by , on August 21, 2010

USPS fines continue from OSHA on electrical safety.  Will this prevent deaths?  Probably.  The fourth or fifth leading cause of fatality gets a push this year from OSHA.  By citing the USPS, OSHA is citing a quasi-government agency which will not directly hurt stockholders etc so why cite them?  My guess would be to show industry what could be coming to get consensus to build around good safety programs for electrical safety.  Electric utilities have had quality safety programs for electrical safety and the OSHA 1910.269 standard (partially drafted by utilities and other industry) documented these type of procedures:

1. Use approach distances for PPE.
2. Use Insulating PPE and Barriers.
3. Deenergize when possible but train heavily on energized work.
4. Prevent clothing ignitions from electric arc.
5. Have a written electrical safety program.
6. Audit electrical safety

Most utilities had worked for these basic principles for decades but until they were codified all did not follow all the basic principles.  Now NFPA 70E has codified these principles and OSHA is trying to get companies to wake up and train and follow good solid electrical safety principles.

Click here to read the latest OSHA Press Release on electrical safety citations of the USPS.

Hugh Hoagland
About author:
Hugh Hoagland is the foremost tester of clothing and PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Read more about Hugh.

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