AB 1165 - Increasing Worker Safety: Hazard Abatement

Introduced by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner

Click here for a FACT SHEET with details about AB 1165.

Click here for a copy of the original bill dated February 22, 2013 and click here for the most recent amended bill dated June 13, 2013.

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Your help is needed. Please write to Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, the bill author, in support of AB 1165. Click here for a model letter. Please also share with us a copy of any letter you submit so we can alert you as to what is happening with this legislation. Click here to email your letter or you can fax it to (510) 835-4913.

UPDATE: First Hearing - Assembly Committee on Labor & Employment
On May 9, 2013 the bill passed successfully the State Assembly Committee on Labor & Employment by a vote of 5-2. Click here for the bill analysis. Click here for the list of members who voted for and against the bill.

UPDATE: State Assembly Floor
On May 16, 2013 the bill passed successfully the State Assembly Floor by a vote of 47-19. Click here for the list of members who voted for and against the bill.

UPDATE: Second Hearing- Senate Committee Labor & Industrial Relations
On June 12, 2013 the bill passed successfully the Senate Committee Labor & Industrial Relations with a vote of 4-0 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Click here for the bill analysis. Click here for the list of members who voted for and against the bill.

NEXT STEPS: AB 1165 awaits to be heard by the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

SUPPORT

SUMMARY

Assembly Bill 1165 requires an employers that is cited for a "serious," "willful," or "repeat" violation of employee safety rules to abate the hazard identified by the citation, even if the employer appeals the citation. AB 1165 will ensure that unsafe conditions are corrected in a timely manner.

PROBLEM

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) oversees employment and workplace safety in the state, ensuring and enforcing all laws and standards requiring the protection of life, safety and health of every employee.

Existing law empowers DOSH to cite an employer if, upon inspection, DOSH believes that employer has violated safety laws or any standard, rule, order, or regulation created through existing law. The citation must include the particular vioation and a reasonable time frame for the alleged violation to be abated. Violations may be designated as "serious," "willful," "repeated violation," "failure to abate a prior violation," or "general" (non-serious).

An employer may contested a citation within 15 days. During the appeal, existing law stays all abatement. The appeal is resolved through a hearing before the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board (OSHAB). After the hearing, which can occur months or years after the citation is issued, OSHAB finalizes a decision based on findings of fact, affirming, modifying, or vacating DOSH's original citation.

AB 1165 (SKINNER)

AB 1165 requires an employer to abate a serious, willful, or repeat violation, as required by DOSH, even during an employer's appeal. Under AB 1165, the abatement may be stayed if DOSH cannot determine that there is a substantial probability of death or serious physical harm to an employee.

The state of Washington recently enacted a similar provision for their Division of Occupational Safety and Health.