General Duty Clause states that employer and employees must follow OSHA guidelines by law. This insures that employees have safe work environment. The general duty clause has been cited where federal law doesn't exist and where workers were exposed to hazardous conditions.
OSHA CFR 1910.132 states that “Protective equipment…shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact.” This regulation holds the employer responsible for providing PPE whenever such PPE can protect the employee from a known hazard: environmental, chemical, or mechanical. This standard applies to hazards beyond those posed by arc flash, a hazard faced by electric workers.
OSHA CFR 1910.335 Safeguards for personnel protection.
(a) Use of protective equipment—
(b) Personal protective equipment.
(c) Employees working in areas where there are potential electrical hazards shall be provided with, and shall use, electrical protective equipment that is appropriate for the specific parts of the body to be protected and for the work to be performed.
OSHA CFR 1910.269 was readdressed in Spring 2014 providing guideline for electrical, generation, transmission and distribution workers eliminating the label "tools of a trade" and placing FR in a PPE category, which must be provided by the employer. “This protective equipment shall cover the employee’s entire body,” except for certain exemptions for hands, feet and head protection. Previously, 1910.269 required that “…each employee who is exposed to the hazards of flames or electric arcs does not wear clothing that, when exposed to flames or electric arc, could increase the extent of the injury that would be sustained by the employee.” Under the new ruling, pants must now be provided to workers.