INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: LOW VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL SAFETY ORDERS
MAINTENANCE OF THE OUTER COVERING OF FLEXIBLE CORDS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 5, Article 49, Section 2500.25


PROBLEM ADDRESSED BY PROPOSED ACTION

Flexible cords (cords) are widely used in all industries. These cords normally consist of multiple insulated conductors protected by an outer covering, or sheath. Age, abuse or accidents often damage the sheath exposing the conductor’s insulation. Currently, there is no specific requirement for employers to maintain the sheath unless it is likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees, in which case Section 2340.1 applies. Cords are often used with voltages that, except under extreme conditions, are not likely to cause death or serious physical harm, but may cause injuries to employees.

When the outer sheath of a cord is damaged, the conductor insulation is subject to physical damage. The insulation is designed to be an electrical barrier and can be easily damaged, exposing employees to the potential for electrical shock. To prevent this hazard, cords must be repaired or replaced whenever the conductor or insulation is exposed.

SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION

2500.25 Maintenance of Outer Sheath

A new section 2500.25 is proposed which will require employers to repair or replace cords if the outer sheath is damaged such that any conductor insulation or conductor is exposed. Repair of the outer sheath shall be permitted if the conductors are not damaged; however, the completed repair must retain the insulation, outer sheath properties, and usage characteristics of the cord being repaired. This proposal is necessary to prevent employee injury or electric shock from cords with damaged outer sheaths.

DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

IDENTIFIED ALTERNATIVES THAT WOULD LESSEN ADVERSE ECONOMIC
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.

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 amendments. The proposal merely clarifies implicit requirements in the existing Low Voltage Electrical Safety Orders. In addition, manufacturers of cords recommend that cords with damaged outer sheaths be replaced. Finally, a cord with a damaged outer sheath may deteriorate to the point of failure if not repaired, thus necessitating the need for replacement anyway.

Impact on Housing Costs

The proposal will not 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 (see "Costs or Savings to State Agencies").

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 amendment 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 amendment 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.