We follow 70E at our facility. Following a recent training session on arc flash and electrical safety I realized that we aren't "completely" following 70E, and some changes to our procedures need to be made.
What I am running into is management that wants proof that OSHA stands behind the tennants of 70E.
The only thing that I have been able to find is a reference in 1910 subpart S saying that OSHA refereces 70E. Does that mean that they enforce it as well?
As far as I know this is just a standard like NFPA 70 and it doesn't mean diddly unless it is adopted by the local/state government. I don't think the federal government accepts other people's standards. They have 535 folks in DC who write that kind of thing themselves and they don't like outsiders encroaching on their turf.
Since none of us are lawyers, you may want your managers to have the corporate attorneys read and interpret Part 1910, Subparts 1910.5 and 1910.6 to determine “Applicability of standards” and “Incorporation by reference.”
OSHA dosent really write the standards, they take industry standards like the NFPA 70E, change the wording to make it enforcable, and publish it as an OSHA standard.
The upcoming release of the new OSHA electrical standard is based on the 2004 NFPA 70E. The person who was the chairman of the 70E commitee now works for OSHA, probally to help with the release of enforcement of the new proposed standard.
Big Ed, there is a video on the internet of David Wallace from OSHA discussing OSHA's viewpoint of enforcement and compliance of the 70E, you should be able to find this video with a quick google search.
NFPA 70E is incorporated into OSHA by reference. In the event of an incident OSHA would typically cite you under the General Duty Clause. i.e. the employer has a responsibility to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards.
There was an initiative to re-write the 1910 and 1926 electrical standards but this has been put on hold and they are focusing on 1926 Sub Part V and 1910.269 High Voltage standards.