INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: Chapter 4, Subchapter 7, Article 2,
Sections 3219 and 3225(a) of the General Industry Safety Orders
Exit Maintenance and Access


PROBLEM ADDRESSED BY PROPOSED ACTION

Section 3219(a) contains a requirement pertaining to the maintenance of all workplace exits in a manner which will provide unobstructed access to full, instant use in case of fire or other emergency. Also, Section 3225(a) contains regulatory information addressing the issue of ready access to exits. These two regulations are separate but contain similar requirements located at two different locations in the General Industry Safety Orders. In the interest of improving the clarity of Title 8 regulations, Board staff proposes to consolidate Section 3219(a) into Section 3325(a). Section 3219 is proposed for revision to accurately reflect the contents of the remaining requirement which has nothing to do with the maintenance of exits per se, but rather the maintenance of workplace fire protection equipment and related systems including periodic testing to ensure reliability in case of a fire emergency.

In addition, Board staff proposes to delete the reference to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) pamphlets for replacement by a reference to Title 19 regulations which addresses fire protection issues. This proposed revision is necessary for to eliminate conflict between Title 8 and Title 19 and be consistent with the local jurisdiction fire protection entities who enforce the California Fire Code which is based upon the Uniform Fire Code (UFC).

SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION

The proposal consists of the relocation of the exit requirement in Section 3219(a) as new Section 3225(a)(1) and the revision of the Section 3219 title to accurately reflect the remaining regulatory content pertaining to maintenance of fire protection equipment. Editorially, both subsection letter designations in Section 3219 are proposed for deletion.

The proposed revisions are as follows:

Section 3219. Maintenance of Exits.
This section consists of two separate requirements, subsections (a) and (b), which concern maintenance of exits free of obstructions so that they provide full, instant use in case of fire, and a separate regulation pertaining to maintaining all fire protection equipment in a manner which will ensure its reliability including periodic inspections.

Revisions are proposed to rename the section title "Maintenance of Fire Protection Equipment, Materials and Assemblies", consistent with the regulatory information in subsection (b), deletion of subsection (a) in its entirety, to be relocated to Section 3325(a), and the deletion of the subsection (b) letter designation.

The proposed revisions are necessary to clearly indicate to the employer the location of the remaining regulatory requirement contained in subsection (b). Relocation of subsection (a) and wording to Section 3325(a) is necessary to provide clarity to the employer who is seeking the related Title 8 access requirements.

In addition, Board staff proposes to delete reference to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) pamphlets for replacement by a reference to Title 19 regulations which address fire protection issues. This proposed revision is necessary for to eliminate conflict between Title 8 and Title 19 and be consistent with the local jurisdiction fire protection entities who enforce the California Fire Code which is based upon the Uniform Fire Code (UFC).

Section 3225. Access to Exits.
This section is subdivided into four subsections (a)-(d) which address the location and arrangement of exits in terms of their accessibility, exits from rooms opening into adjacent rooms/areas, hanging of articles such as draperies, mirrors to obscure or confuse the location of exits, and the arrangement of exits to provide a travel path away from high hazard occupancies.

Subsection (a) specifically requires exits to be located in a manner which is accessible at all times and addresses exits not immediately accessible from an open floor area. This subsection requires employees be provided with a means of reaching two exits by separate ways of travel. A revision is proposed to insert the relocated Section 3219(a) requirement described earlier after the first sentence in new Section 3225(a)(1). The relocated subsection (a) requires all exits to be maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full instant use in case of fire or other emergency. The third sentence has also been numbered as new subsection (a)(2).

The proposed revisions are necessary to ensure the employer will understand clearly how exits are to be maintained in addition to knowing that they are to be located/arranged so that they are readily accessible. The proposed revisions are also necessary to ensure that the employer will be able to effectively locate and address these related access issues easily and implement them in the workplace.

DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

None.

IDENTIFIED ALTERNATIVES THAT WOULD LESSEN ADVERSE ECONOMIC IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESSES

It is anticipated that no adverse impact on small business will occur as a result of the implementation of the proposed amendments. This is because the proposed amendments merely consist of technical, clarifying revisions to existing regulations and do not impose any new or different requirements upon the regulated public. The central issue addressed by the proposed revisions is to clearly indicate to the regulated public the location of California’s general access requirements.

SPECIFIC TECHNOLOGY OR EQUIPMENT

This proposal does not mandate the use of specific technology or equipment.

COST ESTIMATES OF PROPOSED ACTION

Costs or Savings to State Agencies
No costs or savings to state agencies will result as a consequence of the proposed revisions to Sections 3219 and 3225(a). This is because the proposal imposes no new or added requirements and merely consists of technical, clarifying revisions of existing regulations.

Impact on Housing Costs
This proposal will not significantly affect housing costs.

Impact on Businesses
None (see explanation under "Costs or Savings to State Agencies").

Cost Impact on Private Persons or Entities
None (see explanation under "Costs or Savings to State Agencies").

Costs or Savings in Federal Funding to the State
The proposal will not result in costs or savings in federal funding to the State.

Costs or Savings to Local Agencies or School Districts Required to be Reimbursed
No costs to local agencies or school districts are required to be reimbursed. See explanation under "Determination of Mandate" and "Impact on Businesses."

Other Nondiscretionary Costs or Savings Imposed on Local Agencies
None. See explanation under "Costs or Savings to State Agencies" and "Impact on Businesses."

DETERMINATION OF MANDATE

The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has determined that the proposed regulations do not impose a mandate requiring reimbursement by the state pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of the Government Code because the proposed amendments will not require local agencies or school districts to incur additional costs in complying with the proposal. Furthermore, these regulations do not constitute a "new program or higher level of service of an existing program within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution."

The California Supreme Court has established that a "program" within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution is one which carries out the governmental function of providing services to the public, or which to implement a state policy, imposes unique requirements on local governments and does not apply generally to all residents and entities in the state. (County of Los Angeles v. State of California (1987) 43 Cal.3d 46.)

These proposed regulations do not require local agencies to carry out the governmental function of providing services to the public. Rather, these regulations require local agencies to take certain steps to ensure the safety and health of their own employees only. Moreover, these proposed regulations do not in any way require local agencies to administer the California Occupational Safety and Health program. (See City of Anaheim v. State of California (1987) 189 Cal. App. 3d. 1478.)

These proposed regulations do not impose unique requirements on local governments. All employers - state, local and private - will be required to comply with the prescribed standard.

PLAIN ENGLISH STATEMENT

It has been determined that the proposal does affect small business. The express terms of the proposal written in plain English have been prepared by the Board pursuant to Government Code Sections 11342(e) and 11346.2(a)(1) and is available from the agency contact person named in this Notice.

ASSESSMENT

The adoption of the proposed amendments to these regulations will neither create nor eliminate jobs in the State of California nor result in the elimination of existing businesses or create or expand businesses in the State of California.

ALTERNATIVES THAT WOULD AFFECT PRIVATE PERSONS

No alternatives considered by the Board would be more effective in carrying out the purpose for which the regulations are proposed or would be as effective and less burdensome to affected private persons than the proposed action.