Electrical Safety (Construction): What you need to know

OSHA's electrical standards are as comprehensive as the importance of the topic would suggest. The seriousness and prevalence of electrical hazards in the workplace, exposing construction employees to such dangers as electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions, make attention to electrical safety a major concern in the industry. Subpart K is based on those safeguards in the National Electrical Code (NEC) which OSHA regards as applicable to construction workers. Additional requirements, designed to supplement the NEC, are also provided. Key topics covered include the use of equipment for electrical works, temporary and permanent electrical installations, maintenance procedures, safe use of equipment and materials, grounding, lockout/tagout, confined space practices, work in hazardous environmental conditions, and selection and use of work practices.

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The Electrical Standard is divided into four parts:


This part of the standard is the most extensive of the four, and contains the safety requirements for equipment and installations that provide electric power and lighting at construction job sites. The standards cover temporary and permanent installations at the site, but do not apply to permanent installations that are in place prior to the initiation of new construction. Electric installation performed in accordance with the NEC (1984 revision) will be considered in compliance. Note, however, the following exceptions: ground-fault protection for employees, protection of lamps on temporary wiring, suspension of temporary lights by cords, portable lighting used in wet and conductive locations, and extension cord sets and flexible cords.

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