A description of the proposed changes are as follows:

1. TITLE 8:

GENERAL INDUSTRY SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 7, Article 25, Section 3668

Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training


INFORMATIVE DIGEST OF PROPOSED ACTION/PLAIN ENGLISH OVERVIEW

The Board intends to adopt the proposed 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.

The U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promulgated regulations addressing Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training on Tuesday, December 1, 1998, as amendments to 29 Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 1910.16, 1910.178, 1915.120, 1917.1, 1918.1, and 1926.602. The Board is relying on the explanation of the provisions of the federal regulations in Federal Register, Volume 63, No. 230, pages 66238-66270, Tuesday, December 1, 1998, as the justification for the Board’s proposed rulemaking action. The Board proposes to adopt a regulation which is the same as the federal regulation except for editorial and format differences.

Board staff notes that the actual, enforceable regulatory language pertaining to Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training is contained in 29CFR 1910.178. Parts 1910.16, 1915.120, 1917.1, 1918.1, and 1926.602 merely contain editorial cross references intended to direct and inform the employer of the location of the actual body of powered industrial truck operator training. These references have no enforceable regulatory effect by themselves as they are simply clarifying language. 29 CFR 1910.178 also contains a non-mandatory Appendix A which is not proposed for inclusion in this rulemaking package.

The new federal requirements for Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training are contained in Part 1910.178. This new federal regulation, which becomes effective on March 1, 1999, revises existing requirements for training and issues new mandates to improve training and reduce workplace injuries and fatalities.

Essentially, the Federal Rule requires that operators of industrial trucks be trained in the operation of such vehicles before they are allowed to operate them independently. The training must consist of instruction (both classroom type and practical training) in proper vehicle operation, the hazards of operating the vehicles in the workplace, and the requirements of the OSHA standard for powered industrial trucks.

The federal regulation also requires that operators who have completed training must be evaluated while they operate the vehicle in the workplace. Operators must also be periodically evaluated (at least once every three years) to ensure that their skills remain intact at a high level and must receive refresher training whenever there is a demonstrated need for it.

The new federal standard replaces existing federal forklift training safety regulations and now mandates a program that bases the amount and type of training required on the following:

Refresher training is required if:

The federal regulation becomes effective on March 1, 1999. The compliance dates by which powered industrial truck operators must be trained are as follows:

The proposed regulation is substantially the same as the final rule contained in 29 CFR 1910.178 promulgated by Federal OSHA. Therefore, Labor Code Section 142.3(a)(3) exempts the Board from the provisions of Article 5 (commencing with Section 11346) and Article 6 (commencing with Section 11349) of Chapter 3.5, Part 1, Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code when adopting a standard substantially the same as a federal standard; however, the Board is still providing a comment period and will convene a public hearing. The primary purpose of the written and oral comments at the public hearing is to:

  1. identify if there are any clear and compelling reasons for California to deviate from the federal standard;
  2. identify if there are issues unique to California related to this proposal which should be addressed in this rulemaking and/or a subsequent rulemaking; and
  3. solicit comments on the proposed effective dates. The responses to comments will be available in a rulemaking file on this matter and will be limited to the above areas.

The effective date is proposed to be upon filing with the Secretary of State as provided by Labor Code Section 142.3(a)(4)(c). The regulation may be adopted without further notice even though modifications may be made to the original proposal in response to public comments or at the Board’s discretion.

DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

This document is available for review during normal business hours at the Standards Board Office located at 1300 I Street, Suite 920, Sacramento, CA.

COST ESTIMATES OF PROPOSED ACTION

According to Federal OSHA, the proposed rule will prevent 11 deaths and more than 9,400 injuries per year as well as save employers $135 million. Of this, $83 million will be saved in reduced direct costs such as medical savings, administering workers’ compensation, and the value of lost productivity. Another $52 million will be saved in reducing accident-related property damage. Federal OSHA estimates the total annual cost of compliance to be $16.9 million.

Data compiled from the California Almanac and the statistical abstract of the United States (Abstract) indicates that California’s civilian labor force of 15,471,000 is about 11.8% of the national civilian labor force of 131,056,000 persons.

Therefore, an 11.8% ratio can be reasonably used to determine California’s share of the federal national cost figure provided earlier (total annual cost of compliance).

DETERMINATION OF MANDATE

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, the 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. (See 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.

PLAIN ENGLISH STATEMENT

It has been determined that the proposal does 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.

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 regulation is proposed or would be as effective and less burdensome to affected private persons than the proposed action.