Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Monday, March 22, 2010

OSHA eTool Informs Electrical Workers Of Their Employer's Obligations

Approximately 80 workers die from electric shock each year while working on electrical equipment or related utility operations. To help prevent such deaths, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently published the "Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Standard" eTool.

Recent deaths have emphasized the dangers of working with electric power. A worker installing decorative lights on a tree was electrocuted after touching a high-powered overhead electrical line. Another worker was electrocuted after contacting an overhead high-voltage line with a portable light tower while working at a water main repair site.

"We cannot allow these tragedies to continue," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels. "This eTool informs employers of their obligation to protect electrical workers from serious injuries and death, and also lets workers know the preventive steps their employers must take to assure worker safety."

Workers in the electric power industry are potentially exposed to a variety of serious hazards, such as arc flashes (which include arc flash burn and blast hazards), electric shock, falls, and thermal burn hazards that can cause injury and death.

This OSHA eTool informs employers of their obligations to develop the appropriate hazard prevention and control methodologies designed to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. Employers are required to implement the safe work practices and worker training requirements of OSHA's Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Standard, 29 CFR 1910.269. The eTool also serves to empower workers engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power to understand the steps their employers must implement in order to provide them with a safe and healthful work environment.

OSHA's eTools are stand-alone, interactive Web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics that include modules for answering questions and providing advice on how OSHA regulations apply to users' worksites.

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