OSHA Extends Comment Time for Proposed Line Construction Rules


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has extended the cut-off date for comments on its proposed rule changes to standards for transmission and distribution work to Jan. 13, 2006. The original Oct. 13, 2005 date was extended at the request of the National Electrical Contractors Assn. and other industry leaders, who noted that much of their membership was involved in efforts to restore Gulf Coast electrical systems in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

OSHA's proposal to revise Subpart V of the Code of Federal Regulations adds new provisions relating to host employers, flame-resistant clothing and worker training requirements. There are also proposed requirements regarding grounding and working near energized parts in enclosed spaces, in underground and overhead installations and in substations.

An informal public hearing on the proposal is now scheduled to begin March 6, 2006.

Meanwhile, in other news from OSHA, the agency has announced that it is offering informational tools to help employers and their staff to better address safety and health hazards associated with hurricane clean-up and recovery efforts.

OSHA safety and health experts have already developed 37 fact sheets and eight "quick cards" with tips on items such as molds and fungi, downed electrical wire and general decontamination.

OSHA is developing more cards based on special requests, including permit-required confined spaces. Additional information will be developed on a continuing basis.

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