17.6 N (4 lbf).
    (xii) Body belts and positioning straps shall be capable of 
withstanding a drop test as follows:
    (A) The test mass shall be rigidly constructed of steel or 
equivalent material with a mass of 100 kg (220.5 lbm).
    (B) For body belts, the body belt shall be fitted snugly around the 
test mass and shall be attached to the test structure anchorage point 
by means of a wire rope.
    (C) For positioning straps, the strap shall be adjusted to its 
shortest length to permit the test and connected to the test structure 
anchorage point at one end and to the test mass on the other.
    (D) The test mass shall be dropped an unobstructed distance of 1 m 
(39.4 in.) from a supporting structure that will sustain minimal 
deflection during the test.
    (E) Body belts shall successfully arrest the fall of the test mass 
and shall be capable of supporting the mass after the test.
    (F) Positioning straps shall successfully arrest the fall of the 
test mass without breaking and the arrest force may not exceed 17.8 kN 
(4000 lbf). Additionally, snaphooks on positioning straps may not have 
distorted sufficiently to allow the keeper to be released.

    Note 1 to paragraph (b)(2) of this section: This paragraph 
applies to all work positioning equipment used in work covered by 
this Subpart.

    Note 2 to paragraph (b)(2) of this section: Body belts and 
positioning straps that conform to American Society of Testing and 
Materials Standard Specifications for Personal Climbing Equipment, 
ASTM F 887-04, are deemed to be in compliance with the manufacturing 
and construction requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this section 
provided that the body belt or positioning strap also conforms to 
paragraphs (b)(2)(iv) and (b)(2)(xi) of this section.

    Note 3 to paragraph (b)(2) of this section: Body belts and 
positioning straps that conform to Sec.  1926.502(e) on positioning 
device systems are deemed to be in compliance with the manufacturing 
and construction requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this section 
provided that the positioning strap also conforms to paragraph 
(b)(2)(vii) of this section.


    (3) Care and use of personal fall protection equipment. (i) Work 
positioning equipment shall be inspected before use each day to 
determine that the equipment is in safe working condition. Defective 
equipment may not be used.

    Note to paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section: Appendix G to this 
subpart contains guidelines for the inspection of work positioning 
equipment.

    (ii) Personal fall arrest systems shall be used in accordance with 
Sec.  1926.502(d). However, the attachment point need not be located as 
required by Sec.  1926.502(d)(17) if the body harness is being used as 
work positioning equipment and if the maximum free fall distance is 
limited to 0.6 m (2 ft).
    (iii) A personal fall arrest system or work positioning equipment 
shall be used by employees working at elevated locations more than 1.2 
m (4 ft) above the ground on poles, towers, or similar structures if 
other fall protection has not been provided. Fall protection equipment 
is not required to be used by a qualified employee climbing or changing 
location on poles, towers, or similar structures, unless conditions, 
such as, but not limited to, ice, high winds, the design of the 
structure (for example, no provision for holding on with hands), or the 
presence of contaminants on the structure, could cause the employee to 
lose his or her grip or footing.


    Note 1 to paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section: This paragraph 
applies to structures that support overhead electric power 
transmission and distribution lines and equipment. It does not apply 
to portions of buildings, such as loading docks, to electric 
equipment, such as transformers and capacitors, nor to aerial lifts. 
The duty to provide fall protection associated with walking and 
working surfaces is contained in Subpart M of this Part; the duty to 
provide fall protection associated with aerial lifts is contained in 
Sec.  1926.453.


    Note 2 to paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section: Employees who 
have not completed training in climbing and the use of fall 
protection are not considered ``qualified employees'' for the 
purposes of this provision. Unqualified employees (including 
trainees) are required to use fall protection any time they are more 
than 1.2 m (4 ft) above the ground.


    (iv) Work positioning systems shall be rigged so that an employee 
can free fall no more than 0.6 m (2 ft) unless no anchorage is 
available.
    (v) Anchorages for work positioning equipment shall be capable of 
supporting at least twice the potential impact load of an employee's 
fall or 13.3 kN (3,000 lbf), whichever is greater.
    (vi) Unless the snaphook is a locking type and designed 
specifically for the following connections, snaphooks on work 
positioning equipment may not be engaged:
    (A) Directly to webbing, rope, or wire rope;
    (B) To each other;
    (C) To a D ring to which another snaphook or other connector is 
attached;
    (D) To a horizontal lifeline; or
    (E) To any object which is incompatibly shaped or dimensioned in 
relation to the snaphook such that unintentional disengagement could 
occur by the connected object being able to depress the snaphook keeper 
and release itself.

Sec.  1926.955  Ladders and platforms.

    (a) General. Requirements for portable ladders contained in Subpart 
X of this Part apply, except as specifically noted in paragraph (b) of 
this section. Fixed ladders shall meet Part 1910, Subpart D of this 
chapter.
    (b) Special ladders and platforms. Portable ladders and platforms 
used on structures or conductors in conjunction with overhead line work 
need not meet paragraphs (b)(5)(i) and (b)(12) of Sec.  1926.1053. 
However, these ladders and platforms shall meet the following 
requirements:
    (1) Design load. In the configurations in which they are used, 
ladders and platforms shall be capable of supporting without failure at 
least 2.5 times the maximum intended load.
    (2) Maximum load. Ladders and platforms may not be loaded in excess 
of the working loads for which they are designed.
    (3) Secured in place. Ladders and platforms shall be secured to 
prevent their becoming accidentally dislodged.
    (4) Intended use. Ladders and platforms may be used only in 
applications for which they are designed.
    (c) Conductive ladders. Portable metal ladders and other portable 
conductive ladders may not be used near exposed energized lines or 
equipment. However, in specialized high-voltage work, conductive 
ladders shall be used where the employer can demonstrate that 
nonconductive ladders would present a greater hazard than conductive 
ladders.

Sec.  1926.956  Hand and portable power tools.

    (a) General. Paragraph (b) of this section applies to electric 
equipment connected by cord and plug. Paragraph (c) of this section 
applies to portable and vehicle-mounted generators used to supply cord- 
and plug-connected equipment. Paragraph (d) of this section applies to 
hydraulic and pneumatic tools.
    (b) Cord- and plug-connected equipment. (1) Supplied by premises 
wiring. Cord- and plug-connected equipment supplied by premises wiring 
is covered by Subpart K of this Part.
    (2) Supplied by other than premises wiring. Any cord- and plug-
connected equipment supplied by other than premises wiring shall comply 
with one of the following in lieu of Sec.  1926.302(a)(1):
    (i) It shall be equipped with a cord containing an equipment 
grounding conductor connected to the tool frame and to a means for 
grounding the other end (however, this option may not be used where the 
introduction of the ground into the work environment increases the 
hazard to an employee); or
    (ii) It shall be of the double-insulated type conforming to Subpart 
K of this Part; or
    (iii) It shall be connected to the power supply through an 
isolating transformer with an ungrounded secondary.
    (c) Portable and vehicle-mounted generators. Portable and vehicle-
mounted generators used to supply cord- and plug-connected equipment 
shall meet the following requirements:
    (1) Equipment to be supplied. The generator may only supply 
equipment located on the generator or the vehicle and cord- and plug-
connected equipment through receptacles mounted on the generator or the 
vehicle.
    (2) Equipment grounding. The noncurrent-carrying metal parts of 
equipment and the equipment grounding conductor terminals of the 
receptacles shall be bonded to the generator frame.
    (3) Bonding the frame. In the case of vehicle-mounted generators, 
the frame of the generator shall be bonded to the vehicle frame.
    (4) Bonding the neutral conductor. Any neutral conductor shall be 
bonded to the generator frame.
    (d) Hydraulic and pneumatic tools. (1) Hydraulic fluid in 
insulating tools. Paragraph (d)(1) of Sec.  1926.302 does not apply to 
hydraulic fluid used in insulating sections of hydraulic tools.
    (2) Operating pressure. Safe operating pressures for hydraulic and 
pneumatic tools, hoses, valves, pipes, filters, and fittings may not be 
exceeded.

    Note to paragraph (d)(2) of this section: If any hazardous 
defects are present, no operating pressure would be safe, and the 
hydraulic or pneumatic equipment involved may not be used. In the 
absence of defects, the maximum rated operating pressure is the 
maximum safe pressure.

    (3) Work near energized parts. A hydraulic or pneumatic tool used 
where it may contact exposed energized parts shall be designed and 
maintained for such use.
    (4) Protection against vacuum formation. The hydraulic system 
supplying a hydraulic tool used where it may contact exposed live parts 
shall provide protection against loss of insulating value for the 
voltage involved due to the formation of a partial vacuum in the 
hydraulic line.

