INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: CONSTRUCTION SAFETY ORDERS
BULL FLOATS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 4, Article 28, Section 1698(c)

PROBLEM ADDRESSED BY PROPOSED ACTION

Bull floats are tools used to smooth the surface of freshly poured concrete. Bull float handles are typically 4 feet to 16 feet long and handle extensions are available in 4 to 8 foot sections made of wood, aluminum, magnesium or fiberglass. Section 1698(c) of the Construction Safety Orders (CSO) requires handles on bull floats to be constructed of nonmetallic and nonconductive material. The intent of this regulation is to minimize the hazard of electrical shock should a worker using a bull float come into contact with an energized conductor. However, bull floats with metal handles and metal handle extensions are widely used and sold by manufacturers in California for use on job sites where there are no exposures to energized conductors.

Some contractors prefer handles made of aluminum when there are no electrical hazards because they weigh less and are easier to extend or retract when extensions are used. Federal OSHA’s equivalent regulation to Title 8, Section 1698(c), recognizes that there are times when bull floats with metal handles are appropriate for use. Federal OSHA regulation, 29 CFR 1910.702(h) requires bull float handles used where they might contact energized conductors to be constructed of nonconductive material or to be insulated. Thus, other types of handles made of materials such as aluminum or magnesium are permitted for use when there are no electrical hazards to workers. This rulemaking proposal will amend Section 1698(c) to be consistent with federal OSHA’s equivalent regulation.

SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION

Section 1698. Concrete and Masonry Equipment.

Subsection (c)

Existing subsection (c) requires that handles on bull floats be constructed of nonmetallic and nonconductive material. Language is proposed that will require bull float handles to be made of nonconductive materials or insulated with a nonconductive sheath only when bull float handles could come into contact with energized electrical conductors. The proposal acknowledges an accepted industry practice of using bull float handles made of materials such as aluminum or magnesium on job sites where there is no exposure to energized conductors. The proposal is necessary for consistency with federal OSHA’s requirement and to permit the use of bull float handles made of materials such as aluminum which are lighter and easier to use on certain jobs where there are no exposures to energized electrical conductors.

DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

None.

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.

SPECIFIC TECHNOLOGY OR EQUIPMENT

This proposal will not mandate the use of specific technologies or equipment. The proposal permits the use of bull float handles constructed of materials such as aluminum or magnesium when there are no exposures to energized electrical conductors. These types of bull float handles are already readily available and sold in California.

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.

Impact on Housing Costs

The proposal will not significantly 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. 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 regulation does 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, the regulation does 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.)

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. All employers - state, local and private - will be required to comply with the prescribed standard.

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