INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS

CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 8: GENERAL INDUSTRY SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 7, Articles 5 and 6, Sections 3281, 3284, 3285, 3286, 3287, 3291, 3293 and
Appendix C to Article 6

Personal Fall Protection for Window Cleaning Operations and Building Maintenance
using Powered Platforms and Equipment


PROBLEM ADDRESSED BY PROPOSED ACTION

Since the adoption of Articles 5 and 6, Federal OSHA has revised the fall protection standards, 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M, including the requirement for fall protection systems and equipment. One provision of the revised subpart M became effective on January 1, 1998, and specified that body belts are not acceptable as part of a personal fall arrest system. Subpart M has been incorporated into Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders. Board staff is concerned that there are inconsistencies in the fall protection requirements in Articles 5 and 6 when compared to Article 24. In addition there are numerous references to the use of body belts for fall arrest in Articles 5 and 6.

SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND FACTUAL BASIS OF PROPOSED ACTION

The proposed revisions to Articles 5 and 6 of the General Industry Safety Orders will make the personal fall protection requirements for Window Cleaning and Building Maintenance consistent with the requirements contained in Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders.

This proposed rulemaking action contains numerous nonsubstantive editorial, reformatting of subsections, and grammatical revisions. These nonsubstantive revisions are not all discussed in this Initial Statement of Reasons. 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:

Article 5. Window Cleaning

Section 3281. Definitions.

The existing section contains definitions of terms used in the window cleaning and building maintenance industries. A revision is proposed to add the term "Competent Person" verbatim of the existing Construction Safety Order definition contained in Section 1504. The proposed revision is necessary to define this term used in Appendix C to Article 6. Further revisions are proposed to delete the reference to body belts in the definition of Personal Fall Arrest System, and add a definition for the term "Terminal Strap (Runner)". The proposed revision to the definition of a personal fall arrest system is necessary to clarify to the employer that body belts are not to be used as part of a personal fall arrest system. The term "Terminal Strap (Runner)" is used to describe the piece of a window cleaner’s belt that connects the "waist band" to the "terminal". The term "Runner" was included as this term is used in ANSI A39.1-1995, Safety Standard for Window Cleaning and by people in the industry. The proposed revision is necessary to define this term, which is used in Article 5, but does not have a common or obvious meaning. A synonymous term, runner, is also used in the industry so the proposed definition will eliminate any ambiguity between these terms.

Section 3284. Window Cleaner’s Belts, Safety Belts, Harnesses and other Attachments.

It is proposed to amend the title of this section to replace the outdated fall protection terms of Safety Belts and Harnesses with the current terminology, Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Personal Fall Restraint Systems and Positioning Devices. The proposed revision is necessary to include terminology that is consistent with other parts of Title 8, Federal OSHA regulations, National Consensus Standards and within the fall protection industry. Also, the proposed revision is necessary to clearly indicate the types of fall protection equipment required for window cleaning.

Existing subsection 3284(a)(2), Belt Design, requires that window cleaner’s belts be labeled as meeting the design and testing requirements of ANSI A39.1-1991. It also requires additional labeling that includes the name of the manufacturer, model designation, date manufactured, serial number, and test specifications. A revision is proposed to require that the belts be designed, built, and labeled to conform to ANSI A39.1-1995 and thereby update the ANSI-39.1 reference to the most current edition. This will eliminate the need for any additional labeling requirement and ensure the belts meet the requirements of the latest National Consensus Standard. The proposed revision is necessary to ensure window cleaner’s belts are designed and built to the most current standard.

Proposed new subsection 3284(c), will require fall protection equipment used in window cleaning operations to comply with Section 1670 of the Construction Safety Orders. The proposed revision is necessary to make fall protection requirements for window cleaning consistent with fall protection for other industries and to clarify to employers the requirements for fall protection equipment.

Section 3285. Suspended Scaffolds.

Existing subsection 3285(c) requires each window cleaner on a working platform to attach their lanyard to a lifeline that is secured to a fixed anchorage on the roof. The proposed revision to Section 3285(c) will require each window cleaner on a working platform to be protected by a personal fall protection system meeting the requirements of Article 6, Appendix C, of the General Industry Safety Orders. This revision is necessary to make the fall protection requirements for window cleaners working on suspended scaffolds the same as those for employees doing building maintenance from suspended scaffolds. Also, the proposed revision is necessary to make the fall protection requirements for window cleaning consistent with the fall protection requirements found in Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders.

Section 3286. Manual Boatswain’s Chairs and Controlled Descent Apparatus (CDA).

Subsection (a)(4) requires that employees using a Boatswain’s chair or CDA wear full body harnesses as part of their fall arrest system. The proposed revision to require these employees to be protected by a personal fall arrest system meeting the requirements of Article 6, Appendix C, of the General Industry Safety Orders is necessary to make fall protection requirements for window cleaners using a Boatswain’s chair or CDA consistent with fall protection for other industries. Also, the proposed revision is necessary to ensure that fall protection requirements for window cleaners are consistent with fall protection requirements found in Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders.

Section 3287. Ladders.

Subsection (a)(12) requires that no employee be allowed to stand on the top three rungs of any ladder unless there are structural members that provide a firm handhold or the worker is protected from falling by an approved safety belt. A revision is proposed to divide this subsection into two new subsections. Proposed new subsection (a)(12)(A) will ensure employees on the top three rungs of a ladder are protected from a fall either by having a firm handhold or by using a personal fall protection system. Proposed new subsection (a)(12)(B) will restrict employees from standing on the topcap of the ladder or step below the topcap when working on a stepladder. This proposed revision is necessary to make fall protection requirements for window cleaners working from ladders consistent with fall protection requirements for ladders found in the Construction Safety Orders, and to make the fall protection requirements for window cleaners consistent with fall protection requirements found in Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders.

Section 3291. Special Design Considerations—Permanent Roof Top Installations.

Subsection (c)(2) requires personnel standing on unguarded roofs or ledges to reposition davits to be protected from falling by an approved safety belt. The proposed revision will require that employees be protected by a personal fall restraint system meeting the requirements of Section 1670 of the Construction Safety Orders. This proposed revision is necessary to clarify that the appropriate type of personal fall protection system is used for this activity, and to ensure that the personal fall protection system used provides equivalent safety to a 42-inch high parapet.

Article 6. Powered Platforms and Equipment for Building Maintenance

Section 3293. Definitions.

This section states that the definitions for terms in Article 6 can be found in Article 5. A revision is proposed to add language stating that definitions may also be found in Article 1, Section 3207. The proposed revision is necessary to clarify where the terms "Personal Fall Arrest System", "Personal Fall Restraint System", "Personal Fall Protection System" and "Positioning Device System" are found.

Appendix C, Section I. Personal Fall Arrest Systems.

Section I of Appendix C contains the requirements for personal fall arrest systems used by employees performing building maintenance from powered platforms.

Subsection (b). Definitions.

This subsection states that the definitions for terms in Article 6 can be found in Article 5. The proposed amendment adds that definitions may also be found in Article 1, Section 3207. The proposed revision is necessary to clarify where the terms "Personal Fall Arrest System", "Personal Fall Restraint System", "Personal Fall Protection System" and "Positioning Device System" may be found.

Subsection (c). Design for System Components.

Subsection (c)(10) requires that anchorages for personal fall arrest systems be capable of supporting 5400 pounds per employee attached. A revision is proposed to reduce this requirement to 5000 pounds. The proposed revision is necessary to make the strength requirements of fall protection anchorages for employees using powered platforms for building maintenance consistent with the Federal OSHA standard, and Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders.

Subsection (c)(11) requires that ropes and straps used in lanyards, safety lines, and strength components of body belts and body harnesses be made from synthetic fibers or wire rope. A revision is proposed to remove the term "body belt" from this requirement. The proposed revision is necessary to clarify to the employer that body belts may not be used as part of a fall arrest system and to make the restrictions on the use of body belts consistent throughout Title 8.

Proposed new subsection (c)(12) will require all body harnesses and lanyards manufactured on or before January 1, 1998 be designed and built to conform to ANSI A10.14-1975, Requirements for Safety Belts, Harnesses, Lanyards, Lifelines and Drop Lines for Construction and Industrial Use, which is incorporated by reference. The proposed revision is necessary to clarify the design requirements for harnesses and lanyards manufactured on or before January 1, 1998 and allow employers to continue using the older body harnesses and lanyards until such time as they are phased out and/or replaced.

Proposed new subsection (c)(13) will require all personal fall arrest, personal fall restraint and positioning device systems manufactured after January 1, 1998 be designed and built to conform to either ANSI A10.14-1991, American National Standard for Construction and Demolition Use, or ANSI Z359.1-1992, American National Standard Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, which are incorporated by reference. The proposed revision is necessary to reference the latest National Consensus Standards for the design and construction of fall protection equipment, and to ensure employees are provided with state-of-the-art fall protection equipment.

Subsection (d). System Performance Criteria.

Subsection (1)(A) requires that when stopping a fall, personal fall arrest systems limit the maximum arresting force on an employee to 900 pounds when used with a body belt. A revision is proposed to delete this subsection and renumber subsections (d)(1)(B) through (d)(1)(D) accordingly. The proposed revision is necessary to clarify that body belts are not to be used as part of a fall arrest system.

Subsection (e). Care and Use.

Subsection (e) contains mandatory care and use requirements for personal fall arrest systems used by employees performing building maintenance from suspended scaffolds.

A revision is proposed that would insert subsection (e)(1) requiring that body belts shall not be used as part of a personal fall arrest system and renumber subsections (e)(1) through (e)(8) accordingly. The proposed revision is necessary to clarify to the employer that body belts may not be used as part of a fall arrest system and to make the restrictions on the use of body belts consistent throughout Title 8.

Subsection (f). Inspections.

Proposed new subsection (f)(2) will require that each personal fall arrest system be inspected not less than twice annually by a competent person in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the date of the inspection be documented. The proposed revision is necessary to make personal fall arrest systems used for window cleaning and building maintenance subject to the same inspection requirements as personal fall arrest systems used in construction. The proposed revision is also necessary to ensure a competent person inspects all fall protection systems on a regular basis so employees do not use unsafe equipment.

