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Subchapter 20. Tunnel Safety Orders
Article 24. Licensing of Blasters

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Appendix B--Labor Code Excerpts

DIVISION 5. SAFETY IN EMPLOYMENT

PART 1. WORKMEN'S SAFETY

Chapter 2. Safety Devices and Safeguards

"Section 6401. Every employer shall furnish and use safety devices and safeguards, and shall adopt and use practices, means, methods, operations, and processes which are reasonably adequate to render such employment and place of employment safe. Every employer shall do every other thing reasonably necessary to protect the life and safety of employees.

"Section 6406. No person shall do any of the following:

(a) Remove, displace, damage, destroy or carry off any safety device, safeguard, notice, or warning, furnished for use in any employment or place of employment.

(b) Interfere in any way with the use thereof by any other person.

(c) Interfere with the use of any method or process adopted for the protection of any employee, including himself, in such employment, or place of employment.

(d) Fail or neglect to do every other thing reasonably necessary to protect the life and safety of employees."

PART 9. TUNNEL AND MINE SAFETY

Chapter 1. Tunnels and Mines

7950. This part shall be known and may be cited as "The Tom Carrell Memorial Tunnel and Mine Safety Act of 1972."

7951. As used in this part:

(a) Tunnel shall include excavation, construction, alteration, repairing, renovating, or demolishing of any tunnel except tunnel work covered under the compressed air safety orders adopted by the Industrial Safety Board and manhole construction.

(b) "Tunnel" means an underground passageway, excavated by men and equipment working below the earth's surface, that provides a subterranean route along which men, equipment, or substances can move.

(c) "Mine" means any excavation or opening above or below ground used for removal of ore, minerals, gravel, sand, rock, or other materials intended for manufacturing or sale. It shall include quarries and open pit operations, other than a gravel pit or other pit where material is removed by a contractor or other person for his own use and not for sale to others. The term "mine" shall not include a mine that is operated exclusively by persons having a proprietary interest in such mine or by persons who are paid only a share of the profits from the mine, nor shall it include during any calendar year, any mine that produced less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) in ore, minerals, sand, rock, or other material during the preceding calendar year.

(d) "Access shaft" means a vertical shaft used as a regular means of worker access to underground mines and tunnels under construction, renovation, or demolition.

(e) "Lower explosive limit" means the lowest concentration at which a gas or vapor can be ignited or will explode.

(f) "Face" means the head of the tunnel where soil is being removed, or that area in a mine where digging is underway.

(g) "Muck" means excavated dirt, rock, or other material.

(h) "Permissible equipment" means equipment tested and approved by the U.S. Bureau of Mines or acceptable to other authorities recognized by the division, and acceptable by the division, which is safe for use in gassy or extrahazardous tunnels or underground mines.

(i) "Division" means the Division of Industrial Safety.

(j) "Board" means the Industrial Safety Board.

(k) "Underground mine" means a mine that consists of a subterranean excavation.

7952. There shall be within the division a separate unit of safety engineers trained to inspect all tunnel construction and mine operations.

7953. Sufficient manpower shall be maintained to provide for four annual inspections of underground mines, one inspection of surface mines or quarries annually, and six inspections of tunnels under construction annually.

7954. To assist the unit of safety engineers in determining the safety of tunnel construction and mine operation, the division shall make available at least one industrial hygiene engineer and one chemist. A laboratory for analysis of dust, gas, vapors, soil, or other materials shall be available to members of this unit. Contracts to provide for geological and other services may be signed by the division whenever it is necessary to assure safety for employees engaged in mining or tunnel work.

7955. The division and the owner of a mine, if he is not the operator of the mine, shall be notified before any initial mining operation or construction may be started at any mines or tunnels. A prejob safety conference shall be held with an authorized representative of the division for all underground operations. Representatives of the tunnel or mine owner, the employer, and employees shall be included in the prejob safety conference.

The division shall classify all tunnels or underground mines operating on the effective date of this section, or which commence operation thereafter, as one of the classifications set forth in subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive. Such classification shall be made prior to the request for bids on all public works projects, whenever possible. This shall not, however, prevent the division from reclassifying such mines or tunnels when conditions warrant it.

(a) Nongassy, which classification shall be applied to tunnels or underground mines where there is little likelihood of encountering gas during the construction of the tunnel or operation of an underground mine. Such tunnels shall be constructed or underground mines operated under regulations, rules, and orders developed by the division and board and approved by the board. This subdivision shall not prohibit the division chief or his representatives from establishing any special orders that they feel are necessary for safety.

