Oct 10, 2018
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OSHA's Safety-Related Work Practices standards for general
industry are performance-oriented requirements that complement the
existing electrical installation standards.
These work-practice standard include requirements for work
performed on or near exposed energized and de-energized parts of
electric equipment; use of electrical protective equipment; and the
safe use of electric equipment.
These rules are intended to protect employees from the
electrical hazards that they may be exposed to even though the
equipment may comply with the installation requirements in, 1910
Subpart S (electrical). When employees are working with electric
equipment, they must use safe work practices. Such safety-related
work practices include keeping a prescribed distance from exposed
energized lines, avoiding the use of electric equipment when the
employee or the equipment is wet, and locking-out and tagging
equipment which is de-energized for maintenance.
The training requirements apply to employees who face a risk of
electric shock that is not reduced to a safe level by the
electrical installation requirements of §1910.303 -
§1910.308. Employees in the following occupations would
typically face these risks and are required to be trained:
- Blue-collar supervisors
- Electrical and electronics engineers
- Electrical and electronic equipment engineers
- Industrial machine operators
- Material handling equipment operators
- Mechanics and repairers
- Riggers and roustabouts
- Stationary engineers
Except for electricians and welders, workers in these groups do
not need to be trained if their work or the work of those they
supervise does not bring them close enough to exposed parts of
electric circuits operating at 50 volts or more to ground for a
hazard to exist.
Other employees who also may reasonably be expected to face the
comparable risk of injury due to electric shock or other electrical
hazards must also be trained.
These standards cover electrical safety-related work practices
for both qualified persons (those who have training in avoiding the
electrical hazards of working on or near exposed energized parts)
and unqualified persons (those with little or no such training)
working on, near, or with the following installation:
- Premises Wiring. Installations of electric conductors
and equipment within or on buildings or other structures, and on
other premises such as yards, carnival, parking, and other lots,
and industrial substations;
- Wiring for Connections to Supply. Installations of
conductors that connect to the supply of electricity; and
- Other Wiring. Installations of other outside
conductors on the premises.
- Optical Fiber Cable. Installations of optical fiber
cable where such installations are made along with electric
Other Covered Work By Unqualified Persons
The provisions of these standards also cover work performed by
unqualified persons on, near, or with the following
- Generation, transmission, and distribution
installations. Installations for the generation, control,
transformation, transmission, and distribution of electric energy
(including communication and metering) located in buildings used
for such purposes or located outdoors.
- Communication installations. Installations of
communications equipment to the extent that the work is covered
under OSHA standard §1910.268
- Installations in vehicles. Installations in ships,
watercraft, railway rolling stock, aircraft, or automotive vehicles
other than mobile homes and recreational vehicles.
- Railway installations. Installations of railways for
generation, transformation, transmission, or distribution of power
used exclusively for the operation of rolling stock or
installations of the railway solely used for signaling and
IMPORTANT: Excluded Work by Qualified Persons
If a qualified person is performing work near one of the four
types of installations listed above, and the work is not being done
on or directly associated with the installation, then that work is
covered under the Safety-Related Work Practices.
Definitions you should know
Barrier: A physical obstruction that is
intended to prevent contact with equipment or live parts or to
prevent unauthorized access to a work area.
Deenergized: Free from any electrical
connection to a source of potential difference and free from
electrical charge; not having a potential different from that of
Disconnecting means: A device, or group of
devices, or other means by which the conductors of a circuit can be
disconnected from their source of supply.
Energized: Electrically connected to a source
of potential difference.
Exposed: (As applied to live parts.) Capable of
being inadvertently touched or approached nearer than a safe
distance by a person. It is applied to parts not suitably guarded,
isolated, or insulated.
