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OSHA to Delay Enforcement on Part of Electrical Safety Rule

Friday, February 5, 2016

Safety&Health Magazine

Washington – Enforcement of part of OSHA’s revised rule on electric power generation, transmission and distribution installations has been delayed until at least early 2017.

The original compliance date for the final rule’s revised minimum approach distances for voltages of 5.1 kilovolts or greater was April 1, 2015. Following legal challenges to the rule from some industry groups, OSHA agreed to refrain from issuing citations regarding minimum approach distance requirements for voltages of 72.6 to 169 and 169.1 and greater until this past Jan. 31.

However, in a new memorandum to agency regional administrators, OSHA pushed back that enforcement date to Jan. 31, 2017. Further, the agency announced it would again extend the enforcement delay if peer-reviewed guidance for calculating maximum transient over-voltages is not made available before May 1. No citations will be issued provided employers:

  • Assume a maximum anticipated per-unit transient overvoltage, phase-to-ground, of 3.0 per unit for voltages of 72.6 to 169 kilovolts
  • Comply with minimum approach distances listed in Table 6 or Tables 10-13 in Appendix B for voltages of 169.1 kilovolts or greater
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