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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1985 

                        CHAPTER 130-S.F.No. 1254 
           An act relating to occupational safety and health; 
          prescribing duties of employers and of employees; 
          providing for standards; providing for the use of 
          investigative information; providing for enforcement 
          mechanisms; amending Minnesota Statutes 1984, sections 
          182.651, subdivision 14; 182.653, subdivisions 4a, 4b, 
          4c, 4e, and 4f; 182.654, subdivision 11; 182.655, 
          subdivisions 10 and 10a; 182.659, by adding a 
          subdivision; 182.661, subdivision 1, and by adding a 
          subdivision; 182.668, subdivision 1; and 182.669, 
          subdivision 1. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.651, 
subdivision 14, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 14.  "Hazardous substance" means a chemical or 
substance, or mixture of chemicals and substances, which:  
    (a) is regulated by the federal Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration under title 29 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations part 1910, subpart Z; or 
    (b) is either toxic or highly toxic; an irritant; 
corrosive; a strong oxidizer; a strong sensitizer; combustible; 
either flammable or extremely flammable; dangerously reactive; 
pyrophoric or; pressure-generating; compressed gas; carcinogen; 
teratogen; mutagen; reproductive toxic agent; or that otherwise, 
according to generally accepted documented medical or scientific 
evidence, may cause substantial acute or chronic personal injury 
or illness during or as a direct result of any customary or 
reasonably foreseeable accidental or intentional exposure to the 
chemical or substance; or 
    (c) is determined by the commissioner as a part of the 
standard for the chemical or substance or mixture of chemicals 
and substances to present a significant risk to worker health 
and safety or imminent danger of death or serious physical harm 
to an employee as a result of foreseeable use, handling, 
accidental spill, exposure, or contamination.  
    In determining whether a chemical or substance is hazardous 
under clause (b) or clause (c), the commissioner shall, if 
appropriate, apply the criteria contained in the American 
National Standard Institute's American National Standard for the 
Precautionary Labeling of Hazardous Industrial Chemicals, 
Z129.1-1982, or any later revision of that standard.  In 
addition the commissioner may consider the information contained 
in appendices which do not appear in the standard and any other 
available scientific evidence which substantially indicates a 
chemical or substance or mixture of chemicals and substances is 
hazardous.  
     Hazardous substance does not include a substance being 
developed or handled by a technically qualified individual in a 
research, medical research, medical diagnostic or medical 
educational laboratory or in a health care facility or in a 
clinic associated with the laboratory or health care facility, 
or in a pharmacy registered and licensed under chapter 151.  
This exemption applies only to technically qualified individuals 
and not to persons working in the same work area who are not 
technically qualified individuals.  
     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.653, 
subdivision 4a, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4a.  An employer who is a manufacturer of a hazardous 
substance or a harmful physical agent or a mixture of substances 
or agents shall provide an employer who purchases the substance 
or agent with the information necessary for the purchasing 
employer to comply with subdivision 4b or 4c.  A manufacturer of 
equipment which may generate a harmful physical agent 
environment approximating that allowed by the standard adopted 
by the commissioner, shall provide an employer who purchases the 
equipment with the information necessary for the purchasing 
employer to comply with subdivision 4c.  The information shall 
be provided at the time of purchase and shall be current, 
accurate, and complete for each substance, agent equipment, or 
mixture.  
    For a mixture of hazardous substances, the manufacturer may 
provide the information required by this section on the entire 
product mixture, instead of on each hazardous substance in it, 
if all of the following conditions are met:  hazard test 
information exists on the mixture itself or adequate information 
exists to form a valid judgment of the hazardous proportions 
properties of the mixture itself and the manufacturer indicates 
that the conclusions drawn are from some source other than 
direct testing on the mixture; information on the mixture will 
be as effective in protecting employee health as information on 
the ingredients; and the hazardous substances in the mixture are 
identified together, with the information on the mixture.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.653, 
subdivision 4b, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4b.  Prior to an employee's initial assignment to a 
workplace where the employee may be routinely exposed to a 
hazardous substance or harmful physical agent, the employer 
shall provide training concerning the hazardous substance or 
harmful physical agent.  The employer shall provide additional 
instruction whenever the employee may be routinely exposed to 
any additional hazardous substance or harmful physical agent. 
