INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: GENERAL INDUSTRY SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 7, Article 1, Section 3207;
Article 41, Section 3999(c)

Conveyor Crossovers


PROBLEM ADDRESSED BY PROPOSED ACTION

Existing Section 3999(c) of the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, General Industry Safety Orders (GISO), requires employers to provide "crossovers" on conveyors where it is necessary for employees to cross or pass over the conveyor to access another location. Existing Section 3999(c) does not define or explain what a crossover is, either in terms of performance or specification language. Hence, it is unclear to both employers and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Division) what constitutes a conveyor crossover and what methods are acceptable.

In Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board (OSHAB) Dockets 97-R1D3-963 and 964, Decision dated February 19, 1998, (which involved a horizontal live roller conveyor) an administrative law judge (ALJ) noted that there is no definition for the term "crossover" in terms of dimensions, design, or any other specification or performance criteria. This fact was important to the particular matter involving an employer who was cited by the Division for not providing adequate conveyor crossovers as required by Section 3999(c).

The employer in this case had provided crossovers referred to in the testimony as "stepping stones" or "walking pads", and continuous metal crosswalk strips. The Division took the position that the employer’s measures were inadequate because 1) they would not prevent the employee’s feet from coming into contact with moving parts of the conveyor; and 2) employees stepping from one pad or stone to the other could slip and contact the conveyor.

The ALJ concluded that the Division did not establish a violation of Section 3999(c) because the employer’s measures satisfied the requirement as presently written. This decision brought to the Division’s attention the lack of definitive language to clarify the criteria that demonstrates crossover adequacy in Title 8 and, more specifically, Section 3999(c). A definition is needed to avert future confusion and dispute over what constitutes a crossover and what performance criterion they must meet.

SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF PROPOSED ACTION

To rectify the problem discussed above, Board staff proposes amendments to Section 3207 pertaining to Definitions, and Section 3999 pertaining to Conveyors of the GISO. The amendment to Section 3207 of the GISO proposes to include a definition for the term "crossover." The proposed terminology establishes performance criterion by defining what a crossover is and must do to protect the employee, and provides some examples of acceptable conveyor crossovers for horizontal live roller and belted conveyors.

The proposed amendment to Section 3999, Conveyors, subsection (c), provides reference to the proposed Section 3207 definition. Board Staff believes these amendments will eliminate the existing confusion regarding acceptable conveyor crossovers in terms of design and performance.

FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION

Section 3207. Definitions.

This Section contains definitions for terminology generally used in regulations throughout the GISO (i.e., access, accessible, accessible location, adequate, agricultural building, etc.).

A revision is proposed to add a new definition in alphabetical order for the term "crossover" to define an acceptable crossover for horizontal live roller and belted conveyors in performance terms. The proposed definition provides examples of various types of conveyor crossovers.

The proposed definition is necessary to clarify the meaning of the term "crossover" as used in Section 3999(c).

Section 3999. Conveyors.

Existing Section 3999 contains regulations pertaining to the operation, design, use, guarding, etc. of various types of conveyors, including the use of crossovers.

Existing subsection (c) requires crossovers whenever necessary to allow employees to safely cross over hazardous conveyors.

Proposed subsection (c) will reference the proposed new definition for "crossovers" in Section 3207. In addition, the first sentence of subsection (c) contains a nonsubstantive revision to make it consistent with the proposed "crossover" definition. The term "hazardous" has been deleted to eliminate ambiguity and further clarify the regulation.

The proposed revision is necessary to clarify the term crossover in order to prevent accidental foot contact with moving or movable conveyor parts, and provide examples of acceptable crossover methods.

DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

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. This is because the proposal does not have any new or added effect upon the regulated public and the employer’s use of conveyors. The proposal is merely a technical clarification of an existing regulation. 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 action (see the explanation in "Identified Alternatives That Would Lessen Impact on Small Businesses").

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.

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. The proposal consists of merely technical clarifying revisions of existing regulations with no new or added effect.

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.

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, 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.

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 alternative 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.