Section 8. UNDERGROUND CABLES, STRUCTURES, AND ASSOCIATED
Underground Work. Comply with the requirements of OSHA standard 29 CFR
1926.269(t), "Underground Electrical Installations." Underground work may pose unique safety
problems where the work is accessible by the public or where the work has to be done in a
Underground Work Area Protection. Work area protection is the safeguarding
or protecting of pedestrians, motorists, facility workers, and equipment by the use of barriers,
warning signs, lights, flags, traffic cones, barricade rope, and flagmen. Protection is required for
approaches to work areas, excavations, open manholes, and parked equipment. An approved fire
extinguisher in good operating condition and immediately accessible for underground work is
8.2.1 Underground Work Area Protection Methods. Work area protection methods
should provide safety for workers, equipment, and the public without excessively impeding public
a. During any period in which apparatus needs to be left open and energized, a suitable
enclosure should be erected around the apparatus, or a qualified worker should be stationed at the
location, to ensure the safety of the public.
b. All temporary cable installations should be made in a manner providing safety for
workers and the public.
8.2.2 Impact of Vehicular Traffic Flow. The amount and speed of the traffic will
influence the work planning. Where work will require excavation in roads and highways, the
appropriate traffic authority should be consulted in order to maintain safe traffic flow. The public
should be warned in advance, then regulated and guided safely through or around the work area.
8.2.3 Work Space Considerations. The extent of the work and the lineup of traffic
will effect scheduling, which should be done to cause the least interference to traffic and, minimize
the possibility of accidents. Good housekeeping in the storage and equipment space necessary for
the work should always be an ongoing concern but especially wherever it impinges on public
right-of-ways. It is of the utmost importance that the work area be properly identified and that
warning devices clearly convey the appropriate message to the traveling public, well in advance of
arrival at the work area. This same good housekeeping applies to protection of workers.
8.2.4 Barricades and Warning Precautions. Traffic control requires the use of
barricades and warning precautions.