(b) Potentially gassy, which classification shall be applied to tunnels or underground mines where there exists a possibility gas will be encountered.

(c) Gassy, which classification shall be applied to tunnels or underground mines where it is likely gas will be encountered. Special safety measures, including those set forth in Sections 7965 to 7976, inclusive, those established by the division and board and adopted by the board, or special orders written by the chief or his representatives shall be observed in construction of gassy tunnels in addition to regular rules, orders, special orders, or regulations.

(d) Extrahazardous, which classification may, when the division finds that there is a serious danger to the safety of the employees, be applied to tunnels or underground mines where gas or vapors have caused an explosion or fire, where the likelihood of encountering petroleum vapors exists, or where tests show, with normal ventilation, a concentration of hydrocarbon petroleum vapors in excess of 20 percent of the lower explosive limit within three inches of the roof, face, floor, or walls of any open workings. Construction in extrahazardous tunnels or operation in extrahazardous underground mines shall conform to safety measures set forth in Sections 7977 to 7985, inclusive, any rules, regulations, orders, or special orders of the division, or any special rules, orders, or regulations adopted by the board.

The division shall not be required to reclassify any tunnel or underground mine that is shut down seasonally, when such tunnel or underground mine is put back into operation in not less than six months after date of the shutdown.

7956. All personnel, including both employees working above ground and those in the tunnel or underground mine, shall be informed of the classification designated by the division for that job. A notice of the classification and any special orders, rules, or regulations to be used in construction, remodeling, demolition, or operation of the tunnel or underground mine shall be prominently posted at the site.

7957. An emergency rescue plan shall be developed by the employer for every tunnel or underground mine. Such plan, including a current map of the tunnel or underground mine, shall be provided to local fire and rescue units, to the division, and to every employee at the place of employment.

7958. A trained rescue crew of at least five men shall be provided at underground mines with more than 25 men or tunnels with 10 or more men underground at any one time. Smaller mines shall have one man for each 10 men underground who receives annual training in the use of breathing apparatus. Two trained crews shall be provided at mines with more than 50 men underground and at tunnels with more than 25 men underground.

7959. Rescue crews shall be familiar with all emergency equipment necessary to effect a rescue or search for missing employees in case of an accident or explosion. Such rescue crews shall hold practices with equipment and using emergency rescue plan procedures at least once monthly during construction or operation of the tunnel or underground mines. At least one rescue crew shall be maintained above ground at all times and within 30 minutes travel of the tunnel or underground mine site classified as gassy or extrahazardous.

7960. In any tunnel or underground mine classified as potentially gassy, tests for gas or vapors shall be made prior to start of work at each shift. If any concentration of gas at or above 10 percent of the lower explosive limit is recorded, the division shall be notified immediately.

7961. The division shall investigate immediately any notification of a gas reading 10 percent of the lower explosive limit or higher by an employer in a tunnel or underground mine classified as potentially gassy. If the inspection determines the likelihood of encountering more gas or vapor, the division may halt operations until the tunnel or mine can be reclassified.

7962. A safety representative qualified to recognize hazardous conditions and certified by the division shall be designated by the employer in any tunnel or underground mine. He shall have the authority to correct unsafe conditions and unsafe practices, and shall be responsible for directing the required safety programs.

7963. All underground mines and tunnels with more than five men underground at one time shall have telephone or other communication systems to the surface in operation at any time there are persons underground. Such systems shall be installed in such a manner that destruction or removal of one phone or communication device does not make other phones or communication devices inoperative.

7964. Whenever an access shaft is used as the normal means of entrance or exit to an underground mine or tunnel, it shall be constructed of fireproof material or fireproofed by chemical or other means.

7964.5. Nothing contained in this part shall restrict the division in contracting with the Secretary of the Interior for an approved state plan for mines under P.L. 89-577 (30 U.S.C. 721 et seq.).

Chapter 2. Gassy and Extrahazardous Tunnels

7965. Any tunnel or underground mine classified by the division as gassy shall operate under special procedures adopted by the board, as well as rules, regulations, special orders, or general orders for nongassy underground mines and tunnels.

7966. In any tunnel classified as gassy by the division, there shall be tests for gas or vapors taken prior to each shift and at least hourly during actual operation. If a mechanical excavator is used, gas tests shall be made prior to removal of muck or material and before any cutting or drilling in tunnels or underground mines where explosives are used. A log shall be maintained for inspection by the division showing results of each test. Whenever a tunnel excavation or underground mine operation approaches a geologic formation in which there is a likelihood of encountering gas or water, a probe hole at least 20 feet ahead of the tunnel face or area where material is being mined shall be maintained.

