INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: GENERAL INDUSTRY SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 7, Article 1, Section 3207 and Article 24, Sections 3642 and 3648
HIGH VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 5, Article 36, Section 2940.7
Use of Body Belts, Safety Belts, and Body Harnesses While Operating Aerial Devices; and Guardrails for Elevating Work Platform Equipment


PROBLEM ADDRESSED BY PROPOSED ACTION

Federal OSHA adopted construction regulations in 29 CFR 1926, Subpart M, which prohibit the use of body belts/safety belts for fall arrest protection after January 1, 1998. However, the use of body belts/safety belts for "personal fall restraint systems" or as part of a "positioning device system" is still permitted by federal/OSHA. California has adopted similar fall protection regulations in Title 8, Construction Safety Orders, Article 24. With respect to employees working in aerial devices, there has been some confusion among the regulated public as to whether body belts/safety belts are still permitted for use in the basket or bucket of aerial devices. Additionally, some employers are under the impression that body harnesses must be used as fall protection for employees working in the bucket or basket of aerial devices. A petition to amend regulations pertaining to fall protection devices while working in aerial devices was submitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Board). The petition (File No. 380) essentially requested the Board to consider amendments that would clarify how body belts or safety harnesses are to be used, when working in an aerial device. An advisory committee was convened to consider the Petitioner’s proposed amendments.

This proposal clarifies the requirements for the use of safety belts, body belts and body harnesses while working in aerial devices. Fall protection definitions used in this rulemaking are also proposed for addition to the General Industry Safety Orders (GISO), Section 3207, Definitions.

Additionally, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Division) requested that the GISO, Section 3642, Platform Equipment, be amended with respect to the height of guardrails for consistency with American National Standard Institute/Scaffold Industry Association (ANSI/SIA) applicable standards. Therefore, amendments are proposed for elevating work platform equipment (i.e. scissor lifts) with respect to the height of guardrails.

SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION

Section 3207. Definitions.

Section 3207 contains definitions for the General Industry Safety Orders (GISO). The proposal adds the following related to fall protection: personal fall arrest system, personal fall protection system, personal fall restraint system and positioning device system. It is necessary to add these terms to Section 3207 to ensure the terms used within the regulations are understood by the regulated public.

Section 3642. Platform Equipment.

Section 3642 pertains to elevating work platform equipment such as manual or self-propelled integral chassis aerial platforms having a platform that cannot be positioned completely beyond the base (i.e. scissor lifts). This equipment is used to elevate personnel, along with their necessary tools to work locations. The existing title of this section is "Platform Equipment." Language is proposed for the title of this section to read "Elevating Work Platform Equipment." The proposed amendment is necessary to clarify that the section pertains to platform equipment for elevating personnel.

Subsection (a)(1)

Existing subsection (a)(1) contains the guardrail height requirements for elevating platform equipment and requires that guardrails be no less than 38 inches or more than 45 inches. Additionally, where the guardrails are less than 42 inches, the existing language requires employees to wear a safety belt and lanyard so secured that the employee cannot free fall more than 4 feet. A minor editorial revision is proposed to delete the numerical reference "(1)" in subsection (a)(1) because there is no number (2). It is unnecessary and could be confusing.

An amendment is proposed that will require guardrails to be 42 inches high, plus or minus 3 inches. This amendment is necessary so that guardrail height requirements are consistent with American National Standards Institute/Scaffold Industry Association (ANSI/SIA) standards for this equipment (ANSI/SIA-1990 for Manually Propelled Elevating Aerial Platforms). Elevating work platform equipment is manufactured according to applicable ANSI/SIA standards. Therefore, this amendment will not require design modifications of guardrails.

Additionally, the proposal deletes existing language that states, where the guardrail is less than 42 inches high, the employee shall wear a safety belt so secured that the employee cannot free fall more than 4 feet. New language is proposed that will require where the guardrail is less than 39 inches high, an approved fall protection system shall be used in accordance with the requirements of proposed Section 3648(o).

