CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: Chapter 4, Subchapter 13, Article 9,
Section 6309(h) of the Logging and Sawmill Safety Orders
Roll-Over Protective Structures (ROPS) for Equipment Used in Logging Operations
Existing Section 6309(h) requires all equipment used in logging operations (e.g. tractors, skidders, scrapers, motor-graders, and front-end loaders) to be equipped with seat belts where ROPS are required.
The Division of Occupational Safety and Health has discovered a "loophole" in this regulation. Specifically, the regulation as it is currently written would exclude older logging equipment that have been retrofitted with ROPS from the seat belt requirement because ROPS were not required for the older pieces of equipment.
This creates a serious hazard for employees who operate older model skidders and other types of equipment which were placed in service prior to April 1, 1971 (the effective date of the ROPS requirements contained in subsection (b)) and which were technically not required to have ROPS installed. In the event a piece of equipment with ROPS rolled over on to an employee, a fatality could occur.
In drafting this rulemaking proposal, Board staff consulted with a representative of the Association of California Loggers (ACL) who stated that while the number of pre April 1, 1971 logging equipment still in service is probably small at this point in time, the ACL representative could not say conclusively that there are no older pieces of equipment still in service which are equipped with ROPS but not seat belts. For this reason, both the ACL representative who supports the proposed revision and Board staff are in agreement with the Division that amendment of subsection (h) is necessary.
The proposed revision is as follows:
Section 6309. Canopies. Rollover, Jill Poke and Overhead Guard Protection.
Existing Section 6309 contains specific requirements for various types of logging equipment addressing the following items: installation; use and specifications for canopies and ROPS; canopy visibility and design; labeling of the canopy; use of brush guards (jill poke protection); protection of openings into the canopy; use of seat belts; and, the use of forklift trucks with overhead guards in logging operations.
Subsection (h) requires use and installation of seat belts meeting the requirements of SAE J-386 on all equipment for which ROPS are required and the employees be instructed in their use. This regulation also contains a "Note" permitting the substitution of approved body belts/harnesses controlled by an inertia reel to hold the operator in place during rollover in lieu of seat belts.
A revision is proposed to delete the word "required" in subsection (h), for replacement by the term "installed." The proposed revision is necessary to clearly indicate to the employer that all logging equipment (e.g. skidders, tractors, loaders, etc.) equipped with ROPS are to be equipped with a seat belt for use by the equipment operator. The revision is also necessary to ensure no employee is crushed by the ROPS on the logging equipment if it rolls over.
The proposal is intended to eliminate an inconsistency between the existing language and accepted practice with regard to equipping logging equipment that has ROPS with seat belts. Use of seat belts whenever ROPS is installed is well accepted safety engineering practice for the protection of the equipment operator. Again, since logging equipment subject to possible rollover are designed with ROPS, manufacturer's have for the most part installed seat belts, then for overall impact of the proposal is anticipated to be insignificant.
Impact on Housing Costs
This proposal will not significantly affect housing costs.
Impact on Businesses
This proposal merely updates existing references to ANSI/ASME standards for new equipment and/or equipment recently placed in service. Those employees who use equipment which is not labeled as meeting the ANSI/ASME standards will need to provide them. Costs will be negligible in relation to the cost of the equipment (crane or derrick).
Cost Impact on Private Persons or Entities
None (see explanation under "Cost 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" above and "Impact on Businesses."
Other Nondiscretionary Costs or Savings Imposed on Local Agencies
None. See explanation under "Cost or Savings to State Agencies" and "Impact on Businesses".
The proposed regulation does not require local agencies to carry out the governmental function of providing services to the public. Rather, the regulation requires local agencies to take certain steps to ensure the safety and health of their own employees only. Moreover, the proposed regulation does 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 regulation does not impose unique requirements on local governments.