This chapter shall be known as the "Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973."
Laws 1983, chapter 316, shall be known as the "Employee Right to Know Act of 1983."
(a) The legislature finds that the burden on employers and employees of this state resulting from personal injuries and illnesses arising out of work situations is substantial; that the prevention of these injuries and illnesses is an important objective of the government of this state; that the greatest hope of attaining this objective lies in programs of research and education, and in the earnest cooperation of government, employers and employees; and that a program of regulation and enforcement is a necessary supplement to these more basic programs.
(b) The legislature declares it to be its purpose and policy through the exercise of its powers to assure so far as possible every worker in the state of Minnesota safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources by:
(1) authorizing the Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Council to advise, consult with or recommend on any matters relating to the Minnesota occupational safety and health plan to the commissioner of labor and industry and by authorizing the commissioner of labor and industry to promulgate and enforce mandatory occupational safety and health standards applicable to employers and employees in the state of Minnesota;
(2) encouraging employers and employees to increase their efforts to reduce the number of occupational safety and health hazards at their places of employment, and to stimulate employers and employees to institute new and to perfect existing programs for providing safe and healthful working conditions;
(3) providing that employers and employees have separate but dependent responsibilities and rights with respect to achieving safe and healthful working conditions;
(4) providing for research in the field of occupational safety and health; including the psychological factors involved, and by developing innovative methods, techniques, and approaches for dealing with occupational safety and health problems;
(5) exploring ways to discover latent diseases, establishing causal connections between diseases and work in environmental conditions, and conducting other research relating to health problems, in recognition of the fact that occupational health standards present problems often different from those involved in occupational safety;
(6) utilizing advances already made by federal laws and regulations providing safe and healthful working conditions;
(7) providing criteria which will assure insofar as practicable that no employee will suffer diminished health, functional capacity, or life expectancy as a result of work experience;
(8) providing an effective enforcement program which shall include locating enforcement personnel in areas of the state with a higher incidence of workplace fatalities, injuries, and complaints and a prohibition against giving advance notice of an inspection and sanctions for any individual violating this prohibition;
(9) providing for appropriate reporting procedures with respect to occupational safety and health, which procedures will help achieve the objectives of this chapter and accurately describe the nature of the occupational safety and health problem;
(10) encouraging joint labor-management efforts to reduce injuries and diseases arising out of employment;
(11) providing consultation to employees and employers which will aid them in complying with their responsibilities under this chapter where such consultation does not interfere with the effective enforcement of this chapter; and
(12) providing for training programs to increase the number and competence of personnel engaged in the field of occupational safety and health.