INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: CONSTRUCTION SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 4, Article 24, Section 1670 and Section 1671.2

Fall Protection in the Contsruction Industry


PROBLEM ADDRESSED BY PROPOSED ACTION

This rulemaking was developed by Board staff in response to requested proposed revisions from the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Division). In addition, this proposal contains some recommended amendments initiated by Board staff, and incorporates proposed revisions requested in Petition File No. 385, which was withdrawn. This proposal contains numerous proposed revisions to Section 1670, Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Personal Fall Restraint Systems and Positioning Devices, and Section 1671.2, Controlled Access Zones and Safety Monitoring Systems. These proposed revisions do not effect a change in the intent of the regulations, but will help to clarify the regulations and make them simpler to understand.

SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION

This proposed rulemaking action contains numerous editorial, formatting, and grammatical revisions. These non-substantive revisions are not all discussed in this Specific Purpose and Factual Basis of Proposed Action. However, these proposed revisions are clearly indicated in the regulatory text in underline and strikeout format. In addition to these non-substantive revisions, the following actions are proposed:

Section 1670. Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Personal Fall Restraint Systems and Positioning Devices.

Existing Section 1670 contains requirements pertaining to personal fall arrest systems, personal fall restraint systems and positioning devices, including but not limited to: trigger heights, use of lifelines on scaffolds, fall arrest system component criteria, use of self-retracting lifelines and lanyards, minimum lanyard breaking strength, free fall distances for personal fall arrest systems, attachment points, prohibited uses of body belts, anchorage, etc.

Subsection (a) requires employees to wear approved personal fall arrest, fall restraint or positioning systems when the work exposes the employee to a fall in excess of 7 feet from the perimeter of structures, unprotected sides and edges, leading edges, shaftways, and sloped roof surfaces steeper than 7:12 or other sloped surfaces steeper than 40 degrees not otherwise protected by other applicable safety orders within the Construction Safety Orders (CSO). A revision is proposed to add a requirement which addresses use of personal fall protection as outlined above for employees whose work exposes them to a potential fall in excess of 15 feet from roof surfaces 7:12 or less and other sloped surfaces 40 degrees or less. A revision is also proposed to add a new item to the note at the end of the subsection, which states that requirements relating to fall protection for employees working in roofing operations are provided in Section 1730 of the CSO. The proposed revisions are necessary to clarify to the employer that employees must wear appropriate fall protection not only when the roof or working surface is sloped in excess of the parameters stated above, but also when the roof/working surface is sloped less than 7:12 or 40 degrees and the fall distance exceeds 15 feet. It is also necessary to clarify that fall protection requirements specifically pertaining to roofing operations may be found in Section 1730 of the CSO. The proposed revisions are necessary to make this requirement consistent with other regulations in the CSO pertaining to structural wood framing systems (CSO Section 1716.1).

Subsection (b) contains language establishing the scope of the subsection as containing various requirements for personal fall arrest systems, including but not limited to the following: use on suspended scaffolds, use of horizontal lifelines, minimum breaking strength of lanyards, protection of lifelines, use of self-retracting lifelines, anchorages, body belts, etc. A revision is proposed to delete a reference to fall arrest systems in the first sentence of subsection (b) and replace it with the term fall protection systems and insertion of the word "applicable" between "the" and "provisions" in the first sentence. The proposed revisions are necessary to clarify to the employer that while the use of body belts with fall arrest systems is clearly prohibited, certain subsection (b) requirements apply to systems other than personal fall arrest systems and include positioning device and fall restraint systems where body belts may be used.

Subsection (b)(11)(A) limits the maximum arresting force on an employee to 900 pounds when a personal fall arrest system is used with a body belt. A revision is proposed to delete subsection (b)(11)(A), and re-letter the remaining paragraphs consistent with Title 8 format. A revision is also proposed to transfer the maximum 900 pound arresting force requirement to subsection (b)(13), which pertains only to body belts, to the most appropriate section within 1670. In addition, language specifying the location of the attachment point of the anchor ends of lanyards in relation to the employee’s waist is proposed to be added to proposed subsection (b)(11)(B). The proposed revision is necessary to clearly indicate to employers that body belts are not part of a fall arrest system and to ensure employees do not receive serious abdominal injury created by wearing a body belt in a free fall, rather than a body harness designed to evenly distribute the fall arrest forces throughout the body.

Revisions are proposed to delete the parenthetical reference to personal fall arrest and positioning device systems in subsection (b)(13) and relocate language pertaining to the 900 pound maximum arresting force transferred from subsection (b)(22)(A).  A revision is also proposed to clarify that the 900 pound maximum arresting force pertains to body belts used in conjunction with fall restraint systems or positioning devices.   The proposed revision is necessary to improve clarity in the language of this subsection, which is intended to stress body belts, harnesses, and components are not to be used for hoisting and hauling.

A revision is proposed to delete subsection (b)(14) which pertains to impact loading tests and the removal from service of equipment which does not pass the test, and to re-letter remaining subsection (b) regulations consistent with Title 8 format. The proposed revision is necessary to eliminate language which is duplicated in Section 1670(h), and an impact loading requirement which is already addressed by an existing in-service loading requirement contained in Section 1670.

