OSHA Proposes Revisions to Electrical Installation Standard

April 2, 2004
OSHA is seeking comments on proposed revisions to its electrical installation standard that the agency hopes will lead to a more flexible and efficient standard that strengthens worker protections.

"The general industry electrical installation standard has not been updated since 1981, so it is important that we update these requirements to reflect the most current practices and technologies in the industry," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "These changes will strengthen worker protections and help eliminate inconsistencies and possible confusion between OSHA's requirements and many state and local building codes which have adopted updated NFPA and NEC provisions."

Proposed changes to the electrical installation standard (1910 Subpart S) focus on safety in the design and installation of electric equipment in the workplace. The changes draw heavily from the 2000 edition of the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces (NFPA 70E), and the 2002 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC).

The agency is also proposing to replace the reference to the 1971 National Electrical Code in the mandatory appendix to the powered platform standard with a reference to OSHA's electrical installation standard.

OSHA is proposing a revised standard to update the standard to reflect current practice and technology in the field and to address stakeholder requests to revise the standard so that it conforms with the most recent editions of NFPA 70E.

OSHA's existing electrical standard (1910.302-308) is based on the 1979 edition of NFPA 70E, a national consensus standard developed by industry, labor and other allied interests. If the OSHA standard is revised it will use the 2000 edition of NFPA 70E as its foundation.

Comments and hearing requests on the proposed rule must be submitted by June 4 to: OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. S-108C, Room N 2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20010. Comments may also be submitted via fax at (202) 693-1648 or electronically to ecomments.osha.gov.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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