INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: 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)
of the Construction Safety Orders
Fall Protection - Construction Industry


PROBLEM ADDRESSED BY PROPOSED ACTION

Current Title 8, Construction Safety Orders regulations which address the issue of fall protection are contained in various sections but are for the most part concentrated in Article 24 entitled Fall Protection. Recent fall protection amendments to the Construction Safety Orders and Article 24 have resulted in new terminology as well as new requirements.

During the development and subsequent finalization of the amended/new fall protection regulations, Board staff had to amend various sections editorially to correctly refer to the new fall protection terminology which includes terms such as personal fall protection, personal fall arrest system, fall restraint and positioning device. Also, the title to Article 24 was amended to read "Fall Protection." However, during a recent review of the Construction Safety Orders, Board staff discovered sections which were missed and which still contain inaccurate fall protection references. Most notably, references to safety belts and lifelines/lanyards as the only means of personal fall protection. This language will conflict with the January 1, 1998, prohibition on the use of body belts/lanyards as a fall arrest system contained in Article 24.

Failure to address the outdated/inaccurate fall protection references will cause confusion among the regulated public as they either conflict with the amended Article 24 requirements and/or use terminology which is inconsistent with fall protection language used elsewhere in the Construction Safety Orders.

SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION

To address the problems noted above, Board staff proposes to editorially revise these regulations in the Construction Safety Orders which still contain inconsistent/outdated references to employer fall protection, specifically references to body belts and lifelines which staff proposes be amended to read "personal fall protection" while referring the employer to Article 24 for further clarification. Staff also proposes to make editorial revisions to inaccurate Article 24 title references contained in Section 1724 of Article 30. The proposed revisions are editorial in nature and do not impose any new or added requirements upon the employer given the existing language of Article 24. The proposed revisions are not intended to have any effect upon any of the various fall protection trigger heights contained in the sections proposed for revision.

Once again, staff wishes to emphasize that this proposal only seeks to address that which was omitted/overlooked in California’s amended/new fall protection requirements for the construction industry which became effective on August 29, 1997.

The proposed revisions are as follows:

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 is necessary to ensure the employer will understand that he/she is 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 and avert serious employee injury.

Section 1635. Floors, Walls, and Structural Steel Framed Buildings.
Section 1635(b) pertains to multi-floor structural steel buildings and specifies construction methods and 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 pluralize the word "building" to correct syntax and to correct a typing error in the word "stries" to the correct word "stories.

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 is necessary to clarify to the employer that Article 24 personal fall protection requirements must be complied with, in addition to the use of nets, rather than just safety belts which, if used improperly, could result in serious employee injury.

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. In addition, the word "lanyard" is pluralized in the second sentence to correct syntax and is editorial in nature.

This proposal is necessary to clarify to the employer that personal fall protection is to be provided as required in Article 24 which requires the use of fall arrest, fall restraint and positioning systems instead of only body belts/lanyards which, if used improperly, could cause serious employee injury.

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 but allows the employer to substitute a design which will provide equivalent safety as an alternative.

Subsection (b)(5) requires each employee working from a float scaffold to wear a body belt tied to the structure as provided in Section 1670 or to use a safety net as specified in Section 1671 in accordance with the requirements of Article 24.

A revision is proposed to subsection (b)(5) to delete the reference to safety belts and nets and replace it with language referring to fall protection in accordance with Article 24.

The proposed revision is necessary so the employer will understand that he/she is to provide the employee with a means of personal fall protection as stipulated in Article 24 and, thereby, prevent injury to the employee by wearing the correct type of personal fall protection.

Section 1664. Needle-Beam Scaffold.
Subsection (a) requires needle-beam scaffolds to be designated 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 to the ground or level below, 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 requirements 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 is necessary to ensure employers will use the correct type of personal fall protection which will prevent serious injury in the event of a fall.

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 is necessary to ensure the employee wears the correct type of personal fall protection which will be effective in preventing injury in case of a fall.

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 when the potential 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 liefelines for replacement by language requiring employees to use personal fall protection as described in Article 24.

The proposed revision is necessary to ensure employees are protected from falling to the ground or level below through the use of a personal fall arrest system, fall restraint or positioning device system as described in Article 24. The proposed revision is also necessary to ensure employees use the appropriate type of personal fall protection which will be effective in protecting them from a fall without injury.

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 in 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 are necessary to 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 is necessary to 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 excluding the use of safety belts and lines, platforms, etc., when motorized equipment is being used where 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 is necessary to 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 is necessary to ensure the employer is directed to Article 24 where current fall protection regulations are contained and that employees use the appropriate type of personal fall protection.

DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

None.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

None.

IDENTIFIED ALTERNATIVES THAT WOULD LESSEN ADVERSE IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESSES

It is anticipated that no adverse impact on small business will occur as a result of the implementation of the proposed amendments. This is because the proposed amendments merely consist of technical, clarifying revisions to existing regulations. The central issue addressed by the proposed revisions is to clearly indicate to the regulated public that they are to provide personal fall protection as described in Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders. The proposal does not impose any new requirement which is not already imposed by Article 24. Therefore, no alternatives which would lessen the impact on small businesses have been identified.

SPECIFIC TECHNOLOGY OR EQUIPMENT

This proposal does 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 revisions. This is because the proposal imposes no new or added requirements and merely consists of technical, clarifying revisions of existing regulations, deletion of outdated terminology, and the editorial revision of a reference to Article 24 to accurately reflect the current title.

Impact on Housing Costs
This 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. See explanation under "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. See explanation under "Costs or Savings to State Agencies".

Costs or Savings in Federal Funding to the State
The proposal will not require private persons or entities to incur additional costs in complying with the proposal.

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" and "Impact on Businesses."

Other Nondiscretionary Costs or Savings Imposed on Local Agencies
None. See explanation under "Costs or Savings to State Agencies" and "Impact on Businesses."

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.