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OSH Act compliance: Have you missed the deadline?

Did you know that employers are required by law to estimate incident heat energy of electric-arc hazards and provide exposed workers the right personal protective equipment (PPE)?

Non-compliance with OSHA’s OSH Act exposes employees to serious safety threats and may result in hefty OSHA fines and even imprisonment for employers. 


OSHA enforces workplace safety under the law, but the OSHA electrical safety standards are not prescriptive. While the requirements of NFPA 70E are prescriptive, they are not mandated by law. However, they are considered to be the minimum consensus requirements for safe electrical work procedures, and OSHA may use them as the basis for issuing citations.

In 2014, OSHA published the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution and Electrical Equipment Final Rule that requires employers to do the following to protect workers from flames and electric arc hazards.

  • The employer must assess the workplace to identify workers exposed to flame or electric-arc hazards.
  • No later than January 1, 2015, employers must estimate the incident heat energy of any electric-arc hazard to which a worker would be exposed.
  • No later than April 1, 2015, employers generally must provide workers exposed to hazards from electric arcs with protective clothing and other protective equipment with an arc rating greater than or equal to the estimated heat energy.