7967. Whenever gas levels in excess of 10 percent of the lower explosive limit are encountered initially in a tunnel or underground mine classified as gassy, the division shall be notified immediately by telephone or telegraph. The chief of the division or his authorized representative may waive subsequent notification for gas readings less than 20 percent of the lower explosive limits upon a finding that adequate ventilation and other safety measures are provided to assure employee safety.

7968. In any gassy tunnel or underground mine, the division may order work halted until adequate testing can be completed to determine the level of hazard from gases or vapors. A notice of such shutdown shall be filed by the division inspector with his superiors as soon as practicable. Any overruling of such order must be made by the chief or his designated representative and must be in writing. An onsite inspection must be made by the person overruling an inspector's order prior to resumption of work.

7969. In any gassy tunnel or underground mine the division shall review plans for electrical lighting and power for equipment. When it is necessary for safety, the inspector may require changes in the amount and type of lighting, and may require permissive-type wiring, switches, tools, and equipment.

7970. In any tunnel or underground mine classified gassy, smoking shall be prohibited and the employer shall be responsible for collecting all personal sources of ignition such as lighters and matches from employees entering the tunnel.

7971. Whenever there is any ignition of gas or vapor in a tunnel or underground mine, all work shall cease, employees shall be removed, and reentry except for rescue purposes shall be prohibited until the division has conducted an inspection and authorized reentry for maintenance or production in writing.

7972. If the level of gas in any tunnel or underground mine reaches 20 percent of its lower explosive limit at any time all men shall be removed, the division notified immediately by telephone or telegram, and no one shall reenter the tunnel or underground mine until approval is given by the division.

7973. In any tunnel or underground mine classified as gassy, all employees shall be informed of any special orders made by the division following an inspection. Such notice shall be given before entering the tunnel or underground mine. A copy of any orders subsequently written by the division shall be posted and all employees shall be notified at a safety meeting called by the safety representative before they are permitted to start work.

7974. In any tunnel classified as gassy by the division, ventilation shall include continuous exhausting of fumes and air, unless an alternative ventilation plan which is as effective or better is approved by the division. Fans for this purpose shall be located at the surface, and shall be reversible from a single switch at the portal or shaft. These requirements shall not preclude the use of auxiliary fans to supply more air or greater exhaust to a tunnel or underground mine.

7975. A "kill" button capable of cutting off all electrical equipment shall be maintained in any gassy tunnel or underground mine. The safety representative or his designated representative shall cut off power at any time gas or vapor levels reach 20 percent of the lower explosive limit or more. Before work is restarted every employee underground shall be informed of the level of gas or vapor recorded, and a permanent record shall be called to the surface and retained in a special log.

7976. In any tunnel or underground mine classified as gassy, the division shall determine the number of fire extinguishers necessary and their locations.

7977. Any tunnel or underground mine classified as extrahazardous by the division shall comply with the provisions for gassy tunnels in this chapter, as well as regulations, rules, special orders, and general orders of the division or board.

7978. In any extrahazardous tunnel or underground mine smoking by employees or open flame shall be prohibited. Welding or cutting with arc or flame underground in other than fresh air shall be done under the direct supervision of qualified persons who shall test for gas and vapors before welding or cutting starts and continuously during such an operation. No cutting or welding shall be permitted in atmospheres where any concentration of gas or vapor reaches 20 percent of the lower explosive limit or more while a probe hole is being drilled or when the tunnel face or material from a mine is being excavated.

7979. In tunnels or underground mines classified extrahazardous, sufficient air shall be supplied to maintain an atmosphere of all of the following conditions:

(a) Not less than 19 percent oxygen.

(b) Not more than 0.5 percent carbon dioxide.

(c) Not more than 5 parts per million nitrogen dioxide.

(d) No petroleum vapors or other toxic gases in concentrations exceeding the threshold limit values established annually by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

7980. All electrical equipment and machines, including diesel engines, used in tunnels or underground mines classified extrahazardous shall be permissible equipment. The division may, however, permit the use of nonpermissive equipment in a tunnel or underground mine in areas where it finds there is no longer danger from gas or other hazards.

