In Part 5, we said OSHA requires electrical installations to conform to the NEC plus five additional requirements. The NEC provides installation requirements, not usage requirements. That’s why OSHA adds these usage requirements. Those additional requirements are named below.
In Part 6, we looked at 1926.404(b)(1) which addressed ground fault protection. The other four requirements pertain to lighting and cords that people might use while doing electrical work:
- 1926.405(a)(2)(ii)(E). Lamps used for general illumination must be protected from accidental contact or breakage. So, it’s not acceptable to string up a cord with sockets and bare bulbs. Also, OSHA says you must ground any metal case sockets. That would actually be very dangerous. What you want to do instead is bond those cases to the bonding system (see NEC Article 100 definitions).
- 1926.405(a)(2)(ii)(F). Don’t suspend temporary lights by their cords, unless they are designed for this means of suspension.
- 1926.405(a)(2)(ii)(G). If you use portable electric lights in any wet or conductive location (e.g., inside a metal vessel), they must operate at 12V or less. The exception is you can use 120V lights if they are GFCI-protected.
- 1926.405(a)(2)(ii)(J). Use contractor-grade portable cords (your electrical distributor can help you with this). OSHA states these must be of the 3-wire type and designed for hard or extra-hard usage (all contractor-grade cords meet both requirements).
You can automatically comply with OSHA’s additional requirements by (properly) using GFCI-protected contractor-grade lamps and cords.