Appendix C, Section II. Test Methods for Personal Fall Arrest Systems.

Section II sets out test procedures which shall be used to determine compliance with applicable requirements contained in Section I of this Appendix.

Subsection (b). General conditions for all tests in Section II.

Subsection (b)(1) requires that during the required tests, safety lines, lanyards and deceleration devices shall be attached to an anchorage and connected to the body belt or body harness in the same manner as they would be when used to protect employees. A revision is proposed to delete the term "body belt". This proposed revision is necessary to reflect the repeal of the use of body belts for fall arrest and to remove the ambiguity of referencing body belts in a section on fall arrest systems.

Subsection (c). Strength Test.

Subsection (c)(3) requires that during the strength test, lanyards be six feet in length measured from the fixed anchorage to the attachment on the body belt or harness. A revision is proposed to delete the term "body belt". This proposed revision is necessary to reflect the repeal of the use of body belts for fall arrest and to remove the ambiguity of referencing body belts in a section on fall arrest systems.

Subsection (d). Force Test.

Subsection (d)(2)(B) requires that during the force test, lanyards be six feet in length measured from the fixed anchorage to the attachment on the body belt or harness. A revision is proposed to delete the term "body belt". This proposed revision is necessary to reflect the repeal of the use of body belts for fall arrest and to remove the ambiguity of referencing body belts in a section on fall arrest systems.

Subsection (d)(3)(B)(1) requires that the free fall distance of the test weight used in the force test for deceleration systems which have a connection link or lanyard, be a free fall distance equal to the connection distance (measured between the centerline of the safety line and the attachment point to the body belt or harness). A revision is proposed to delete the term "body belt". This proposed revision is necessary to reflect the repeal of the use of body belts for fall arrest and to remove the ambiguity of referencing body belts in a section on fall arrest systems.

Subsection (d)(3)(B)(4) states that a system fails the force test if the recorded maximum arresting force exceeds 1,260 pounds when using a body belt, and/or exceeds 2,520 pounds when using a body harness. A revision is proposed to delete the force requirement for body belts. This proposed revision is necessary to reflect the repeal of the use of body belts for fall arrest and to remove the ambiguity of referencing body belts in a section on fall arrest systems.

Appendix C, Section III. Non-Mandatory Guidelines for Personal Fall Arrest Systems.

Section III provides non-mandatory guidelines which are intended to assist employers in complying with the provisions of Sections I and II.

Subsection (c). Component Compatibility Considerations.

This subsection provides non-mandatory guidelines on the compatibility of fall arrest devices, including body belts. A revision is proposed to delete the term "body belt". This proposed revision is necessary to reflect the repeal of the use of body belts for fall arrest and to remove the ambiguity of referencing body belts in a section on fall arrest systems.

Subsection (e). Instruction Considerations.

Subsection (e) provides non-mandatory guidelines on the types of instructions employers should obtain from the supplier of the personal fall arrest system.

Subsection (e)(6) includes the proper hook-up, anchoring, and tie-off techniques, including the proper dee-ring or other attachment point to use on the body belt and harness for fall arrest in this list of instructions. A revision is proposed to delete the term "body belt". This proposed revision is necessary to reflect the repeal of the use of body belts for fall arrest and to remove the ambiguity of referencing body belts in a section on fall arrest systems.

Subsection (j). Free Fall Considerations.

Subsection (j) provides non-mandatory guidelines on the effects of free fall distances on users of personal fall arrest systems. A revision is proposed to delete the term "body belt". This proposed revision is necessary to reflect the repeal of the use of body belts for fall arrest and to remove the ambiguity of referencing body belts in a section on fall arrest systems.

Subsection (l). Obstruction Considerations.

Subsection (l) provides non-mandatory guidelines on the hazard of obstructions in the potential fall path of the employee, including obstructions that may interfere with the jack-knife motion an employee wearing a body belt may experience. A revision is proposed to delete the language referring to the use of body belts along with the jack-knife motion caused by the use of a body belt when arresting a fall. This proposed revision is necessary to reflect the repeal of the use of body belts for fall arrest and to remove the ambiguity of referencing body belts in a section on fall arrest systems.

DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON

None.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

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 1300 I Street, Suite 920, Sacramento, California.

IDENTIFIED ALTERNATIVES THAT WOULD LESSEN ADVERSE ECONOMIC

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. The technologies and equipment referenced in the proposed changes are widely available and already in use in the window cleaning and exterior building maintenance industries.

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. General Services contracts for services affected by this proposal but, for reasons given under "Specific Technologies and Equipment", there will not be a fiscal impact.

Impact on Housing Costs

The proposal will not affect housing costs.

Impact on Businesses

The 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. For the reasons given under "Specific Technology or Equipment", the proposal will not inflict any new costs on California businesses. The proposed revisions will only affect business conducted within the state so it will not affect 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 proposal only affects the fall protection equipment used for window cleaning and exterior building maintenance on high rise buildings. It has no affect on the building structure or cost to the building owner.

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 or Mandate."

Other Nondiscretionary Costs or Savings 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 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, 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, these 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 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.