INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: Chapter 4, Subchapter 7, Article 20,
Section 3563 of the General Industry Safety Orders
Power Lawn Mower


PROBLEM ADDRESSED BY PROPOSED ACTION

Section 3563, Power Lawn Mowers, requires that power mowers placed in service after 1975 to be labeled as meeting the requirements of either the ANSI B71.1-1972, 1974, or 1980 national consensus standard. Since 1980, the ANSI standards pertaining to power lawn mowers have undergone several revisions in order to address new safety requirements for later model mowers. The proposal will require that power lawn mowers placed in service after the effective date of the proposal to be "approved" and ensure that later model equipment conforms to applicable governmental or nationally recognized safety standards.

SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION

Section 3563. Power Lawn Mowers
Subsection (b)

Existing subsection (b)(1) requires that power lawn mowers be designed, constructed, tested and labeled to meet the provisions of ANSI B71.1-1972 and B71.1a-1974. An editorial revision will delete language which pertains to power lawn mowers exceeding the requirements of the above referenced ANSI standards. The term "or exceed" as used in subsection (b)(1) is unnecessary and confusing because labels in general serve the purpose of stating that a product meets (not exceeds) the recommendations of a specific standard.

An additional editorial revision will move the requirements from subsection (b)(2) to (b)(1), that permits this equipment to also be labeled as meeting the requirements of ANSI B71.1-1980, Safety Specifications for Power Lawn Mowers, Lawn and Garden Tractors and Lawn Tractors. Furthermore, an effective date to be filled in by the Office of Administrative Law will be included in proposed subsection (b)(1) in order to delineate the dates when the regulation is enforceable.

New language is proposed for subsection (b)(2) that will require power mowers placed into service after the effective date of the regulation to be "approved" as defined in Section 3206 of the General Industry Safety Orders. The term "approved" in Section 3206 means that products or equipment must conform to applicable governmental or other nationally recognized standards. The term "approved" also refers to products that have been approved, listed, labeled, or certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.

The proposal is necessary to ensure that later model power mowers placed into service meet applicable national consensus safety standards such as the ANSI/OPEI B71.1-1996 and B71.4-1990 standards for consumer and commercial turf care equipment respectively. The ANSI/OPEI B71.1-1996 and B71.4-1990 standards address revised or new safety requirements for features such as mower blade stop times, product warning requirements and guarding and shielding strength requirements consistent with new manufacturing technology. Power lawn mowers are manufactured to meet the recommendations of the ANSI/OPEI B71 standards and therefore, the proposed amendments will not require employers to purchase or install new equipment or devices on new or later model year mowers.

DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

  1. American National Standard (ANSI) ANSI B71.1-1972 and B71.1a-1974, Safety Specifications for Power Lawn Mowers, Lawn and Garden Tractors, and Lawn Tractors.
  2. ANSI B71.1-1980, Safety Specifications for Power Lawn Mowers, Lawn and Garden Tractors, and Lawn Tractors.
  3. ANSI/OPEI (Outdoor Power Equipment Institute) B71.1-1996 for Consumer Turf Care Equipment, Walk-Behind Mowers and Ride-On Machines with Mowers-Safety Specifications.
  4. ANSI/OPEI B71.4-1990 for Commercial Turf Care Equipment-Safety Specifications.
These documents are available for review during normal business hours at the Standards Board Office located at 1300 "I" Street, Suite 920, Sacramento, California.

IDENTIFIED ALTERNATIVES THAT WOULD LESSEN ADVERSE ECONOMIC IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESSES

No adverse impact on small businesses is anticipated from the implementation of the proposed amendments. Therefore, no alternatives which would lessen the impact on small businesses have been identified.

SPECIFIC TECHNOLOGY OR EQUIPMENT

This proposal will not mandate the use of specific technologies 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 modifications. Also see the heading below, "Impact on Businesses".

Impact on Housing Costs
The proposal will not affect housing costs.

Impact on Businesses
The proposal will not result in a significant adverse economic impact on businesses, including the ability of California businesses to compete with businesses in other states. The proposal will require that power mowers placed in service after the effective date of the regulations to be "approved" as defined in Section 3206 of the General Industry Safety Orders. Products or equipment are considered approved if they conform to applicable governmental or other nationally recognized standards. Power lawn mowers are manufactured to meet ANSI/OPEI B71 standards and therefore, the proposal will not have a fiscal impact upon the regulated public.

Cost Impact on Private Persons or Entities
The proposal will not require private persons or entities to incur additional costs in complying with the proposal.

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 or Mandate."

Other Nondiscretionary Costs or Savings Imposed on Local Agencies
This proposal does not impose nondiscretionary costs or savings on local agencies or school districts.

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 with 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.)

The proposed regulations do not require local agencies to carry out the governmental function of providing services to the public. Rather, the regulations requires local agencies to take certain steps to ensure the safety and health of their own employees only. Moreover, the 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.)

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

PLAIN ENGLISH STATEMENT

It has been determined that the proposal may 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 the informative digest for this proposal constitutes a plain English overview.

ASSESSMENT

The adoption of the proposed amendments to this regulation 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 regulation is proposed or would be as effective and less burdensome to affect private persons than the proposed action.