Extension Cords and Plug In are regulated by OSHA 29CFR1910.334
Yes the simple act of using extension cords and plug ins in General Industry and Construction is indeed regulated and tightly regulated at that! 29CFR1910.334 covers nearly all aspects their use. Here are a few excerpts of the regulation and how it may impact your business operations.
This paragraph applies to the use of cord- and plug-connected equipment, including flexible cord sets (extension cords).
Portable equipment shall be handled in a manner which will not cause damage. Flexible electric cords connected to equipment may not be used for raising or lowering the equipment. Flexible cords may not be fastened with staples or otherwise hung in such a fashion as could damage the outer jacket or insulation
Portable cord- and plug-connected equipment and flexible cord sets (extension cords) shall be visually inspected before use
Portable electric equipment and flexible cords used in highly conductive work locations (such as those inundated with water or other conductive liquids), or in job locations where employees are likely to contact water or conductive liquids, shall be approved for those locations.
Employees’ hands may not be wet when plugging and unplugging flexible cords and cord- and plug-connected equipment, if energized equipment is involved.
Only qualified persons may perform testing work on electric circuits or equipment.
Load rated switches, circuit breakers, or other devices specifically designed as disconnecting means shall be used for the opening, reversing, or closing of circuits under load conditions.
Cable connectors not of the load-break type, fuses, terminal lugs, and cable splice connections may not be used for such purposes, except in an emergency.
After a circuit is deenergized by a circuit protective device, the circuit may not be manually reenergized until it has been determined that the equipment and circuit can be safely energized.
The repetitive manual reclosing of circuit breakers or reenergizing circuits through replaced fuses is prohibited.
Test instruments and equipment and all associated test leads, cables, power cords, probes, and connectors shall be visually inspected for external defects and damage before the equipment is used.
If there is a defect or evidence of damage that might expose an employee to injury, the defective or damaged item shall be removed from service, and no employee may use it until repairs and tests necessary to render the equipment safe have been made.
Where flammable materials are present only occasionally, electric equipment capable of igniting them shall not be used, unless measures are taken to prevent hazardous conditions from developing. Such materials include, but are not limited to: flammable gases, vapors, or liquids; combustible dust; and ignitible fibers or flyings.