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Subchapter 5. Electrical Safety Orders
Group 2. High-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders
Article 36. Work Procedures and Operating Procedures (Formerly Article 85)

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§2944. Work on or in Proximity to Conductors and Equipment Located in High-Voltage Stations, or Switchyards.

(a) This section applies to only that work performed on or in proximity to exposed high-voltage conductors and equipment which is not covered by Sections 2941, 2942 and 2943 of these orders, such as stations, switchyards and other similar installations.

(b) Identification. All switchboards shall be provided with readily legible circuit identification. Identification shall be provided for each circuit breaker, each set of disconnecting switches, and each set of grounding switches.

(c) Work Near Energized Equipment and Facilities.

(1) No person other than a qualified electrical worker shall perform work or take any conducting object within the area where there is a hazard of contact with energized conductors unless directly under the observation of a qualified person.

(2) When working around energized equipment, precautions shall be taken to prevent any material or tools from accidentally contacting energized conductors or equipment.

(3) Temporary Barriers. Suitable temporary barriers in or adjacent to the work area shall be used to prevent accidental contact by workers with energized high voltage parts.

(4) Tape Barricades. Suitable barricade tape shall be used to mark off and bar approach to dangerous areas. An employee shall not be permitted to cross over or under the tape while it is barricading an area, except in an emergency or when work in progress requires the employee to enter the dangerous area. While in the area, the employee shall be continuously watched by a qualified person for the purpose of preventing an accident.

(d) Mechanized Equipment.

(1) Use of vehicles, gin poles, cranes and other equipment in restricted or hazardous areas shall at all times be controlled by designated employees.

(2) Mobile cranes or derricks shall not be permitted closer to exposed energized conductors or equipment than the distances set forth in Section 2940.2(b), Table 2940.2 unless the hoisting equipment is insulated for the voltage involved.

(e) (1) Working on Conductors or Equipment Energized at 7,500 Volts or Less. When working on conductors or equipment energized at 7,500 volts or less, all energized conductors or equipment and all grounded conductors or equipment, including guy wires, within reach of any part of the body, shall be isolated, barricaded, or covered with suitable protective equipment.

EXCEPTION: That part of the conductor or equipment on which work is to be performed need not be covered.

(2) Employees shall not be permitted to touch or work on any exposed energized conductor or equipment except when wearing suitable rubber gloves with protectors, or when using other suitable devices.

(f) Working on Conductors or Equipment Energized in Excess of 7,500 Volts. All work on conductors or equipment energized in excess of 7,500 volts shall be done by means of suitable devices. Rubber gloves shall not be considered to be suitable devices.

(g) Working on De-energized Conductors or Equipment. When working on de-energized conductors or equipment, all exposed energized conductors or equipment regardless of voltage within reach of any part of the body, shall be covered with suitable protective equipment.

(h) Grounding De-energized Conductors or Equipment.

(1) Any exposed ungrounded part of conductors or equipment not worked upon in accordance with the provisions of subsections(e) or (f) above, shall not be worked upon until the following provisions have been complied with:

(A) Conductors or equipment to be grounded are clearly identified and isolated from all sources of voltage.

(B) Notification has been obtained from the designated employee that all switches or other points of isolation through which electric energy may be supplied to the conductors or equipment to be worked on have been opened and are plainly tagged indicating that employees are at work, and where the design permits, they have been rendered inoperable.

(C) Visual inspection and tests are made to insure that equipment or conductors have been de-energized.

(D) Guards or barriers are installed as necessary to prevent contact with exposed energized conductors or equipment.

(E) Grounds are applied, except where their installation or use increases the working hazard. Grounds shall be permitted to be removed for test purposes.

(F) Suitable grounding devices shall be used. They shall be first connected to a ground before being brought into contact with any de-energized conductor or equipment to be grounded. The other end shall be attached and removed by means of insulated tools or other suitable devices. When removed, they shall be removed from all conductors or equipment before being disconnected from ground.

(G) When required, there shall be a minimum of one ground on the conductors or equipment being worked on:

1. between the place where the work is being done and each possible source of supply,

2. at the work location, or

3. as close as practicable to the source of supply.

(H) One of the grounding devices shall be visible to at least one member of the crew unless one of the grounding devices is accessible only to authorized persons.

(I) Grounding devices shall be capable of conducting the anticipated fault current and shall have a minimum conductance of No. 2 AWG copper.

(J) When more than one independent crew requires the same conductors or equipment to be de-energized, a tag for each such independent crew shall be placed on the conductors or equipment. Where clearances for such independent crews are controlled by a designated authority having immediate jurisdiction over the conductors or equipment involved, only one tag need be installed.

(2) Upon completion of work the employee in charge of each independent crew shall determine that all employees in the crew are clear and shall report to the designated authority that all tags protecting the crew may be removed.

(3) Prior to the energizing of the conductors or equipment, the employer shall ascertain that all employees are clear and all grounds are removed.

(i) Access to Insulators. The employer shall furnish suitable aerial lift equipment, portable platforms, or other devices to permit employees to work on insulators or bushings attached to poles, towers, structures, or equipment when such insulators or bushings are not otherwise safely accessible.

(j) Prior to climbing poles or other elevated structures supporting overhead electrical lines or equipment, an inspection shall be made to ensure that such poles or structure are in safe condition for the work to be performed. Where poles or structures are determined to be unsafe for climbing, they shall not be climbed until made safe by guying, bracing or other adequate means.

(k) Substation Fences. When a substation fence is extended or moved provisions shall be made to comply with Article 17, Section 2812(e) of these orders.

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. Editorial correction of subsections (c)-(e) (Register 80, No. 30).

2. Editorial correction of section heading and subsection designations filed 11-2-83 (Register 83, No. 45).

3. Amendment filed 12-10-87; operative 1-9-88 (Register 88, No. 1).

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