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February 2016 OSHA Update
Gary Auman of Dunlevey, Mahan &
The focus of this article is your safety program and its
enforcement. But, before I get into that I would like to
revisit something I have mentioned previously as the
impact of it has changed. I have reported in the past
that OSHA has issued a letter of interpretation (LOI)
regarding the use of extension cords. When I discussed
this with some clients their reaction was to “wait and
see.” They took this approach because they viewed the
LOI as a narrow document that would be limited to the
company that requested the interpretation. Well, OSHA
has spoken with actions, not words. I have been
advised that the Columbus Area Office of OSHA has
recently issued citations to an Indiana subcontractor
and an Ohio contractor for violations of 29 CFR
1926.403(b)(2). This section requires that all
electrical equipment shall be used in accordance with
all labels. If you will recall the LOI stated that if
extension cords were labeled so as to prohibit their
being used in series with other extension cords, OSHA
would cite employers for not complying with those
labeling requirements. So, I believe we now have
evidence that OSHA is not restricting enforcement of
this standard and/or the LOI to just the company that
asked the question, but to all employers.
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