The term "routinely exposed" includes the exposure of an 
employee to a hazardous substance when assigned to work in an 
area where a hazardous substance has been spilled.  
    For each hazardous substance to which the employee may be 
routinely exposed, the employer's training program shall include:
    (a) the name or names of the substance including any 
generic or chemical name, trade name, and commonly used name;  
    (b) the level, if any and if known, at which exposure to 
the substance has been determined to be safe restricted 
according to standards adopted by the commissioner, or, if no 
standard has been adopted, according to guidelines established 
by competent professional groups including but not limited to 
the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the American 
Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, the Center for 
Disease Control, the Bureau of Radiological Health, and the 
American National Standards Institute;  
    (c) the primary routes of entry and the known acute and 
chronic effects of exposure at hazardous levels;  
      (d) the known symptoms of the effects;  
      (e) any potential for flammability, explosion, or 
reactivity of the substance;  
      (f) appropriate emergency treatment;  
      (g) the known proper conditions for safe use of and 
exposure to the substance;  
      (h) procedures for cleanup of leaks and spills;  
      (i) the name, phone number and address of the manufacturer 
of the hazardous substance; and 
      (j) a written copy of all of the above information which 
shall be readily accessible in the area or areas in which the 
hazardous substance is used or handled.  
      Employees who have been routinely exposed to a hazardous 
substance prior to the effective date of Laws 1983, chapter 316 
and who continue to be routinely exposed to that hazardous 
substance after the effective date of Laws 1983, chapter 316, 
shall be trained with respect to that hazardous substance within 
six months of the effective date of Laws 1983, chapter 316.  
      Training to update the information required to be provided 
under this subdivision shall be repeated at intervals no greater 
than one year.  
      Every employer shall maintain current information for 
training under this subdivision or for information requests by 
employees under section 182.654, subdivision 10.  
    This subdivision does not apply to any employer engaged in 
a farming operation.  
    This subdivision does not apply to any small business.  
    This subdivision does not apply to any nonpublic school or 
any school district before January 1, 1985.  
    Any technically qualified individual may elect to 
participate in any training or update programs required to be 
provided under this subdivision to employees who are not 
technically qualified individuals.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.653, 
subdivision 4c, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4c.  For each harmful physical agent to which an 
employee may be routinely exposed, the employer's training 
program shall include the information required by the standard 
for that physical agent as determined by the commissioner, 
including but not limited to:  
    (a) the name or names of the physical agent including any 
commonly used synonym;  
    (b) the level, if any and if known, at which exposure to 
the physical agent has been determined to be safe restricted 
according to standards adopted by the commissioner, or, if no 
standard has been adopted, according to guidelines established 
by competent professional groups including but not limited to 
the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, 
the Center for Disease Control, the Bureau of Radiological 
Health, and the American National Standards Institute;  
    (c) the known acute and chronic effects of exposure at 
hazardous levels;  
    (d) the known symptoms of the effects;  
    (e) appropriate emergency treatment;  
    (f) the known proper conditions for safe use of and 
exposure to the physical agent;  
    (g) the name, phone number and address, if appropriate, of 
the manufacturer of the equipment which generates the harmful 
physical agent; and 
    (h) a written copy of all of the above information which 
shall be readily accessible in the area or areas in which the 
harmful physical agent is present and where the employee may be 
exposed to the agent through use, handling or otherwise.  
    Employees who have been routinely exposed to a harmful 
physical agent prior to the effective date of Laws 1983, chapter 
316 and who continue to be routinely exposed to that harmful 
physical agent after the effective date of Laws 1983, chapter 
316, shall be trained with respect to that harmful physical 
agent within six months of the effective date of Laws 1983, 
chapter 316.  
    Training to update the information required to be provided 
under this subdivision shall be repeated at intervals no greater 
than one year.  
    Every employer shall maintain current information for 
training under this subdivision or for information requests by 
employees under section 182.654, subdivision 10.  
    This subdivision does not apply to any employer engaged in 
a farming operation.  
    Any technically qualified individual may elect to 
participate in any training or update programs required to be 
provided under this subdivision to employees who are not 
technically qualified individuals. 
     Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.653, 
subdivision 4e, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4e.  Each employer who is engaged in a farming 
operation and employs more than ten employees or who is engaged 
in a farming operation and maintains a temporary labor camp and 
employs any of its residents, shall comply with a training 
program, developed by the commissioner, concerning the hazardous 
substances and harmful physical agents to which the employees 
are routinely exposed.  The commissioner shall develop this 
training program in consultation with experts in agricultural 
work environment hazards and an advisory task force appointed by 
the commissioner, consisting of three representatives of 
agricultural employers and three representatives of agricultural 
employees.  The program shall be designed to fulfill the same 
purposes as training under subdivisions 4b and 4c of this 
section, but take into account factors unique to farming 
operations.  These factors shall include but not be limited to 
the fact that many agricultural employees' primary language is 
Spanish and the fact that many chemicals used by agricultural 
employers are labeled under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, 
and Rodenticide Act.  The commissioner shall complete 
implementation of this program within 1-1/2 years after the 
effective date of Laws 1983, chapter 316.  
    Every employer shall have the right to request that their 
employees sign statements that they have received appropriate 
training under this subdivision, once such training has been 
completed by March 1, 1986.  
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.653, 
subdivision 4f, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4f.  Each employer who operates a hospital or clinic 
shall provide training according to a program developed by the 
commissioner by rule with approval of the commissioner of health 
to its employees who are routinely exposed to an infectious 
agent.  The training shall include the information required by 
the rule for that agent as developed by the commissioner and 
shall include, if known, names of infectious agents to which the 
employee is routinely exposed, proper techniques for the 
employee to avoid self-contamination, and symptoms and effects 
of contamination.  Training shall be provided upon the initial 
assignment of the employee to a job where that person will be 
routinely exposed to an infectious agent.  Existing inservice, 
hospital licensure or certification programs which the 
commissioner determines substantially comply with the rules 
adopted pursuant to this subdivision may be certified by the 
commissioner to satisfy all or a part of the rules.  "Infectious 
agent" means a communicable bacterium, rickettsia, parasites, 
virus, or fungus determined by the commissioner by rule, with 
approval of the commissioner of health, which according to 
documented medical or scientific evidence causes substantial 
acute or chronic illness or permanent disability as a forseeable 
and direct result of any routine exposure to the infectious 
agent.  Infectious agent does not include an agent in or on the 
body of a patient before diagnosis.  
      Infectious agent does not include an agent being developed 
or regularly utilized by a technically qualified individual in a 
research, medical research, medical diagnostic or medical 
educational laboratory or in a health care facility or in a 
clinic associated with a laboratory or health care facility, or 
in a pharmacy registered and licensed under chapter 151.  The 
exemption in this clause does not include an infectious agent 
utilized in a laboratory that primarily provides a quality 
control analysis for a manufacturing process.  
    Employees who have been routinely exposed to an infectious 
agent prior to the effective date of Laws 1983, chapter 316 and 
who continue to be routinely exposed to that infectious agent 
after the effective date of Laws 1983, chapter 316, shall be 
trained with respect to that infectious agent within six months 
of the effective date of Laws 1983, chapter 316.  
    Training to update the information required to be provided 
under this subdivision shall be repeated at intervals no greater 
than one year.  
    Any technically qualified individual may elect to 
participate in any training or update programs required to be 
provided under this subdivision to employees who are not 
technically qualified individuals. 
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.654, 
subdivision 11, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 11.  An employee acting in good faith has the right 
to refuse to work under conditions which the employee reasonably 
believes present an imminent danger of death or serious physical 
harm to the employee.  
    A reasonable belief of imminent danger of death or serious 
physical harm includes but is not limited to a reasonable belief 
of the employee that the employee has been assigned to work in 
an unsafe or unhealthful manner with a hazardous substance, 
harmful physical agent or infectious agent under conditions 
which are inconsistent with the training or information provided 
by the employer pursuant to section 182.653, subdivision 4b, 
clauses (g) or (h), section 182.653, subdivision 4c, clause (f), 
section 182.653, subdivision 4d, section 182.653, subdivision 
4e, section 182.653, subdivision 4f, or section 182.654, 
subdivision 10.  