    Note to paragraph (d)(4) of this section: Hydraulic lines 
without check valves having a separation of more than 10.7 m (35 ft) 
between the oil reservoir and the upper end of the hydraulic system 
promote the formation of a partial vacuum.

    (5) Protection against the accumulation of moisture. A pneumatic 
tool used on energized electric lines or equipment or used where it may 
contact exposed live parts shall provide protection against the 
accumulation of moisture in the air supply.
    (6) Breaking connections. Pressure shall be released before 
connections are broken, unless quick acting, self-closing connectors 
are used.
    (7) Leaks. Employees may not use any part of their bodies to locate 
or attempt to stop a hydraulic leak.
    (8) Hoses. Hoses may not be kinked.


Sec.  1926.957  Live-line tools.

    (a) Design of tools. Live-line tool rods, tubes, and poles shall be 
designed and constructed to withstand the following minimum tests:
    (1) Fiberglass-reinforced plastic. If the tool is made of 
fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP), it shall withstand 328100 volts 
per meter (100,000 volts per foot) of length for 5 minutes, or

    Note to paragraph (a)(1) of this section: Live-line tools using 
rod and tube that meet ASTM F 711-02, Standard Specification for 
Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Rod and Tube Used in Live Line 
Tools, conform to paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

    (2) Wood. If the tool is made of wood, it shall withstand 246100 
volts per meter (75,000 volts per foot) of length for 3 minutes, or
    (3) Equivalent tests. The tool shall withstand other tests that the 
employer can demonstrate are equivalent.
    (b) Condition of tools. (1) Daily inspection. Each live-line tool 
shall be wiped clean and visually inspected for defects before use each 
day.
    (2) Defects. If any defect or contamination that could adversely 
affect the insulating qualities or mechanical integrity of the live-
line tool is present after wiping, the tool shall be removed from 
service and examined and tested according to paragraph (b)(3) of this 
section before being returned to service.
    (3) Biennial inspection and testing. Live-line tools used for 
primary employee protection shall be removed from service every 2 years 
and whenever required under paragraph (b)(2) of this section for 
examination, cleaning, repair, and testing as follows:
    (i) Each tool shall be thoroughly examined for defects.
    (ii) If a defect or contamination that could adversely affect the 
insulating qualities or mechanical integrity of the live-line tool is 
found, the tool shall be repaired and refinished or shall be 
permanently removed from service. If no such defect or contamination is 
found, the tool shall be cleaned and waxed.
    (iii) The tool shall be tested in accordance with paragraphs 
(b)(3)(iv) and (b)(3)(v) of this section under the following 
conditions:
    (A) After the tool has been repaired or refinished; and
    (B) After the examination if repair or refinishing is not 
performed, unless the tool is made of FRP rod or foam-filled FRP tube 
and the employer can demonstrate that the tool has no defects that 
could cause it to fail in use.
    (iv) The test method used shall be designed to verify the tool's 
integrity along its entire working length and, if the tool is made of 
fiberglass-reinforced plastic, its integrity under wet conditions.
    (v) The voltage applied during the tests shall be as follows:
    (A) 246,100 volts per meter (75,000 volts per foot) of length for 1 
minute if the tool is made of fiberglass, or
    (B) 164,000 volts per meter (50,000 volts per foot) of length for 1 
minute if the tool is made of wood, or
    (C) Other tests that the employer can demonstrate are equivalent.

    Note to paragraph (b) of this section: Guidelines for the 
examination, cleaning, repairing, and in-service testing of live-
line tools are contained in the Institute of Electrical and 
Electronics Engineers' IEEE Guide for Maintenance Methods on 
Energized Power Lines, IEEE Std. 516-2003.

Sec.  1926.958  Materials handling and storage.

    (a) General. Materials handling and storage shall conform to the 
requirements of Subpart N of this Part.
    (b) Materials storage near energized lines or equipment. (1) 
Unrestricted areas. In areas not restricted to qualified persons only, 
materials or equipment may not be stored closer to energized lines or 
exposed energized parts of equipment than the following distances plus 
an amount providing for the maximum sag and side swing of all 
conductors and providing for the height and movement of material 
handling equipment:
    (i) For lines and equipment energized at 50 kV or less, the 
distance is 3.05 m (10 ft).
    (ii) For lines and equipment energized at more than 50 kV, the 
distance is 3.05 m (10 ft) plus 0.10 m (4 in.) for every 10 kV over 50 
kV.
    (2) Restricted areas. In areas restricted to qualified employees, 
material may not be stored within the working space about energized 
lines or equipment.

    Note to paragraph (b)(2) of this section: Requirements for the 
size of the working space are contained in Sec.  1926.966(b).


Sec.  1926.959  Mechanical equipment.

    (a) General requirements. (1) Other applicable requirements. 
Mechanical equipment shall be operated in accordance with Subparts N 
and O of this Part, except that Sec. Sec.  1926.550(a)(15) and 
1926.600(a)(6) do not apply to operations performed by qualified 
employees.
    (2) Inspection before use. The critical safety components of 
mechanical elevating and rotating equipment shall receive a thorough 
visual inspection before use on each shift.

    Note to paragraph (a)(2) of this section: Critical safety 
components of mechanical elevating and rotating equipment are 
components whose failure would result in a free fall or free 
rotation of the boom.


    (3) Operator. The operator of an electric line truck may not leave 
his or her position at the controls while a load is suspended, unless 
the employer can demonstrate that no employee (including the operator) 
might be endangered.
    (b) Outriggers. (1) Extend outriggers. Vehicular equipment, if 
provided with outriggers, shall be operated with the outriggers 
extended and firmly set as necessary for the stability of the specific 
configuration of the equipment. Outriggers may not be extended or 
retracted outside of clear view of the operator unless all employees 
are outside the range of possible equipment motion.
    (2) Operation without outriggers. If the work area or the terrain 
precludes the use of outriggers, the equipment may be operated only 
within its maximum load ratings for the particular configuration of the 
equipment without outriggers.
    (c) Applied loads. Mechanical equipment used to lift or move lines 
or other material shall be used within its maximum load rating and 
other design limitations for the conditions under which the work is 
being performed.
    (d) Operations near energized lines or equipment. (1) Minimum 
approach distance. Mechanical equipment shall be operated so that the 
minimum approach distances of Table V-2 through Table V-6 are 
maintained from exposed energized lines and equipment. However, the 
insulated portion of an aerial lift operated by a qualified employee in 
the lift is exempt from this requirement if the applicable minimum 
approach distance is maintained between the uninsulated portions of the 
aerial lift and exposed objects at a different potential.
    (2) Observer. A designated employee other than the equipment 
operator shall observe the approach distance to exposed lines and 
equipment and give timely warnings before the minimum approach distance 
required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section is reached, unless the 
employer can demonstrate that the operator can accurately determine 
that the minimum approach distance is being maintained.
    (3) Extra precautions. If, during operation of the mechanical 
equipment, the equipment could become energized, the operation shall 
also comply with at least one of paragraphs (d)(3)(i) through 
(d)(3)(iii) of this section.
    (i) The energized lines exposed to contact shall be covered with 
insulating protective material that will withstand the type of contact 
that might be made during the operation.
    (ii) The equipment shall be insulated for the voltage involved. The 
equipment shall be positioned so that its uninsulated portions cannot 
approach the lines or equipment any closer than the minimum approach 
distances specified in Table V-2 through Table V-6 in Sec.  1926.960.
    (iii) Each employee shall be protected from hazards that might 
arise from equipment contact with the energized lines. The measures 
used shall ensure that employees will not be exposed to hazardous 
differences in potential. Unless the employer can demonstrate that the 
methods in use protect each employee from the hazards that might arise 
if the equipment contacts the energized line, the measures used shall 
include all of the following techniques:
    (A) Using the best available ground to minimize the time the lines 
remain energized,
    (B) Bonding equipment together to minimize potential differences,
    (C) Providing ground mats to extend areas of equipotential, and
    (D) Employing insulating protective equipment or barricades to 
guard against any remaining hazardous potential differences.

    Note to paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of this section: Appendix C to 
this Subpart contains information on hazardous step and touch 
potentials and on methods of protecting employees from hazards 
resulting from such potentials.

Sec.  1926.960  Working on or near exposed energized parts.