Live parts: Energized conductive
Qualified person: One who has received training
in and has demonstrated skills and knowledge in the construction
and operation of electric equipment and installations and the
- Note 1 to the definition of “qualified person”: Whether
an employee is considered to be a “qualified person” will depend
upon various circumstances in the workplace. For example, it is
possible and, in fact, likely for an individual to be considered
“qualified” concerning specific equipment in the workplace, but
“unqualified” as to other equipment. (See 1910.332(b)(3) for
training requirements that specifically apply to qualified
- Note 2 “qualified person”: An employee who is
undergoing on-the-job training and who, in the course of such
training, has demonstrated an ability to perform duties safely, and
who is under the direct supervision of a qualified person, is
considered to be a qualified person for the performance of those
In general, the standard requires covered employers
- Provide appropriate training to both qualified and unqualified
- Provide effective safety-related work practices to prevent
- Deenergize live (energized) parts (operating at 50 volts or
more) before employees work on them.
- Provide suitable safety-related work practices for employees
working on energized parts.
- Treat de-energized parts that have not been locked out or
tagged out as energized parts.
- Place a lock or a tag (or both, if at all possible) on parts of
fixed electric equipment circuits which have been
- Maintain a written copy of the lockout/tagout procedures.
- Determine safe procedures for de-energizing circuits and
- Disconnect circuits and equipment from all electric energy
- Release stored electrical energy which may endanger
- Block or relieve stored non-electrical energy in devices that
could reenergize electric circuit parts.
- Place a lock and tag on each disconnecting means used to
de-energize circuits and equipment.
- Attach a lock to prevent persons from operating the
- If a lock cannot be applied, a tag may be used without a
- Make sure a tag used without a lock is supplemented by at least
one additional security measure that provides a level of protection
equal to that of the use of a lock.
- A lock may be used without a tag if only:
- One piece of equipment is de-energized, and
- The lockout period does not extend beyond the work shift,
- Employees exposed to the hazards of reenergizing the equipment
understand this procedure.
- Verify the de-energized condition of the equipment.
- Have the lock and tag be removed by the employee who applied
it, or if that employee is not at the worksite, by another person
designated to do so.
- Only allow qualified persons to work on electric circuit parts
or equipment that has not been de-energized.
- Deenergize and ground overhead lines or provide other
protective measures before work is started.
- Maintain the distances in 1910.333(c)(3)(i) when an unqualified
person is working in a position near overhead lines.
- Maintain the distances in 1910.333(c)(3)(ii) when a qualified
person is working in a position near overhead lines.
- Maintain the distances in 1910.333(c)(3)(iii) when operating
any vehicle or mechanical equipment capable of having parts of its
structure near energized overhead lines.
- Provide necessary illumination for employees in confined
- Provide necessary shields, barriers, or insulating materials so
employees can avoid contact with exposed energized parts in
confined or enclosed spaces.
- Require portable ladders that could come into contact with
exposed energized parts to have non-conductive side rails.
- Prohibit the wearing of conductive jewelry and other items if
the person might contact exposed energized parts.
- Prohibit the performing of housekeeping duties around energized
- Allow only qualified persons to defeat an interlock
- Visually inspect portable cord- and plug-connected equipment
and flexible cord sets (extension cords) before each use.
- Take the defective portable cord and plug connected equipment
and extension cords out of use.
- Make sure flexible cords used with grounding-type equipment
must have an equipment grounding conductor.
- Prohibit employees from manually reenergizing a circuit
de-energized by a circuit protective device until it has been
determined the equipment and circuit can be safely energized.
- Visually inspect test instruments and equipment before it is
used; do not use defective equipment.
- Use only test instruments and equipment that is rated for the
circuits, equipment, and environment.
- Provide employees the necessary PPE (and require its use) in
areas where there are potential electrical hazards, including arc
flash and blast.
- Maintain PPE in a safe, reliable condition and inspect or test
- Require guarding be put in place when normally enclosed live
parts are exposed for maintenance or repair.
- Use safety signs, safety symbols, or accident tags as needed to
warn employees about electrical hazards.
- Use barricades in conjunction with safety signs when
- Station attendants to warn of danger if signs and barricades
are not enough.
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