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

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§2940.6. Tools and Protective Equipment.

(a) Insulating Equipment.
(1) Insulating equipment designed for the voltage levels to be encountered shall be provided and the employer shall ensure that they are used by employees as required by this section. This equipment shall meet the electrical and physical requirements contained in the standards for marking, inspection, performance and testing shown in Appendix C.
(2) Whenever rubber insulating gloves are used, they shall be protected by outer canvas or leather gloves. This equipment shall meet the electrical physical requirements contained in the standards shown in Appendix C.
(3) Insulating equipment fabricated of material other than rubber shall provide electrical and mechanical protection at least equal to that of rubber equipment.
(4) The employer is responsible for the periodic visual and electrical re-testing of all insulating gloves, sleeves and blankets. The following maximum re-testing intervals for the items covered by the listed ASTM standards shall apply:
GLOVES, SLEEVES, BLANKETS, AND OTHER INSULATING EQUIPMENT
(In-service care)
*Gloves, sleeves, and blankets that have been electrically tested but not issued for service shall not be placed into service unless they have been electrically tested within the previous twelve months.
(5) Gloves, sleeves and blankets shall be marked to indicate compliance with the re-test schedule and shall be marked with either the date tested, or the date the next test is due.
(6) When not being used, insulating gloves and sleeves shall be stored in glove bags or suitable containers. Insulating blankets shall be stored in a canister or other means that offers equivalent protection.
(7) Insulating equipment shall be stored away from direct sunlight, steampipes, radiators and other sources of excessive heat, excessive humidity, ozone, and other damaging substances and conditions. Insulating equipment shall be protected from physical damage. Gloves, sleeves and blankets shall not be folded while in storage; however, blankets shall be permitted to be rolled for storage.
(8) Insulating equipment shall be visually inspected for defects and damage, and shall be cleaned prior to use each day.
(9) Rubber gloves shall be air and water tested at the beginning of each work period and at any other time when the glove's condition is in doubt. The gloves shall:
(A) Be visually examined over their entire inner and outer surface for any defects, i.e., burns, cuts, cracks, punctures and weak spots; and
(B) Have the cuff stretched to detect abrasions and weak spots.
(10) Insulating equipment found to be defective or damaged shall be immediately removed from service.
(11) Repaired insulating equipment shall be retested before it may be used by employees.
(12) The employer shall certify that equipment has been tested in accordance with the requirements of Appendix C of this Article. The certification shall identify the equipment that passed the test and the date it was tested and shall be made available upon request to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health employees or authorized representatives.
(b) Fall Protection. When work is performed at elevated locations more than 4 feet (1.2 meters) above the ground on poles, towers or similar structures, the employer shall require the employees to use either fall arrest equipment, fall restriction equipment, work positioning equipment, or travel restricting equipment, if other fall protection methods have not been provided (e.g., guardrails, safety nets, etc.). The use of body belts for fall arrest systems is prohibited.
(1) Personal fall arrest systems shall meet the requirements of Section 1670(b) of the Construction Safety Orders.
(2) Climbing or changing location. Qualified employees climbing or changing locations on poles, towers, or similar structures shall use fall protection equipment.
EXCEPTION to subsection (b)(2): Employer can demonstrate that the use of fall protection equipment is infeasible or creates a greater hazard.
(c) Linemen's Body Belts, Safety Straps, Lanyards, and Fall Restriction Equipment.
(1) Linemen's body belts and safety straps purchased after January 1, 1993, shall be labeled as meeting the requirements contained in ASTM F 887-91, Standard Specifications for Personal Climbing Equipment.
EXCEPTION: Linemen's body belts and safety straps purchased before January 1, 1993 which are labeled/tagged as meeting either the ANSI A10.14 or ASTM F 887 Standard in effect at the time of purchase.
(2) Personal fall arrest and positioning equipment used by employees who are exposed to hazards from flames or electric arcs, as determined by the employer under Section 2940.11, shall be labeled as meeting ASTM F 887-04, Standard Specifications for Personal Climbing Equipment, which is hereby incorporated by reference.
(3) Wood pole fall restriction equipment shall meet the requirements of ASTM F887-10, Standard Specifications for Personal Climbing Equipment, July 1, 2010 edition, which is hereby incorporated by reference.
(4) Body belts, safety straps, and lanyards shall be inspected by a qualified person each day before use to determine that they are safe. Those determined to be unsafe shall be immediately removed from service.
(5) Safety straps shall not be used when any portion of the red safety marker strip in the strap is exposed.
(d) Portable Ladders and Platforms.
(1) The requirements for portable ladders contained in the General Industry Safety Orders, Section 3276 applies except the requirements specifically noted in subsection (d)(4) of this section.
(2) Portable conductive ladders shall not be used near energized conductors or exposed energized parts of equipment except as may be necessary in specialized high-voltage work such as in high-voltage substations where non-conductive ladders might present a greater hazard than conductive ladders.
(3) Portable conductive ladders shall be legibly marked with signs reading “Caution -Do Not Use Near Energized Electrical Equipment” or equivalent wording.
(4) Special ladders and platforms used for overhead line work.
(A) The requirements for portable ladders contained in Section 3276 apply in addition to the requirements of this section except for Section 3276(e)(7) and (e)(9) when used in conjunction with overhead linework.
(B) In the configurations in which they are used, portable platforms and ladders shall be capable of supporting without failure at least 2.5 times the maximum intended load.
(C) Portable ladders and platforms shall not be loaded in excess of the working loads for which they are designed.
(D) Portable ladders and platforms shall be secured to prevent them from becoming displaced.
