A description of the proposed changes are as follows:

1. TITLE 8:

GENERAL INDUSTRY SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 7, Article 1, Section 3207 and Article 4, Section 3720.1

Rope Access

INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS


INFORMATIVE DIGEST OF PROPOSED ACTION/PLAIN ENGLISH OVERVIEW

Section 3207. Definitions.

This section contains a glossary of defined terms used throughout the General Industry Safety Orders (GISO) which have been included to clarify the meaning, scope and application of the safety orders which follow.

Revisions are proposed to add two new definitions in alphabetical order for "rope access" and "rope access equipment." The definitions contain language explaining "rope access" and "rope access equipment" in terms of the use of ropes to access an area and support an employee as he/she descends or ascends a rope, and the equipment used to perform rope access techniques, respectively.

The proposed revisions will clarify to the employer the meaning of new terms introduced in subsequent rope access regulations contained in proposed new Section 3270.1.

Section 3270.1. Use of Rope Access Equipment.

Proposed new Section 3270.1 contains the scope and application of the proposed regulations that govern the use of rope access equipment as defined in Section 3207. The proposal exempts rope access used in window cleaning/exterior building maintenance operations already covered by Articles 5 and 6, life-saving search and rescue operations, and entertainment productions and rehearsals. The proposed regulations also include requirements pertaining to: scope and application, equipment approval, employee training and refresher training, documentation of training, equipment inspection and maintenance, anchorage, personal protective equipment, number of employees to perform rope access, trainer qualifications, use of secondary ropes/back-up lines, separate anchorage for separate lines, securing the area below employees performing rope access, and an employer requirement to conduct a pre-rope access (pre-climb) safety briefing with employees to address climb objectives, safety hazards and emergency procedures.

The proposed requirements will clarify exactly what regulations apply to rope access, and what the employer’s obligation under the proposed regulation is. The proposed requirements are consistent with current industry practice; therefore, the proposed regulations are not expected to impose any new or added requirements upon employers beyond what they are doing already.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

None.