Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.269(m)(3)(ii)


March 7, 2005

Mr. David Nagy
3400 Benning Road, NE
Washington, DC 20019

Dear Mr. Nagy:

Thank you for your December 21, 2004 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Office of General Industry Enforcement. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any questions not delineated within your original correspondence. You had specific questions regarding network protectors.

The questions below have been restated for clarity.

Question 1: Some network protectors in our system are installed inside vaults, which require "castle" keys to unlock for entry. Is a separate lock still required on the network protector?

Response: The failure to tag a network protector is considered a de minimis violation of §1910.269(m)(3)(ii) under
OSHA Directive CPL 02-01-038, provided seven criteria are met. One of these criteria addresses the ability to manually override the network protector and reenergize the circuit. The directive requires the network protector itself to have its manual override position blocked, locked, or otherwise disabled. In addition, the network protector must not be capable of being manually placed in a closed position without the use of a tool. These extra steps serve the purpose of both preventing the network protector from easily being placed in a closed position, but also of informing employees that the network protector is not to be manually overridden without following special procedures for the protection of other employees who may be working on the circuit. In this instance, the de minimis policy would not apply. Installing network protectors in locations requiring a tool for access does not provide the same degree of protection because these tools would be used routinely to access the network protectors. In addition, these tools would not serve to inform employees that special procedures are necessary before manually operating a network protector.

Question 2: Some network protectors in our system are installed in roadways beneath heavy gratings which require a tool to enter. Is a separate lock still required on the network protector?

Response: See response to question 1.

Question (3): Some network protectors in our system are located within vaults on top of customer owned buildings. These vaults are secured by locked doors with a lockbox mounted on the entrance for our employees to gain entry, and the customer also has access to these vaults. Is a separate lock still required on the network protector?

Response: See response to question 1.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that ourenforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at
http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Enforcement at (202) 693-1850.

Sincerely,


Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents