INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: ELEVATOR SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 6, Article 13, Section 3089(d) and
Article 14, Section 3091(k)
TITLE 24: CALIFORNIA ELEVATOR SAFETY CONSTRUCTION CODE
Part 7, Article 7-13, Section 7-3089(d) and
and Article 7-14, Section 7-3091(k)
Escalators and Walkways


PROBLEM ADDRESSED BY PROPOSED ACTION

The proposed action addresses a potential hazard on escalators now in service. The hazard is a pinch point created by a 1/4-inch opening that exists between the escalator moving step side and the stationary escalator skirt guard. The 1/4-inch opening is a built-in design feature of escalators to provide clearance for the steps to deflect when the escalator steps are moving.

Escalators are often designed for high traffic locations. Given the large number of passengers that ride through escalators, falls and entrapments are the two most common concerns. Accidental entrapment of body parts, clothing, shoes, etc. occurs in the pinch point created by the 1/4-inch opening on each side of escalators. Some out of state agencies have installed brushes or sideplates, commercially available, to deflect articles from the 1/4-inch opening or reduce the 1/4-inch opening to minimize entrapment. The entrapment incidents have recently attracted the attention of public and media organizations. There has been a public outcry about the ineffectiveness of current regulations to protect the public against such injuries. There has also been an increase in jury verdict judgment amounts as juries are more willing to award large sums to the victims of these accidents. A newspaper article dated May 21, 1998, reported that a jury awarded a four-year old boy 16.9 million dollars, when he lost three toes in an escalator entrapment incident. Other reported cases of jury awards for escalator injury accidents from California show jury awards ranging in hundreds of thousands of dollars (see Documents Relied Upon).

The continuous problems with entrapments have prompted many out of state agencies to install safety devices to protect the public. Out of state agencies that have installed the brushes or sideplates report these devices are effective in reducing entanglement incidents (see Documents Relied Upon). The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Division) has also permitted the experimental use of brushes at the San Francisco and the Sacramento airports. Evaluations of experimentally used brushes indicate no entrapment incidents have occurred at either location since the brushes were installed. Prior to installing the brushes, the Sacramento airport experienced an average of 2 to 3 entrapment accidents/incidents per year.

 Therefore, the Division proposes Section 3089(d) be revised to require existing escalators be retrofitted with either brushes or sideplates. The Division also proposes Section 3091(k) be revised to permit, but not require, brushes for moving walks since similar conditions exist, although the Division is not aware of accidental entrapment on moving walks.

The Initial Statement of Reasons contains occupational safety and health regulations, which are buildings standards proposed for codification in Title 24, Part 7, California Elevator Safety Construction Code. The Building standards, herein, will be identified by their Title 24 section numbers in bold type following the corresponding Title 8 statement of reasons.

SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION

Article 13. Escalators
Section 3089(d)(1)

The proposal revises Section 3089(d)(1) by adding an exception that excludes brushes from the 1/4-inch limitation for raised surfaces when brushes are installed according to Section 3089(d)(6). The paragraph is also proposed to be re-formatted.
Title 24, Part 7, Section 7-3089(d)1.

The revision is necessary to permit the brushes to be installed, since the holder for the brushes will rise 3/4-inch from the parent surface of the balustrade. The paragraph re-formatting is necessary for continuity.

New Section 3089(k)(6)

The proposal adds new Section 3089(k)(6) which specifies existing escalators shall be retrofitted with brushes or sideplates to protect against entrapment of body parts, clothing, shoes, etc., between the step side and the balustrade skirt guard. The new section further indicates the retrofit shall be completed within three years from the effective date of this regulation.

New Section 3089(k)(6) is necessary to provide protection against accidental entanglement of body parts, clothing, shoes, etc., between the moving step and the stationary skirt guard on escalators now in service. Requiring existing escalators to be retrofitted by a certain date is necessary for uniformity in complying with the proposed regulation.

New Section 3089(k)(6)(A)

The proposal adds new Section 3089(k)(6)(A) which specifies the rigid mounting assembly for brushes affixed to the skirt panel shall not rise more than 3/4-inch from the skirt panel parent surface.

New Section 3089(k)(6)(A) is necessary to minimize the hazard posed by the brush carrier assembly surface area for escalator users.

New Section 3089(k)(6)(B)

The proposal adds new Section 3089(K)(6)(B) which specifies that plans, drawings, and specifications on the proposed installation of the brushes/sideplates shall be submitted to the Division before the brushes/sideplates are installed. The Division shall review the plans, drawings, and specifications to ensure that brushes/sideplates do not conflict with other requirements of Article 13.

