A description of the proposed changes are as follows:

1. TITLE 8:

LOW VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 5, Article 3, Section 2320.8

HIGH VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL SAFETY ORDER
Chapter 4, Subchapter 5, Article 36, Section 2940.6
Fall Protection and Apparel for Electrical Workers

INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS


INFORMATIVE DIGEST OF PROPOSED ACTION/PLAIN ENGLISH OVERVIEW

Section 2320.8. Energized Overhead Conductors.

This section contains no regulatory information and consists of only a placeholder title.

A new section entitled "Fall Protection" is proposed to replace the existing section title indicated above, which contains language that would require employers to provide employees working at elevations greater than 4 feet on poles, towers or similar structures with personal fall protection devices (e.g. positioning devices, travel restricting devices, etc.) when other means of fall protection are not provided (e.g. safety nets, barricades, parapets, guard rails. etc.). The proposed language also prohibits the use of body belts as a component in a fall arrest system. In addition, proposed subsection (a) includes an exception from the fall protection requirement for qualified persons provided there are no conditions which would prevent the employee from gaining the necessary foot and hand holds to climb the structure safely.

The proposed revisions will require the employer to purchase or otherwise acquire and provide one of the three fall protection systems to employees working above the four-foot trigger height. The employer will also need to remove from service body belts from any fall arrest systems and replace them with full-body harnesses. Finally, the employer will need to ascertain the condition of poles, structures, etc. to determine the applicability of the proposed exception for point to point travel.

Section 2940.6. Tools and Protective Equipment.

Existing subsection (b) is entitled "Personal Climbing Equipment" and requires employers to require the use of body belts with straps or lanyards by employees working at elevated locations on poles, towers, or other structures except where other safeguards are used to protect employees.

Revisions are proposed to delete the title of existing subsection (b) for replacement by a new title to read "Fall Protection" which would require employers to provide employees working at elevations greater than 4 feet on poles, towers or similar structures with personal fall protection devices (e.g. positioning devices, travel restricting devices, etc.) when other means of fall protection are not provided (e.g. safety nets, barricades, parapets, guard rails, etc.). The proposed language would also prohibit the use of body belts as a component in a fall arrest system. In addition, proposed subsection (b) includes an exception from the fall protection requirement for qualified persons provided there are no conditions which would prevent the employee from gaining the necessary foot and hand holds to climb the structure safely.

The proposed revisions would require the employer to purchase or otherwise acquire and provide one of the three fall protection systems to employees working above the four-foot trigger height. The employer will also need to remove from service body belts from any fall arrest systems and replace them with full-body harnesses. Finally, the employer will need to ascertain the condition of poles, structures, etc. to determine the applicability of the proposed exception for point to point travel.

A new subsection (j) is proposed entitled "Apparel" which would require employers to ensure each electrical worker who may be exposed to the hazard of flames and electric arcs wears outer clothing which is made of materials which will not increase the likelihood for serious injury sustained by an employee who is burned by flames and/or electric arcs. The proposed language would prohibit electrical workers from wearing garments composed of acetate, nylon, polyester, and rayon unless these materials are treated with flame retardant.

The proposal will require employers to check apparel worn by employees who may be exposed to flames/electric arcs and determine conformance with the proposed requirement.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

None.