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OSHA reopens record on proposed rule on electric power generation (10/23)

OSHA announced in the Oct. 22 Federal Register that it is reopening the record on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on electric power generation, transmission and distribution work and for electrical protective equipment. This limited reopening seeks to obtain comments related to how close an employee (or a conductive object that an employee is contacting) may get to an energized circuit part.

On June 15, 2005, OSHA published a proposed rule to revise the general industry and construction standards for electric power generation, transmission, and distribution work and for electrical protective equipment. This proposal included revised minimum approach distances (MADs), including MAD tables that can be used to determine how close an employee or a conductive object, which he or she is contacting, can get to an energized part. After the rulemaking record on the proposal closed, the technical committee responsible for developing the tables in the consensus standards on which the proposal was based discovered an error in their calculation of minimum approach distances for certain voltages. OSHA is reopening the record on this proposal only to obtain comments related to the affected minimum approach distances.

The agency will accept public comments on the proposed rule about the affected minimum approach distances until Nov. 21, 2008.

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