New Section 3089(K)(6)(B) is necessary to ensure that proposed installation and operations of brushes or sideplates do not violate other requirements.

New Section 3089(k)(6)(C)

The proposal adds new Section 3089(k)(6)(C), which specifies that the Division shall inspect the installed brushes/sideplates for entanglement, entrapment, shearing, or tripping hazards before the escalator is placed in service.

New Section 3089(k)(6)(C) is necessary to ensure that brushes or sideplates installed do not impede the safe operation of escalators.

Article 14. Moving Walks
Section 3091(k)(1)

It is proposed to add an exception to Section 3091(k)(1) for brushes when installed on moving walks according to new Section 3091(k)(4). It is also proposed the paragraph be re-formatted.
Title 24, Part 7, Section 7-3091(k)1.

The added exception is necessary to exclude brushes from the prohibition that no areas shall rise more than 1/4-inch from the parent surface of the balustrade. The paragraph re-formatting is necessary for clarity and continuity.

New Section 3091(k)(4)

The proposal adds new Section 3091(k)(4) which indicates brushes shall comply with certain requirements when brushes are provided on moving walks to protect against entrapment of body parts, clothing, shoes, etc.
Title 24, Part 7, Section 7-3091(k)4.

New Section 3091(k)4 is necessary to allow moving walks owners the option of providing brushes on moving walks to protect against entrapment of body parts, clothing, shoes, etc.

New Section 3091(k)(4)(A)

The proposal adds new Section 3091(k)(4)(A), which indicates brush carrier/holder for the brushes affixed to the skirt panel shall not rise more than 3/4-inch.

New Section 3091(k)(4)(A) is necessary to minimize the hazard posed by the brush carrier assembly for moving walks users.

New Section 3091(k)(4)(B)

The proposal adds new Section 3091(k)(4)(B) which indicates the plans, drawings, and specifications on the proposed installation of the brushes shall be submitted to the Division before the brushes are installed. The Division shall review the plans, drawings, and specifications to ensure the brushes do not conflict with other requirements of Article 14.

New Section 3091(k)(4)(B) is necessary to ensure the proposed installation and operations of brushes do not violate other requirements.

New Section 3091(k)(4)(C)

New Section 3091(k)(4)(C) is proposed to indicate that the Division shall inspect the installed brushes for entanglement, entrapment, shearing, or tripping hazards before the moving walks is placed in service.

New Section 3091(k)(4)(C) is necessary to ensure the brushes installed do not impede the safe operation of the moving walks.

DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

  1. Letter from D.A. Swerrie, Swerrie Inc., Petitioner, dated January 24, 1992.
  2. Division Evaluations Report of Petition 308, dated March 9, 1992.
  3. Standards Board’s Petition Decision No. 308, dated June 25, 1992,
  4. to D.A. Swerrie.

  5. Letter, July 20, 1998, from William McLean, General Superintendent, Elevator Escalator Sub-Division, New York City Transit.
  6. Letter, June 16, 1998, San Francisco International Airport, Mechanical Facilities.
  7. Letter, January 27, 1998, Adams Elevator Equipment Company.
  8. Letter, February 4, 1998, Sealeze Corporation, Richmond, VA.
  9. Letter, May 30, 1997, County of Sacramento, Airport Manager, Facilities.
  10. Letter, March 26, 1997, San Francisco International Airport, Deputy Airport Director.
  11. Letter, July 10, 1996, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  12. Letter, December 27, 1995, General Elevator Company, Inc.
  13. Letter, December 8, 1994, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
  14. Letter, November 17, 1994, Maryland Department of Transportation.
  15. Letter and news release, June 24, 1991, Health & Safety Executive, Bristol, UK.
  16. Aguilar v. Robinson’s Department Stores (Super. Ct. San Diego County, 1992,
  17. No. 641735.)

  18. Fontes v. May Co. Stores (Super. Ct. San Diego County, 1992, No. 630769.)
  19. Campbell v. Montgomery Elevator Co. (Super. Ct. Los Angeles County, 1991,
  20. No. BC-14005.)

