A description of the proposed changes are as follows:
INFORMATIVE DIGEST OF PROPOSED ACTION/PLAIN ENGLISH OVERVIEW
This proposed rulemaking action contains numerous nonsubstantive, editorial, reformatting of subsections, and grammatical revisions. These nonsubstantive revisions are not all discussed in this Informative Digest. However, these proposed revisions are clearly indicated in the regulatory text in underline and strikeout format. In addition to these nonsubstantive revisions, the following actions are proposed:
Section 2940.2. Clearances
This section prohibits an employee from approaching or taking any conductive object without an insulating handle closer to exposed energized parts than the distances shown on Table 2940.2. However, the employee may be closer to the energized part when the employee is insulated or guarded from the energized part, either by wearing gloves and/or sleeves for the rated voltage or by ensuring the energized part is insulated or guarded to prevent contact. Conductor support tools, such as link sticks, strain carriers, and insulator cradles are permitted to be used provided that the clear insulation is at least as long as the insulator string or the minimum distance specified in Table 2940.2 for the operating voltage. The table lists the alternating current minimum approach distance and is broken down into two columns: one containing the nominal voltage range (phase to phase), and the other containing the corresponding minimum approach distance, phase to ground exposure. Revisions are proposed to insert a second table titled "Table 2940.2-2 DC Live-Line Work Minimum Approach Distance With Overvoltage Factor." This table was adopted by federal OSHA as Table R-9 in 29 CFR 1910.269, Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution. Use of this table will make Californias regulations at least as effective as their Federal counterpart and permit the employer to use the appropriate distance table in lieu of the more restrictive alternating current work clearance requirements.
Section 2940.6. Tools and Protective Equipment.
Section 2940.6 contains the requirements for insulating equipment. Subsection (a) is titled "Rubber Insulating Equipment." It is proposed to delete the references to "Rubber" from the title and subsection (a)(1). This proposed revision will improve clarity in the regulation as subsequent subsections pertain to both rubber and non-rubber materials.
Subsection (a)(2) requires that when rubber gloves are used, canvas or leather outer gloves be worn. A revision is proposed to require that the outer gloves meet the requirements as shown in Appendix C. This proposed revision will require the employer to ensure that the outer canvas or leather gloves meet the requirements of ASTM F 696-97, Leather Protectors for Rubber Insulating Gloves.
Subsection (a)(4) contains testing interval requirements for Gloves, Sleeves and Blankets (in-service care). The requirements specify maximum re-testing intervals of insulating gloves, sleeves and blankets in accordance with ASTM standards, to ensure the insulating device retains the proper dielectric strength. A revision is proposed to delete the February 23, 1998 effective date for maximum re-testing intervals, as it is now obsolete. A revision to the title is proposed to acknowledge insulating equipment other than gloves, sleeves and blankets. Revisions are proposed to update the ASTM F 496, Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Gloves and Sleeves publication date from 95a to 97, and to include the Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Line Hose and Covers, ASTM F 478-92, with a 12 month maximum re-testing interval. The proposed revisions will have no effect as it is industry practice to use the latest ASTM standards as guidelines.
Subsection (a)(7) requires that insulating equipment be stored away from sources of excessive heat. The regulation also prohibits gloves and blankets to be folded and stored; however, it states blankets can be rolled for storage. A revision is proposed to indicate that insulating equipment is to be protected from physical damage. The proposed revision will require the employer to develop a plan or system to ensure that insulating equipment is not transported or stored in a manner that could cause physical damage.
Subsection (a)(8) requires insulating equipment to be cleaned and visually inspected for defects prior to use each day. A revision is proposed to require insulating equipment to be inspected for damage. The proposed revision will clarify that insulating equipment shall be inspected not only for defects, but for physical damage as well.
Subsection (a)(9) requires that rubber gloves shall be air and water tested at the beginning of each work period and at any other time there is concern regarding the gloves condition, and provides a list of conditions under which the gloves may be used. A revision is proposed to delete the phrase "As a minimum." The proposed revision will have no effect as Californias regulations are already considered minimum requirements that permit the employer to provide more stringent controls as necessary.
Subsection (a)(10) requires that defective equipment be immediately removed from service. A revision is proposed to add the term "damaged" to differentiate between damaged and defective equipment. The proposed revision will require the employer to immediately remove damaged as well as defective equipment.
Section 2941(h) Grounding De-Energized Conductors or Equipment
Subsection (h)(10) requires that grounding devices be capable of conducting the anticipated fault current and have a minimum conductance of No. 2 AWG copper. A revision is proposed to include a NOTE referencing the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Specification for Temporary Grounding Systems to be Used on De-energized Electric Power Lines and Equipment, ASTM F 855-1997, for protective grounding equipment. This proposed revision will provide the employer with information to assist in developing a safe and viable temporary grounding system.
New subsection (h)(12)
A revision is proposed to add a new subsection (h)(12) to incorporate federal requirements for the location and arrangement of temporary protective grounds. The proposed revision will require the employer to ensure temporary grounds are placed so as to prevent employees from being exposed to hazardous differences in electrical potential.
Appendix C, Protective Equipment.
Appendix C requires that rubber insulating equipment meet specific ASTM standards. The items are listed by type of protective equipment and the corresponding ASTM standard. A revision is proposed to delete the first word "rubber" to recognize ASTM standards for non-rubber insulating protective equipment. Other revisions are proposed to update the Rubber Insulating Sleeve, ASTM D 1051, publication date, and to include the provisions for Leather Protectors for Rubber Insulating Gloves, ASTM F 696-97, Insulating Plastic Guard Equipment, ASTM F 968-93, and Insulating Work Platforms for Electrical Workers, ASTM F 1564-95. These revisions will have no effect, as it is industry practice to use the latest ASTM standards for guidelines.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
These documents are too cumbersome or impractical to publish in Title 8. Therefore, it is proposed to incorporate these documents by reference. Copies of these documents are available for review during normal business hours at the Standards Board Office located at 2520 Venture Oaks Drive, Suite 350, Sacramento, California.