    (a) Application. This section applies to work on exposed live 
parts, or near enough to them, to expose the employee to any hazard 
they present.
    (b) General. (1) Qualified employees only. (i) Only qualified 
employees may work on or with exposed energized lines or parts of 
equipment.
    (ii) Only qualified employees may work in areas containing 
unguarded, uninsulated energized lines or parts of equipment operating 
at 50 volts or more.
    (2) Treat as energized. Electric lines and equipment shall be 
considered and treated as energized unless they have been deenergized 
in accordance with Sec.  1926.961.
    (3) At least two employees. (i) Except as provided in paragraph 
(b)(3)(ii) of this section, at least two employees shall be present 
while the following types of work are being performed:
    (A) Installation, removal, or repair of lines that are energized at 
more than 600 volts,
    (B) Installation, removal, or repair of deenergized lines if an 
employee is exposed to contact with other parts energized at more than 
600 volts,
    (C) Installation, removal, or repair of equipment, such as 
transformers, capacitors, and regulators, if an employee is exposed to 
contact with parts energized at more than 600 volts,
    (D) Work involving the use of mechanical equipment, other than 
insulated aerial lifts, near parts energized at more than 600 volts, 
and
    (E) Other work that exposes an employee to electrical hazards 
greater than or equal to those posed by operations that are 
specifically listed in paragraphs (b)(3)(i)(A) through (b)(3)(i)(D) of 
this section.
    (ii) Paragraph (b)(3) of this section does not apply to the 
following operations:
    (A) Routine switching of circuits, if the employer can demonstrate 
that conditions at the site allow this work to be performed safely,
    (B) Work performed with live-line tools if the employee is 
positioned so that he or she is neither within reach of nor otherwise 
exposed to contact with energized parts, and
    (C) Emergency repairs to the extent necessary to safeguard the 
general public.
    (c) Live work. (1) Minimum approach distances. The employer shall 
ensure that no employee approaches or takes any conductive object 
closer to exposed energized parts than set forth in Table V-2 through 
Table V-6, unless:
    (i) The employee is insulated from the energized part (insulating 
gloves or insulating gloves and sleeves worn in accordance with 
paragraph (c)(2) of this section are considered insulation of the 
employee from the energized part upon which the employee is working 
provided that the employee has control of the part in a manner 
sufficient to prevent exposure to uninsulated portions of the body), or
    (ii) The energized part is insulated from the employee and from any 
other conductive object at a different potential, or
    (iii) The employee is insulated from any other exposed conductive 
object, as during live-line bare-hand work.

    Note to paragraph (c)(1) of this section: Paragraph (f)(1) of 
Sec.  1926.966 contains requirements for the guarding and isolation 
of live parts. Parts of electric circuits that meet these two 
provisions are not considered as ``exposed'' unless a guard is 
removed or an employee enters the space intended to provide 
isolation from the live parts.

    (2) Type of insulation. (i) If the employee is to be insulated from 
energized parts by the use of insulating gloves (under paragraph 
(c)(1)(i) of this section), insulating sleeves shall also be used. 
However, insulating sleeves need not be used under the following 
conditions:
    (A) If exposed energized parts on which work is not being performed 
are insulated from the employee and
    (B) If such insulation is placed from a position not exposing the 
employee's upper arm to contact with other energized parts.
    (ii) If the employee is to be insulated from energized parts by the 
use of insulating gloves or insulating gloves with sleeves,
    (A) The insulating gloves and sleeves shall be put on in a position 
where the employee cannot reach into the minimum approach distance 
given in paragraph (c)(1) of this section; and
    (B) The insulating gloves and sleeves may not be removed until the 
employee is in a position where he or she cannot reach into the minimum 
approach distance given in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
    (d) Working position. (1) Working from below. The employer shall 
ensure that each employee, to the extent that other safety-related 
conditions at the worksite permit, works in a position from which a 
slip or shock will not bring the employee's body into contact with 
exposed, uninsulated parts energized at a potential different from the 
employee.
    (2) Working without electrical protective equipment. If work is 
performed near exposed parts energized at more than 600 volts but not 
more than 72.5 kilovolts and if the employee is not insulated from the 
energized parts or performing live-line bare-hand work, the employee 
shall work from a position where the employee cannot reach into the 
minimum approach distance given in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
    (e) Making connections. The employer shall ensure that connections 
are made as follows:
    (1) Connecting. In connecting deenergized equipment or lines to an 
energized circuit by means of a conducting wire or device, an employee 
shall first attach the wire to the deenergized part;
    (2) Disconnecting. When disconnecting equipment or lines from an 
energized circuit by means of a conducting wire or device, an employee 
shall remove the source end first; and
    (3) Loose conductors. When lines or equipment are connected to or 
disconnected from energized circuits, loose conductors shall be kept 
away from exposed energized parts.
    (f) Conductive articles. When work is performed within reaching 
distance of exposed energized parts of equipment, the employer shall 
ensure that each employee removes or renders nonconductive all exposed 
conductive articles, such as key or watch chains, rings, or wrist 
watches or bands, unless such articles do not increase the hazards 
associated with contact with the energized parts.
    (g) Clothing. (1) Hazard assessment. The employer shall assess the 
workplace to determine if each employee is exposed to hazards from 
flames or from electric arcs.
    (2) Estimate of available heat energy. For each employee exposed to 
hazards from electric arcs, the employer shall make a reasonable 
estimate of the maximum available heat energy to which the employee 
would be exposed.

    Note 1 to paragraph (g)(2) of this section: Appendix F to this 
Subpart provides guidance on the estimation of available heat 
energy.

    Note 2 to paragraph (g)(2) of this section: This paragraph does 
not require the employer to estimate the heat energy exposure for 
every job task performed by each employee. The employer may make 
broad estimates that cover multiple system areas provided the 
employer uses reasonable assumptions about the energy exposure 
distribution throughout the system and provided the estimates 
represent the maximum exposure for those areas. For example, the 
employer could estimate the heat energy just outside a substation 
feeding a radial distribution system and use that estimate for all jobs 
performed on that radial system.

    (3) Prohibited clothing. The employer shall ensure that each 
employee who is exposed to hazards from electric arcs does not wear 
clothing that could melt onto his or her skin or that could ignite and 
continue to burn when exposed to the heat energy estimated under 
paragraph (g)(2) of this section.

    Note to paragraph (g)(3) of this section: Clothing made from the 
following types of fabrics, either alone or in blends, is prohibited 
by this paragraph, unless the employer can demonstrate that the 
fabric has been treated to withstand the conditions that may be 
encountered or that the clothing is worn in such a manner as to 
eliminate the hazard involved: acetate, nylon, polyester, rayon.

    (4) Flame-resistant clothing. The employer shall ensure that an 
employee wears clothing that is flame resistant under any of the 
following conditions:
    (i) The employee is subject to contact with energized circuit parts 
operating at more than 600 volts,
    (ii) The employee's clothing could be ignited by flammable material 
in the work area that could be ignited by an electric arc, or
    (iii) The employee's clothing could be ignited by molten metal or 
electric arcs from faulted conductors in the work area.

    Note to paragraph (g)(4)(iii) of this section: This paragraph 
does not apply to conductors that are capable of carrying, without 
failure, the maximum available fault current for the time the 
circuit protective devices take to interrupt the fault.

    (5) Clothing rating. The employer shall ensure that each employee 
who is exposed to hazards from electric arcs wears clothing with an arc 
rating greater than or equal to the heat energy estimated under 
paragraph (g)(2) of this section.

    Note to paragraph (g) of this section: See Appendix F to this 
subpart for further information on the selection of appropriate 
clothing.

    (h) Fuse handling. When fuses must be installed or removed with one 
or both terminals energized at more than 300 volts or with exposed 
parts energized at more than 50 volts, the employer shall ensure that 
tools or gloves rated for the voltage are used. When expulsion-type 
fuses are installed with one or both terminals energized at more than 
300 volts, the employer shall ensure that each employee wears eye 
protection meeting the requirements of Subpart E of this Part, uses a 
tool rated for the voltage, and is clear of the exhaust path of the 
fuse barrel.
    (i) Covered (noninsulated) conductors. The requirements of this 
section which pertain to the hazards of exposed live parts also apply 
when work is performed in the proximity of covered (noninsulated) 
wires.
    (j) Noncurrent-carrying metal parts. Noncurrent-carrying metal 
parts of equipment or devices, such as transformer cases and circuit 
breaker housings, shall be treated as energized at the highest voltage 
to which they are exposed, unless the employer inspects the 
installation and determines that these parts are grounded before work 
is performed.
    (k) Opening circuits under load. Devices used to open circuits 
under load conditions shall be designed to interrupt the current 
involved.

