INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: ELECTRICAL SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 5, Article 36, Sections 2940.2, 2940.6, and 2941; and Article 36, Appendix C

Rubber Gloving of Conductors and Equipment Energized Over 7,500 Volts


PROBLEM ADDRESSED BY PROPOSED ACTION

On April 13, 1999 the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board staff convened an ad hoc advisory committee to consider amendments to the High Voltage Electrical Safety Orders (HVESO). The committee determined the following issues should be addressed via rulemaking: 1) minimum approach distances for DC voltages should be adopted from the federal standard, 2) requirements pertaining to storage of insulating equipment should be revised to ensure proper storage of both rubber and non-rubber insulating equipment, and 3) a note referring the employer to the Standard Specifications for Temporary Grounding Systems to be Used on De-energized Electric Power Lines and Equipment, ASTM F 855-97, should be adopted from the federal standard into Section 2941(h)(10).

SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF PROPOSED ACTION

This rulemaking proposal addresses consensus achieved on some of the issues discussed at the Rubber Gloving Advisory Committee convened April 13, 1999. This rulemaking will bring to conclusion issues raised during the February 1997 Public Hearing for Rubber Gloving for Voltages over 7,500 Volts, and subsequent issues raised as the result of the April 1 and 2, 1997 Rubber Gloving Advisory Committee convened at the direction of the Board.

The rulemaking proposal will make the HVESO at least as effective as their counterpart federal regulations with respect to approach distances for direct current applications, grounding equipment, and the location of temporary grounds. Also, the proposal will update the publication references to the latest ASTM publications for rubber insulating sleeves (Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Gloves and Sleeves, ASTM F 496-97; and Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Sleeves, ASTM D 1051-95), and incorporate references to the following national standards: Leather Protectors for Rubber Insulating Gloves, ASTM F 696-97; Insulating Plastic Guard Equipment, ASTM F 968-93; Insulating Work Platforms for Electric Workers; ASTM F 1564-95; and incorporate the Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Line Hose and Covers, ASTM F 478-92, with a re-testing interval of 12 months.

FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION

This proposed rulemaking action contains numerous nonsubstantaive, editorial, reformatting of subsections, and grammatical revisions. These nonsubstantive revisions are not all discussed in this 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 nonsubstantive revisions, the following actions are proposed:

Section 2940.2. Clearances.

Section 2940.2 contains requirements requiring employees to maintain minimum clear working distances as shown on Table 2940.2. This table was developed to address the minimum approach distances for employees working with alternating current. There presently is no minimum approach distance within Title 8 for energized direct current conductors or equipment to protect employees working on direct current high voltage systems in California. The alternating current approach distance tables are more restrictive than those permitted by federal regulations for direct currents as shown in 29 CFR 1910.269, Table R-9. The lack of an approach distance requirement for direct currents within Title 8 has created some confusion within the industry as to what constitutes a "safe" minimum approach distance. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt the federal approach distances for direct currents as shown in Table R-9 of 29 CFR 1910.269, as new Table 2940.2-2, DC Live-Line Work Minimum Approach Distance With Overvoltage Factor.

Section 2940.6. Tools and Protective Equipment

Existing subsection (a) is titled "Rubber Insulating Equipment." Revisions are proposed to delete references to rubber as it pertains to insulating equipment from subsections (a) and (a)(1) for consistency, as subsection (a)(3) already addresses material other than rubber. In addition, this action proposes revisions to Appendix C, which is referenced in subsection (a), to include non-rubber insulating equipment.

The proposed revision to subsection (a)(2) is necessary to direct the employer/user to Appendix C where the physical requirements for leather gloves may be found.

It is proposed to delete the February 23, 1998 effective date in subsection (a)(4), as it is obsolete. The proposed revision to the table in subsection (a)(4) for in-service care for gloves, sleeves and blankets is necessary to clearly indicate that insulating line hose and covers are to be visually inspected and electrically re-tested periodically. The tests and the maximum interval between tests are necessary to ensure that the devices maintain the proper dielectric strength to insulate the employee from the energized conductor and/or equipment. The 12-month testing interval proposed for the Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Line Hose and Covers, ASTM F 478-92, is proposed as it is the industry standard. Also, the proposed revision to the title is necessary to recognize the addition of the ASTM standard for the in-service care of insulating line hose and covers.

The proposed revision to subsection (a)(7) is necessary to ensure that insulating equipment is protected from physical damage, in addition to the damage/deterioration that can occur from excessive heat. Physical damage can result in torn, cracked, or abraded insulating equipment that will retain the designed dielectric capabilities, which places the employee at risk of electric shock.

