Chapter 4, Subchapter 4, Article 11, Section 1599(f)


Existing Section 1599(f) requires employers to provide employees assigned as flaggers (traffic control personnel at construction sites) with training in the fundamentals of flagging moving traffic prior to their assignment as flaggers. The regulation does not specify exactly what elements need to be included in the training but only states that signaling directions used by the flagger are to conform to information contained in the "Manual of Traffic Controls for Construction and Maintenance Work Zones – 1996" (Manual) published by the State Department of Transportation.

Given this, California employers are left without specific information necessary to ensure their employees are properly trained as flaggers in a manner which will ensure their safety at construction sites. This issue was raised in a petition from the Associated General Contractors of California (AGC-California) in Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Board), Petition File No. 379, submitted by Ms. Elizabeth Arioto on behalf of the AGC-California. The Petitioner stated that without details of training, employers may assign individuals unaware of standards, unfamiliar with requirements and unprepared to handle emergencies. This can lead to injuries/accidents involving flaggers (e.g. accidents involving vehicles and employees).

The Standards Board in its Petition File No. 379 Decision, adopted November 13, 1997, granted the Petitioner’s request to consider amending Section 1599(f) of the Construction Safety Orders, to the extent that Board staff convene an advisory committee.

Board staff convened an advisory committee on July 15, 1998. The advisory committee was unanimous in its belief that Section 1599(f) should be clarified (expanded) to address the specific elements of a flagger-training program and recommended proposed language based on staff’s proposal and the AGC’s-California suggested language contained in Petition File No. 379.


To correct the apparent deficiency in Section 1599(f) discussed earlier, Board staff proposes to amend subsection (f) as recommended by the above advisory committee to specify nine separate training elements for flaggers along with language specifying the employer document the training in accordance with Section 3203, Illness, Injury Prevention Program (IIPP), as contained in the General Industry Safety Orders.

The proposed revisions are as follows:

Section 1599. Flaggers.

This section consists of six subsections which contain regulations addressing the use of flaggers, placement of flaggers, placement of warning signs, flagger garments, flagger visibility during evening/periods of darkness, and flagger training.

Subsection (f) specifically requires construction site flaggers to be trained on the fundamentals of flagging prior to being assigned as a flagger. This subsection also requires signaling directions used by the flagger to conform to the Manual (discussed earlier).

A revision is proposed to subsection (f) to specify that the training and instructions for flaggers be based on the Manual, work site conditions and include the following topics: flagger equipment, work zone and flagging station layout, methods to signal traffic, one-way traffic control methods, a demonstration by the trainee on flagging methodology and operations, emergency vehicles through the work zone, handling emergency situations, dealing with hostile drivers, and single flagger procedures (when applicable).

Specific additional language has been included requiring the employer to document and maintain records of the training as required by Section 3203 of the General Industry Safety Orders (GISO) IIPP.

The proposed revisions are necessary to ensure that flaggers are protected and trained to take the appropriate action to minimize the readability and risk of serious injury from collision with vehicles, bodily harm inflicted by hostile motorists, etc. The revisions are also necessary to ensure that flagger directs traffic through work zones, minimizing the possibility of accidents between motorists, construction equipment, and other work zone personnel.


1. Letter from Elizabeth Arioto, AGC of California, dated June 16,1997.
2. Division Evaluation Report of Petition No. 379, dated August 29, 1997.
3. OSH Standards Board’s Petition Decision No. 379, dated November 13, 1997 to Elizabeth Arioto, AGC of California.
4. Manual of Traffic Controls for Construction and Maintenance Work Zones, 1996. State of California, Department of Transportation.

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



It is anticipated that no adverse impact on small businesses 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 Section 1599(f) training regulations. The central issue addressed by the proposed revisions is to clearly indicate to the regulated public what constitutes adequate training for employees assigned construction site flagging duties. Employers already rely on the information contained in the Manual as well as other commercially available training programs (e.g., National Safety Council), worker compensation insurance carrier training programs, etc., which encompass the nine proposed training topics. Therefore, impact upon small business will be insignificant.


This proposal will not mandate the use of specific technologies or equipment.


Costs or Savings to State Agencies

No costs or savings to state agencies will result as a consequence of the proposed revisions to Section 1599(f). This is because the proposal merely consists of technical, clarifying revisions of existing regulations to indicate what constitutes adequate training for flaggers. The majority of effect of this proposal will be upon the employers and the Department of Transportation and California Highway Patrol, who for the most part, already provide training which encompasses the proposed elements.

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 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" and "Costs or Savings to State Agencies.")

Other Nondiscretionary Costs or Savings Imposed on Local Agencies

This proposal does not impose nondiscretionary costs or savings on local agencies. See explanation under "Costs or Savings to State Agencies" and "Impact on Businesses."


The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has determined that the proposed regulation does 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, this regulation does 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.)

The proposed regulation does not require local agencies to carry out the governmental function of providing services to the public. Rather, the regulation requires local agencies to take certain steps to ensure the safety and health of their own employees only. Moreover, the proposed regulation does 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.)

The proposed regulation does not impose unique requirements on local governments. All employers – state, local and private – will be required to comply with the prescribed standard.


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 the plain English overview.


The adoption of the proposed amendments to the regulation 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.


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.