                            Table V-2.--A-C Live-Line Work Minimum Approach Distance
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  Distance
                                                          ------------------------------------------------------
       Nominal voltage in kilovolts phase to phase         Phase-to-ground exposure    Phase-to-phase exposure
                                                          ------------------------------------------------------
                                                                m          ft-in          m            ft-in
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.051 to 0.300 \1\.......................................        Avoid contact
                                                                 Avoid contact
0.301 to 0.750 \1\.......................................         0.31          1-0         0.31          1-0
0.751 to 15.0............................................         0.65          2-2         0.67          2-3
15.1 to 36.0.............................................         0.77          2-7         0.86         2-10
36.1 to 46.0.............................................         0.84          2-9         0.96          3-2
46.1 to 72.5.............................................         1.00          3-3         1.20         3-11
72.6 to 121..............................................         0.95          3-2         1.29          4-3
138 to 145...............................................         1.09          3-7         1.50         4-11
161 to 169...............................................         1.22          4-0         1.71          5-8
230 to 242...............................................         1.59          5-3         2.27          7-6
345 to 362...............................................         2.59          8-6         3.80         12-6
500 to 550...............................................         3.42         11-3         5.50         18-1
765 to 800...............................................         4.53        14-11         7.91        26-0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ For single-phase systems, use the voltage to ground.
Note 1: These distances take into consideration the highest switching surge an employee will be exposed to on
  any system with air as the insulating medium and the maximum voltages shown.
Note 2: The clear live-line tool distance shall equal or exceed the values for the indicated voltage ranges.
Note 3: See Appendix B to this subpart for information on how the minimum approach distances listed in the
  tables were derived.


    Table V-3.--A-C Live-Line Work Minimum Approach Distance With Overvoltage Factor Phase-to-Ground Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         Distance in meters
                                                  --------------------------------------------------------------
      Maximum anticipated per-unit transient                Maximum phase-to-phase voltage in  kilovolts
                   overvoltage                    --------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     121      145      169      242      362      552      800
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.5..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     1.82     2.95
1.6..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     1.97     3.23
1.7..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     2.13     3.54
1.8..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     2.29     3.86
1.9..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     2.47     4.19
2.0..............................................     0.74     0.83     0.92     1.16     1.59     2.65     4.53
2.1..............................................     0.76     0.85     0.95     1.21     1.65     2.83  .......
2.2..............................................     0.78     0.88     0.98     1.25     1.74     3.01  .......
2.3..............................................     0.80     0.91     1.01     1.29     1.84     3.20  .......
2.4..............................................     0.82     0.93     1.04     1.33     1.94     3.42  .......
2.5..............................................     0.84     0.96     1.07     1.38     2.04  .......  .......
2.6..............................................     0.86     0.98     1.10     1.42     2.14  .......  .......
2.7..............................................     0.88     1.01     1.13     1.45     2.25  .......  .......
2.8..............................................     0.91     1.03     1.16     1.50     2.36  .......  .......
2.9..............................................     0.93     1.06     1.19     1.54     2.47  .......  .......
3.0..............................................     0.95     1.09     1.22     1.59     2.59  .......  .......
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note 1: The distances specified in this table may be applied only where the maximum anticipated per-unit
  transient overvoltage has been determined by engineering analysis and has been supplied by the employer. Table
  V-2 applies otherwise.
Note 2: The distances specified in this table are the air, bare-hand, and live-line tool distances.
Note 3: See Appendix B to this subpart for information on how the minimum approach distances listed in the
  tables were derived and on how to calculate revised minimum approach distances based on the control of
  transient overvoltages.


    Table V-3.--A-C Live-Line Work Minimum Approach Distance With Overvoltage Factor Phase-to-Ground Exposure
                                                   (continued)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Distance in feet-inches
                                                  --------------------------------------------------------------
      Maximum anticipated per-unit transient                Maximum phase-to-phase voltage in  kilovolts
                   overvoltage                    --------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     121      145      169      242      362      552      800
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.5..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......      6-0      9-8
1.6..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......      6-6     10-8
1.7..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......      7-0     11-8
1.8..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......      7-7     12-8
1.9..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......      8-1     13-9
2.0..............................................      2-5      2-9      3-0     3-10      5-3      8-9   114-11
2.1..............................................      2-6     2-10      3-2      4-0      5-5      9-4  .......
2.2..............................................      2-7     2-11      3-3      4-1      5-9     9-11  .......
2.3..............................................      2-8      3-0      3-4      4-3      6-1     10-6  .......
2.4..............................................      2-9      3-1      3-5      4-5      6-4     11-3  .......
2.5..............................................      2-9      3-2      3-6      4-6      6-8  .......  .......
2.6..............................................     2-10      3-3      3-8      4-8      7-1  .......  .......
2.7..............................................     2-11      3-4      3-9     4-10      7-5  .......  .......
2.8..............................................      3-0      3-5     3-10     4-11      7-9  .......  .......
2.9..............................................      3-1      3-6     3-11      5-1      8-2  .......  .......
3.0..............................................      3-2      3-7      4-0      5-3      8-6  .......  .......
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note 1: The distances specified in this table may be applied only where the maximum anticipated per-unit
  transient overvoltage has been determined by engineering analysis and has been supplied by the employer. Table
  V-2 applies otherwise.
Note 2: The distances specified in this table are the air, bare-hand, and live-line tool distances.
Note 3: See Appendix B to this Subpart for information on how the minimum approach distances listed in the
  tables were derived and on how to calculate revised minimum approach distances based on the control of
  transient overvoltages.


     Table V-4.--A-C Live-Line Work Minimum Approach Distance With Overvoltage Factor Phase-to-Phase Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         Distance in meters
                                                  --------------------------------------------------------------
      Maximum anticipated per-unit transient                Maximum phase-to-phase voltage in  kilovolts
                   overvoltage                    --------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     121      145      169      242      362      552      800
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.5..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     2.24     3.67
1.6..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     2.65     4.42
1.7..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     3.08     5.23
1.8..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     3.53     6.07
1.9..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     4.01     6.97
2.0..............................................     1.08     1.24     1.41     1.85     2.61     4.52     7.91
2.1..............................................     1.10     1.27     1.44     1.89     2.68     4.75  .......
2.2..............................................     1.12     1.29     1.47     1.93     2.78     4.98  .......
2.3..............................................     1.14     1.32     1.50     1.97     2.90     5.21  .......
2.4..............................................     1.16     1.35     1.53     2.01     3.02     5.50  .......
2.5..............................................     1.18     1.37     1.56     2.06     3.14  .......  .......
2.6..............................................     1.21     1.40     1.59     2.10     3.27  .......  .......
2.7..............................................     1.23     1.43     1.62     2.13     3.40  .......  .......
2.8..............................................     1.25     1.45     1.65     2.19     3.53  .......  .......
2.9..............................................     1.27     1.48     1.68     2.22     3.67  .......  .......
3.0..............................................     1.29     1.50     1.71     2.27     3.80  .......  .......
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note 1: The distances specified in this table may be applied only where the maximum anticipated per-unit
  transient overvoltage has been determined by engineering analysis and has been supplied by the employer. Table
  V-2 applies otherwise.
Note 2: The distances specified in this table are the air, bare-hand, and live-line tool distances.
Note 3: See Appendix B to this Subpart for information on how the minimum approach distances listed in the
  tables were derived and on how to calculate revised minimum approach distances based on the control of
  transient overvoltages.

     Table V-4.--A-C Live-Line Work Minimum Approach Distance With Overvoltage Factor Phase-to-Phase Exposure
                                                   (continued)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         Distance in Meters
                                                  --------------------------------------------------------------
      Maximum anticipated per-unit transient                Maximum phase-to-phase voltage in  kilovolts
                   overvoltage                    --------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     121      145      169      242      362      552      800
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.5..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......      7-4     12-1
1.6..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......      8-9     14-6
1.7..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     10-2     17-2
1.8..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     11-7    19-11
1.9..............................................  .......  .......  .......  .......  .......     13-2    22-11
2.0..............................................      3-7      4-1      4-8      6-1      8-7    14-10     26-0
2.1..............................................      3-7      4-1      4-9      6-3     8-10     15-7  .......
2.2..............................................      3-8      4-3     4-10      6-4      9-2     16-4  .......
2.3..............................................      3-9      4-4     4-11      6-6      9-6     17-2  .......
2.4..............................................     3-10      4-5      5-0      6-7     9-11     18-1  .......
2.5..............................................     3-11      4-6      5-2      6-9     10-4  .......  .......
2.6..............................................      4-0      4-7      5-3     6-11     10-9  .......  .......
2.7..............................................      4-1      4-8      5-4      7-0     11-2  .......  .......
2.8..............................................      4-1      4-9      5-5      7-2     11-7  .......  .......
2.9..............................................      4-2     4-10      5-6      7-4     12-1  .......  .......
3.0..............................................      4-3     4-11      5-8      7-6     12-6  .......  .......
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note 1: The distances specified in this table may be applied only where the maximum anticipated per-unit
  transient overvoltage has been determined by engineering analysis and has been supplied by the employer. Table
  V-2 applies otherwise.
Note 2: The distances specified in this table are the air, bare-hand, and live-line tool distances.
Note 3: See Appendix B to this Subpart for information on how the minimum approach distances listed in the
  tables were derived and on how to calculate revised minimum approach distances based on the control of
  transient overvoltages.


