A description of the proposed changes are as follows:

1. TITLE 8:

GENERAL INDUSTRY SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 7, Article108, Sections 5157 and 5158;
Article 135, Section 5416;
SHIP BUILDING, SHIP REPAIRING, AND SHIP BREAKING SAFETY ORDERS
Subchapter 18, Article 4, Section 8355
Approved Testing Equipment

INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS


INFORMATIVE DIGEST OF PROPOSED ACTION/PLAIN ENGLISH OVERVIEW

This proposed rulemaking action contains nonsubstantive, editorial, and grammatical revisions. These nonsubstantive revisions are not all discussed in this Informative Digest. However, these proposed revisions are clearly indicated in the regulatory test in underline and strikeout format.

Existing Title 8 sections 5157, 5158, 5416, and 8355 require an employer to test an atmosphere to determine if it could cause a fire or explosion hazard to exposed employees. Currently, many employers conduct such testing using direct reading instruments that use electronic or thermal means to determine the concentration of various chemicals. These electronic and testing devices could be a potential source of ignition if they are not approved for use in such hazardous environments.

Existing Electrical Safety Orders section 2540.2 requires that all electrical equipment and tools used in hazardous (or classified as flammable or explosive) locations must be approved for use in such environments. Existing section 2305.4 further defines approval to require such devices to be independently evaluated to ensure that applicable standards or scientific principles are met.

Section 5157. Permit-Required Confined Spaces.

Existing subsection (b) defines the testing required in permit spaces. Testing includes specifying what type of tests are to be performed to identify and evaluate the hazards in a permit space.

The proposal will specify that when electronic or thermal testing devices are used to assist the employer in determining if a permit space is flammable or explosive, the device must be approved to insure it will not be a potential source of ignition.

Section 5158. Other Confined Space Operations.

Existing subsection (d) requires pre-entry testing of the air in a confined space. Testing needs to be done with an appropriate device or method to determine if a dangerous air contamination or oxygen deficiency exists in the confined space.

The proposal will specify that when electronic or thermal testing devices are used to assist the employer in determining if a confined space has a dangerous air contamination or oxygen deficiency, that the device must be approved to insure it will not be a potential source of ignition.

Section 5416. Flammable Vapors.

Existing subsection (c) requires that sources of ignition be prohibited from locations where flammable vapors may exceed safe levels. Before a source of ignition is permitted at such a location, testing needs to be performed to determine the concentration of flammable vapors.

The proposal will specify that when an electronic or thermal testing device is used to assist the employer in determining if a location has hazardous levels of flammable vapors, the device must be approved to insure it will not be a potential source of ignition.

Section 8355. Confined and Enclosed Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres.

Existing subsection (c) requires atmospheric testing before an employee enters a potentially hazardous space. Such testing needs to be conducted for oxygen content, flammability, and toxicity.

The proposal will specify that when an electronic or thermal testing device is used to assist the employer in determining if an atmosphere is oxygen deficient, flammable or explosive, the device must be approved to insure it will not be a potential source of ignition.

The proposal is at least as effective as the federal OSHA permit-required confined space standard which has substantially the same requirements in Title 29 CFR 1910.146 for general industry and Title 29 CFR 1915.12 for the shipyard industry.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

None.