Applying OSHA 1926 Subpart K in Real Life, Part 4

In our previous issue, we mentioned that Subpart K is harmonized with the NEC. Its first subsection, 1926.400, says it addresses electrical requirements of employees involved in construction work. Note, it doesn’t say “employees of construction firms.” Whether you’re in a maintenance department or on a construction crew, 1926 Subpart K applies if you’re involved in construction work.

This subsection then tells you Subpart K is divided into four major divisions (plus definitions). The divisions are:

  1. Installation safety requirements.
  2. Safety-related work practices.
  3. Safety-related maintenance and environmental considerations.
  4. Safety requirements for special equipment.

OSHA provides the installation safety requirements in 1926.402 through 1926.408. They apply to both permanent and temporary installations. They don’t apply to:

  • Permanent installations that were in place before construction began.
  • Generation, transmission, and distribution (T&D) installations.

There’s a gotcha on the last one, though. If there is one piece of equipment at, say, a transmission substation and it is not specifically for T&D, then the building it’s in should most likely be reclassified as non-T&D for safety purposes (see NFPA 70E for specifics).

Before providing the actual requirements, OSHA basically says you can ignore whatever requirements it provides if your installation conforms to the NEC [1926.402(a)]. But it also says this provision is exclusive of Formal and Interpretations and Tentative Interim Agreements. And it provides a list of requirements that apply on top of the NEC.

In our next issue, we’ll look at what those requirements are.

More than 5.5 ft above the floor.

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