                                       Table V-5.--D-C Live-Line Minimum Approach Distance With Overvoltage Factor
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Maximum anticipated per-unit                                               Distance in meters (feet-inches)
                transient overvoltage                                             Maximum line-to-ground voltage in kilovolts
                                                     -----------
                                                              250
                                                              400
                                                              500
                                                              600
                                                              750
-----------------------------------------------------
1.5 or lower........................................      1.12     (3-8)      1.60     (5-3)      2.06     (6-9)      2.62     (8-7)      3.61   (11-10)
1.6.................................................      1.17    (3-10)      1.69     (5-7)      2.24     (7-4)      2.86     (9-5)      3.98    (13-1)
1.7.................................................      1.23     (4-1)      1.82     (6-0)      2.42    (7-11)      3.12    (10-3)      4.37    (14-4)
1.8.................................................      1.28     (4-3)      1.95     (6-5)      2.62     (8-7)      3.39    (11-2)      4.79   (15-9)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note 1: The distance specified in this table may be applied only where the maximum anticipated per-unit transient overvoltage has been determined by
  engineering analysis and has been supplied by the employer. However, if the transient overvoltage factor is not known, a factor of 1.8 shall be
  assumed.
Note 2: The distances specified in this table are the air, bare-hand, and live-line tool distances.

                 Table V-6.--Altitude Correction Factor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Altitude
------------------------------------------------------------  Correction
                m                             ft                factor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
900..............................  3000....................         1.00
1200.............................  4000....................         1.02
1500.............................  5000....................         1.05
1800.............................  6000....................         1.08
2100.............................  7000....................         1.11
2400.............................  8000....................         1.14
2700.............................  9000....................         1.17
3000.............................  10000...................         1.20
3600.............................  12000...................         1.25
4200.............................  14000...................         1.30
4800.............................  16000...................         1.35
5400.............................  18000...................         1.39
6000.............................  20000...................        1.44
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: If the work is performed at elevations greater than 900 m (3000
  ft) above mean sea level, the minimum approach distance shall be
  determined by multiplying the distances in Table V-2 through Table V-5
  by the correction factor corresponding to the altitude at which work
  is performed.

Sec.  1926.961  Deenergizing lines and equipment for employee 
protection.

    (a) Application. This section applies to the deenergizing of 
transmission and distribution lines and equipment for the purpose of 
protecting employees. Conductors and parts of electric equipment that 
have been deenergized under procedures other than those required by 
this section shall be treated as energized.
    (b) General. (1) System operator. If a system operator is in charge 
of the lines or equipment and their means of disconnection, all of the 
requirements of paragraph (c) of this section shall be observed, in the 
order given.
    (2) No system operator. If no system operator is in charge of the 
lines or equipment and their means of disconnection, one employee in 
the crew shall be designated as being in charge of the clearance. All 
of the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section apply, in the 
order given, except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section. 
The employee in charge of the clearance shall take the place of the 
system operator, as necessary.
    (3) Number of crews working. (i) If only one crew will be working 
on the lines or equipment and if the means of disconnection is 
accessible and visible to and under the sole control of the employee in 
charge of the clearance, paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(3), (c)(4), and (c)(11) 
of this section do not apply. Additionally, tags required by the 
remaining provisions of paragraph (c) of this section need not be used.
    (ii) If two or more independent crews will be working on the same 
lines or equipment, each crew shall independently comply with the 
requirements in paragraph (c) of this section. The independent crews 
shall coordinate deenergizing and reenergizing the lines or equipment 
if there is no system operator in charge of the lines or equipment.
    (4) Disconnecting means accessible to general public. Any 
disconnecting means that are accessible to persons outside the 
employer's control (for example, the general public) shall be rendered 
inoperable while they are open for the purpose of protecting employees.
    (c) Deenergizing lines and equipment. (1) Request to deenergize. A 
designated employee shall make a request of the system operator to have 
the particular section of line or equipment deenergized. The designated 
employee becomes the employee in charge (as this term is used in 
paragraph (c) of this section) and is responsible for the clearance.
    (2) Open disconnecting means. All switches, disconnectors, jumpers, 
taps, and other means through which known sources of electric energy 
may be supplied to the particular lines and equipment to be deenergized 
shall be opened. Such means shall be rendered inoperable, unless its 
design does not so permit, and tagged to indicate that employees are at 
work.
    (3) Automatically and remotely controlled switches. Automatically 
and remotely controlled switches that could cause the opened 
disconnecting means to close shall also be tagged at the point of 
control. The automatic or remote control feature shall be rendered 
inoperable, unless its design does not so permit.
    (4) Tags. Tags shall prohibit operation of the disconnecting means 
and shall indicate that employees are at work.
    (5) Test for energized condition. After the applicable requirements 
in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this section have been followed 
and the employee in charge of the work has been given a clearance by 
the system operator, the lines and equipment to be worked shall be 
tested to ensure that they are deenergized.
    (6) Install grounds. Protective grounds shall be installed as 
required by Sec.  1926.962.
    (7) Consider lines and equipment deenergized. After the applicable 
requirements of paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(6) of this section have 
been followed, the lines and equipment involved may be worked as 
deenergized.
    (8) Transferring clearances. To transfer the clearance, the 
employee in charge (or, if the employee in charge is forced to leave 
the worksite due to illness or other emergency, the employee's 
supervisor) shall inform the system operator; employees in the crew 
shall be informed of the transfer; and the new employee in charge shall 
be responsible for the clearance.
    (9) Releasing clearances. To release a clearance, the employee in 
charge shall:
    (i) Notify each employee under his or her direction that the 
clearance is to be released;
    (ii) Determine that all employees in the crew are clear of the 
lines and equipment;
    (iii) Determine that all protective grounds installed by the crew 
have been removed; and
    (iv) Report this information to the system operator and release the 
clearance.
    (10) Person releasing clearance. The person releasing a clearance 
shall be the same person who requested the clearance, unless 
responsibility has been transferred under paragraph (c)(8) of this 
section.
    (11) Removal of tags. Tags may not be removed unless the associated 
clearance has been released under paragraph (c)(9) of this section.
    (12) Reenergizing lines and equipment. Only after all protective 
grounds have been removed, after all crews working on the lines or 
equipment have released their clearances, after all employees are clear 
of the lines and equipment, and after all protective tags have been 
removed from a given point of disconnection, may action be initiated to 
reenergize the lines or equipment at that point of disconnection.

Sec.  1926.962  Grounding for the protection of employees.

    (a) Application. This section applies to the grounding of 
transmission and distribution lines and equipment for the purpose of 
protecting employees. Paragraph (d) of this section also applies to the 
protective grounding of other equipment as required elsewhere in this 
Subpart.
    (b) General. For any employee to work lines or equipment as 
deenergized, the lines or equipment shall be deenergized under the 
provisions of Sec.  1926.961 and shall be grounded as specified in 
paragraphs (c) through (h) of this section. However, if the employer 
can demonstrate that installation of a ground is impracticable or that 
the conditions resulting from the installation of a ground would 
present greater hazards than working without grounds, the lines and 
equipment may be treated as deenergized provided all of the following 
conditions are met:
    (1) Deenergized. The lines and equipment have been deenergized 
under the provisions of Sec.  1926.961.
    (2) No possibility of contact. There is no possibility of contact 
with another energized source.
    (3) No induced voltage. The hazard of induced voltage is not 
present.
    (c) Equipotential zone. Temporary protective grounds shall be 
placed at such locations and arranged in such a manner as to prevent 
each employee from being exposed to hazardous differences in electrical 
potential.
    (d) Protective grounding equipment. (1) Ampacity. (i) Protective 
grounding equipment shall be capable of conducting the maximum fault 
current that could flow at the point of grounding for the time 
necessary to clear the fault.
    (ii) If the protective grounding equipment required under paragraph 
(d)(1)(i) of this section would be larger than the conductor to which 
it is attached, this equipment may be reduced in size provided that it 
is sized and placed so that:
    (A) The conductor being grounded will fail before the protective 
grounding equipment,
    (B) The conductor is only considered as grounded where it is 
protected against failure by the protective grounding equipment, and
    (C) No employees would be endangered by the failed conductor.
    (iii) This equipment shall have an ampacity greater than or equal 
to that of No. 2 AWG copper.
    (2) Impedance. Protective grounds shall have an impedance low 
enough so that they do not delay the operation of protective devices in 
case of accidental energizing of the lines or equipment.

