Last month, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued new final regulations updating its § 1910.302 electrical installation safety standards. These rules apply to design and installation of electrical equipment in the workplace. The prior rules had not been updated in 25 years, and OSHA considered them to have fallen behind current best practices for electrical safety. The new safety rules are patterned on the 2000 NFPA 70E standard, and eliminate references to the National Electrical Code. The upgraded standard focuses on classification of electrical equipment used in hazardous locations, new requirements for ground-fault circuit interrupters, and new standards for wiring for certain temporary installations.
The new rules become effective on August 13. Employees involved in electrical equipment installation and maintenance should become familiar wit the new requirements prior to this effective date. The new standard can be found at www.osha.gov.