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Cal/OSHA Asks Standard Board for Night Work Standard  

Cal/OSHA Standards Board issued a request for a night work safety standard to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board on December 2. Click here to view the proposed regulation.

Acting Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum asked to Board to "augument and clarify the requirement to provide work area lighting about agricultural equipment and trucking operations during agricultural field operations..."

Current regulations require tractors and self-propelled farm equipment to be equipped with a headlight to illuminate an area to the front at least 50 feet, plus a light to illuminate the rear of the vehicle, with lighting as needed to allow adjustment of equipment.  This requirement now applies between an hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

The revised regulation will require tractors, self-propelled farm equipment and trucks be equipped with lighting to illuminate the area 50 feet ahead of the vehicle; additionally, 

"Lighting shall be provided in areas where workers may be on the ground within 25 feet of operating tractors, trucks, self-propelled or towed equipment.  The minimum illumination in these work areas shall be 10 footcandles."

This lighting requirement will apply between sunset and sunrise.  Additionally:

 The employer shall provide, and require workers to wear Class 2 high visibility garments meeting the requirements of Section 3380(e) and conforming to the specifications of ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 for work activities conducted between sunset and sunrise.

In the likely event you do not know what the definition of "footcandle" is, it is usually defined as "the amount of illumination the inside surface of a one-foot-radius sphere would be receiving if there were a uniform point source of one candela in the exact center of the sphere."  The standard cited for reflective clothing is that typically seen at highway construction sites.

The Standards Board has informed FELS eNews that the agency request for rulemaking has been placed on the Board's 2014 rulemaking calendar for action, with an advisory committee likely to be held in the Spring or early Summer.