    Note to paragraph (d) of this section: Guidelines for protective 
grounding equipment are contained in American Society for Testing 
and Materials Standard Specifications for Temporary Protective 
Grounds to Be Used on De-Energized Electric Power Lines and 
Equipment, ASTM F 855-03.

    (e) Testing. Before any ground is installed, lines and equipment 
shall be tested and found absent of nominal voltage, unless a 
previously installed ground is present.
    (f) Connecting and removing grounds. (1) Order of connection. When 
a ground is to be attached to a line or to equipment, the ground-end 
connection shall be attached first, and then the other end shall be 
attached by means of a live-line tool. For lines or equipment operating 
at 600 volts or less, insulating equipment other than a live-line tool 
may be used if the employer ensures that the line or equipment is not 
energized at the time the ground is connected or if the employer can 
demonstrate that each employee would be protected from hazards that may 
develop if the line or equipment is energized.
    (2) Order of removal. When a ground is to be removed, the grounding 
device shall be removed from the line or equipment using a live-line 
tool before the ground-end connection is removed. For lines or 
equipment operating at 600 volts or less, insulating equipment other 
than a live-line tool may be used if the employer ensures that the line 
or equipment is not energized at the time the ground is disconnected or 
if the employer can demonstrate that each employee would be protected 
from hazards that may develop if the line or equipment is energized.
    (g) Additional precautions. When work is performed on a cable at a 
location remote from the cable terminal, the cable may not be grounded 
at the cable terminal if there is a possibility of hazardous transfer 
of potential should a fault occur.
    (h) Removal of grounds for test. Grounds may be removed temporarily 
during tests. During the test procedure, the employer shall ensure that 
each employee uses insulating equipment and is isolated from any 
hazards involved, and the employer shall institute any additional 
measures as may be necessary to protect each exposed employee in case 
the previously grounded lines and equipment become energized.

Sec.  1926.963  Testing and test facilities.

    (a) Application. This section provides for safe work practices for 
high-voltage and high-power testing performed in laboratories, shops, 
and substations, and in the field and on electric transmission and 
distribution lines and equipment. It applies only to testing involving 
interim measurements utilizing high voltage, high power, or 
combinations of both, and not to testing involving continuous 
measurements as in routine metering, relaying, and normal line work.

    Note to paragraph (a) of this section: Routine inspection and 
maintenance measurements made by qualified employees are considered 
to be routine line work and are not included in the scope of this 
section, as long as the hazards related to the use of intrinsic 
high-voltage or high-power sources require only the normal 
precautions associated with routine operation and maintenance work 
required in the other paragraphs of this section. Two typical 
examples of such excluded test work procedures are ``phasing-out'' 
testing and testing for a ``no-voltage'' condition.

    (b) General requirements. (1) Safe work practices. The employer 
shall establish and enforce work practices for the protection of each 
worker from the hazards of high-voltage or high-power testing at all 
test areas, temporary and permanent. Such work practices shall include, 
as a minimum, test area guarding, grounding, and the safe use of 
measuring and control circuits. A means providing for periodic safety 
checks of field test areas shall also be included. (See paragraph (f) 
of this section.)
    (2) Training. Employees shall be trained in safe work practices 
upon their initial assignment to the test area, with periodic reviews 
and updates provided as required by Sec.  1926.950(b).
    (c) Guarding of test areas. (1) Guarding. Guarding shall be 
provided within test areas to control access to test equipment or to 
apparatus under test that may become energized as part of the testing 
by either direct or inductive coupling, in order to prevent accidental 
employee contact with energized parts.
    (2) Permanent test areas. Permanent test areas shall be guarded by 
walls, fences, or barriers designed to keep employees out of the test 
areas.
    (3) Temporary test areas. In field testing, or at a temporary test 
site where permanent fences and gates are not provided, one of the 
following means shall be used to prevent unauthorized employees from 
entering:
    (i) The test area shall be guarded by the use of distinctively 
colored safety tape that is supported approximately waist high and to 
which safety signs are attached,
    (ii) The test area shall be guarded by a barrier or barricade that 
limits access to the test area to a degree equivalent, physically and 
visually, to the barricade specified in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this 
section, or
    (iii) The test area shall be guarded by one or more test observers 
stationed so that the entire area can be monitored.
    (4) Removal of barriers. The barriers required by paragraph (c)(3) 
of this section shall be removed when the protection they provide is no 
longer needed.
    (d) Grounding practices. (1) Establish and implement practices. The 
employer shall establish and implement safe grounding practices for the 
test facility.
    (i) All conductive parts accessible to the test operator during the 
time the equipment is operating at high voltage shall be maintained at 
ground potential except for portions of the equipment that are isolated 
from the test operator by guarding.
    (ii) Wherever ungrounded terminals of test equipment or apparatus 
under test may be present, they shall be treated as energized until 
determined by tests to be deenergized.
    (2) Installation of grounds. Visible grounds shall be applied, 
either automatically or manually with properly insulated tools, to the 
high-voltage circuits after they are deenergized and before work is 
performed on the circuit or item or apparatus under test. Common ground 
connections shall be solidly connected to the test equipment and the 
apparatus under test.
    (3) Isolated ground return. In high-power testing, an isolated 
ground-return conductor system shall be provided so that no intentional 
passage of current, with its attendant voltage rise, can occur in the 
ground grid or in the earth. However, an isolated ground-return 
conductor need not be provided if the employer can demonstrate that 
both the following conditions are met:
    (i) An isolated ground-return conductor cannot be provided due to 
the distance of the test site from the electric energy source, and
    (ii) Employees are protected from any hazardous step and touch 
potentials that may develop during the test.

    Note to paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section: See Appendix C to 
this Subpart for information on measures that can be taken to 
protect employees from hazardous step and touch potentials.

    (4) Equipment grounding conductors. In tests in which grounding of 
test equipment by means of the equipment grounding conductor located in 
the equipment power cord cannot be used due to increased hazards to 
test personnel or the prevention of satisfactory measurements, a ground 
that the employer can demonstrate affords equivalent safety shall be 
provided, and the safety ground shall be clearly indicated in the test 
set-up.
    (5) Grounding after tests. When the test area is entered after 
equipment is deenergized, a ground shall be placed on the high-voltage 
terminal and any other exposed terminals.
    (i) High capacitance equipment or apparatus shall be discharged 
through a resistor rated for the available energy.
    (ii) A direct ground shall be applied to the exposed terminals when 
the stored energy drops to a level at which it is safe to do so.
    (6) Grounding test vehicles. If a test trailer or test vehicle is 
used in field testing, its chassis shall be grounded. Protection 
against hazardous touch potentials with respect to the vehicle, 
instrument panels, and other conductive parts accessible to employees 
shall be provided by bonding, insulation, or isolation.
    (e) Control and measuring circuits. (1) Control wiring. Control 
wiring, meter connections, test leads and cables may not be run from a 
test area unless they are contained in a grounded metallic sheath and 
terminated in a grounded metallic enclosure or unless other precautions 
are taken that the employer can demonstrate as ensuring equivalent 
safety.
    (2) Instruments. Meters and other instruments with accessible 
terminals or parts shall be isolated from test personnel to protect 
against hazards arising from such terminals and parts becoming 
energized during testing. If this isolation is provided by locating 
test equipment in metal compartments with viewing windows, interlocks 
shall be provided to interrupt the power supply if the compartment 
cover is opened.
    (3) Routing temporary wiring. The routing and connections of 
temporary wiring shall be made secure against damage, accidental 
interruptions, and other hazards. To the maximum extent possible, 
signal, control, ground, and power cables shall be kept separate.
    (4) Test observer. If employees will be present in the test area 
during testing, a test observer shall be present. The test observer 
shall be capable of implementing the immediate deenergizing of test 
circuits for safety purposes.
    (f) Safety check. (1) Before each test. Safety practices governing 
employee work at temporary or field test areas shall provide for a 
routine check of such test areas for safety at the beginning of each 
series of tests.
    (2) Conditions to be checked. The test operator in charge shall 
conduct these routine safety checks before each series of tests and 
shall verify at least the following conditions:
    (i) That barriers and guards are in workable condition and are 
properly placed to isolate hazardous areas;
    (ii) That system test status signals, if used, are in operable 
condition;
    (iii) That test power disconnects are clearly marked and readily 
available in an emergency;
    (iv) That ground connections are clearly identifiable;
    (v) That personal protective equipment is provided and used as 
required by Subpart E of this Part and by this section; and
    (vi) That signal, ground, and power cables are properly separated.

Sec.  1926.964  Overhead lines.

