Electrical Safety – OSHA Rules Seek to Mitigate Active Dangers


Electrical safety is a difficult field, even for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to manage effectively. Electricity is more than just hazardous energy in the workplace, it is an active danger that can only be avoided with careful regulation and specialized training. Published on April 11, 2014, OSHA released its final rule on construction standards relating to electrical power: generation, distribution, wired transmission, and the necessary protective equipment and safety measures.

OSHA administrator David Michaels stated “Electric utilities, electrical contractors, and labor organizations have long championed these much-needed measures to better protect the men and women who work on or near electrical power lines.” The administration is right to be concerned, with around 20 deaths and close to 120 injuries annually due to electrical hazards. Once the rule goes into effect– some 90 days after its publication earlier this month, OSHA-compliant contractors will need to abide by it and undergo new training.

The last time OSHA ruled on electrical power regulations was over forty years ago. Times have changed since 1972, however,OSHA’s standards have not kept up with technology. The new regulations outline specific changes to the “operation and maintenance of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution lines and equipment.”  These revised standards for electrical safety and equipment aim to decrease workplace injuries and increase awareness of the danger that hazardous energy such as electricity poses; and in so doing educate employers and their employees in proper procedures when working in an environment that includes electrical generators and power lines.

The new rulings are expected to save employers close to $130 million in claims annually, and will reduce workplace incidents considerably once implemented. The Final Rule is set to go into effect July 10, 2014. Employers are expected to have their training up-to-date and work in compliance of these new regulations in any industries that involve electric power generation, distribution, and transmission.

The final rule includes new and revised requirements for fall protection, minimum approach distances, and arc-flash protection, and for the host employers and contract employers to exchange safety-related information. OSHA Pros has online safety training to assist in all of these areas. Our training courses all meet the new Final Rule standards; for employees working around electricity, OSHA Pros offers an online Electrical Standards Course as well as an online Fall Protection course. For the full documentation of the final rule, follow this link. OSHA-Pros USA excels in OSHA-compliant training programs for any job environment.  To order an online course visit https://www.osha-pros.com or call 866-442-OSHA

For the full documentation of the final rule, follow this link.