IR # 96-40
Wednesday, October 16, 1996

Rick Rice
(415) 972-8835
Rosalie Zalis
(Governor's Office)
(213) 897-0322

Agreement Forged on Regulations Governing Explosives
and Pyrotechnics in Entertainment Industry

SAN FRANCISCO -- An agreement in principle has been reached between Cal/OSHA and the Office of State Fire Marshal resolving jurisdictional issues concerning pyrotechnics and explosives used in the entertainment industry, Lloyd W. Aubry, Jr., director of the Department of Industrial Relations has announced.

Regulations governing the use of pyrotechnics and explosives in the entertainment industry are under review due to a federal requirement that the Cal/OSHA Standards Board must adopt regulations "at least as effective as" those of federal OSHA. The agreement forged by the state agencies will result in no significant departure from current enforcement and licensing procedures for the entertainment industry. Confusion arose when the initial version of the proposal that brings state regulations into conformity with federal regulations appeared to modify the jurisdictional relationship between the Office of State Fire Marshal and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).

Recognizing the disruption to industry practices in obtaining licensing, training and procedures for enforcement, the two agencies are forging an agreement clarifying their respective jurisdictions.

Governor Pete Wilson lauded this effort, saying "I have directed all state agencies to seek industry friendly solutions such as this -- the entertainment sector is key to the economic and cultural vitality of California."

According to a memorandum of understanding which is currently being negotiated between the Department of Industrial Relations (the parent agency for Cal/OSHA) and the State Fire Marshal, their roles will remain substantially the same as they have always been. Cal/OSHA will retain its mandated function of investigating workplace accidents, complaints and fatalities while the State Fire Marshal will continue with its licensing, enforcement and investigative activities. The efforts of each agency will be complementary rather than duplicative.

The memorandum of understanding governing pyrotechnics and explosives is limited to the motion picture industry. Regulations governing the use of these materials is contained in the "General Industry Safety Orders" of the California Code of Regulations.