Federal/OSHA has adopted fall protection standards for the construction industry in 29 CFR 1926, Subpart M, which prohibits the use of safety belts or body belts for fall arrest systems. However, these devices can be used in personal fall restraint systems or as part of a positioning device system that limits free fall to no more than 2 feet. When a fall arrest system is used, federal/OSHA limits the free fall to a maximum of 6 feet. The requirements for fall protection devices contained in referenced Section 3648(o)(1), (o)(2), and (o)(3) are similar to those contained in federal/OSHA and California’s fall protection standards for construction. The amendment referencing Section 3648(o) is necessary to clarify the requirements for the use of fall protection devices (i.e. safety belts, body belts, and body harnesses) when walking from elevating work platform equipment and to ensure these requirements are consistent with construction related fall protection standards and the GISO, Section 3648.

Section 3648. Operating Instructions (Aerial Devices).

Subsection (o)

Existing Section 3648 contains the operating instructions for aerial devices. Existing subsection (o) requires employees while in an elevated aerial device to be secured to the boom, basket or tub through the use of a safety belt, body belt or safety harness. New subsections (o)(1), (o)(2), and (o)(3) are proposed to describe when and how safety belts, body belts or body harnesses are to be used. The existing regulation already permits the use of these devices for fall protection. The proposal merely sets forth the requirements for the use of these fall protection devices and is necessary for consistency with the requirements for construction fall protection standards, as discussed above in the proposed changes to Section 3642.

Section 2940.7. Mechanical Equipment (High Voltage Electrical Safety Orders).

Subsection (b)

Existing subsection (b)(4)(A) requires that employees in aerial lift equipment shall be "belted" to the lift equipment when in an elevated position. Proposed language will require that employees be "secured" to the lift equipment by the use of fall protection devices such as a safety belt, body belt or body harness. The term "belted" implies that a body harness cannot be used while operating an aerial device, which is not the case. The proposed change to use the term "secured" is necessary for consistency with proposed subsection (b)(4)(D). New proposed subsections (b)(4)(B) through (D) contain the requirements for the use of fall protection devices. The proposed changes to these subsections are verbatim to those of proposed Sections 3648(o)(1), (o)(2), and (o)(3). The proposed changes in new subsections (b)(4)(B) through (D) are necessary for consistency with Section 3648(o) and are discussed above under the proposed changes for Section 3648.

Additional existing language in subsection (b)(4)(A) discusses climbing in or out of a work basket or work platform with railings. A minor editorial revision renumbers this language as new subsection (b)(5)(A). The remaining subsections in subsection (b) are then appropriately renumbered.

DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

1. Letter from Steven D. Claypool, Petitioner, dated June 30, 1997.
2. Division Evaluation Report of Petition File No. 380, dated August 26, 1997.
3. OSH Standards Board’s Petition Decision File No. 380, dated November 13, 1997.
4. American National Standards Institute/Scaffold Industry Association (ANSI/SIA) standard,ANSI/SIA A92.3-1990, for Manually Propelled Elevating Aerial Platforms.
5. American National Standards Institute/Scaffold Industry Association (ANSI/SIA) standard,ANSI/SIA A92.6-1990, for Self-Propelled Elevating Work Platforms.

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
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. (Also, see the heading below "Specific Technology or Equipment").

SPECIFIC TECHNOLOGY OR EQUIPMENT

This proposal will not mandate the use of specific technologies or equipment. The existing regulations already permit the use of safety belts, body belts and safety harnesses for fall protection while working in aerial lift equipment. The proposal provides technical and clarifying language as to how these devices shall be used consistent with federal/OSHA and California Title 8 fall protection standards related to construction. California employers are with few exceptions already using safety belts, body belts and safety harnesses in conformance with the requirements in the proposal. In a recent advisory committee of affected parties and industries related to this proposal, it was determined in the committee deliberations that the proposal would not result in any significant cost impact for California employers.

Additionally, proposed amendments to GISO, Section 3642, Platform Equipment will bring the guardrail height requirements in conformance with ANSI/SIA standards for elevating work platform equipment. Elevating work platform equipment is manufactured according to applicable ANSI/SIA standards. Therefore, this amendment will not require design modifications for guardrails.

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. (Also, see the heading above "Specific Technology or Equipment").

Impact on Housing Costs

The proposal will not significantly affect housing costs.

Impact on Businesses

This 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. (Also, see the heading above "Specific Technology or Equipment").

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.

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 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 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 action is proposed or would be as effective and less burdensome to affected private persons than the proposed action.