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Electrical Work Practices for Construction


October 2003
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-101
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Self-Inspection Checklist

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This checklist covers regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the construction standards 29 CFR 1926.404, 1926.405, 1926.416 and 1926.417. It applies to temporary worksites associated with construction, alteration, demolition, or repair work including painting and decorating. This section does not apply to existing permanent installations that were in place before the construction activity began. This checklist does not cover all of the regulations applicable to construction sites. Please use also the following checklists: Electrical-General Requirements, Electrical-Wiring Design and Protection, Electrical Components and Equipment for General Use, Use of Electrical Equipment, and Electrical-Temporary Wiring. Although not required, the following checklists are also beneficial: Electrical Safety Work Practices, Personal Protection for Electrical Work, and Control of Hazardous Energy Sources. The regulations cited apply only to private employers and their employees, unless adopted by a State agency and applied to other groups such as public employees. A yes answer to a question indicates that this portion of the inspection complies with the OSHA or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard, or with a nonregulatory recommendation.

This checklist does not address regulations dealing with outside conductors, 600 volts, nominal, or less; services to buildings; overcurrent protection (fuses and circuit breakers) for over 600 volts, nominal; and grounding for over 1,000 volts. If any of these conditions are encountered, consult the OSHA regulations.

  1. General Requirements

  2. Is work prohibited near any part of an electric power circuit? [29 CFR 1926.416(a)(1)]Work may be performed IF protection is provided from electrical shock by (a) deenergizing the circuit and grounding it; or (b) guarding it effectively by insulation or other means. [29 CFR 1926.416(a)(1)]
  3. Do students and employees have insulated protective gloves if they are using jack-hammers, bars, or other hand tools in an area where the exact location of underground electric power lines is unknown? [29 CFR 1926.416(a)(2)]
  4. Before work begins, are energized electrical power circuits (exposed or concealed) checked to be sure that a person, tool, or machine will not come into contact with the electric power circuit? [29 CFR 1926.416(a)(3)]
  5. Are warning signs posted where circuits exist that are identified in question #3? [29 CFR 1926.416(a)(3)]
  6. Do all students and employees know the location of such lines, the hazards involved, and the precautions to be taken? [29 CFR 1926.416(a)(3)]
  7. Are barriers (or other means of guarding) provided to ensure that work space for electrical equipment is not used as a passageway when energized parts of electrical equipment are exposed? [29 CFR 1926.416(b)(1)]
  8. Are all working spaces, walkways, and similar locations kept clear of cords so as not to create a hazard? [29 CFR 1926.416(b)(2)]
  9. In existing installations, is it prohibited to make changes in circuit protection so the load becomes greater than the load rating of the circuit wiring? [29 CFR 1926.416(c)]
  10. Are special insulated tools required when fuses are installed or removed with one or both terminals energized? [29 CFR 1926.416(d)]
  11. Are frayed or worn electrical cords removed from service? [29 CFR 1926.416(e)(1)]
  12. Are electric cords that are fastened with staples, hung from nails, or suspended by wire prohibited? [29 CFR 1926.416(e)(2)]

    Lockout and Tagging of Circuits

  13. Are controls properly tagged if they are deactivated during work on energized or deenergized equipment or circuits? [29 CFR 1926.417(a)]
  14. Are all equipment and circuits that are deenergized rendered inoperative with tags attached at all points where the equipment or circuit can be energized? [29 CFR 1926.417(b)]
  15. Are tags placed to identify plainly the equipment or circuits being worked on? [29 CFR 1926.417(c)]

    Wiring Design and Protection

  16. Do all 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets that are not a part of the permanent wiring of the building or structure have approved ground-fault circuit interrupters? [29 CFR 1926.404(b)(1)(ii)]Note: In place of ground-fault circuit interrupters, an assured equipment grounding conductor program can be established and implemented. The program must (a) be in writing; (b) be handled by a competent person; (c) include visual inspections each day of cord sets, attachment caps, plugs and receptacles of cord sets, and any equipment connected by cord and plug; and (d) include testing of wiring, cords, and equipment. [29 CFR 1926.404(b)(1)(iii)]
  17. Are tools that are connected by cord and plug grounded or double insulated? [29 CFR 1926.404(f)(7)(iv)]

    Wiring Methods, Components, and Equipment for General Use

  18. Is it prohibited to suspend temporary lights by their electric cords, unless cords and lights are designed for this? [29 CFR 1926.405(a)(2)(ii)(F)]
  19. Are extension cord sets that are used with portable electric tools and appliances of the three-wire type and designed for hard or extra-hard usage? [29 CFR 1926.405(a)(2)(ii)(J)]Note: Examples of hard service cords include type S, ST, SO, STO, SJ, SJO, SJT, and SJTO.