by , on January 19, 2016

Companies that have 72.6 kV and higher voltages on site need to know that OSHA is now extending those enforcement dates for an additional period of time, as follows:

Until January 31, 2017, for voltages of 169.1 kilovolts and more: (i) no citations will be issued under 29 CFR 1910.269(l)(3)(ii) or 29 CFR 1926.960(c)(1)(ii), which require the employer to determine the maximum anticipated per-unit transient overvoltage; and (ii) OSHA will accept compliance with the minimum approach distances in Table 6 or Tables 10 to 13 in Appendix B to 29 CFR 1910.269 as compliance with 29 CFR 1910.269(l)(3)(i) and 29 CFR 1926.960(c)(1)(i). If peer-reviewed guidance regarding the calculation of maximum transient overvoltages is not available before May 1, 2016, OSHA will extend this policy as necessary to give employers time to read and implement such guidance when it becomes available.

Until January 31, 2017, for voltages of 72.6 to 169.0 kilovolts, no citations will be issued under 29 CFR 1910.269(l)(3)(ii) or 29 CFR 1926.960(c)(1)(ii), which require the employer to determine the maximum anticipated per-unit transient overvoltage, provided the employer assumes a maximum anticipated per-unit transient overvoltage, phase-to-ground, of 3.0 per unit. If peer-reviewed guidance regarding the calculation of maximum transient overvoltages is not available before May 1, 2016, OSHA will extend this policy as necessary to give employers time to read and implement such guidance when it becomes available.

See OSHA’s memorandum on this new enforcement date change.

Read 1910.269(l)(3)(i) and (ii) on OSHA’s website.

What is Minimum Approach Distance? Who can work within the MAD?

The Minimum Approach Distance (MAD) is the distance qualified workers have to stay away from energized conductors when unprotected. If a 269-qualified worker needs to do a job within the minimum approach distance, he or she must use proper work techniques and the proper tools, and must wear appropriately-rated PPE.

Not to be Confused with Public Safety Boundary

Don’t confuse the MAD with the public safety boundary, which is the distance required for unqualified personnel to stay away from energized conductors.  Unqualified personnel include anyone who is not 269-qualified, whether he or she is a worker, a supervisor, or a manager. They must stay at least 10 feet away from energized conductors that are 50kV or less. The higher the voltage of the conductors, the further away that person must be.

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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.

2 Comments on "UPDATE: OSHA Enforcement Date for Minimum Approach Distances Has Changed Again"

NICK SOROCHKA - 27 April 2017 Reply

WHAT IS THE M.A.D DISTANCE FOR UNQUALIFED WORKER UNDER ENEEGIZED LINES? AND OSHA ARTICALE #

    Hugh Hoagland
    Hugh Hoagland - 27 April 2017 Reply

    This distance is in the OSHA 1910.269 standard and the NESC and IEEE 516. The distance must be calculated in some cases due to transient voltage variation between utilities. Best to contact the utility or use the OSHA 1910.269 standard requirements up to about 69kV. After that transient's make more difference thus the new standard requirement to calculate using the new IEEE 516.

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