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Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR) - Table of Contents
• Part Number: 1926
• Part Title: Safety and Health Regulations for Construction
• Subpart: V
• Subpart Title: Electric Power Transmission and Distribution
• Standard Number: 1926.968
• Title: Definitions.
• GPO Source: e-CFR

Attendant. An employee assigned to remain immediately outside the entrance to an enclosed or other space to render assistance as needed to employees inside the space.

Automatic circuit recloser. A selfcontrolled device for automatically interrupting and reclosing an alternating-current circuit, with a predetermined sequence of opening and reclosing followed by resetting, hold closed, or lockout.

Barricade. A physical obstruction such as tapes, cones, or A-frame type wood or metal structures that provides a warning about, and limits access to, a hazardous area.

Barrier. A physical obstruction that prevents contact with energized lines or equipment or prevents unauthorized access to a work area.

Bond. The electrical interconnection of conductive parts designed to maintain a common electric potential.

Bus. A conductor or a group of conductors that serve as a common connection for two or more circuits.

Bushing. An insulating structure that includes a through conductor or that provides a passageway for such a conductor, and that, when mounted on a barrier, insulates the conductor from the barrier for the purpose of conducting current from one side of the barrier to the other.

Cable. A conductor with insulation, or a stranded conductor with or without insulation and other coverings (single-conductor cable), or a combination of conductors insulated from one another (multiple-conductor cable).

Cable sheath. A conductive protective covering applied to cables.

Note to the definition of "cable sheath": A cable sheath may consist of multiple layers one or more of which is conductive.

Circuit. A conductor or system of conductors through which an electric current is intended to flow.

Clearance (between objects). The clear distance between two objects measured surface to surface.

Clearance (for work). Authorization to perform specified work or permission to enter a restricted area.

Communication lines. (See Lines; (1) Communication lines.)

Conductor. A material, usually in the form of a wire, cable, or bus bar, used for carrying an electric current.

Contract employer. An employer, other than a host employer, that performs work covered by Subpart V of this part under contract.

Covered conductor. A conductor covered with a dielectric having no rated insulating strength or having a rated insulating strength less than the voltage of the circuit in which the conductor is used.

Current-carrying part. A conducting part intended to be connected in an electric circuit to a source of voltage. Non-current-carrying parts are those not intended to be so connected.

Deenergized. Free from any electrical connection to a source of potential difference and from electric charge; not having a potential that is different from the potential of the earth.

Note to the definition of "deenergized": The term applies only to current-carrying parts, which are sometimes energized (alive).

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

Electric line truck. A truck used to transport personnel, tools, and material for electric supply line work.

Electric supply equipment. Equipment that produces, modifies, regulates, controls, or safeguards a supply of electric energy.

Electric supply lines. (See "Lines; (2) Electric supply lines.")

Electric utility. An organization responsible for the installation, operation, or maintenance of an electric supply system.

Enclosed space. A working space, such as a manhole, vault, tunnel, or shaft, that has a limited means of egress or entry, that is designed for periodic employee entry under normal operating conditions, and that, under normal conditions, does not contain a hazardous atmosphere, but may contain a hazardous atmosphere under abnormal conditions.

Note to the definition of "Enclosed space". The Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not consider spaces that are enclosed but not designed for employee entry under normal operating conditions to be enclosed spaces for the purposes of this subpart. Similarly, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not consider spaces that are enclosed and that are expected to contain a hazardous atmosphere to be enclosed spaces for the purposes of this subpart. Such spaces meet the definition of permit spaces in subpart AA of this part, and entry into them must conform to that standard.

Energized (alive, live). Electrically connected to a source of potential difference, or electrically charged so as to have a potential significantly different from that of earth in the vicinity.

Energy source. Any electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, nuclear, thermal, or other energy source that could cause injury to employees.

Entry (as used in § 1926.953). 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.

Equipment (electric). A general term including material, fittings, devices, appliances, fixtures, apparatus, and the like used as part of or in connection with an electrical installation.

Exposed, Exposed to contact (as applied to energized parts). Not isolated or guarded.

Fall restraint system. A fall protection system that prevents the user from falling any distance.

