INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: GENERAL INDUSTRY SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 7, Subchapter 7, Article 10.1, Sections 3404(b) and 3408(d)
Face and Toe Protection for Structural Firefighters


 

PROBLEM ADDRESSED BY PROPOSED ACTION

This rulemaking is being initiated to update existing outdated references to American National Standards (ANSI) relating to face shields and toe protection for structural firefighters. The existing references to ANSI Z87.1 and Z41, which pertain to eye/face protection and toe protection respectively, have been superseded by more recent editions. Currently, employers attempting to comply with Sections 3404 and 3408 cannot obtain copies of the outdated ANSI standards, since they are no longer in print. This makes ensuring conformance to these standards difficult, if not impossible. In addition, manufacturer’s of eye/face and toe protection equipment design and build their products to conform to current National Consensus Standards. Since the current editions of the ANSI standards referenced by Sections 3404 and 3408 have been in effect since 1989 through 1991, it is highly unlikely that employers would be able to purchase personal protective equipment which conforms to the outdated standards referenced in the existing regulations. The proposed amendments would become fully effective after a date to be filled in by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL).

To address the problem of older face shield equipment built to conform to the 1979 edition of the ANSI Z87.1, Board staff proposes to amend Sections 3404 and 3408 to reference the current editions of the ANSI Z87.1 and Z41 standards. The proposed amendments to Section 3404 contain language which "grandfathers" any face shield equipment which met the 1979 edition of the ANSI Z87.1 standards and was purchased on or before the date to be filled in by OAL as indicated above. This same language allows the employer who purchased face shields on or before the date filled in by OAL to use face shields which conform to either the old ANSI Z87.1 or the current edition. In this way employers will not face enforcement action, because they will be using newer equipment after the OAL filled in date, when all face shields purchased must conform to the current ANSI Z87.1 standard.

SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION

Section 3404. Eye and Face Protection.

Existing Section 3404 requires employers to protect the eyes and faces of firefighters exposed to injurious substances, particles, flame, heat, etc., in accordance with Section 3382. In addition to the protection required by Section 3382, and when respirator face shields do not provide adequate protection, the employer is to provide added protection by any number of various means, which may include, but are not limited to: helmet attached face shields, heat and flame resistant hoods, high collars, etc. This Section also requires all glass and plastic face shields to conform to the design criteria specified by ANSI Z87.1-1979 and also addresses face shields made of materials other than glass or plastic, minimum visibility requirements and heat resistance. Finally, this section addresses the construction and testing of firefighters’ hood and coat collars.

A revision to subsection (b) is proposed to delete the reference to the 1979 edition of the ANSI Z87.1 and create a new subsection (b)(1) to address the use of face shields purchased after October 1, 1999 and requiring them to meet specific criteria contained in the ANSI Z87.1-1989 with revision Z87.1a-1989. Further revisions are proposed to create a new subsection (b)(2) to address face shields purchased on or before a date to be filled in by OAL and permitting them to meet either the ANSI Z87.1-1979 or 1989 with revision Z87.1a-1989. In both cases the updated ANSI reference is proposed for incorporation by reference.

The proposed revisions are necessary to ensure that firefighters are provided with face shields that provide improved safe performance as a result of state-of-the-art face shield design criteria which will be effective in preventing serious injury to the face and eyes from sparks, heat, fire, etc.

Section 3408. Foot Protection.

This section establishes requirements for the design, and use of foot protection by structural firefighters including, but not limited to: wearing foot protection as a part of a firefighter’s clothing ensemble, criteria for turnout boots, use of slip resistant outersoles, sole penetration criteria, midsole design, ankle support, use of lockable, corrosion-resistant fasteners, etc.

Subsection (d)(6) requires employers to provide toe protection meeting the requirements of  ANSI Z41-1983, classification 75.

A revision is proposed to delete the existing ANSI reference, and replacing it with ANSI Z41-1991 standard which is proposed for incorporation by reference.

The proposed revision is necessary to ensure that firefighters are protected from foot injuries resulting from crushing, penetrating blows, which could result in a serious injury (e.g., fractures).

 DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

1.    ANSI Z41-1991, "American National Standard for Personal Protection--Protective Footwear."

2.    ANSI Z41-1983, "American National Standard for Personnel Protection--Protective Footwear."

3.    ANSI Z87.1-1989, "American National Standard Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face    
       Protection."

4.    ANSI Z87.1a-1989 revision, "American National Standard Practice for--Occupational and Educational Eye and          Face Protection Supplement to."

5.    ANSI Z87.1-1979, "American National Standard Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face             
       Protection."

These documents are available for review during normal business hours at the Standards Board Office located at 1300 I Street, Suite 920, Sacramento, California.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

1.    ANSI Z41-1991, "American National Standard for Personal Protection--Protective Footwear."

2.    ANSI Z87.1-1989, "American National Standard Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face    
       Protection."

3.    ANSI Z87.1a-1989 revision, "American National Standard Practice for--Occupational and Educational Eye and          Face Protection Supplement to."

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 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.

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. This is because there are no state agencies which perform structural firefighting operations.

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 proposal will affect private fire brigades employed by the private sector as in-house firefighting services. Since the proposal only involves updating of ANSI standards that have been out of date as far back as 1979 (e.g., ANSI Z87.1) it is highly likely that employers already use face shields and toe protection which conforms to the updated ANSI standards. Therefore, staff believes fiscal impact will be insignificant.

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 (see the above explanation in "Impact On Businesses").

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."

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 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.