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Cal/OSHA Standards Board Approves Nighttime Outdoor Agricultural Regulations

On February 20, 2020, at its monthly public meeting, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted unanimously to approve the proposed “Outdoor Agricultural Operations During Hours of Darkness” regulation that amends Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Sections 3441 and 3449. The newly approved rules, which include requirements for work-area lighting and high-visibility garments, will likely take effect next year following the completion of the regulatory implementation process. Employers with agricultural operations occurring after sunset may want to begin considering how to comply with the new regulation.

The draft regulation process began six years ago in 2014. During the public comment period, the California Farm Bureau Federation cautioned the board that the economic impact of the proposed regulation had been underestimated, but it did not dispute the need for a lighting regulation or ask that the proposal be rejected. Notably, during the advisory process, the poultry industry successfully lobbied for reduced lighting during nighttime harvesting and catching operations. Prior to the vote, board member David Harrison and others spoke in support of the proposed regulation and expressed satisfaction with the work that had been done in drafting and shepherding it through the rulemaking process. The approved regulation can be found here.

In addition to approving the regulation governing outdoor agricultural operations during hours of darkness, the board heard from stakeholders who spoke in support of a proposed commercial diving operations regulation that would amend CCR Sections 6051, 6056, and 6057. The proposal includes draft language addressing “Zoo and Aquarium Exhibit Diving,” as well as “Film and TV Diving” operations. The board invited additional public comments regarding the proposed regulation.

The next meeting of the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will take place on March 19, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. at Pasadena City Hall in Pasadena, California.

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 52

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About this Author

Karen Tynan, employment lawyer, Ogletree Deakins
Of Counsel

Karen Tynan is an of counsel attorney in the Sacramento office of Ogletree Deakins. Karen is originally from the state of Georgia, and after graduating with honors from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, she worked for Chevron Shipping Company for ten years – sailing as a ship's officer on oil tankers rising to the rank of Chief Officer with her Unlimited Master’s License as well as San Francisco Bay pilotage endorsement.  Karen was the highest ranking woman in the Chevron fleet when she left her seafaring life.  This maritime and petroleum experience is unique among employment...

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