||On June 22, 2012, federal OSHA issued this Direct Final Rule to revise the personal protective equipment (PPE) sections of its General Industry, Shipyard Employment, Longshoring, and Marine Terminals standards regarding requirements for head protection, along with an identical proposed rule [77 FR 37617]. OSHA updated the references in §§1910.135(b)(1), 1915.155(b)(1), 1917.93(b)(1), 1918.103(b)(1) to recognize the 2009 edition of the American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection (ANSI Z89.1). The provisions in the 2009 edition permit optional testing for helmets worn in the backwards position (“reverse wearing”), optional testing for helmets at colder temperatures than provided in previous editions, and optional testing for the high-visibility coloring of helmets.
Additionally, changes in the 2009 edition include: (1) removing the definition of “cap” and “hat” and inserts the definitions of “manufacturer” and “test plaque” in the 2009 edition; (2) permitting the testing facility to determine an appropriate size of the headform if the manufacturer did not specify the size; (3) requiring orientation of test samples in the normal wearing position when conducting various test procedures; and (4) removing vertical guard rails from the lists of necessary components for specified test equipment.
The 2009 revision to the General Industry and Maritime Industry personal protective equipment standards, however, did not address the construction standards requiring personal protective equipment. Therefore, the construction standards at §1926.100 (b) and (c) still required compliance with the older ANSI Z89.1-1969 and ANSI Z89.2-1971, respectively.
To bring the construction standard up-to- date and to ensure consistency across all of its standards, federal OSHA amended §1926.100 to permit compliance with ANSI Z89.1-1969 and ANSI Z89.2-1971, which set forth requirements regarding different types of helmets now addressed in Z89.1, and replaced these outdated head protection references with the same three most recent editions of ANSI Z89.1, referenced in the general industry and maritime industry standards: ANSI Z89.1-1997, ANSI Z89.1-2003, or ANSI Z89.1-2009.
The 2009 edition defines Type I and Type II helmets by the area of the head to which the helmets afford protection, rather than by whether the helmets have a brim. It also renames the classes of helmets tested for protection against electrical hazards (i.e., classes G, E, and C instead of A, B, and C), although it still bases helmet classification on the capacity of the helmet to protect employees from electrical hazards. In addition, the 2009 edition of ANSI Z89.1 eliminates a fourth class of helmets used in fire fighting. Many requirements included in the 1969 and 1971 editions, such as requirements specifying the type of material manufacturers must use when making different components and specifications regarding helmet accessories, have been eliminated in the 2009 edition. Most importantly, ANSI revised the performance requirements and test methods. The 2009 edition includes fundamental updates such as more and different types of test methods, and the use of different equipment for performing these test methods.
Additionally, on July 23, 2012, federal OSHA published a correction to the Direct Final Rule for Updating OSHA Construction Standards Based on National Consensus Standards; Head Protection (77 FR 42988). In this correction to the Direct Final Rule, OSHA corrected instruction number 16 of the Direct Final Rule (77 FR 37600) with respect to the Construction Industry head protection standards to eliminate confusion resulting from a drafting error in §1926.100. The original instruction number 16 stated that §1926.100 was amended by adding paragraph (b)(1) through (b)(3) and removed paragraph (c). The corrected instruction number 16 states that §1926.100 was amended by removing paragraph (c) and revising paragraph (b).