  21. Alejandro Fraga, a minor, by and through his guardian Ad Liten Augustin Fraga v. Montgomery Ward Co. and Montgomery Elevator Co. (Super. Ct. Los Angeles County, 1985, No. NCC-11120.)
  22. Vertical Analysis Internet Homepage, Industry news, Forestville, Maryland.
  23. Newspaper article, "The Boston Globe", dated January 22, 1998.
  24. Newspaper article, "The Boston Globe", dated July 21, 1996.
  25. Newspaper article, "The Gazette", dated April 3, 1997.
  26. Newspaper article, no date.
  27. Wage Rate Summary, 05/10/96.
  28. Factsheet, Escalator Safetystrip.
  29. Factsheet, Step Safety Sideplates / Canopy Guard and Lateral Step Guidance Device.

These documents are available for review during normal business hours at the Standards Board office located at 1300 I Street, Suite 920, 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 alternative 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

Cost or Savings to State Agencies

It is anticipated that the initial cost of the escalator retrofitting to be far less than the benefits gained from the proposed regulation. Currently, there are 306 escalators that are owned and operated by the state and local agencies combined. Approximately twenty percent or about sixty of these escalators belong to state agencies. Given the range of $2075 to $3775 per escalator retrofit, the total cost to retrofit all state agencies’ escalators will range from $125,000 to $226,500. (For benefits see statements under Problem Addressed by Proposed Action and Impact on Businesses.)

Impact on Housing Costs

The proposal will not 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. Division records indicate there are 4500 escalators in the state of which 4200 are operated by private businesses. Escalators are located in places such as shopping malls, department stores, airports, hospitals, rapid metro stations, etc. A typical escalator contains about 60 to 70 escalator steps, or equivalently, is about 50 feet in length.

The cost of brushes for a typical escalator may vary from $1300 to $3000. The cost of sideplates for a typical escalator is about $3000. It is estimated that an elevator mechanic and a helper will take about 8 to 10 hours of labor to install either brushes or sideplates, according to information provided by a brush and sideplate distributor. The hourly wage for an elevator mechanic is about $50 per hour and for a helper is $36 per hour, for an average cost of $775 for labor cost, according to a Bay Area elevator construction union representative. Therefore, it is estimated that retrofitting an escalator with brushes or sideplates will cost between $2075 and $3775. Collectively, statewide, it is estimated escalator owners would spend somewhere between $8,715,000 to $15,855,000 to retrofit existing escalators. The estimated lower and upper range figures are given to illustrate the lowest or highest bids. It is anticipated that the price of brushes and sideplates (parts) to be reduced further, with more distributors and manufacturers entering the market place.

The Division is aware that other indirect costs may be incurred by retrofitting, such as revenues lost by retailers while escalators are not operating. However, the Division believes such costs, other than the direct costs indicated are minimal. In addition, retrofitting escalators would promote greater safety and economic benefits to the public as well as the escalator operators and manufacturers. Sales for escalator parts wholesalers/retailers, and numerous jobs in the state would be created for elevator mechanics, elevator helpers, and elevator construction/maintenance organizations. But more importantly, mounting evidence suggests that the regular occurrences of entrapment, particularly of the legs and feet of small children can be almost completely eliminated by the installation of the safety devices, resulting in substantial reduction in medical and legal costs.

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. It is anticipated that private persons or entities will benefit from this proposal by experiencing fewer accidents, medical expenses and liability lawsuits.

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 Nondiscretionary Costs or Savings Imposed on Local Agencies

It is anticipated that the initial cost of the escalator retrofitting to be far less than the benefits gained from the proposed regulation. Currently, there are 306 escalators that are owned and operated by the state and local agencies combined. About eighty percent of the 306 escalators are owned by local agencies, or about 240. Local agency escalators are located in places such as county hospitals, airports, e.g., Los Angeles, Sacramento or San Francisco airports, and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and LA Metro.

In the last few years some of the above agencies, airports in particular, have applied and received variances to retrofit their escalators with safety strips, after evidence concluding out of state organizations have practically eliminated side-trap accidents after the retrofits. Given the range of $2075 to $3775 per escalator retrofit, the total cost to retrofit local agencies’ escalators could range from $498,000 to $900,000. (For benefits see statements under Problem Addressed by Proposed Action and Impact on Businesses.)

 DETERMINATION OF MANDATE

The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has determined that the proposed regulations do 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 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 14778.)

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 Section 11342(e) and 11346.2(a)(1) with the informative digest for this proposal constitutes a plain English overview.

ASSESSMENT

The adoption of the proposed amendments to these regulations will create jobs in the State of California, and will expand businesses in the State of California, but existing businesses will not be eliminated within the State of California. (See statement under "Impact on Businesses".)

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.