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Cal/OSHA Corner


davis-mel-cBeing a small manufacturing company with limited resources, how can I determine if and when the Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) Standards Board is considering regulations that will affect my business?

The Standards Board continues to adopt regulations designed to provide for the health and safety of California workers. The board’s current tabulation includes 39 new and revised regulations, with effective dates going back to September 6, 2012.

Some changes were the result of federal rulemaking, such as the Globally Harmonized System, revised Hazard Communication regulation, updates to the references of national consensus publications such as the National Fire Protection Association standards, CalOSHA requests, petitions and self-initiated board review of existing regulations.

Many Industries Affected

Because of the scope of rulemaking that has been done, it is very likely many industries are affected by at least one of these new or revised regulations. The following is a broad-brush summary of the adopted regulations.

• The Globally Harmonized System/Hazard Communication. Too numerous to list; four separate rulemakings (5/6/14, 11/6/13, 10/4/12). See July 11 “Cal/OSHA Corner” for brief recap of 5/6/14 rulemaking.

• Sections 1512, 2310, and 2940.10: First Aid for Electrical Workers—Application and Scope (10/5/12).

• Sections 1520 and 3384: Hand Protection (7/1/14).

• Section 1533: Internal Combustion Engine-Driven Equipment (Technical Amendments) (10/1/13).

• Section 3314: Group Lockout/Tagout (10/1/14).

• Section 3329: Dismantling Pressurized Pipe (10/1/13).

• Section 3381: Head Protection (7/1/13).

• Section 3650: Powered Industrial Trucks—Excessive Loads (7/1/14).

• Section 4297: Definitions for Woodworking Machines and Equipment (11/1/12 and 4/1/14).

• Section 4309: Radial Arm Saw Guarding (4/1/13).

• Section 4355: Operating Rules for Compaction Equipment (7/1/14).

• Section 4542: Guarding of Vertical Food Mixers (10/1/14).

• Section 5120: Safe Patient Handling (10/1/14).

• Section 5155: Airborne Contaminants (4/1/14, 10/1/14).

• Section 5199(g)(3)(B): Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Respirator Exception (10/1/13).

Complete List

A complete listing of the regulations can be found at The rulemaking package can be seen by clicking on the regulation that affects your company/employees.

Advisory Committee: Cranes

The board did adopt a federal construction crane rulemaking on 10/2/12 and, like the federal rulemaking, placed the regulations in the Construction Safety Orders.

California, however, has traditionally placed all the crane regulations in the General Industry Safety Orders (GISO). The conversion has not been successful and as a result the board is revisiting the rulemaking with the assistance of an advisory committee, as some of the regulations will apply to both construction and industrial applications.

Contact Conrad Tolson at the Standards Board for additional information regarding this process.

Readers interested in the advisory committee process can go to, click on “Boards,” then “Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board,” and then “Advisory committees.”

The Labor Law Helpline is a service to California Chamber of Commerce preferred and executive members. For expert explanations of labor laws and Cal/OSHA regulations, not legal counsel for specific situations, call (800) 348-2262 or submit your question at

Staff Contact: Mel Davis

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Mel Davis
About Mel Davis
Mel Davis joined the CalChamber in 2000 as a Cal/OSHA adviser specializing in Cal/OSHA and safety-related matters. He worked for Cal/OSHA for more than 23 years as a principal safety engineer and construction safety engineer. His responsibilities included managing the technical staff responsible for developing and revising California safety and health regulations, evaluating requests for variances from regulations, and conducting complaint and accident investigations at all types of construction sites.