Summary: S.765 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.765. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (05/20/1997)

Safety and Health Advancement Act - Amends the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) to authorize employers to establish employer and employee safety and health participation committees. States that such committees shall not constitute labor organizations for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act or the Railway Labor Act.

(Sec. 4) Directs the Secretary of Labor to establish a special advisory committee, with expertise in workplace safety and health, to advise on the establishment and implementation of a third party consultation services program.

(Sec. 5) Directs the Secretary to establish a third party consultation services program that certifies individuals to provide consultation services to help employers identify and correct safety and health hazards in the workplace. Provides for: (1) a registry of certified consultants; (2) disciplinary actions against consultants for malfeasance; (3) scope and guidelines for such consultative services; and (4) access to records. Exempts any employer receiving a declaration of OSHA compliance from a certified consultant from assessment of certain civil penalties for two years after receipt of such declaration, except in specified circumstances.

(Sec. 6) Directs the Secretary, before issuing a final OSHA standard, to submit for review the draft final standard and a copy of the administrative record to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Directs NAS to appoint an independent Scientific Review Committee to conduct an independent review of the draft final standard and the scientific literature and make written recommendations to the Secretary.

(Sec. 7) Requires certain Federal personnel responsible for enforcing OSHA to: (1) meet specified eligibility requirements; and (2) receive professional education and training at least every five years if they carry out inspections or investigations.

(Sec. 8) Establishes the use of alternative safe methods as an affirmative defense for employers.

(Sec. 9) Establishes a civil penalty for employee violations of specified OSHA requirements.

(Sec. 10) Prohibits the Secretary from establishing any quotas for subordinates within the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with respect to number of inspections conducted, citations issued, or penalties collected.

(Sec. 11) Revises factors which the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission is required to consider in assessing civil penalties.

(Sec. 12) Directs the Secretary to enter into cooperative agreements with States for State consultation services to employers concerning the provision of safe and healthful working conditions.

Directs the Secretary to carry out a two-year pilot program in three States to provide small businesses, upon request and for a nominal fee, with expedited consultation services on safe and healthful working conditions. Requires the Secretary, before issuing a citation to an employer for a violation found during a consultation, to permit the employer to carry out corrective measures.

(Sec. 13) Authorizes employers to establish alcohol and substance abuse testing programs in accordance with specified Federal guidelines.

(Sec. 14) Directs the Secretary to establish: (1) cooperative agreements to encourage the establishment of comprehensive safety and health management systems specified features; and (2) a voluntary protection program with specified features to encourage the achievement of excellence in both the technical and managerial protection of employees from occupational hazards.