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AB-1400 Employment safety: firefighting equipment: mechanics.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 07/02/2019 09:00 PM
AB1400:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 02, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 25, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1400


Introduced by Assembly Member Kamlager-Dove

February 22, 2019


An act to add Section 3212.18 to 6723 to, and to add and repeal Section 77.7 of, the Labor Code, relating to workers’ compensation. employee safety.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1400, as amended, Kamlager-Dove. Workers’ compensation: firefighting operations: civilian employees. Employment safety: firefighting equipment: mechanics.
Existing law establishes a workers’ compensation system, administered by the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, to compensate an employee for injuries sustained in the course of employment. Existing law requires the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation to conduct a continuing examination of the workers’ compensation system and of the state’s activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational diseases.
This bill would require the commission, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles and relevant labor organizations, on or before May 31, 2020, to submit a study to the Legislature and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on the risk of exposure to carcinogenic materials and incidence of occupational cancer in mechanics who repair and clean firefighting vehicles in the County of Los Angeles.
Existing law establishes the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board within the Department of Industrial Relations to promulgate and enforce occupational safety and health standards for the state, including standards dealing with toxic materials. Under existing law, certain violations of a standard, order, or special order pursuant to these provisions are a crime.
This bill would require the standards board, on or before January 1, 2020, to adopt regulations that require an employer to make appropriate and effective safety equipment available to a mechanic who could reasonably be expected to be exposed to harmful levels of smoke or other carcinogens due to exposure to firefighting operations. The bill would also require the standards board, on or before January 1, 2021, to adopt an occupational safety and health standard for mechanics who repair, clean, or maintain firefighting vehicles or equipment, as specified. By expanding the scope of an existing crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Existing law establishes a workers’ compensation system, administered by the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, to compensate an employee for injuries sustained in the course of employment. Existing law provides that in the case of active firefighting members of certain fire departments, a compensable injury includes cancer that develops or manifests while the firefighter member is in the service of the public agency and exposed to a known carcinogen, as defined. Existing law establishes a presumption that the cancer in these cases arose out of, and in the course of, employment, unless the presumption is controverted by evidence that the primary site of the cancer has been established and that the carcinogen to which the member has demonstrated exposure is not reasonably linked to the disabling cancer.

This bill would enact a similar law that would be applicable to other employees of a city, county, city and county, district, or other municipal corporation or political subdivision whose job duties cause them to be regularly exposed to active fires or health hazards directly resulting from firefighting operations.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 77.7 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

77.7.
 (a) On or before May 31, 2020, the commission shall, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles and relevant labor organizations, submit a study to the Legislature and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on the risk of exposure to carcinogenic materials and incidence of occupational cancer in mechanics who repair and clean firefighting vehicles in the County of Los Angeles. At a minimum, the study shall include all of the following:
(1) Site visits at County of Los Angeles facilities where firefighting equipment is cleaned and repaired, as well as reviewing any applicable airborne contamination medical surveillance as described in Section 5155 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) Interviews and surveys with current and former mechanics of firefighting equipment in the County of Los Angeles regarding the frequency of exposure to potential carcinogens, use and availability of safety equipment, and experience or knowledge of cancer incidence among current or former mechanics who cleaned or repaired firefighting equipment.
(3) A measurement of the current levels of carcinogenic material exposure to mechanics who repair and clean firefighting vehicles in the County of Los Angeles, in order to develop a baseline of carcinogenic material exposure.
(b) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2021, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6723 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

6723.
 (a) (1) The standards board shall, on or before January 1, 2020, adopt regulations that require an employer to make appropriate and effective safety equipment available to a mechanic who could reasonably be expected to be exposed to harmful levels of smoke or other carcinogens due to exposure to firefighting operations.
(2) The adoption, amendment, repeal, or readoption of a regulation authorized by this section is deemed to address an emergency, for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and 11349.6 of the Government Code, and the standards board is hereby exempted for this purpose from the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 11346.1 of the Government Code. For purposes of subdivision (e) of Section 11346.1 of the Government Code, the 180-day period, as applicable to the effective period of an emergency regulatory action and submission of specified materials to the Office of Administrative Law, is hereby extended to one year.
(b) The standards board shall, on or before January 1, 2021, adopt an occupational safety and health standard for mechanics who repair, clean, or maintain firefighting vehicles or equipment. The standard shall, at a minimum, do all of the following:
(1) Require the use of exhaust extraction hose attachments on tail pipes to carry exhaust outdoors, as well as require sufficient outflow to mitigate diesel particulate matter exposure.
(2) Set a permissible exposure limit for diesel particulate matter to no more than 20 micrograms per cubic meter of total carbon when measured as an eight-hour time-weighted average.
(3) Ensure that a mechanic or any other employee who, pursuant to state or federal law or regulation is required to be present at an active outdoor firefighting scene, receives appropriate and effective safety equipment that is at least as effective as existing Cal-OSHA regulations for fire protection and firefighting equipment for firefighters.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
SECTION 1.Section 3212.18 is added to the Labor Code, to read:
3212.18.

(a)The term “injury,” as used in this division, includes cancer, including leukemia, that develops or manifests during a period in which an individual described in subdivision (d) demonstrates that they were exposed to a known carcinogen as defined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, or as defined by the director.

(b)The compensation that is awarded for an injury due to cancer shall include full hospital, surgical, medical treatment, disability indemnity, and death benefits, as provided by this division.

(c)Cancer that develops or manifests as described in subdivision (a) is presumed to arise out of and in the course of the employment. This presumption is disputable and may be controverted by evidence that the primary site of the cancer has been established and that the carcinogen to which the person has demonstrated exposure is not reasonably linked to the disabling cancer. Unless so controverted, the appeals board is bound to find in accordance with the presumption. This presumption shall be applied to an individual following termination of employment for a period of three calendar months for each full year of the requisite employment, but not to exceed 120 months in any circumstance, commencing with the last date actually worked in the specified capacity.

(d)This section applies to employees of a city, county, city and county, district, or other municipal corporation or political subdivision, other than the persons to whom Section 3212.1 applies, whose job duties cause the employees to be regularly exposed to active fires or health hazards directly resulting from firefighting operations, such as exposure to toxic chemicals deposited on firefighting equipment.