OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) 29 CFR1910.269 comprises of the operation and maintenance of electric power generation, control, transformation, transmission and distribution lines, and equipment. OSHA standard CFR1910.269 has brought many occupational safety principles for the protection of all the workers working in workplaces where there is always a risk of injuries due to electric shocks or fire burns. Until now OSHA 1910.269 is the one and only law enforced by federal authorities, which requires FR clothing. For flame-resistant clothing, it is stated in this law, 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 the injury that would be sustained by the employee.
This law is a great relief for all the workers out there who are concerned about their workplace safety. However, this law is currently in the process of amendment and is expected to imitate NFPA70E principally. Once OSHA standard CFR1910.269 is approved, the ball will be in the court of electric utility workers, as the flame-resistant clothing requirements will gain the status of a federal law.
According to this FR safety standard, there are many different types of fabrics, which are strictly prohibited unless and until an employer can describe it as being able to withstand the possible hazardous conditions at the workplace. The prohibited fabrics involving great hazards are mainly nylon, acetate, polyester, and rayon. This means that if the workwear of an employee does not ignite or melt during or after the electric arcs or flame exposure then the wearer is complying with the fire-resistance standards.
OSHA 1910.269 is applicable to the workers engaged in transmission and distribution, generation, control and metering of electric energy, moreover OSHA is currently reviewing its safety apparel portions of 1910.269 and is intending to include the rules like:
- Utilities must perform a hazard analysis to determine incident energy levels.
- Workers must wear sufficient clothing to reduce the incident energy level to 1.6 cals/cm2.
- It is the utility’s responsibility to ensure workers are protected from 2nd-degree burns resulting from electric arcs.
- ASTM Standards and test methods are referenced.
Other revisions by OSHA in 1910.269 states that “Employees in restricted areas shall wear protective equipment meeting the requirements of Subpart I of this Part and including, but not limited to, protective clothing, boots, goggles, and gloves.
All the OSHA standards are emphasizing deeply upon the need of safety worker-wear for your employees, and it is offering great insights into the scheme of workwear that should be fire and electricity resistant. Complying with OSHA 29 CFR1910.269 can bring forth great benefits to your business, as it is stressing upon saving your precious assets from potential workplace hazards. Wrong workwear is not only hazardous for your employees’ health but also affect the efficiency of work. Therefore, it is a good idea to analyze the work environment and explore many options, which can enhance the safety and efficiency of your workforce.