    (a) General. (1) Application. This section provides additional 
requirements for work performed on or near overhead lines and 
equipment.
    (2) Checking structure before climbing. Before elevated structures, 
such as poles or towers, are subjected to such stresses as climbing or 
the installation or removal of equipment may impose, the employer shall 
ascertain that the structures are capable of sustaining the additional 
or unbalanced stresses. If the pole or other structure cannot withstand 
the loads which will be imposed, it shall be braced or otherwise 
supported so as to prevent failure.
    Note to paragraph (a)(2) of this section: Appendix D to this 
Subpart contains test methods that can be used in ascertaining 
whether a wood pole is capable of sustaining the forces that would 
be imposed by an employee climbing the pole. This paragraph also 
requires the employer to ascertain that the pole can sustain all 
other forces that will be imposed by the work to be performed.
    (3) Setting and moving poles. (i) When poles are set, moved, or 
removed near exposed energized overhead conductors, the pole may not 
contact the conductors.
    (ii) When a pole is set, moved, or removed near an exposed 
energized overhead conductor, the employer shall ensure that each 
employee wears electrical protective equipment or uses insulated devices
when handling the pole and that no employee contacts the pole with uninsulated 
parts of his or her body.
    (iii) To protect employees from falling into holes into which poles 
are to be placed, the holes shall be attended by employees or 
physically guarded whenever anyone is working nearby.
    (b) Installing and removing overhead lines. The following 
provisions apply to the installation and removal of overhead conductors 
or cable.
    (1) Tension stringing method. The employer shall use the tension 
stringing method, barriers, or other equivalent measures to minimize 
the possibility that conductors and cables being installed or removed 
will contact energized power lines or equipment.
    (2) Conductors, cables, and pulling and tensioning equipment. The 
protective measures required by Sec.  1926.959(d)(3) for mechanical 
equipment shall also be provided for conductors, cables, and pulling 
and tensioning equipment when the conductor or cable is being installed 
or removed close enough to energized conductors that any of the 
following failures could energize the pulling or tensioning equipment 
or the wire or cable being installed or removed:
    (i) Failure of the pulling or tensioning equipment,
    (ii) Failure of the wire or cable being pulled, or
    (iii) Failure of the previously installed lines or equipment.
    (3) Disable automatic-reclosing feature. If the conductors being 
installed or removed cross over energized conductors in excess of 600 
volts and if the design of the circuit-interrupting devices protecting 
the lines so permits, the automatic-reclosing feature of these devices 
shall be made inoperative.
    (4) Induced voltage. Before lines are installed parallel to 
existing energized lines, the employer shall make a determination of 
the approximate voltage to be induced in the new lines, or work shall 
proceed on the assumption that the induced voltage is hazardous. Unless 
the employer can demonstrate that the lines being installed are not 
subject to the induction of a hazardous voltage or unless the lines are 
treated as energized, the following requirements also apply:
    (i) Each bare conductor shall be grounded in increments so that no 
point along the conductor is more than 3.22 km (2 miles) from a ground.
    (ii) The grounds required in paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section 
shall be left in place until the conductor installation is completed 
between dead ends.
    (iii) The grounds required in paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section 
shall be removed as the last phase of aerial cleanup.
    (iv) If employees are working on bare conductors, grounds shall 
also be installed at each location where these employees are working, 
and grounds shall be installed at all open dead-end or catch-off points 
or the next adjacent structure.
    (v) If two bare conductors are to be spliced, the conductors shall 
be bonded and grounded before being spliced.
    (5) Safe operating condition. Reel handling equipment, including 
pulling and tensioning devices, shall be in safe operating condition 
and shall be leveled and aligned.
    (6) Load ratings. Load ratings of stringing lines, pulling lines, 
conductor grips, load-bearing hardware and accessories, rigging, and 
hoists may not be exceeded.
    (7) Defective pulling lines. Pulling lines and accessories shall be 
repaired or replaced when defective.
    (8) Conductor grips. Conductor grips may not be used on wire rope, 
unless the grip is specifically designed for this application.
    (9) Communications. Reliable communications, through two-way radios 
or other equivalent means, shall be maintained between the reel tender 
and the pulling rig operator.
    (10) Operation of pulling rig. The pulling rig may only be operated 
when it is safe to do so.
    Note to paragraph (b)(10) of this section: Examples of unsafe 
conditions include: employees in locations prohibited by paragraph 
(b)(11) of this section, conductor and pulling line hang-ups, and 
slipping of the conductor grip.
    (11) Working under overhead operations. While the conductor or 
pulling line is being pulled (in motion) with a power-driven device, 
employees are not permitted directly under overhead operations or on 
the cross arm, except as necessary to guide the stringing sock or board 
over or through the stringing sheave.
    (c) Live-line bare-hand work. In addition to other applicable 
provisions contained in this section, the following requirements apply 
to live-line bare-hand work:
    (1) Training. Before using or supervising the use of the live-line 
bare-hand technique on energized circuits, employees shall be trained 
in the technique and in the safety requirements of paragraph (c) of 
this section. Employees shall receive refresher training as required by 
Sec.  1926.950(b).
    (2) Existing conditions. Before any employee uses the live-line 
bare-hand technique on energized high-voltage conductors or parts, the 
following information shall be ascertained:
    (i) The nominal voltage rating of the circuit on which the work is 
to be performed,
    (ii) The minimum approach distances to ground of lines and other 
energized parts on which work is to be performed, and
    (iii) The voltage limitations of equipment to be used.
    (3) Insulated tools and equipment. The insulated equipment, 
insulated tools, and aerial devices and platforms used shall be 
designed, tested, and intended for live-line bare-hand work. Tools and 
equipment shall be kept clean and dry while they are in use.
    (4) Disable automatic-reclosing feature. The automatic-reclosing 
feature of circuit-interrupting devices protecting the lines shall be 
made inoperative, if the design of the devices permits.
    (5) Adverse weather conditions. Work may not be performed when 
adverse weather conditions would make the work hazardous even after the 
work practices required by this section are employed. Additionally, 
work may not be performed when winds reduce the phase-to-phase or 
phase-to-ground minimum approach distances at the work location below 
that specified in paragraph (c)(13) of this section, unless the 
grounded objects and other lines and equipment are covered by 
insulating guards.

    Note to paragraph (c)(5) of this section: Thunderstorms in the 
immediate vicinity, high winds, snow storms, and ice storms are 
examples of adverse weather conditions that are presumed to make 
live-line bare-hand work too hazardous to perform safely.

    (6) Bucket liners and electrostatic shielding. A conductive bucket 
liner or other conductive device shall be provided for bonding the 
insulated aerial device to the energized line or equipment.
    (i) The employee shall be connected to the bucket liner or other 
conductive device by the use of conductive shoes, leg clips, or other 
means.
    (ii) Where differences in potentials at the worksite pose a hazard 
to employees, electrostatic shielding designed for the voltage being 
worked shall be provided.
    (7) Bonding the employee to the energized part. Before the employee 
contacts the energized part, the conductive bucket liner or other 
conductive device shall be bonded to the energized conductor by means 
of a positive connection. This connection shall remain attached to the 
energized conductor until the work on the energized circuit is 
completed.
    (8) Aerial lift controls. Aerial lifts to be used for live-line 
bare-hand work shall have dual controls (lower and upper) as follows:
    (i) The upper controls shall be within easy reach of the employee 
in the bucket. On a two-bucket-type lift, access to the controls shall 
be within easy reach from either bucket.
    (ii) The lower set of controls shall be located near the base of 
the boom, and they shall be so designed that they can override 
operation of the equipment at any time.
    (9) Operation of lower controls. Lower (ground-level) lift controls 
may not be operated with an employee in the lift, except in case of 
emergency.
    (10) Check controls. Before employees are elevated into the work 
position, all controls (ground level and bucket) shall be checked to 
determine that they are in proper working condition.
    (11) Body of aerial lift truck. Before the boom of an aerial lift 
is elevated, the body of the truck shall be grounded, or the body of 
the truck shall be barricaded and treated as energized.
    (12) Boom-current test. A boom-current test shall be made before 
work is started each day, each time during the day when higher voltage 
is encountered, and when changed conditions indicate a need for an 
additional test. This test shall consist of placing the bucket in 
contact with an energized source equal to the voltage to be encountered 
for a minimum of 3 minutes. The leakage current may not exceed 1 
microampere per kilovolt of nominal phase-to-ground voltage. Work from 
the aerial lift shall be immediately suspended upon indication of a 
malfunction in the equipment.
    (13) Minimum approach distance. The minimum approach distances 
specified in Table V-2 through Table V-6 in Sec.  1926.960 shall be 
maintained from all grounded objects and from lines and equipment at a 
potential different from that to which the live-line bare-hand 
equipment is bonded, unless such grounded objects and other lines and 
equipment are covered by insulating guards.
    (14) Approaching, leaving, and bonding to energized part. While an 
employee is approaching, leaving, or bonding to an energized circuit, 
the minimum approach distances in Table V-2 through Table V-6 shall be 
maintained between the employee and any grounded parts, including the 
lower boom and portions of the truck.
    (15) Positioning bucket near energized bushing or insulator string. 
While the bucket is positioned alongside an energized bushing or 
insulator string, the phase-to-ground minimum approach distances of 
Table V-2 through Table V-6 shall be maintained between all parts of 
the bucket and the grounded end of the bushing or insulator string or 
any other grounded surface.
    (16) Hand lines. Hand lines may not be used between the bucket and 
the boom or between the bucket and the ground. However, nonconductive-
type hand lines may be used from conductor to ground if not supported 
from the bucket. Ropes used for live-line bare-hand work may not be 
used for other purposes.
    (17) Passing objects to employee. Uninsulated equipment or material 
may not be passed between a pole or structure and an aerial lift while 
an employee working from the bucket is bonded to an energized part.
    (18) Table of minimum approach distances. A minimum approach 
distance table reflecting the minimum approach distances listed in 
Table V-2 through Table V-6 shall be printed on a plate of durable 
nonconductive material. This table shall be mounted so as to be visible 
to the operator of the boom.
    (19) Nonconductive measuring device. A nonconductive measuring 
device shall be readily accessible to assist employees in maintaining 
the required minimum approach distance.
    (d) Towers and structures. The following requirements apply to work 
performed on towers or other structures that support overhead lines.
    (1) Working beneath towers and structures. The employer shall 
ensure that no employee is under a tower or structure while work is in 
progress, except where the employer can demonstrate that such a working 
position is necessary to assist employees working above.
    (2) Tag lines. Tag lines or other similar devices shall be used to 
maintain control of tower sections being raised or positioned, unless 
the employer can demonstrate that the use of such devices would create 
a greater hazard.
    (3) Disconnecting load lines. The loadline may not be detached from 
a member or section until the load is safely secured.
    (4) Adverse weather conditions. Except during emergency restoration 
procedures, work shall be discontinued when adverse weather conditions 
would make the work hazardous in spite of the work practices required 
by this section.

