A description of the proposed changes are as follows:

1. TITLE 8: CONSTRUCTION SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 4, Article 5, Section 1538(g);
Article 20, Section 1635(b)(14); Article 23, Sections 1660(g),
1663(a)(5) and 1664(a)(12); Article 29, Sections 1710(g)(1) and (2);
and Article 30, Sections 1724(f)(1), 1730(b) NOTE, (c)(2) and (f)(2)
Fall Protection - Construction Industry
INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

INFORMATIVE DIGEST OF PROPOSED ACTION/PLAIN ENGLISH OVERVIEW

All of the following sections are proposed for revision to delete the specific reference to safety belts and lifelines/lanyards. Article 24 was revised in 1997 to be consistent with federal OSHA. In that rulemaking, safety belts will be prohibited for use as fall protection devices after January 1, 1998.

Section 1538. Rock Drilling Operations.
Subsection (g) requires workers to be provided with and use approved safety belts and life lines when performing scaling or rock drilling operations on steep slopes. This subsection also requires a positive descent control device be used for all such applications.

A revision is proposed to delete wording pertaining to the use of "approved safety belts and life lines" for replacement by the phrase "personal fall protection as described in Article 24…"

The proposed revision will require the employer to provide employees with a means of personal fall protection (i.e. fall arrest system, fall restraint system, or positioning device) as described in Article 24.

Section 1635. Floors, Walls and Structural Steel Framed Buildings.
Subsection (b) of this section pertains to multi-floor structural steel buildings and specifies construction methods, practices such as, but not limited to, securing temporary flooring, use of derricks, removal of temporary floor plank, sequence of erection, etc.

Editorial revisions are proposed to subsection (b) which will have no effect on the regulated public.

Among the various requirements is subsection (b)(14) which requires the employer to provide safety belts and nets in accordance with Article 24.

A revision is proposed to delete the term "safety belts" in subsection (b)(14) for replacement by the term "personal fall protection."

The proposed revision makes the language within Section 1635(b)(14) consistent with Article 24, thus, eliminating the confusion the employer may have regarding the use of safety belts as fall protection devices.

Section 1660. Suspended Scaffolds for Loads of 425 Pounds or Less.
Subsection (g) requires employers to protect employees from falling by requiring the use of a safety belt attached to a lanyard. This subsection also requires the lanyard to be securely attached to substantial members of the structure (not scaffold) and contains language explaining other means of secure anchorage capable of suspending the employee in case of a fall. Subsection (g) also requires the anchorage point to be changed as the work progresses.

A revision is proposed to delete language in subsection (g) referring to the use of a safety belt and lanyard for replacement by language referring the employer to the methods of personal fall protection which are in accordance with Article 24.

The proposal will clarify to the employer that personal fall protection is to be provided as stipulated in Article 24 which discusses the use of fall arrest systems, fall restraint systems, and positioning device systems.

Section 1663. Float Scaffolds.
Subsection (a) prohibits employers from supporting more than 3 employees, including light tools, on a float scaffold. This subsection specifies how a float scaffold is to be constructed unless the employer is able to substitute a design which will provide equivalent safety.

Subsection (b)(5) requires employees working from a float scaffold to wear safety belts tied to a structure as provided in Section 1670 or use safety nets as provided in Section 1671.

A revision is proposed to subsection (b)(5) which would require each employee working from a float scaffold to wear personal fall protection or use a safety net in accordance with the requirements of Article 24.

The proposed revision will require the employer to ensure and, if necessary, to provide the employee with a means of personal fall protection as stipulated in Article 24.

Section 1664. Needle-Beam Scaffold.
Subsection (a) requires needle-beam scaffolds to be designed with a factor of safety of at least 4 to support the loads to be imposed. This subsection specifically establishes minimum criteria for the strength and quality of needle-beam scaffolds as specified in the succeeding paragraphs of subsection (a).

Subsection (a)(12) requires each employee working on a needle-beam scaffold to be protected from falling by means of a safety belt and lifeline or by a safety net, in accordance with Section 1671.

A revision is proposed to delete the existing safety belt and safety net requirement including the reference to Section 1671 for replacement by language requiring the employer to conform to the fall protection requirements of Article 24.

The proposed revision will require the employer to ensure his/her employees are protected from falling through the use of personal fall arrest system, fall restrain system, or positioning device system as required in Article 24.

Section 1710. Erection of Structures.
Subsection (g) pertains to working and traveling on the skeleton steel of multi-story buildings or structures and addresses various work practice requirements for employees who conduct connecting work and work other than connecting, etc.