First-aid training. Training in the initial care, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (which includes chest compressions, rescue breathing, and, as appropriate, other heart and lung resuscitation techniques), performed by a person who is not a medical practitioner, of a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be administered.

Ground. A conducting connection, whether planned or unplanned, between an electric circuit or equipment and the earth, or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth.

Grounded. Connected to earth or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth.

Guarded. Covered, fenced, enclosed, or otherwise protected, by means of suitable covers or casings, barrier rails or screens, mats, or platforms, designed to minimize the possibility, under normal conditions, of dangerous approach or inadvertent contact by persons or objects.

Note to the definition of "guarded": Wires that are insulated, but not otherwise protected, are not guarded.

Hazardous atmosphere. An atmosphere that may expose employees to the risk of death, incapacitation, impairment of ability to self-rescue (that is, escape unaided from an enclosed space), injury, or acute illness from one or more of the following causes:

  1. Flammable gas, vapor, or mist in excess of 10 percent of its lower flammable limit (LFL);
  2. Airborne combustible dust at a concentration that meets or exceeds its LFL;

    Note to the definition of "hazardous atmosphere" (2): This concentration may be approximated as a condition in which the dust obscures vision at a distance of 1.52 meters (5 feet) or less.

  3. Atmospheric oxygen concentration below 19.5 percent or above 23.5 percent;
  4. Atmospheric concentration of any substance for which a dose or a permissible exposure limit is published in Subpart D, Occupational Health and Environmental Controls, or in Subpart Z, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, of this part and which could result in employee exposure in excess of its dose or permissible exposure limit;

    Note to the definition of "hazardous atmosphere" (4): An atmospheric concentration of any substance that is not capable of causing death, incapacitation, impairment of ability to self-rescue, injury, or acute illness due to its health effects is not covered by this provision.

  5. Any other atmospheric condition that is immediately dangerous to life or health.

    Note to the definition of "hazardous atmosphere" (5): For air contaminants for which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not determined a dose or permissible exposure limit, other sources of information, such as Material Safety Data Sheets that comply with the Hazard Communication Standard, § 1926.59, published information, and internal documents can provide guidance in establishing acceptable atmospheric conditions.

High-power tests. Tests in which the employer uses fault currents, load currents, magnetizing currents, and linedropping currents to test equipment, either at the equipment's rated voltage or at lower voltages.

High-voltage tests. Tests in which the employer uses voltages of approximately 1,000 volts as a practical minimum and in which the voltage source has sufficient energy to cause injury.

High wind. A wind of such velocity that one or more of the following hazards would be present:

  1. The wind could blow an employee from an elevated location,
  2. The wind could cause an employee or equipment handling material to lose control of the material, or
  3. The wind would expose an employee to other hazards not controlled by the standard involved.

    Note to the definition of "high wind": The Occupational Safety and Health Administration normally considers winds exceeding 64.4 kilometers per hour (40 miles per hour), or 48.3 kilometers per hour (30 miles per hour) if the work involves material handling, as meeting this criteria, unless the employer takes precautions to protect employees from the hazardous effects of the wind.

Host employer. An employer that operates, or that controls the operating procedures for, an electric power generation, transmission, or distribution installation on which a contract employer is performing work covered by Subpart V of this part.

Note to the definition of "host employer": The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will treat the electric utility or the owner of the installation as the host employer if it operates or controls operating procedures for the installation. If the electric utility or installation owner neither operates nor controls operating procedures for the installation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will treat the employer that the utility or owner has contracted with to operate or control the operating procedures for the installation as the host employer. In no case will there be more than one host employer.

Immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH). Any condition that poses an immediate or delayed threat to life or that would cause irreversible adverse health effects or that would interfere with an individual's ability to escape unaided from a permit space.

Note to the definition of "immediately dangerous to life or health": Some materials-hydrogen fluoride gas and cadmium vapor, for example-may produce immediate transient effects that, even if severe, may pass without medical attention, but are followed by sudden, possibly fatal collapse 12-72 hours after exposure. The victim "feels normal" from recovery from transient effects until collapse. Such materials in hazardous quantities are considered to be "immediately" dangerous to life or health.

Insulated. Separated from other conducting surfaces by a dielectric (including air space) offering a high resistance to the passage of current.

