EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
APPEALS BOARD

Summary of Sacramento Municipal Utility District - DAR


An employee elevated himself 50-55' in the basket of an aerial device. The wheels of the aerial device were on slightly sloped ground. The outriggers were not extended in accord with the manufacturer's instructions. The aerial device fell over. A foreman was in the immediate vicinity. He was helping other employees and did not, but could have, seen that the outriggers were not extended. The Board upheld a serious violation of section 3645(b) [aerial device on slope must be stabilized]. Employer's argument that section 3645(b) applies only to elevating work platforms because section 3645(a) does, was rejected by the Board. The limitation was not specifically stated in section 3645(b) and the scheme of Article 24 implies coverage. The Standards Board didn't specify the threshold percent of the slope for section 3645(b) to apply. The Appeals Board won't usurp the Standards Board's authority by setting one. A serious violation of section 3328(a) [operating equipment with unsafe loads] was also upheld. The stability of an aerial device depends on the load and slope. The manufacturer required extension of the outriggers when the basket was elevated. That and the Division compliance officer's testimony that the basket was elevated to 50-55' was sufficient to prove the device was operated under load conditions that endangered employees.

SACRAMENTO MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT  - 96-R2D1-4003
December 21, 2000