(e) Live Line Tools.
(1) Live line tools shall meet the requirements specified in Appendix “B.”
(2) Daily Inspection. Live line tools shall be visually inspected for defects before use each day.
(A) Tools to be used shall be wiped clean. If any defect or contamination that could adversely affect the insulating qualities or mechanical integrity of the live-line tool is present after wiping, the tool shall be removed from service.
NOTE to subsection (e)(2): Examples of defects that could adversely affect insulating qualities or mechanical integrity are found in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers', IEEE Guide for Maintenance Methods on Energized Power Lines, IEEE Std 516TM - 2009, Sections 5.7 and 5.8.
(3) Biennial Inspection. Live-line tools used for primary employee protection shall be removed from service every 2 years, and whenever required under subsection (e)(2) of this section, for examination, cleaning, repair, and testing as follows:
(A) Each tool shall be thoroughly examined for defects.
(B) If a defect or contamination that could adversely affect the insulating qualities or mechanical integrity of the live-line tool is found, the tool shall be repaired and refinished or shall be permanently removed from service. If no such defect or contamination is found, the tool shall be cleaned and waxed.
(C) The tool shall be tested under the following conditions:
1. After the tool has been repaired or refinished regardless of composition or
2. Live line tool made of wood or hollow fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP).
EXCEPTION: to subsection (e)(3)(C): Live line tool made of solid or foam-filled FRP that has been examined and no repair or refinishing was performed, and the employer can demonstrate that the tool has no defects that could cause it to fail during use.
(D) The test method used shall be designed to verify the tool's integrity along its entire working length and, if the tool is made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic, the test method shall verify its integrity under wet conditions.
(E) The voltage applied during the tests shall be as follows:
1. 246,100 volts per meter (75,000 volts per foot) of length for 1 minute if the tool is made of fiberglass, or
2. 164,000 volts per meter (50,000 volts per foot) of length for 1 minute if the tool is made of wood, or
3. Other tests that the employer can demonstrate are equivalent.
NOTE to subsection (e): Guidelines for the examination, cleaning, repairing, and in-service testing of live-line tools are specified in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers', IEEE Guide for Maintenance Methods on Energized Power Lines, IEEE Std 516TM - 2009.
(f) Conductive measuring tapes, ropes or similar measuring devices shall not be used when working on or near exposed energized conductors or parts of equipment.
(g) Handtools and Pneumatic Tools.
(1) Hydraulic tools which are used on or near exposed energized conductors or equipment shall use non-conductive hoses. All valves, pipes, non-conductive hoses, filters and fittings shall have adequate strength for normal operating pressures. The provisions of Section 3556, General Industry Safety Orders, Title 8, California Code of Regulations, shall also apply.
(A) The hydraulic system supplying a hydraulic tool used where it may contact exposed live parts shall provide protection against loss of insulating value, for the voltage involved, due to the formation of a partial vacuum in the hydraulic line.
(B) Employees shall be instructed to not use any part of their bodies to locate, or attempt to stop, a hydraulic leak.
(2) Pneumatic tools which are used on or near exposed energized conductors or equipment shall:
(A) have non-conductive hoses having adequate strength for the normal operating pressures and
(B) have an accumulator on the compressor to collect moisture.
NOTE: For the purposes of subsections (f) and (g) energized conductors on which temporary insulating devices have been installed shall be considered “exposed.”
(3) Pressure shall be released before connections are broken, unless quick acting, self-closing connectors are used. Hoses shall not be kinked.
(4) Hydraulic and Pneumatic tools shall not be operated above the maximum rated operating pressure.
(5) Cord and plug-connected equipment shall be grounded in accordance with Sections 2395.45 and 2395.59.
EXCEPTION: to subsection (g)(5): This option may not be used where the introduction of the ground into the work environment increases the hazard to an employee.
(h) Grounding requirements for portable and vehicle mounted generators shall be in accordance with Section 2395.6.
(i) Conductive Objects. Conductive objects of a length capable of contacting energized conductors shall not be carried into the level of such conductors unless suitable means are taken to prevent accidental contact.
(j) Lines used for emergency rescue such as lowering a person to the ground shall have a minimum breaking strength of 2650 pounds and shall be readily available on the job site.
(k) Apparel. The employer shall ensure that each employee who is exposed to the hazards of flames or electric arcs does not wear clothing that, when exposed to flames or electric arcs, could increase the extent of injury that would be sustained by the employee. This subsection prohibits clothing made from the following types of fabrics: acetate, nylon, polyester, polypropylene, and rayon, either alone or in blends, unless the employer can demonstrate that the fabric has been treated with flame retardant.
NOTE: For apparel requirements for the power generation, transmission, and distribution industry, see Section 2940.11 for the protection from flames and electric arcs.
Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.
HISTORY
1. Amendment of subsection (c) and new subsection (i) filed 6-2-87; operative 7-2-87 (Register 87, No. 24).
2. Amendment filed 12-10-87; operative 1-9-88 (Register 88, No. 1).
3. Amendment of subsection (c)(1) filed 12-7-92; operative 1-6-93 (Register 92, No. 50).
4. New subsection (g)(3) filed 12-12-94; operative 1-11-95 (Register 94, No. 50).
5. Change without regulatory effect amending subsection (a)(8) filed 12-18-95 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 95, No. 51).
6. Amendment filed 11-25-97; operative 12-25-97 (Register 97, No. 48).
7. Repealer of subsections (b)-(b)(1) and new subsections (b) and (j) filed 9-10-99; operative 10-10-99 (Register 99, No. 37).
8. Amendment filed 7-26-2000; operative 8-25-2000 (Register 2000, No. 30).
9. Amendment of subsection (a)(4) filed 12-2-2008; operative 1-1-2009 (Register 2008, No. 49).
10. Amendment filed 2-27-2018; operative 4-1-2018 (Register 2018, No. 9).


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