Powering Strong Communities

Safety Manual

The American Public Power Association (APPA) and the Safety Manual Revision Task Force (SMRT) welcome your feedback in development of the 18th edition of the APPA Safety Manual. If you wish to submit a change for the 18th Edition Safety Manual (to be published in 2028), please use this form. All proposed changes will be considered by the Safety Manual Revision Task Force.

The American Public Power Association’s Safety Manual is the premier source for safety compliance information for your utility.

Revised in 2022, the Safety Manual for an Electric Utility, 17th Edition promotes a safe and injury-free environment for your employees. This edition includes the NESC 2023 updates. Revisions and additions have been made across all sections of the manual: Definitions, General Rules (section 1), Health and Environmental Control (section 2), Chemical and Physical Hazard Control (section 3), Personal Protective Equipment (section 4), Electric Utility Operations (section 5). New material includes extensive new content on radio frequency (RF) safety, aerial lift device operation and required training, a new section to cover the specifics of system switching, and a new section with detailed content related to grounding. The manual conforms to or exceeds OSHA and NESC requirements.


  • Employee Training and Job Briefings
  • Required Employee Training
  • Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (including clothing)
  • Work on Energized and deenergized cables
  • Metering
  • Communications Worker Safety, including RF safety
  • System switching safety requirement
  • Overhead, Underground, Substation and Secondary/Metering grounding details

A must read for:

  • Field personnel including; Journeyman and Apprentice Lineworkers, Meter personnel, and Communications personnel
  • Operations Professionals
  • Safety Professionals

The manual is steeply discounted for members. APPA works with the Safety Manual Revision Task Force (SMRT Force) to update the manual every 4 to 5 years to reflect important changes in industry as well as NESC and OSHA standards. The 17th edition of the Safety Manual was released in February 2023 and incorporates amendments to federal regulations 29 CFR 1910.137 and 29 CFR 1910.269.

To ensure correct implementation of material presented in the Safety Manual, the task force welcomes your questions. If you have any questions on the new Safety Manual, you can submit an interpretation request. Address only one topic per request. Should you have questions on multiple topics, then submit a separate request for each topic. Please allow up to four weeks for your request to be processed.