Saturday, February 4, 2023

Revised Rules Affect Steel/Concrete, Electrical Work and More

Can you provide a summary of occupational safety rules that went into effect over the last year that haven’t yet been included in a Cal/OSHA Corner article?

The Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) Standards Board adopted a number of new regulations in 2018 that will affect a broad spectrum of California employers.

For instance, one regulation is specific to the marine terminal industry, another to construction, a third to users and operators of cranes, and another to those who do electrical maintenance, installation and repair.

New Regulations

Steel/Concrete Construction

• On January 1, 2018 new regulations relating to reinforcing steel and concrete construction went into effect.

Construction safety order 1711, oil forms was repealed and replaced by requirements for reinforcing steel and post-tensioning in concrete construction.

Likewise, Section 1712 was revised to address requirements for impalement protection.

Electrical Safety Orders

• On April 1, 2018, as the result of federal rulemaking and subsequent action by the Standards Board, revisions to the Low and High Voltage Electrical Safety Orders went into effect.

The following articles were revised: Low-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders: Article 1, Definitions; Article 3, Work Procedures; Article 4, Requirements for Electrical Installations. High-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders: Article 1, Definitions; Article 23, Transformers; Article 29, Capacitors; Article 36, Work Procedures and Operating Procedures; New Appendix A, Appendix C, New Appendix D and E; Article 37, Provisions for Preventing Accidents Due to Proximity to Overhead Lines; Article 38, Line Clearance Tree Trimming Operations.

Revisions also were necessary to Sections 3314, 3389, 3422, 3425, 3428 and 5156 of the General Industry Safety Orders and the Telecommunications Safety Orders, Section 8617.

Other Revisions

• The maritime rulemaking, which took effect on April 1, 2019, addressed the requirement to provide life rings or personal flotation devices where work exposes employees to drowning.

• The compliance date for crane operator qualification and certification was extended from 2017 to 2018 to permit the completion of necessary federal rulemaking.

Full Text

The full text of these rulemakings can be found at the Department of Industrial Relations website, dir.ca.gov. Hover over Boards and select the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, then click on approved standards.

Upcoming Rulemaking

If you are interested in being active in the rulemaking process, there are two advisory committees scheduled in the near future:

• May 8: protection of workers from wildfire smoke.

• May 9: electronic submission of workplace injury and illness records.

The notices can be found at the Cal/OSHA Standards Board website. Go to www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/oshsb.html and click on “Recent Cal/OSHA advisory committees.”


Column based on questions asked by callers on the Labor Law Helpline, 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

Mel Davis
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.

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