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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 3. General Plant Equipment and Special Operations
Article 13. Agricultural Operations
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§3458. Fall Protection for Date Palm Operations.

Field Sanitation Fact Sheet
(a) Employees working in or on date palm trees shall be protected from falling at heights greater than 7 1/2 feet by the use of approved equipment/devices such as, but not limited to, elevating work platforms or aerial devices, or fall protection as provided in accordance with this Section.

(1) Fall protection systems used to meet the requirements of subsection (a) (i.e., approved personal fall arrest, fall restraint, or work positioning device system) shall meet the requirements of Section 1670 of the Construction Safety Orders, except as modified by subsection (b), (c) and (d) of this section.

(b) Lanyards used in a fall protection system shall be constructed of wire rope or chain when there is a hazard of cutting or damaging the lanyard by the use of tools or knives.

(1) Wire rope lanyards shall meet the minimum strength requirements provided in Section 1670 of the Construction Safety Orders.

(2) Chains used in a fall protection system shall maintain a safety factor of at least 10.

Note: The term “safety factor” is defined as the ratio of the ultimate breaking strength of a member or piece of material or equipment to the actual working stress or safe load when in use.

(c) Date palm saddles shall be designed by a competent person and shall be used in accordance with the following:

(1) Date palm saddles are permitted for use only as part of positioning device systems and must incorporate the use of an approved body belt;

(2) Lanyard(s) shall be attached to at least two fronds; and

(3) Dead, decayed, or damaged fronds shall not be used for anchorage.

(d) Positioning device systems used in the crown of date palm trees are permitted for fall protection provided the following conditions are met:

(1) Lanyard(s) shall be attached to at least two fronds;

(2) Lanyard(s) shall have a maximum length of 8 feet and be rigged in such a manner that an employee cannot free fall more than 2 feet;

(3) Dead, decayed, or damaged fronds shall not be used for anchorage; and

(4) When changing work positions, at least one lanyard remains attached to provide fall protection at all times.

(e) A job briefing shall be conducted by a qualified person before each work assignment begins. Such job briefing shall include the description of the hazards unique to a specific job, appropriate work procedures to be followed, and other items to ensure that the work can be accomplished safely.

(f) Prior to each use, fall protection equipment shall be inspected by a qualified person and any found to be defective shall be immediately removed from service.


Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. New section filed 8-4-2003; operative 9-3-2003 (Register 2003, No. 32).

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