The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Board) received a memorandum dated April 21, 2000 with attached Form 9, from the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Division) requesting the Board to amend Section 3340 to include specific requirements for the use and design of warning signs in general industry. The Division noted that Section 3340 addresses the use and design of various types of environmental and safety signs such as danger signs, caution signs, etc., but does not specifically address the use of warning signs. Warning signs are used to warn employees of potentially hazardous situations that could result in death or serious injury. The Division’s Form 9 request was initiated by a phone call from a crane certifier who noted the absence of a warning sign requirement in the General Industry Safety Orders (GISO) and sought guidance from the GISO as to what type of sign is required to warn crane operators about contact with high voltage overhead conductors.
The Division recommended Section 3340 be amended to include specific language to address the use and design of warning signs, employee instruction, and approval in accordance with GISO Section 3206. The Division recommended regulatory language based on American National Standard (ANSI) Z535.2-1991 that addresses the design and use of warning signs in general industry.
In the course of Board staff’s review of the Division’s Form 9 request, staff learned that there is a more recent version of the ANSI Z535.2 standard mentioned in the Division’s memorandum. Board staff’s proposal is based on the ANSI Z535.2-1998 requirements and specifications for warning signs which provide for two types of warning signs that are acceptable for use in the workplace. Board staff consulted with the Division on this deviation from their proposal and they found it to be acceptable.
The remainder of the proposed amendments to Sections 3340(c) and (d) consist of non-substantive editorial revisions to ensure consistency with existing Title 8 numerical format.
SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION
To rectify the problem discussed above, Board staff proposes to amend Sections 3340(c) and (d) of the GISO to add specific requirements addressing the use/application, design, employee instruction and approval as defined in Section 3206 for warning signs based on American National Standard (ANSI) Z535.2-1998 standard for Environmental and Facility Safety Signs.
Section 3340. Accident Prevention Signs.
This section contains general industry requirements pertaining to the design, application and use of signs or symbols to define and alert employees to potential or real hazards within the workplace and include specific requirements addressing: visibility, definitions, classification according to use for warning signs, danger signs, biological hazards and slow-moving vehicles.
Subsection (c) Classification of signs according to use.
Subsection (c) specifies use and employee instruction in sign meaning for danger and caution signs and use requirements only for general safety and biological hazard signs.
A revision is proposed to add new subsections (2)(A) and (B) containing specific language addressing the use of warning signs and employee instruction in the meaning of a warning sign.
The proposed revision is necessary to clearly indicate to the employer when it is appropriate to use a warning sign and requires employers to instruct employees in the meaning of a warning sign. The proposed revisions are also necessary to ensure employees will be warned of potential hazards in the workplace that could expose them to serious injury or death.
Subsection (d) Sign design.
Subsection (d) specifies the design of safety signs and contains requirements addressing the shape, color, and graphics, etc. for danger, caution, general safety signs, slow-moving vehicle emblem and biological hazard signs.
A revision is proposed to add new subsections (3)(A-C) to address two acceptable designs for warning signs based on the ANSI Z535.2-1998 standard. The proposed revision requires all warning signs to be approved per Section 3206 of the GISO.
The proposed revisions are necessary to clearly indicate to the employer the two types of warning sign designs that are acceptable in accordance with established national consensus standards and that the design selected must be approved as provided under Section 3206 of the GISO.
1. Memorandum from John Howard, Chief, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, to the Standards Board dated April 21, 2000 with attached Form 9 request.
2. American National Standard, Environmental and Facility Safety Signs, ANSI Z535.2-1998.
These documents are available for review Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Standards Board Office located at 2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 350, Sacramento, California.
REASONABLE ALTERNATIVES THAT WOULD LESSEN ADVERSE
IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESSES
No adverse impact on small businesses is anticipated from the implementation of the proposed amendments. Therefore, no reasonable alternatives were identified by the Board and no reasonable alternatives identified by the Board or otherwise brought to its attention would lessen the impact on small businesses.
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 action (see the explanation in “Identified Alternatives That Would Lessen Adverse Impact On Small Businesses”).
Impact on Housing Costs
The Board has made an initial determination that this proposal will not significantly affect housing costs.
Impact on Businesses
The Board has made an initial determination that this proposal will not result in a significant, statewide adverse economic impact directly affecting businesses, including the ability of California businesses to compete with businesses in other states.
Cost Impact on Private Persons or Entities
The Board is not aware of any cost impacts that a representative private person or business would necessarily incur in reasonable compliance with the proposed action. The proposal consists of technical clarifying revisions of existing regulations with no new or added affect.
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.”
Other Nondiscretionary Costs or Savings Imposed on Local Agencies
This proposal does not impose nondiscretionary costs or savings on local agencies.
The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has determined that the proposed regulations do not impose a local mandate. Therefore, reimbursement by the state is not required 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, the 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 standards.
The Board has determined that the proposed amendments may affect small businesses.
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.
No reasonable alternatives have been identified by the Board or have otherwise been identified and brought to its attention that would be more effective in carrying out the purpose for which the action is proposed or would be as effective and less burdensome to affected private persons than the proposed action.