Enact the Toxic Chemicals in the Workplace Act

Last updated: Jun 1, 2017

Details about this bill
Category: Wage and Labor
Status: Defeated
Sponsor: Representative Benjamin Collings, House 42
Session: 128
Bill #: LD 699

Position:

Monitoring.

UPDATE: The Senate insisted on the Ought Not to Pass. It is dead.

UPDATE: This bill will likely die in non-concurrence.

UPDATE: The bill has been changed to a resolve. The House has voted in favor of the bill, but the Senate voted to defeat it.

Summary:

This bill enacts the Toxic Chemicals in the Workplace Act to create a statutory and regulatory framework designed to prevent harm to employees by reducing exposure to highly toxic chemicals in the workplace and thereby decrease the rates of cancer and other chronic diseases in the State, improve workplace chemical management and safety and ensure safer workplaces and healthier communities.

This bill specifically:

1. Directs employers to identify highly toxic chemicals and directs the Department of Labor to publish lists of online resources that identify highly toxic chemicals;

2. Requires employers subject to the provisions of the Act to develop and implement a written alternative chemical work plan and designate a transition team to assist in transitioning from highly toxic chemicals in the workplace to safer alternatives;

3. Directs the transition team to inventory all chemicals in the workplace, both toxic and nontoxic, and determine which chemicals have been designated as highly toxic chemicals;

4. Requires the transition team to develop a priority ranking of all identified highly toxic chemicals, based on a number of criteria, to assist in determining which chemicals will be transitioned to safer alternatives;

5. Directs the transition team, as part of developing the priority ranking, to conduct for each highly toxic chemical an alternatives analysis that includes, among other things, a detailed financial analysis of the costs of substituting an alternative;

6. Requires the transition team to decide which alternatives to highly toxic chemicals are safer alternatives and which safer alternatives should be tested and evaluated for permanent transition. After testing and evaluation of selected safer alternatives, the employer, with the transition team, may elect to transition to a safer alternative on a permanent basis;

7. Requires an employer to contact chemical suppliers and manufacturers for possible safer alternatives and to implement a process for permanent transition to the safer alternatives. If the employer elects not to use safer alternatives, the employer must submit a report to the Department of Labor detailing the basis for not proceeding with the transition to the safer alternatives;

8. Requires employers to complete self-audits for compliance with this Act;

9. Stipulates reporting and records retention requirements for the employer, as well as guidelines for access to information by employees and state agencies;

10. Requires annual employee training that follows the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration's globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals;

11. Requires the Department of Labor to enforce the provisions of the Act and authorizes the department to issue penalties for violations of the Act;

12. Requires the Department of Labor to adopt all rules necessary to implement the provisions of the Act;

13. Stipulates an effective date for the Act of September 1, 2018; and

14. Directs the Department of Labor, by January 1, 2018, to submit for legislative review major substantive rules related to the Act.