The Operation and Maintenance of Electric Power Generation, Control, Transformation, Transmission and Distribution Lines and Equipment.
On April 1, 2014, OSHA announced the final rule revising the 1910.269 standards for electric power generation, transmission and distribution. This revised rule implements significant changes to utilities’ requirements for protecting workers from electric arcs and using flame resistant clothing, among other areas. Tyndale has compiled Arc Flash FAQs to address key questions on the ruling and how it impacts your company and your workers. Effective August 31, 2015, ruling requires companies to complete a hazard assessment by and comply with the requirements of the ruling, including the provision of PPE to employees appropriate to the risks of their work environments. Go to our blog for access to the ruling in both .pdf and word versions.
Several key provisions of the ruling are outlined below:
- The employer shall ensure that each employee exposed to hazards from electric arcs wears protective clothing and other protective equipment with an arc rating greater than or equal to the heat energy estimate whenever that estimate exceeds 2.0 cal/cm2. “This protective equipment shall cover the employee’s entire body,” except for certain exemptions for hands, feet and head protection. This requirement replaced the previous, and now inoperative standard “…each employee who is exposed to the hazards of flames or electric arcs does not wear clothing that, when exposed to flames or electric arcs, could increase the extent of the injury that would be sustained by the employee.”
- Pants and head protection must be provided to workers, in addition to PPE that protects the torso.
- FR clothing is now considered PPE. Previously, FR clothing was not explicitly considered PPE. In the ruling, OSHA makes clear that it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure proper care and maintenance of employees’ protective clothing. OSHA is equally clear the final rule does not require employers to launder protective clothing for employees, but no longer can employers simply tell their workers to “follow washing instructions,” and trust that they will do so. “If employers rely on home laundering of the clothing, they must train their employees in proper laundering procedures and techniques, and employers must inspect the clothing on a regular basis to ensure that it is not in need of repair or replacement (p. 187).” And, employers who choose to utilize an industrial laundry service or other vendor are not absolved from this responsibility to inspect PPE directly.
- In addition to flame resistant apparel, there are requirements for head protection. Face shields with minimum arc rating of 8 cal/cm2 are required (dependent on type of exposure) and arc-rated hood or face shield with balaclava is required at higher exposures. Download the FAQs from TyndaleUSA.com for details. Hand and foot protection is also discussed in the ruling; details are available in our on specific requirements.