Revision: Dec. 22, 2011, midnight
HB 1587 – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1587
This bill changes the number of employees an employer must have to be subject to a workers’ compensation safety program. This bill also repeals the workers’ compensation safety inspection fund and deposits any penalties for such programs into the general fund.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve
AN ACT relative to employer safety programs.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Statement of Intent. This act is intended to decrease the administrative burden on very small businesses by eliminating administrative requirements that were imposed in an attempt to improve workplace safety. Although well intended, the burdensome requirements have had no effect on safety, but have simply exposed very small businesses to more government oversight and penalties. This act also eliminates the dedicated fund that is funded with revenue from fines levied on businesses. Allowing an enforcement agency to fund itself with fines that it imposes on businesses creates an inherent conflict of interest that should be avoided, namely the incentive to fine businesses to enhance budget revenue.
2 Workers’ Compensation; Safety Provisions. Amend RSA 281-A:64, II-V to read as follows:
II. All employers with [
10] 15 or more employees shall prepare, with the assistance of the commissioner, a current written safety program. The programs shall be [ filed biennially with the commissioner on January 1] reviewed and updated by the employer at least every 2 years. Employer programs shall, in addition to the specific rules and regulations regarding worker safety, include the process of warnings, job suspension, and job termination for violations of the safety rules and regulations set forth in the program.
III. Every employer of [
5] 15 or more full-time employees shall establish and administer a joint loss management committee composed of equal numbers of employer and employee representatives. Employee representatives shall be selected by the employees. If workers are represented by a union, the union shall select the employee representatives. The joint loss management committee shall meet regularly to develop and carry out workplace safety programs, alternative work programs that allow and encourage injured employees to return to work, and programs for continuing education of employers and employees on the subject of workplace safety. The committee shall perform all duties required in rules adopted pursuant to this section.
IV. Employers subject to the requirements of paragraph III, other than employers participating in the safety incentive program under RSA 281-A:64-a, shall be placed on a list for early and periodic workplace inspections by the department’s safety inspectors in accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner. Such employers shall comply with the directives of the department resulting from such inspections.
V. Notwithstanding paragraphs III and IV, an employer of [
5] 15 or more employees may satisfy the requirements of those paragraphs if such employer implements an equivalent loss management and safety program approved by the commissioner.
3 Workers’ Compensation; Safety Provisions; Penalty. Amend RSA 281-A:64, VIII to read as follows:
VIII. The commissioner may assess an administrative penalty of up to [
$1,000] $250 a day on any employer not in compliance with the written safety program required under paragraph II of this section, the joint loss management committee required under paragraph III of this section, or the directives of the department under paragraph IV of this section. Each violation shall be subject to a separate administrative penalty. All penalties collected under this paragraph shall be [ forwarded to the state treasurer for deposit in the special fund called the workers' compensation safety inspection fund established in paragraph IX] deposited in the general fund.
4 Building Construction and Repair Work; Occupational Safety and Health Administration Certification. Amend RSA 277:5-a, III to read as follows:
III. The labor commissioner shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A relative to implementation and enforcement of this section. The commissioner may also assess a civil penalty of up to $2,500; in addition, such an employer shall be assessed a civil penalty of $100 per employee for each day of noncompliance. All funds collected under this section shall be deposited into the [
workers’ compensation safety inspection fund established in RSA 281-A:64, IX] general fund. The labor commissioner shall appoint as many individuals as necessary to carry out the department's responsibilities under this section.
5 Repeal. The following are repealed:
I. RSA 281-A:64, IX, relative to the workers' compensation safety inspection fund.
II. RSA 6:12, I(b)(50), relative to the workers' compensation safety inspection fund.
6 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2013.