Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to House with amendment(s) (07/17/1986)

(Reported to House from the Committee on Education and Labor with amendment, H. Rept. 99-691)

High Risk Occupational Disease Notification and Prevention Act of 1986 - Establishes a Risk Assessment Board, within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to: (1) review current medical and other scientific studies and reports concerning the incidence of disease associated with employment; (2) report to the Secretary of HHS on the state of current research on such diseases; and (3) designate, from such review, employee populations at risk of disease associated with hazardous occupational exposures. Sets forth factors which the Board must consider in identifying such populations at risk.

Gives priority to Board review of employee populations exposed to hazardous occupational exposures whose members are most likely to be helped, either through medical intervention or through counseling on personal health habits. Directs the Board, in making this determination, to consider: (1) exposures for which there exists a permanent standard under specified provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970; and (2) the extent of medical monitoring and surveillance already available to employee populations covered by the permanent standards.

Sets forth procedures for Board identification of populations at risk and recommendations to the Secretary that individuals within that population be notified.

Directs the Secretary, upon determination that a given class or category of employee is a population at risk of occupational disease, to notify each individual within such population at risk. Sets forth the required contents of such notification, including counseling information.

Directs the Secretary to establish a telephone "hot line" for the personal physicians of employees who have received such notification, to provide additional medical and scientific information concerning the nature of the risk and its associated disease.

Directs the Secretary to prepare and distribute other medical and health promotion material and information on any risk subject to such notification requirements and its associated disease as the Secretary deems appropriate.

Provides that, in carrying out such notification responsibilities, the Secretary shall have access to information and data contained in any: (1) Federal agency records, solely for the purpose of obtaining names, addresses, and work histories of employees subject to such notification; and (2) employer records, insofar as Federal access is provided under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.

Authorizes the Secretary to certify a private employer or a State or local government to conduct worker notification, but prohibits access to Federal information by such employers or governments.

Relieves the Secretary and any agents of the Secretary from liability for monetary damages with respect to omissions or acts in the notification process.

Provides for petition to the appropriate U.S. Court of Appeal by any person adversely affected or aggrieved by the Secretary's determination under this Act that a given class or category of employees is a population at risk.

Directs the Secretary, within 90 days after the effective date of this Act, to establish and certify ten health centers. Requires such centers to be selected from among education resource centers of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and similar facilities of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, the National Cancer Institute, and other private and governmental organizations that apply for such designation. Directs the Secretary, within five years of such effective date, to establish and certify additional health centers so as to obtain no less than one center per State. Requires the centers to provide: (1) education, training, and technical assistance to personal physicians and social service professionals who serve employees notified; and (2) research resources, diagnosis, treatment, medical monitoring, and family services for employees notified. Directs the Secretary to reimburse the centers for the cost of developing a training program and procuring specialized equipment.

Directs the Secretary, primarily through the health centers, to conduct research, training, and education aimed at improving the means of medically assisting employees exposed to environmental health hazards and the means of identifying worker populations exposed to such hazards. Authorizes the Secretary to engage the services of experts and consultants.

Requires any employer who receives a notification that one or more of its current employees is in a population at risk to certify to the Secretary that the appropriate testing, evaluation, and medical monitoring requested by such employees will be provided or made available by the employer: (1) at no cost to the employee, if any part of such exposure occurred during employment by that employer; or (2) at a charge not exceeding the cost to the employer, if no part of such exposure occurred during employment by that employer.

Prohibits the discharge of or discrimination against any employee who is or has been a member of a population at risk.

Prohibits benefit reductions for employees temporarily or permanently transferred to less hazardous or nonexposed jobs.

Provides for review of complaints of employees aggrieved by violations of such provisions. Provides for reinstatement and other relief for such employees. Provides for civil penalties for violations of such provisions.

Provides for injunctive relief against violations of this Act or any rule or regulation promulgated under this Act.

Provides that notification that an employee is in a population at risk and the initiation of medical evaluation and monitoring shall not constitute or in any way affect a claim for compensation, loss, or damage arising out of the hazardous occupational exposure, but allows the results of such evaluation and monitoring to be introduced as evidence. Provides that such notification shall not commence the tolling of any statute of limitations with respect to filing a timely claim.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1987 and 1988 to carry out this Act.