A description of the proposed changes are as follows:

1. TITLE 8: GENERAL INDUSTRY SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 7, Article 2, Sections 3210 and 3388; and
TITLE 24: CALIFORNIA BUILDING CODE
Part 2, Section 509.7
Guardrails/Fall Protection At Elevated Locations (Non-Construction)
INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

INFORMATIVE DIGEST OF PROPOSED ACTION/PLAIN ENGLISH OVERVIEW

In addition to the following substantive amendments to existing Title 8 regulations, this proposal contains minor non-substantive editorial revisions including relettering or renumbering the regulations to be consistent with Title 8 and Title 24 formats. These proposed non-substantive revisions are not all discussed in the Informative Digest. However, these proposed revisions are clearly indicated on the regulatory text in underline and strike-out format.

Section 3210. Elevated Locations.
Existing Section 3210 defines the requirements when guardrails and toeboards are required on elevated locations such as roof openings, open sides of landings, platforms, runways, etc., that are more than 30 inches above the floor, ground, or other working areas. The existing section also has a number of exceptions to the requirements of the regulation for various elevated locations. An amendment is proposed for the title of this section to add wording that will have the effect of clarifying the content of Section 3210.

Subsection (a)
Existing subsection (a) is a building standard. Amendments are proposed in subsection (a) to make it clear to the code user that subsection (a) is a building standard and the requirements in the subsection pertain only to elevated work locations of buildings. The proposed amendments will have the effect of clarifying for the code user that this subsection pertains only to buildings. A similar amendment is proposed in Title 24, Part 2, Section 509.7, to clarify that the regulation pertains to elevated work locations.

Existing Section 3210(a) of the GISO contains 15 exceptions to the requirements for guardrails and toeboards at elevated locations. The proposal clarifies that subsection (a) pertains only to buildings. Therefore, existing exceptions No. 7 (portable platforms/workstands) and No. 14 (flumes) are proposed for relocation to new subsection (b) which will contain exceptions for elevated locations that are not building related. The relocation of these subsections will have no effect upon the regulated public. Since it is not building related, exception No. 7 of Section 509.7 in Title 24, Part 2, is proposed for repeal to be consistent with the proposed amendments to Section 3210 of the GISO.

Existing Section 3210(a), exception No. 11 (proposed as No. 10), provides that on outside plaza, patio, and garden areas, the Division may permit alternate means of protection if the same degree of safety is provided. An amendment is proposed for this exception indicating that alternate means of protection "are acceptable" if the same degree of safety is provided. The effect of this revision will permit affected parties to plan for acceptable alternative means of protection during design, construction, or remodeling of these areas. A similar amendment is proposed for exception No. 11 (proposed as No. 10) of Section 509.7 in Title 24, Part 2, to be consistent with the proposed amendments to Section 3210 of the GISO.

Existing Section 3210(a), exception No. 12 (proposed as No. 11), is an exemption from the requirements of subsection (a) for elevated locations used infrequently by employees if the employees using them are protected by approved safety belts and lanyards. However, federal OSHA as well as recent amendments in Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders prohibit the use of safety belts for fall arrest (free fall) protection effective January 1, 1998. In order to address this, amendments are proposed that will allow employees to be protected by a fall restraint/fall arrest system used in accordance with Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders. The effect of this amendment will be that safety belts will be prohibited for use in fall arrest/free fall situations after January 1, 1998. However, safety belts will still be permitted for use as a fall restraint or positioning device. A similar amendment is proposed for exception No. 12 (proposed as No. 11) of Section 509.7 in Title 24, Part 2, to be consistent with the proposed amendments to Section 3210 of the GISO.

New Subsection (b)
Existing subsection (b) is lettered as subsection (c) in the proposal and is discussed further below in this document.

A new subsection (b) is proposed with language similar to that of existing subsection (a) to provide the requirements for guardrails and toeboards when necessary for the unprotected sides of other elevated locations that are not building structures. Consequently, since proposed subsection (b) does not pertain to building structures, there is no need for a Title 24, California Building Code regulation. The proposed regulation will require that the sides of elevated locations where an employee is exposed to falls of 4 feet or more be provided with guardrails and toeboards or other means of fall protection.

While existing subsection (a) is a building standard, the Division also uses it to require guardrails at other elevated locations that are not building structures. For consistency with California Building Code requirements, existing subsection (a) requires guardrails for protection at the open sides of elevated locations more than 30 inches in height. The effect of proposed subsection (b) will clarify that for elevated locations and structures which are not buildings, guardrails and toeboards will be required at 4 feet instead of 30 inches.

Proposed subsection (b) has nine exceptions. Proposed exceptions Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 5 pertain to runways for servicing machinery, loading or storage platforms, and infrequently used elevated locations. These exceptions are applicable to both subsection (a) for buildings and subsection (b) for other elevated locations, and they are included in both proposed subsections. Exceptions Nos. 4 and 6 in proposed subsection (b) pertaining to portable platforms/workstands and flumes, respectively, are relocated from subsection (a) because they do not pertain to buildings structures. These exceptions will have no effect upon the regulated public other than to provide consistency to Section 3210 where exceptions are applicable to both building and non-building requirements at the unprotected sides of elevated locations.

Proposed exceptions Nos. 7, 8 and 9 address concerns where guardrail protection or other equivalent means of fall protection are not feasible in certain aircraft operations or on mobile vehicles/equipment because of the design or work processes involved. Proposed exception No. 8 will exempt aircraft wheel-well work from the requirements of subsection (b) when the design of wheel-wells prohibits the use of guardrails or fall protection equipment/devices. The effect of exceptions Nos. 7 and 9 will permit the use of sufficient steps and/or handholds to mitigate the hazard of falls from mobile vehicles/equipment where the design or work processes make guardrails impractical.

Subsection (c)
Existing subsection (b), proposed as subsection (c), provides that where guardrails are impracticable due to machinery requirements or work processes, an alternate means of protecting employees from falling, such as nets, shall be used. Language is proposed to indicate that the option of providing alternate means of protecting employees applies to both subsection (a) for buildings and subsection (b) for other elevated locations. The proposed amendments are for consistency and clarity in the requirements of the regulation and will have no effect upon the regulated public.

Section 3388. Safety Belts and Life Lines.
Existing Section 3388 states that safety belts shall be of approved type before being used by employees. It also provides strength requirements for life lines. Section 3388 is proposed for repeal. The proposed amendments to Section 3210 will reference that fall restraint/fall arrest systems be used in accordance with the requirements in Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders, Fall Protection. The repeal of this section will have no effect upon the regulated public.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

None.