Subsection (g)(1) pertains to connecting work performed at the periphery or interior of a building or structure where the fall distance is more than 30 feet and requires employees to be tied-off by safety belts and lifelines to structural members of the building/structure.

A revision is proposed to delete language referring to safety belts and lifelines in subsection (g)(1) for replacement by language requiring the employee to use personal fall protection as described in Article 24.

The proposed revision will require the employer to conform to Article 24 personal fall protection requirements for fall arrest, fall restraint and positioning devices in terms of the systems themselves and the criteria for their design and, where applicable, their approval.

Subsection (g)(2) applies to work other than connecting and requires the employee who performs any other work at a work point to use a safety belt and lifeline where the fall protection is greater than 15 feet.

A revision is proposed to delete language in subsection (g)(2) requiring the use of safety belts and lifelines for replacement by language requiring employers to use personal fall protection as described in Article 24.

The proposed revision will require the employer to ensure his/her employees are protected from falling through the use of personal fall arrest system, fall restraint or positioning device system as described in Article 24.

Section 1724. Roofing - General.
Subsection (f) contains language which addresses safety belts and lines and stipulates that when such protection is required, the employer is to refer to the requirements of Article 24, Safety Belts and Nets. This subsection also addresses other fall protection system issues such as, but not limited to, the manner in which safety lines are to be attached, etc.

Subsection (f)(1) requires employers to have their employees use safety belts and lines in accordance with Article 24 requirements to prevent them from falling off roofs.

Revisions are proposed to change the existing subsection title to read "Personal Fall Protection" and to delete the existing "Safety Belts and Lines" title.

Further revisions are proposed to delete the reference to safety belts and lines for replacement by language relating to personal fall arrest systems, personal fall restraint systems and positioning device systems and to delete the outdated Article 24 title for replacement by the title "Fall Protection".

The proposed revisions will clearly indicate the correct location of the current Title 8 fall protection requirements and clarify to the employer the location of Section 1724 fall protection requirements to be consistent with the current Title 8 fall protection terminology and related regulatory information.

Section 1730. Roof Hazards.
Subsection (b) prescribes various requirements addressing work practices involved in work on single-unit (monolithic) roof coverings with slopes from 0:12 to 4:12.

Subsection (b)(10) of this subsection specifically addresses the use of felt-laying machines or other equipment which is drawn/pulled backwards by an operator on foot. This regulation also prohibits motorized rider equipment from being stored between the warning lines and the roof’s edge. Subsection (b)(10) also contains a Note which states that the requirements of subsection (b) do not apply when the employee is protected by the use of one or a combination of the following methods which include, but are not limited to: safety belts and lines, catch platforms, scaffold platforms, eave barriers, etc.

A revision is proposed to amend the Note to delete the reference to safety belts and lines for replacement with the term "personal fall protection".

The proposed revision will clarify to the employer that current fall protection requirements for personal fall arrest systems, fall restraint systems, and positioning devices apply to controlling roof hazards for roofs with a slope as specified above.

Subsection (c) applies to roofs with a slope greater than 4:12 - single-unit (monolithic) roof coverings and requires employees to be protected from a fall when working at elevations greater than 20 feet, by the use of one or a combination of the following methods which include, but are not limited to: parapets, safety belts and lines, catch platforms, scaffold platforms, etc. as contained in subsections (c)(1) - (6). This subsection contains a Note permitting employees to work without additional fall protection when the parapets are 36 inches or more in height.

A revision is proposed in subsection (c)(2) to delete the reference to safety belts and lines for replacement by the term "personal fall protection".

The proposed revision will clarify to the employer that he/she must provide personal fall protection (as described) earlier in accordance with the requirements of Article 24 when working in elevations above 20 feet. The employer may need to reassess his/her fall protection method and utilize the appropriate method as required in Article 24.

Subsection (f) pertains to roofs with slopes greater than 5:12 - multiple unit roof coverings. This subsection requires the employer to protect his/her workers from falls above 20 feet (working elevation) by one or a combination of the following methods listed in subsections (f)(1) - (6) and includes parapets, safety belts and lines, eave barriers, roof jack systems, etc.

Subsection (f) also contains a Note indicating that the 20 foot height measurement is to be taken from the lowest edge of the roof/eave to the ground or level below.

A revision is proposed in subsection (f)(2) to delete the term "safety belts and lines" for replacement by the phrase "personal fall protection".

The proposed revision will ultimately direct the employer to Article 24 where current fall protection regulations are contained and require the employer to assess and then use the appropriate type of personal fall protection.