OSHA Extends Rulemaking on Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution

On Sept. 14, OSHA announced that it is opening the record on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on electric power generation, transmission and distribution and for electrical protective equipment. The agency will use this limited opening to obtain comments related to safe proximity between a worker and exposed electrical parts.

OSHA published a proposed rule to revise the general industry and construction standards for electric power generation, transmission and distribution and for electrical protective equipment, such as insulating blankets, gloves and rubber sleeves. That proposal included revised minimum approach distances (MAD) to determine how close a worker or an object that the worker is holding can get to an electrical part. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers later made further corrections for calculating MAD and the current proposed rule includes those revisions.

"We want to incorporate the most accurate data for keeping workers at safe distances from dangerous electrical sources," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "Extending this rulemaking process will provide us with the information we need to provide the best possible protection for working men and women."

OSHA will accept comments on the proposed rule until Oct. 15, and a public hearing will be held Oct. 28. Submit comments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-S215-2006-0063, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. Comments also ma be submitted to http://www.regulations.gov, the federal eRulemaking portal, or faxed to the OSHA Docket Office at 202-693-1648.

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