Is OSHA Targeting Data Center Safety Regulations?

Article excerpt

Staff working on the electrical components of health care facility data centers need to make sure the system is disconnected from its power source and for critical reasons.

The most obvious reason is that working on almost any electrical system that is still operating, or energized, runs the risk of serious injury or death.

The second reason is that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) appears to be taking a new approach to enforcement of that work and has issued citations and warnings in recent months, according to the OSHA Group at the law firm Epstein Becker Green. The firm has been monitoring OSHA's activity in this area.

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OSHA's electrical safety standard 29 CFR 1910.333 generally requires employers to disconnect the power source and lock out electrical supply to a circuit before work can be performed nearby. However, the OSHA standard includes an exception that says a system and its power source can remain operational because of equipment design or operational limitations, also known as the "infeasibility" exception. …