December 29, 2013

White House Regulatory Office Releases Final Rule Covering Electrical Power Safety

From: Bloomberg/BNA

By Bruce Rolfsen

Dec. 23 –A review of the draft final rule for protecting workers constructing and repairing high-voltage power lines was completed Dec. 20 by the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, ending an examination that lasted 18 months, according to an OIRA statement.

The final rule, Electrical Power Transmission and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment standard (RIN 1218-AB67), is now back with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The next step is expected to be the publishing of the final rule in the Federal Register. An OSHA spokesman told Bloomberg BNA Dec. 23 that a publication date hadn’t been set.

OSHA has been developing the regulation for more than a decade, holding a small business review in 2003 and public hearings, the most recent of which was in 2009.

OSHA hasn’t released any information about what changes, if any, were made to the regulation during the OIRA review. The regulation aims to revise portions of the general industry power transmission standard (29 C.F.R. 1910.269) and the construction standard for power transmission and distribution (29 C.F.R. 1926 Subpart V). Some requirements haven’t been updated in more than 37 years.

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