7981. An escape chamber or alternate escape route shall be maintained within 5,000 feet of the tunnel face or areas being used to excavate material in an underground mine classified as gassy or extrahazardous. Workers shall be provided with emergency rescue equipment and trained in its use.

7982. Records of air flow and air sample tests to assure compliance with required standards shall be maintained by the employer at the site of any tunnel or underground mine classified extrahazardous. Such records shall be made available to any division representative upon request.

7983. The main fan line used for ventilation in any tunnel or underground mine classified extrahazardous shall contain a cutoff switch capable of halting all machinery underground automatically should the fan fail or its performance fall below minimum power needed to maintain a safe atmosphere.

7984. In any tunnel or underground mine classified extrahazardous a device or devices which automatically and continuously test the atmosphere for gases or vapors shall be maintained. Such device or devices shall be placed as near the face or area of operation as practical, but never more than 50 feet from such point. The division shall determine if additional monitors are necessary and where they should be located. This requirement shall apply only to tunnels or underground mines where excavation of material is by mechanical means.

7985. All such testing device or devices shall be U.S. Bureau of Mines approved or acceptable to other authorities recognized by the division and shall automatically sound an alarm and activate flashing red signals visible to employees underground whenever the concentration of gases or vapors reaches or exceeds permissible levels. Permissible levels may be established lower than the limits set in division rules, regulations, or general orders whenever a division inspector considers such action necessary to make the operation safe for employees.

Chapter 3. Licensing and Penalties

7990. In any tunnel or mine under jurisdiction of the division, the use of explosives shall be limited to persons licensed by the division.

7991. To obtain a license under Section 7990, a person shall pass an oral and written examination given by the division. The division shall offer such examination in Spanish, or any other language, when requested by the applicant. The division shall administer such examination orally when requested by an applicant who cannot write. Application for such license shall cost fifteen dollars ($15), which is nonreturnable. Licenses shall be renewable annually at a fee of five dollars ($5).

7992. The board shall determine qualifications for persons seeking an "explosive blaster's license" and rules and regulations for use of explosives in tunnels or mines.

7993. Any person holding an "explosive blaster's license" who is convicted of violating any safety order involving the use or handling of explosives shall have his license suspended for not less than 30 days upon hearing by the division, in addition to any other penalties he may be assessed.

7994. Any person holding an "explosive blaster's license" who is convicted of violating safety orders involving use or handling of explosives in which the violation is judged to be responsible for an accident involving serious injury or death shall have his license revoked for at least one year, in addition to any other penalties he may be assessed. Any person who has had his "explosive blaster's license" revoked may apply for a new license after the minimum period of revocation expires. He shall be required to pass all examinations before a new license is granted.

7995. Any person who has had his "explosive blaster's license" revoked who is subsequently convicted of violations of a safety order involving the use or handling of explosives shall have his license permanently revoked in addition to other penalties he may be assessed.

7996. All safety equipment required to provide safe employment in tunnels or underground mines shall be U.S. Bureau of Mines approved, or acceptable to other authorities recognized by the division, and acceptable by the division.

7997. The board shall review and update general orders for tunnels and mines at least every two years. Representatives of the unit inspecting tunnels and mines shall be consulted during each review and shall be permitted to submit suggested changes to the general orders at any time.

7998. The board shall also develop tests, available in English, Spanish, or other languages where a sufficient portion of employees exists to show need, to qualify gas testers and safety representatives in tunnels and mines.

7999. No person shall be qualified to operate as a gas tester, or serve as a safety representative in a tunnel or mine unless he holds a certificate issued by the division.

8000. Requirements established by the board shall preempt local government rules, regulations, and laws requiring certification or licensing as gas testers or safety representatives. However, local governments may contract with the division for testing applicants and issuing certifications.

8001. A fee sufficient to cover costs of examination and certification of gas testers and safety representatives for tunnels and mines, but not more than fifteen dollars ($15) annually for original applications and five dollars ($5) annually for renewals, may be charged by the division.

8002. All fees from such applications shall be nonrefundable. Such fees shall be paid into the State Treasury by the division to the credit of the General Fund.

8003. Violation of regulations, rules, orders, or special orders adopted by the board or division as a condition of certification shall be punishable by suspension or revocation of certification, unless such violation is responsible for death or injury to employees, in which case it shall be punishable as a misdemeanor.

8004. The provisions of this part shall not apply to the normal operation, maintenance, or repair of any completed tunnels owned or operated by a utility as defined in Section 229 of the Public Utilities Code. However, it shall apply to the initial construction or substantial modification of such a tunnel.

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