Thanks for replying. As Trumps has indicated, responses seem to be slow in this forum. I hope this doesn't turn into a two man conversation, but, even if that's the case let's hope others are interested in this thread and are "lurking" somewhere in cyberspace.
You brought up some good points again.
Most of your references (OSHA regs.) are from the construction regulations. It's important to remember that for electrical work, many (but not all) of the situations encountered on jobsites require electrical contractors to follow the General Industry regulations (29 CFR 1910).
One of the ways you can determine which set of regulations to follow is by looking at the scope of the standard. In this case the scope of Subpart K (Construction electrical regs.) is found in 1926.402. (bold face added)
Covered. Sections 1926.402 through 1926.408 contain installation safety requirements for electrical equipment and installations used to provide electric power and light at the jobsite. These sections apply to installations, both temporary and permanent, used on the jobsite; but these sections do not apply to existing permanent installations that were in place before the construction activity commenced.
As you can see, the Construction electrical regulations actually apply to "power and light" circuits "used on the jobsite." This is a broad way of saying that OSHA is concerned (in this circumstance) about the source of electrical power for fixtures and equipment used by the electrician and other trades that may be working at a given site.
Most (again, but not all) of the work performed by contractors is on existing equipment... or they are installing equipment that will be a permanent part of the structure. So, you must refer to the General Industry standards to determine the requirements in these situations.
Let's make an assumption (for purposes of discussion) that work performed at a given site falls under 1926 Subpart K. 1926.416(a)Protection of Employees does not address PPE. Let's take a look at the text and examine why (bold added):
No employer shall permit an employee to work in such proximity to any part of an electric power circuit that the employee could contact the electric power circuit in the course of work, unless the employee is protected against electric shock by deenergizing the circuit and grounding it or by guarding it effectively by insulation or other means.
Guarding by "other means" includes a long list of methods and devices. Section 1926.449, which supplies definitions for all of Subpart K, offers a wide variety of guarding by means other than insulation. OSHA considers guarding to be effective if it successfully removes "the likelihood of approach to a point of danger or contact by persons or objects." Guarding and PPE are two separate issues. Here is the actual description of "guarded" found in the definitions of 1926.449.
Guarded. Covered, shielded, fenced, enclosed, or otherwise protected by means of suitable covers, casings, barriers, rails, screens, mats, or platforms to remove the likelihood of approach to a point of danger or contact by persons or objects.
The 50volt reference you cited is found in both the 1910 and 1926 regulations. And it requires the following...
equipment operating at 50 volts or more shall be guarded against accidental contact...
The generic construction requirement for PPE is actually in 1926.95(a). And... since this standard does not specifically address electrical protective equipment, we must fall back on the General Industry standards.
Why you may ask, (or maybe not
), because the overall scope of the General Industry standards indicates that it applies to "all" places of employment. (bold added)
On the other hand, any standard shall apply according to its terms to any employment and place of employment in any industry, even though particular standards are also prescribed for the industry...
Whew... time for me to turn this over again.
P.S. There are people that I work with that say I can't introduce myself in less than an hour. When you start talking about a particular topic, I could go on all day. Sorry, if I'm a bit long winded.
Edited to correct UBB code error.
[This message has been edited by safetygem (edited 01-20-2005).]