State Adopts Multiple New Safety/Health Regulation Packages

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MelDavisAs the owner of a small manufacturing business, I would like to know if there were any new regulations adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) that will affect my company.

From October 2014 through December 2015, the OSHSB received approval from the Office of Administrative Law for 14 rulemaking packages that had been developed, noticed, presented for public hearing, and accepted by the OSHSB.

Of these rulemaking packages, three are specific to construction; one to fire brigades; one to ship building, ship repairing and ship breaking; one to helicopter operations; and eight could apply to all industries.

New Regulations

Sections 1514 and 3380 are the personal protective standards respectively for the construction and general industry safety orders. This rulemaking was initiated by the OSHSB staff and resulted in deleting irrelevant wording and references and adopting federal language. This rulemaking was the subject of a previous article (see March 6, 2015 Alert).

Section 1618.1(e) addresses crane and derrick operator certification. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires crane operator certification, include the type and capacity of the crane being operated.

For a number of reasons, it determined that a three-year extension, to 2017, was necessary to permit operators to become certified. As a result, California has modified its certification deadline to mirror the federal.

Section 1710 requirements were modified to reflect federal language for steel decking installation as pointed out by Cal/OSHA.

Section 1903 was OSHSB-initiated to address helicopter in-flight emergency and permit the deviation of landing protocol for landing operations.

New sections 1950–1962 are the adoption of federal regulations addressing working in confined spaces as related to the construction industry. These regulations delineate the “host” or “controlling employer.”

Sections 2540.7, 2540.8, 5530, 5568, 5572, 5574, 5575 and 5621. The provisions of these regulations are related to fire and explosion prevention. Also, the revisions relate to the federal global harmonizing rulemaking.

Section 3411 has been revised as the result of a petition to update the firefighter footgear reference to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1977–2011.

Sections 4345, 4351, 4352 and 4354 have been revised to reference new and updated American National Standards Institute (ANSI) consensus standards for Stationary and Mobile Compaction Equipment and Balers.

Section 5155, Airborne Contaminants, Hydrogen Chloride, has been revised to reduce the allowable permissible exposure level (PEL) and ceiling limits.

Sections 5184 and 5185 address battery systems and changing and charging storage batteries. These sections have been extensively modified to address new battery technology as related to valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries.

Sections 5620, 6165, 6180, 6181, 6182, 6183 and 6184 have been revised to reference the latest NFPA Fire Protection Standards.

Section 8397.4(b) relates to water supply and drinking cups in the ship building, ship repairing and ship breaking orders, and was adopted to be as effective as the federal regulations.

More Information

A full copy of these revisions may be found by going to www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/apprvd.html.


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 www.hrcalifornia.com.

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.