Note to the definition of "insulated": When any object is said to be insulated, it is understood to be insulated for the conditions to which it normally is subjected. Otherwise, it is, for the purpose of this subpart, uninsulated.

Insulation (cable). Material relied upon to insulate the conductor from other conductors or conducting parts or from ground.

Isolated. Not readily accessible to persons unless special means for access are used.

Line-clearance tree trimming. The pruning, trimming, repairing, maintaining, removing, or clearing of trees, or the cutting of brush, that is within the following distance of electric supply lines and equipment:

  1. For voltages to ground of 50 kilovolts or less-3.05 meters (10 feet);
  2. For voltages to ground of more than 50 kilovolts-3.05 meters (10 feet) plus 0.10 meters (4 inches) for every 10 kilovolts over 50 kilovolts.


  1. Communication lines. The conductors and their supporting or containing structures which are used for public or private signal or communication service, and which operate at potentials not exceeding 400 volts to ground or 750 volts between any two points of the circuit, and the transmitted power of which does not exceed 150 watts. If the lines are operating at less than 150 volts, no limit is placed on the transmitted power of the system. Under certain conditions, communication cables may include communication circuits exceeding these limitations where such circuits are also used to supply power solely to communication equipment.

    Note to the definition of "communication lines": Telephone, telegraph, railroad signal, data, clock, fire, police alarm, cable television, and other systems conforming to this definition are included. Lines used for signaling purposes, but not included under this definition, are considered as electric supply lines of the same voltage.

  2. Electric supply lines. Conductors used to transmit electric energy and their necessary supporting or containing structures. Signal lines of more than 400 volts are always supply lines within this subpart, and those of less than 400 volts are considered as supply lines, if so run and operated throughout.

Manhole. A subsurface enclosure that personnel may enter and that is used for installing, operating, and maintaining submersible equipment or cable.

Minimum approach distance. The closest distance an employee may approach an energized or a grounded object.

Note to the definition of "minimum approach distance": Paragraph (c)(1)(i) of § 1926.960 requires employers to establish minimum approach distances.

Personal fall arrest system. A system used to arrest an employee in a fall from a working level.

Qualified employee (qualified person). An employee (person) knowledgeable in the construction and operation of the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution equipment involved, along with the associated hazards.

Note 1 to the definition of "qualified employee (qualified person)": An employee must have the training required by § 1926.950(b)(2) to be a qualified employee.

Note 2 to the definition of "qualified employee (qualified person)": Except under § 1926.954(b)(3)(iii), an employee who is undergoing on-the-job training and who has demonstrated, in the course of such training, an ability to perform duties safely at his or her level of training and who is under the direct supervision of a qualified person is a qualified person for the performance of those duties.

Statistical sparkover voltage. A transient overvoltage level that produces a 97.72-percent probability of sparkover (that is, two standard deviations above the voltage at which there is a 50-percent probability of sparkover).

Statistical withstand voltage. A transient overvoltage level that produces a 0.14-percent probability of sparkover (that is, three standard deviations below the voltage at which there is a 50-percent probability of sparkover).

Switch. A device for opening and closing or for changing the connection of a circuit. In this subpart, a switch is manually operable, unless otherwise stated.

System operator. A qualified person designated to operate the system or its parts.

Vault. An enclosure, above or below ground, that personnel may enter and that is used for installing, operating, or maintaining equipment or cable.

Vented vault. A vault that has provision for air changes using exhaustflue stacks and low-level air intakes operating on pressure and temperature differentials that provide for airflow that precludes a hazardous atmosphere from developing.

Voltage. The effective (root mean square, or rms) potential difference between any two conductors or between a conductor and ground. This subpart expresses voltages in nominal values, unless otherwise indicated. The nominal voltage of a system or circuit is the value assigned to a system or circuit of a given voltage class for the purpose of convenient designation. The operating voltage of the system may vary above or below this value.

Work-positioning equipment. A body belt or body harness system rigged to allow an employee to be supported on an elevated vertical surface, such as a utility pole or tower leg, and work with both hands free while leaning.

[79 FR 20715-20717, July 10, 2014; 79 FR 56962, September 24, 2014; 80 FR 25518, May 4, 2015]

Next Standard (1926 Subpart V App D)

Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR) - Table of Contents

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