    An employer may not discriminate against an employee for a 
good faith refusal to perform assigned tasks if the employee has 
requested that the employer correct the hazardous conditions but 
the conditions remain uncorrected.  
    An employee who has refused in good faith to perform 
assigned tasks and who has not been reassigned to other tasks by 
the employer shall, in addition to retaining a right to 
continued employment, receive pay for the tasks which would have 
been performed if (1) the employee requests the commissioner to 
inspect and determine the nature of the hazardous condition, and 
(2) the commissioner determines that the employee, by performing 
the assigned tasks, would have been placed in imminent danger of 
death or serious physical harm; or (3) the employee requests the 
commissioner to inspect and determine if a hazardous condition 
exists, and (4) the commissioner determines that the employer 
has failed to provide the training required under section 
182.653, subdivision 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e, or 4f prior to the 
employee's initial assignment to a workplace where the employee 
may be routinely exposed to a hazardous substance or harmful 
physical agent and the employer has failed to provide the 
information required under section 182.653, subdivision 4b, 4c, 
4d, 4e, or 4f after a request pursuant to section 182.654, 
subdivision 10 within a reasonable period of time, but not to 
exceed 24 hours, of the request.  
    Nothing in this subdivision shall give a technically 
qualified individual who elects to participate in the training 
required under section 182.653, subdivisions 4b, 4c, or 4f, the 
right to refuse to work as provided under this subdivision 
because his or her employer has failed to provide a training 
program required under those subdivisions.  
     Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.655, 
subdivision 10, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 10.  Any standard adopted under this section shall 
prescribe the use of labels or other appropriate forms of 
warning as are necessary to insure that employees are apprised 
of all hazards to which they are exposed, relevant symptoms and 
appropriate emergency treatment, and proper conditions and 
precautions of safe use or exposure.  
    In the case of containers containing a hazardous substance 
or a harmful physical agent, a label is required as an 
appropriate form of warning in providing substantially the same 
information as required under section 182.653, subdivisions 4b, 
4c, or 4e.  A label may be a coded reference to an appropriate 
and accessible data sheet containing the information required 
under section 182.653, subdivisions 4b, 4c, or 4e.  When 
appropriate, a current data sheet may be affixed to or posted in 
accessible close proximity to a container containing a hazardous 
substance or a harmful physical agent in satisfaction of 
standards adopted for labels under this chapter.  Containers may 
be labeled pursuant to federal or state labeling requirements 
that the commissioner certifies as satisfying the labeling 
standards adopted under this chapter. 
     In the case of containers containing a hazardous substance 
or equipment which generates a harmful physical agent, a label 
is required as an appropriate form of warning in providing 
substantially the same information as required under section 
182.653, subdivision 4b, 4c, or 4e.  As a minimum, a hazardous 
substance container must be tagged or marked with (a) the 
identity of the hazardous substance; (b) the appropriate hazard 
warnings; and (c) the name and address of the chemical 
manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party. 
     A label may be a coded reference to an appropriate and 
accessible data sheet containing the information required under 
section 182.653, subdivision 4b, 4c, or 4e.  When appropriate, a 
current data sheet may be affixed to, or posted in, accessible 
close proximity to a container containing a hazardous substance 
or a work area where there is a harmful physical agent in 
satisfaction of standards adopted for labels under chapter 182. 
Containers may be labeled pursuant to federal or state labeling 
requirements that the commissioner certifies as satisfying the 
labeling standards adopted under this chapter.  Specifically, 
pesticides that are labeled in accordance with the federal 
insecticide, fungicide and rodenticide act (United States Code, 
title 7, section 136 et seq.); any food, food additive, color 
additive, drug, or cosmetic including materials intended for use 
as ingredients in products labeled in accordance with the 
requirements of the federal food, drug, and cosmetic act (United 
States Code, title 21, section 301 et seq.); distilled spirits, 
(beverage alcohols), wine, or malt beverage labeled in 
accordance with the federal alcohol administration act (United 
States Code, title 27, section 201 et seq.); any consumer 
products as defined in the consumer product safety act (United 
States Code, title 15, section 2051 et seq.) and labeled in 
accordance with the requirement of that act; or any hazardous 
substance as defined in the federal hazardous substances act 
(United States Code, title 15, section 1261 et seq.) and labeled 
in accordance with the requirements of that act shall meet the 
requirements of the labeling standards adopted under chapter 182.
