H-4034.1  _______________________________________________


                          HOUSE BILL 2938



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2002 Regular Session


By Representatives Clements, Nixon and Mulliken


Read first time 02/08/2002.  Referred to Committee on Commerce & Labor.

Repealing ergonomics rules.

    AN ACT Relating to repealing ergonomics rules; amending RCW 49.17.040 and 49.17.050; adding a new section to chapter 49.17 RCW; and declaring an emergency.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  A new section is added to chapter 49.17 RCW to read as follows:

    Rules dealing with musculoskeletal disorders, adopted on May 26, 2000, by the director, and codified as WAC 296-62-05101 through 296-62-05176, shall have no force or effect.  The director shall not adopt any new or amended rules dealing with musculoskeletal disorders that are substantially the same as these rules.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 49.17.040 and 1973 c 80 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:

    Except as provided in section 1 of this act, the director shall make, adopt, modify, and repeal rules ((and regulations)) governing safety and health standards for conditions of employment as authorized by this chapter after a public hearing in conformance with the administrative procedure act and the provisions of this chapter.  At least thirty days prior to such public hearing, the director shall cause public notice of such hearing to be made in newspapers of general circulation in this state, of the date, time, and place of such public hearing, along with a general description of the subject matter of the proposed rules and information as to where copies of any rules ((and regulations)) proposed for adoption may be obtained and with a solicitation for recommendations in writing or suggestions for inclusion or changes in such rules to be submitted not later than five days prior to such public hearing.  Any preexisting rules adopted by the department of labor and industries relating to health and safety standards in work places subject to the jurisdiction of the department shall remain effective insofar as such rules are not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.


    Sec. 3.  RCW 49.17.050 and 1998 c 224 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

    Except as provided in RCW 49.17.040, in the adoption of rules ((and regulations)) under the authority of this chapter, the director shall:

    (1) Provide for the preparation, adoption, amendment, or repeal of rules ((and regulations)) of safety and health standards governing the conditions of employment of general and special application in all work places;

    (2) Provide for the adoption of occupational health and safety standards which are at least as effective as those adopted or recognized by the United States secretary of labor under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-596; 84 Stat. 1590);

    (3) Provide a method of encouraging employers and employees in their efforts to reduce the number of safety and health hazards at their work places and to stimulate employers and employees to institute new and to perfect existing programs for providing safe and healthful working conditions;

    (4) Provide for the promulgation of health and safety standards and the control of conditions in all work places concerning gases, vapors, dust, or other airborne particles, toxic materials, or harmful physical agents which shall set a standard which most adequately assures, to the extent feasible, on the basis of the best available evidence, that no employee will suffer material impairment of health or functional capacity even if such employee has regular exposure to the hazard dealt with by such standard for the period of his working life; any such standards shall require where appropriate the use of protective devices or equipment and for monitoring or measuring any such gases, vapors, dust, or other airborne particles, toxic materials, or harmful physical agents;

    (5) Provide for appropriate reporting procedures by employers with respect to such information relating to conditions of employment which will assist in achieving the objectives of this chapter;

    (6) Provide for the frequency, method, and manner of the making of inspections of work places without advance notice; and,

    (7) Provide for the publication and dissemination to employers, employees, and labor organizations and the posting where appropriate by employers of informational, education, or training materials calculated to aid and assist in achieving the objectives of this chapter;

    (8) Provide for the establishment of new and the perfection and expansion of existing programs for occupational safety and health education for employers and employees, and, in addition institute methods and procedures for the establishment of a program for voluntary compliance solely through the use of advice and consultation with employers and employees with recommendations including recommendations of methods to abate violations relating to the requirements of this chapter and all applicable safety and health standards and rules ((and regulations promulgated)) adopted pursuant to the authority of this chapter;

    (9) Provide for the adoption of safety and health standards requiring the use of safeguards in trenches and excavations and around openings of hoistways, hatchways, elevators, stairways, and similar openings;

    (10) Provide for the promulgation of health and safety standards requiring the use of safeguards for all vats, pans, trimmers, cut off, gang edger, and other saws, planers, presses, formers, cogs, gearing, belting, shafting, coupling, set screws, live rollers, conveyors, mangles in laundries, and machinery of similar description, which can be effectively guarded with due regard to the ordinary use of such machinery and appliances and the danger to employees therefrom, and with which the employees of any such work place may come in contact while in the performance of their duties and prescribe methods, practices, or processes to be followed by employers which will enhance the health and safety of employees in the performance of their duties when in proximity to machinery or appliances mentioned in this subsection;

    (11) Certify that no later than twenty business days prior to the effective date of any significant legislative rule, as defined by RCW 34.05.328, a meeting of impacted parties is convened to:  (a) Identify ambiguities and problem areas in the rule; (b) coordinate education and public relations efforts by all parties; (c) provide comments regarding internal department training and enforcement plans; and (d) provide comments regarding appropriate evaluation mechanisms to determine the effectiveness of the new rule.  The meeting shall include a balanced representation of both business and labor from impacted industries, department personnel responsible for the above subject areas, and other agencies or key stakeholder groups as determined by the department.  An existing advisory committee may be utilized if appropriate.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.


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