    Note to paragraph (d)(4) of this section: Thunderstorms in the 
immediate vicinity, high winds, snow storms, and ice storms are 
examples of adverse weather conditions that are presumed to make 
this work too hazardous to perform, except under emergency 
conditions.

Sec.  1926.965  Underground electrical installations.

    (a) Application. This section provides additional requirements for 
work on underground electrical installations.
    (b) Access. A ladder or other climbing device shall be used to 
enter and exit a manhole or subsurface vault exceeding 1.22 m (4 feet) 
in depth. No employee may climb into or out of a manhole or vault by 
stepping on cables or hangers.
    (c) Lowering equipment into manholes. Equipment used to lower 
materials and tools into manholes or vaults shall be capable of 
supporting the weight to be lowered and shall be checked for defects 
before use. Before tools or material are lowered into the opening for a 
manhole or vault, each employee working in the manhole or vault shall 
be clear of the area directly under the opening.
    (d) Attendants for manholes and vaults. (1) When required. While 
work is being performed in a manhole or vault containing energized 
electric equipment, an employee with first aid and CPR training meeting 
Sec.  1926.951(b)(1) shall be available on the surface in the immediate 
vicinity of the manhole or vault entrance to render emergency 
assistance.
    (2) Brief entries allowed. Occasionally, the employee on the 
surface may briefly enter a manhole or vault to provide assistance, 
other than emergency.

    Note 1 to paragraph (d)(2) of this section: An attendant may 
also be required under Sec.  1926.953(h). One person may serve to 
fulfill both requirements. However, attendants required under Sec.  
1926.953(h) are not permitted to enter the manhole or vault.

    Note 2 to paragraph (d)(2) of this section: Employees entering 
manholes or vaults containing unguarded, uninsulated energized lines 
or parts of electric equipment operating at 50 volts or more are 
required to be qualified under Sec.  1926.960(b).

    (3) Entry without attendant. For the purpose of inspection, 
housekeeping, taking readings, or similar work, an employee working 
alone may enter, for brief periods of time, a manhole or vault where 
energized cables or equipment are in service, if the employer can 
demonstrate that the employee will be protected from all electrical 
hazards.
    (4) Communications. Reliable communications, through two-way
radios or other equivalent means, shall be maintained among all 
employees involved in the job.
    (e) Duct rods. If duct rods are used, they shall be installed in 
the direction presenting the least hazard to employees. An employee 
shall be stationed at the far end of the duct line being rodded to 
ensure that the required minimum approach distances are maintained.
    (f) Multiple cables. When multiple cables are present in a work 
area, the cable to be worked shall be identified by electrical means, 
unless its identity is obvious by reason of distinctive appearance or 
location or by other readily apparent means of identification. Cables 
other than the one being worked shall be protected from damage.
    (g) Moving cables. Energized cables that are to be moved shall be 
inspected for defects.
    (h) Protection against faults. (1) Defective cables. Where a cable 
in a manhole or vault has one or more abnormalities that could lead to 
or be an indication of an impending fault, the defective cable shall be 
deenergized before any employee may work in the manhole or vault, 
except when service load conditions and a lack of feasible alternatives 
require that the cable remain energized. In that case, employees may 
enter the manhole or vault provided they are protected from the 
possible effects of a failure by shields or other devices that are 
capable of containing the adverse effects of a fault.

    Note to paragraph (h)(1) of this section: Abnormalities such as 
oil or compound leaking from cable or joints, broken cable sheaths 
or joint sleeves, hot localized surface temperatures of cables or 
joints, or joints that are swollen beyond normal tolerance are 
presumed to lead to or be an indication of an impending fault.

    (2) Work-related faults. If the work being performed in a manhole 
or vault could cause a fault in a cable, that cable shall be 
deenergized before any employee may work in the manhole or vault, 
except when service load conditions and a lack of feasible alternatives 
require that the cable remain energized. In that case, employees may 
enter the manhole or vault provided they are protected from the 
possible effects of a failure by shields or other devices that are 
capable of containing the adverse effects of a fault.
    (i) Sheath continuity. When work is performed on buried cable or on 
cable in a manhole or vault, metallic sheath continuity shall be 
maintained or the cable sheath shall be treated as energized.

Sec.  1926.966  Substations.

    (a) Application. This section provides additional requirements for 
substations and for work performed in them.
    (b) Access and working space. Sufficient access and working space 
shall be provided and maintained about electric equipment to permit 
ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment.

    Note to paragraph (b) of this section: Guidelines for the 
dimensions of access and working space about electric equipment in 
substations are contained in American National Standard National 
Electrical Safety Code, ANSI C2-2002. Installations meeting the ANSI 
provisions comply with paragraph (b) of this section. An 
installation that does not conform to this ANSI standard will, 
nonetheless, be considered as complying with paragraph (b) of this 
section if the employer can demonstrate that the installation 
provides ready and safe access based on the following evidence:
    (1) That the installation conforms to the edition of ANSI C2 
that was in effect at the time the installation was made,
    (2) That the configuration of the installation enables employees 
to maintain the minimum approach distances required by Sec.  
1926.960(c)(1) while they working on exposed, energized parts, and
    (3) That the precautions taken when work is performed on the 
installation provide protection equivalent to the protection that 
would be provide by access and working space meeting ANSI C2-2002.

    (c) Draw-out-type circuit breakers. When draw-out-type circuit 
breakers are removed or inserted, the breaker shall be in the open 
position. The control circuit shall also be rendered inoperative, if 
the design of the equipment permits.
    (d) Substation fences. Conductive fences around substations shall 
be grounded. When a substation fence is expanded or a section is 
removed, fence grounding continuity shall be maintained, and bonding 
shall be used to prevent electrical discontinuity.
    (e) Guarding of rooms containing electric supply equipment. (1) 
When guarding of rooms is required. Rooms and spaces in which electric 
supply lines or equipment are installed shall meet the requirements of 
paragraphs (e)(2) through (e)(3) of this section under the following 
conditions:
    (i) If exposed live parts operating at 50 to 150 volts to ground 
are located within 8 feet of the ground or other working surface inside 
the room or space,
    (ii) If live parts operating at 151 to 600 volts to ground and 
located within 8 feet of the ground or other working surface inside the 
room or space are guarded only by location, as permitted under 
paragraph (f)(1) of this section, or
    (iii) If live parts operating at more than 600 volts to ground are 
located within the room or space, unless:
    (A) The live parts are enclosed within grounded, metal-enclosed 
equipment wh