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.655, 
subdivision 10a, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 10a.  Where appropriate, standards shall prescribe 
suitable protective equipment, if feasible engineering and 
administrative methods of protection alone do not provide 
adequate protection, and this equipment shall be made available 
by or and at the cost of the employer.  The standards shall also 
provide for monitoring or measuring employee exposure at the 
locations and intervals and in the manner as may be necessary 
and appropriate for the protection of employees.  Where 
appropriate, a standard shall prescribe the type and frequency 
of medical examinations or other tests which shall be made 
available by the employer, or at the employer's cost, to 
employees exposed to hazards in order to most effectively 
determine whether the health of those employees is adversely 
affected by the exposure.  The results of these examinations or 
tests shall be furnished only to the commissioner, the 
employee's physician, at the request of the employee, and the 
employer with notice to the employee.  
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.659, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 8.  Neither the commissioner nor any employee of the 
department is subject to subpoena for purposes of inquiry into 
any occupational safety and health inspection except in 
enforcement proceedings brought under this chapter.  All written 
information, documentation and reports gathered or prepared by 
the department pursuant to an occupational safety and health 
inspection are public information once the departmental 
inspection file is closed.  
    Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.661, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  If, after an inspection or investigation, 
the commissioner issues a citation under section 182.66, he 
shall notify the employer by certified mail of the penalty, if 
any, proposed to be assessed under section 182.666 and that the 
employer has 15 working days within which to notify the 
commissioner in writing that he wishes to contest the citation, 
proposed assessment of penalty, or the period of time fixed in 
the citation given for correction of violation.  A copy of the 
citation and the proposed assessment of penalty shall also be 
issued by certified mail mailed to the bargaining representative 
and, in the case of the death of an employee, to the next of kin 
if requested and designated representative of the employee if 
known to the department of labor and industry.  If within 15 
working days from the receipt of the notice issued by the 
commissioner the employer fails to notify the commissioner in 
writing that he intends to contest the citation or proposed 
assessment of penalty, and no notice contesting either the 
citation, the type of violation, proposed penalty, or the time 
fixed for abatement in the citation is filed by any employee or 
representative of employees under subdivision 3 within such 
time, the citation and assessment, as proposed, shall be deemed 
a final order of the board and not subject to review by any 
court or agency. 
     Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.661, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 2a.  The commissioner may bring an action in district 
court for injunctive or other appropriate relief including 
monetary damages if the employer fails to comply with a final 
order of the board. 
     Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.668, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [REGISTRATION.] Subject to the restrictions 
on the withholding of information pursuant to 8 MCAR section 
1.7001 Minnesota Rules, part 5205.0010, a manufacturer or 
employer who believes that all or a part of the information 
required under section 182.653, subdivisions 4a, 4b, 4c, 4e, or 
4f or requested under section 182.654, subdivision 10 is a trade 
secret as defined in section 325C.01, subdivision 5, may 
register the information with the commissioner as trade secret 
information.  
    Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 182.669, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  Any employee who believes that he has been 
discharged or otherwise discriminated against by any person 
because such employee has exercised any right authorized under 
the provisions of sections 182.65 to 182.674, may, within 30 
days after such alleged discrimination occurs, file a complaint 
with the commissioner alleging the discriminatory act.  Upon 
receipt of such complaint, the commissioner shall cause such 
investigation to be made as he deems appropriate.  If upon such 
investigation the commissioner determines that a discriminatory 
act was committed against an employee he shall bring an action 
against the employer in the district court in the county where 
the alleged discrimination occurred or in a county where the 
employer transacts business refer the matter to the office of 
administrative hearings for a hearing before an administrative 
law judge pursuant to the provisions of chapter 14.  
The district court administrative law judge may order rehiring 
of the employee, reinstatement of his former position, fringe 
benefits, seniority rights, back pay, recovery of compensatory 
damages, and reasonable attorney fees, or other appropriate 
relief.  Nothing in this section precludes an employee from 
bringing an action for relief under this section or any other 
provision of law. 
    Sec. 15.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    The repeal of the small business exemption in section 3 is 
effective May 25, 1986. 
    Approved May 17, 1985