Subsection (b)(18) pertains to a requirement prohibiting the attachment of personal fall arrest systems to guardrails or hoists except as specified within these Orders, unless the guardrail is capable of safely supporting the load. A revision is proposed to renumber the subsection to (b)(17) and restructure the sentence to read "Personal fall arrest systems shall not be attached to hoists, except as specified in these Orders, nor shall they be attached to guardrails, unless the guardrail is capable of safely supporting the load. This revision is necessary to improve clarity within the subsection.

Subsection (c) contains requirements for positioning device systems and addresses methods of rigging, inspecting and using positioning device system components. A revision is proposed to delete subsection (c)(3), which states body belts, harnesses and components shall be used only for employee protection (as part of a personal fall arrest system or positioning device system) and not to hoist materials. The proposed revision is necessary to eliminate an incorrect reference to body belt use in conjunction with fall arrest systems, and to eliminate duplication of proposed new subsection (b)(13).

Subsection (e) requires the anchor end of the lanyard to be secured at a level not lower than the employee’s waist and limiting the fall distance to a maximum of 4 feet. A revision is proposed consisting of deletion of language in subsection (e) pertaining to a maximum 4 foot free fall distance and relocation of the remaining requirement to proposed subsection 1670(b)(11)(B). The proposed revision is necessary to eliminate language duplicated and already addressed elsewhere in proposed Section 1670(b)(11)(B).

Existing subsection (f) requires lanyards to be secured to a substantial member of the structure or to securely rigged lines using energy absorbing devices or methods. A revision is proposed to delete language in existing subsection (f), pertaining to the use of energy absorbing devices. The proposed revision is necessary to improve clarity by removing a technical inconsistency regarding the use of energy absorbing devices and anchorage methods already addressed in Section 1670(b)(11).

Existing subsection (i) requires any lanyard, safety belt or lifeline subjected to in-service loading to be removed from service and not used again to safeguard employees. A revision is proposed to add language pertaining to harnesses, droplines, lifelines or other components and adding references to the ANSI A10.14 and Z359.1-1992 standards as an incorporation by reference in the "Note" to existing subsection (i). The proposed revisions are necessary to clarify to the employer the types of components that are subject to in-service loading, which loading tests apply and where they are to be found.

Section 1671.2 (b). Safety Monitoring Systems.

Existing subsection (b)(1) contains requirements addressing requirements for safety monitors and requires the employer to designate a competent person to perform those duties which include: being competent to recognize hazards, warning unaware employees about fall hazards, communication, visual observation, etc. A revision is proposed to allow the safety monitor to be within visual sighting by adding the phrase "where practicable" in paragraph (C), and to clarify that the monitor shall always be in communication with the employee being monitored. The proposed revisions are necessary to consolidate existing subsections (C) and (D) into one subsection (C), which will eliminate duplication in these orders, and permit the safety monitor to be within visual sighting when it is possible to do so, but to always be in communication with the employee being monitored.

DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

  1. Memorandum from Michael J. Manieri, Senior Engineer, OSHSB to Mel Davis, Principal Engineer, dated April 1, 1998 concerning OSHSB Petition File No. 385, Rudolph and Sletten.
  2. Facsimile transmittal from Rudolph and Sletten, Mr. Don Marquis, concerning the withdrawal of OSHSB Petition File No. 385.
  3. Letter dated April 3, 1998 from the OSHSB to the Petitioner, OSHSB Petition File No. 385 concerning acknowledgement of Petitioner's request to withdraw Petition File No. 385, thus closing the file.
  4. Facsimile transmittal from Mr. Don Marquis, Rudolph and Sletten (petitioner), dated March 12, 1998, thus constituting the Petition File No. 385 request.
  5. Memorandum dated May 15, 1998 from the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Division) and attached Cal/OSHA 9 regarding CSO Section 1670(a).
  6. Memorandum dated April 27, 1998 from the Division, and attached Cal/OSHA Form 9’s, regarding CSO Sections, 1670(a),(c),(b),(d),(e),(m) and Section 1676(l) and (i), Section 1691(c) and Section 1698(b).

These documents are available for review during normal business hours at the Standards Board Office located at 2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 350, Sacramento, California.

DOCUMENTS INFORPORATED BY REFERENCE

  1. American National Standard (ANSI) A10.14-1975, American National Standard-Requirements for Safety belts, Harnesses, lanyards, Lifelines, and Drop Lines for Construction and Demolition Use.
  2. ANSI A10.14-1991, American National Standard-Requirements for Construction and Demolition Operations-Requirements for Safety Belts, Harnesses, Lanyards and lifelines for Construction and Demolition Use.
  3. ANSI Z359.1-1992, American National Standard-Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and components.

These documents are too cumbersome or impractical to publish in Title 8.   Therefore, it is proposed to incorporate the documents by reference.  Copies of these documents are available for review during normal business hours at the Standards Board office located at 2520 venture Oaks Way, Suite 350, 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. The proposed amendments are technical, clarifying editorial revisions which have no new or added effect upon the employer’s operations. 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 "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. The proposed amendments consist of technical and/or clarifying changes which do not have a new or added effect upon the employer with respect to his or her operations.

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.