OSHPD, OPA & OPS numbers

who / what is oshpd (sometimes pronounced “osh – pod”)?

OSHPD is an acronym for the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. It is a division of the State of California’s Health and Human Services Agency. For more info, please visit: http://www.oshpd.ca.gov

OSHPD is most renowned for their stringent requirements relating to equipment anchorage, most notably in hospitals.


what is an opa number?

An OPA number is an OSHPD Preapproval of Anchorage.

Obtaining an OPA is an “extra step” whereby the structural attachment or equipment anchorage is actually approved by OSHPD and given an approval or OPA number. This “extra step” is not a requirement by the California Building Code or OSHPD, only a recommendation. However, due to the nature of installations and the number of different parties involved, pre-approval has become a way of expediting the installation and permit process. The greatest value to pre-approval is as a marketing tool. Many Hospitals prefer equipment with an OPA-number, which then leads to architectural & mechanical engineering firms requesting them. Having an OPA-number then becomes a way of bypassing an initial disqualification by a hospital.

Note: Schools under the jurisdiction of the Division of the State Architect (DSA) also recognize pre-approvals.


what is an osp number?

OSHPD Special Seismic Certification Pre-approval.

Special Seismic Certification is a process that came with the 2007 California Building Code and states your equipment will remain functional after a seismic event. The only way to get this certification is by placing your unit on a shake table that simulates an earthquake. If after the shaking, your unit still functions, it passed. Certification is obtained upon completion of a detailed report that is reviewed and accepted by a licensed California Structural Engineer. An OSP is an “extra step” whereby OSHPD reviews the report and approves the certification. This “extra step” is not a requirement by the California Building Code or OSHPD but having an OSP number is a valuable tool in proving that your unit is certified.


“what does the code require with regard to equipment anchorage?”

The California / International Building Codes (CBC/IBC) requires all stationary equipment to be anchored to its supporting structure (CBC 2007, Section 1613a & IBC 2006, Section 1613). In addition, much of this equipment must have calculations to validate its method of anchorage (ASCE 7-05, Section 13.1.4). For ceiling or wall supported equipment, a calculation must be provided for any piece of equipment that weighs 20 pounds or more. For floor mounted equipment the requirement is for equipment that weighs 400 pounds or more or is over 60 inches in height. An exception to this requirement is if the unit is “Mobile”. The State of California defines “Mobile” as any unit that needs to move in order to fulfill its function … or “move it to use it”. Many units are on casters but are in a single location for long periods of time and are only moved during servicing; this is not considered mobile.


how long does the pre-approval process take and cost?

The process varies dramatically with OSHPD’s workload. Currently (1/1/11), we're projecting three to six months to get the initial comments back. Alliance Air Products will typically take less than three weeks to correct and respond to these comments and resubmit for final approval, whereby OSHPD takes about another week for final processing. The Cost varies dramatically with the number and type of equipment being submitted.


how long does the pre-approval process take and cost?

The process varies dramatically with OSHPD’s workload. Currently (1/1/11), we're projecting three to six months to get the initial comments back. Alliance Air Products will typically take less than three weeks to correct and respond to these comments and resubmit for final approval, whereby OSHPD takes about another week for final processing. The Cost varies dramatically with the number and type of equipment being submitted.


do manufacturers need an opa number in order to sell equipment in california?

No. The pre-approval program is a voluntary program offered by the state and not a requirement of the California Building Code or OSHPD, only a recommendation. However, due to the nature of installations and the number of different parties involved, pre-approval has become a way of expediting the installation and permit process. The greatest value to pre-approval is as a marketing tool. Many Hospitals prefer equipment with an OPA-number, which then leads to architectural firms requesting them. Having an OPA-number has become a way of bypassing an initial disqualification by a hospital.


what is seismic qualification / special seismic certification?

This is a new requirement that certain mechanical and electrical equipment must remain operational following an earthquake. Manufacturers of this equipment must submit a declaration (termed Special Seismic Certification) that the equipment will remain operational after a design level earthquake. A dynamic test (or shake table test) must be performed followed by a report (in accordance with OSHPD standards) stating the unit has passed and is seismically qualified. These reports must be prepared by a California licensed structural, civil or mechanical engineer. If test reports are prepared by a California licensed civil or mechanical engineer, they must be reviewed and accepted by a California licensed structural engineer. Alliance Air Products works with several certified laboratories to achieve Special Seismic Certification of equipment for our clients.

For additional information regarding OSHPD’s positions regarding special seismic certification, equipment and components requiring Special Seismic Certification, as well as a list of equipment that OSHPD has identified as “rugged”, refer to OSHPD Code Application Notice (CAN) 2-1708A.5 Certification of Equipment and Nonstructural Components.