The proposed revision to subsection (a)(8) is necessary to delineate between equipment that becomes ineffective as the result of wear or a manufacturing fault and equipment that is subjected to handling and treatment which physically changes the integrity of the equipment.

A revision to subsection (a)(9) is proposed to delete the phrase "As a minimum." This proposed action is necessary as Title 8 regulations are the minimum acceptable standards the employer is to comply with to provide a safe and healthful work environment. Therefore, the "As a minimum" phrase is unnecessary.

A revision to subsection (a)(10) is proposed to insert the phrase "or damaged". This proposed revision is necessary to ensure that insulating equipment that has incurred damage is removed from service. Damaged equipment, like defective equipment, can have reduced dielectric capabilities that will place the employee working in the proximity of energized conductors or equipment at risk.

Section 2941. Work on or in Proximity to Overhead High Voltage Lines

A revision to Subsection (h)(10) to insert a note regarding guidelines for protective grounding equipment is proposed. The proposed note references the ASTM F 855-97 publication, "Standard Specifications for Temporary Grounding Systems to be Used on De-Energized Electric Power Lines and Equipment." The advisory committee considered the reference necessary to ensure all employers that performed work on energized high voltage conductors or equipment are familiar with the industry standard.

A new subsection (h)(12) is proposed that incorporates the requirements for the location and arrangement of temporary protective grounds to prevent each employee from being exposed to hazardous differences in electrical potential. This revision is necessary to make California’s regulations at least as effective as the federal regulation located in 29 CFR 1910.269(n)(3).

Appendix C. Protective Equipment

A revision is proposed to delete the specific reference to "rubber" in the preamble. This proposed revision is necessary to reflect the proposed revisions to the appendix that will incorporate ASTM F-696-97, Leather Protectors for Insulating Gloves, ASTM F 968-93, Insulating Plastic Guard Equipment, and ASTM F 1564-95, Insulating Work Platforms for Electrical Workers. These standards are for insulating equipment that is manufactured from materials other than rubber. The adoption of the ASTM standards is necessary to ensure the employer is providing equipment with the necessary dielectric capabilities by requiring the use of insulating equipment that meets the current industry standard testing requirements.

REFERENCE TO COMPARABLE FEDERAL REGULATION

The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is proposing this rulemaking action pursuant to Labor Code Section 142.3, which mandates the Board to adopt regulations at least as effective as federal regulations addressing occupational safety and health issues.

In conformance with Government Code Section 11346.9(c), the Board provides the following information. Federal OSHA promulgated regulations addressing Electrical Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment; Final Rule on January 31, 1994, as 29 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1910.269, Table R-9, DC Live-Line Work Minimum Approach Distance With Overvoltage Factor, and subsection (n)(3) relating to placement of protective grounds. The Board is relying on the explanation of the provisions of the federal regulation in Federal Register, Volume No. 59, pages 4320-4476 (January 31, 1994), as the justification for the Board's proposed rulemaking action.

DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

  1. 59 Fed.Reg. 4320-4476 (January 31, 1994)
  2. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) "Standard Specification for Temporary Grounding Systems to be Used on De-energized Electric Power Lines and Equipment," Designation: F 855-97
  3. Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board Minutes from the Advisory Committee to Develop Regulations Concerning Rubber Gloving, April 1-2, 1997
  4. Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board Summary Public Hearing, January 16, 1997, Los Angeles, California (pages 8-21)

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 INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

  1. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) "Standard Specification of In-Service Care of Insulating Gloves and Sleeves," Designation: F 496-97.
  2. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) "Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Line Hose and Covers," Designation: F 478-92.
  3. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) "Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Sleeves," Designation: D 1051-95.
  4. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) "Standard Specification for Leather Protectors for Rubber Insulating Gloves and Mittens," Designation: F 696-97.
  5. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) "Standard Specification for Electrically Insulating Plastic Guard Equipment for Protection of Workers," Designation: F 968-93 (Reapproved 1997).
  6. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) "Standard Specification for Structure-Mounted Insulating Work Platforms for Electrical Workers," Designation: F 1564-95.

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. 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.

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.

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. The addition of the Federal DC line clearance chart will have very little effect as it will only require employers to modify their work clearance charts if they care too as the direct current clearances are less than that required by the alternating current clearance standards. The inclusion of the updated ASTM standards and the proposed adoptions merely reflect current industry practice.

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 Nondiscreationary Costs or Saving 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 local mandate. Therefore, reimbursement by the state is not required 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 are available from the agency contact person named in the notice. 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.