Summary: H.R.5642 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.5642. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (10/18/1979)

Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1979 - Applies specified standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to the Federal workplace of employees of Executive agencies, the Postal Rate Commission and the United States Postal Service (but not the Office of Personnel Management).

Requires each agency to: (1) furnish its employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards; and (2) comply with safety and health standards. Requires employees to comply with standards and with specified rules, regulations, and orders.

Authorizes the Office of Personnel Management to conduct inspections, investigations, and recordkeeping relating to Federal employee occupational safety and health. Permits employees or their representatives to request such inspections in specified cases.

Directs the Office to issue citations to the head of any agency in violation of any requirement, standard, order, rule, or regulation under this Act.

Provides for an enforcement procedure, including, in specified cases, hearings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Provides for review of any Commission order in a U.S. court of appeals upon request of the head of any agency or any employee adversely affected by such order. Permits the Office to obtain review or enforcement of any final order of the Commission in a U.S. court of appeals.

Prohibits any agency from discharging or discriminating against any employee because such employee has: (1) filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this Act; (2) testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding; or (3) exercised any right afforded by this Act on behalf of anyone.

Permits employees who believe they have been so discharged or otherwise discriminated against to file complaints with the Special Counsel. Directs the Special Counsel to undertake an appropriate investigation and to file a complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board if a violation has occurred. Authorizes the Board to restrain such violations for cause shown and to order all appropriate relief.

Authorizes the Office to order any agency to restrain any conditions or practices constituting a danger immediately or before that danger can be eliminated through other enforcement procedures. Declares that any such orders which prohibit the employment or presence of any individual in locations in which imminent danger exists shall not apply to specified individuals, including those whose presence is necessary to maintain the capacity of a continuous process operation to resume normal operations without a complete cessation of operations. Directs inspectors, as soon as they conclude that such an imminent danger exists, to inform the affected employees and agency. Permits employees, or their representatives, to bring actions against the United States in district courts to compel the Office to issue such orders and for appropriate further relief.

Authorizes attorneys designated by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management to represent the Office in civil litigation under this Act, subject to the direction and control of the Attorney General.

Authorizes the Office to allow reasonable variations and exemptions from provisions of this Act to avoid serious impairment of the national defense.

Provides for civil or criminal penalties for specified violations of this Act. Authorizes the Commission to assess all such civil penalties.

Authorizes the Office to conduct short-term training of personnel in work related to responsibilities under this Act. Directs the Office, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to: (1) provide for education of heads of agencies and employees in the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions; and (2) consult with and advise heads of agencies and employees, and their representative organizations, as to effective means of preventing occupational injuries and illnesses.

Authorizes the head of each agency to establish a health service program for employees. Directs that the Secretary of Health and Human Services offer mandatory consultation before, and requested reviews after, such programs are established.

Directs the Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Director, Office of Personnel Management, to carry out a safety program covering specified maritime employees under the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. Authorizes the President to establish a safety council of labor organization representatives and employing agencies to advise the Secretary of Labor concerning such program. Directs the head of each agency with such employees to develop an organized safety promotion, to keep specified records, and make reports to the Secretary of Labor.

Makes funds available for the purchase and maintenance of special protective clothing and equipment from appropriations for supplies, materials, or equipment procurement.

Directs the Office, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to compile and analyze occupational safety and health statistics for Federal agencies. Authorizes the Office to make contracts and matching grants for such statistical research and to cooperate with States in such efforts.

Directs the Office to make annual reports to Congress concerning Federal employee occupational safety and health.

Requires the Director of the Office of Personnel Management to: (1) establish and maintain a comprehensive occupational safety and health program applicable to the Office consistent with specified standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970; (2) provide employment conditions consistent with such standards; (3) require the use of protective equipment; (4) keep records of occupational accidents and illnesses; and (5) consult with and report annually to the Secretary of Labor concerning such records and program. Directs the Secretary of Labor to transmit such annual report to the President. Directs the President to transmit an annual report of such activities of the Office.

Authorizes the Office to prescribe regulations concerning Federal employee occupational safety and health.

Repeals specified provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 relating to programs of Federal agencies.