Enacts CJ's Law--oil and gas drilling workplace safety act; requires the enactment of rules and regulations for enhanced work place safety and employee training for all oil and gas drilling operations in the state; provides that new permit holders should utilize union laborers or laborers with specific training; provides that employers shall report workplace accidents and the commissioner of the department of labor must publish a quarterly report on workplace accidents.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the labor law, in relation to enacting CJ's Law--oil and gas drilling workplace safety act
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS;
Section one of the bill amends the labor law by adding a new article 32 creating "CJ's Law - oil and gas drilling workplace safety act".
§ 926 sets forth the rules and regulations that require the following:
§ 926.1 requires the department of labor in conjunction with the department of environmental conservation to issue rules and regulations to provide for enhanced workplace safety requirements and employee training requirements for all oil and gas drilling operations in the state, including requirements relating to exposure to chemicals, work hours for drilling site employees and employees involved in on and off-site transportation, safety of machinery, proper care and treatment of clothing worn on drilling sites, use of proper respiratory masks, proper lighting, safe living conditions, site safety, and necessary duration of training.
§ 926.2 requires that the rules and regulations be conspicuously posted in visible and prominent locations at each drilling site
§ 927 addresses applicability of the workers' compensation law and states that all employees engaged in oil and gas drilling operations in the state shall be considered to be engaged in hazardous employment for which compensation shall be payable for injuries or death incurred by such employees in the course of their employment. The section also subjects employers to applicable penalties for failure to comply with the workers' compensation law.
§ 928 sets forth special requirements that require all applicants for new oil and gas drilling permits (including any subcontractors or other independent contractors) to utilize union laborers and/or laborers who have been trained or are undergoing training, appropriate for the type of and scope of work to be performed, where such training is through a valid department of labor apprenticeship program or an educational institution or school chartered, licensed or registered by the department of education, or a provider approved by the department of education.
§ 929 addresses reports of injuries and requires the drilling permit holder to report any workplace accident occurring at the drilling location by the close of business of the commissioner's next business day. If the permit holder fails to report the commissioner may assess a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for first violation, not more than $2,000 for a second violation and not more than $3,000 for a third violation or subsequent violation. The commissioner is also required to
publish a quarterly report on all workplace accidents occurring at oil or gas drilling locations that will be available for public review in writing and on the department's website.
Section 2 provides for this act to take effect on the one hundred and twentieth day after it shall have become law; provided that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date; and provided further that no new permits or renewal permits for oil and gas drilling shall be issued until the rules and regulations referred to in section one of this act take effect.
JUSTIFICATION: This legislation is named in honor of CJ Bevins. CJ was a 23 year old young man from West Virginia who senselessly and tragically lost his life as a result of unsafe work site conditions and poor training of drill site workers at a vertical hydrofracking gas well site in Smyrna, New York on May 1, 2011. He suffered severe crush injuries as he and other workers were setting up a new drill site location. CJ remained conscious after the accident and EMS attempted to arrange a flight rescue to the nearest trauma center. A flight was not obtained and after an hour long ride to a Syracuse hospital, CJ died as a result of his injuries during surgery.
Drilling for oil and natural gas is an inherently dangerous practice. Drill workers are placed in situations where accidents can easily result in severe injury and death. Despite constant exposure to severely toxic chemicals, dangerous heavy machinery, and excessive work hours for on-site drill workers and transportation employees, there are little to no regulations that protect these workers.
In April 2008, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a report entitled "Fatalities Among Oil and Gas Extraction Workers - United States, 2003-2006" which revealed that "increases in oil and gas extraction activity were correlated with an increase in the rate of fatal occupational injuries ... with an annual fatality rate of 30.5 per 100,000 workers during 2003-2006, approximately seven times the rate for all workers (4.0 per 100,000 workers)". Furthermore, the CDC report state that "nearly half of all fatal injuries among these workers were attributed to highway motor-vehicle crashes and workers being struck by machinery or equipment".
In addition to the 2008 CDC report, recent news articles attest the extreme risks associated with this industry including not only drilling site accidents but transportation related accidents involving trucks transporting water and or hydrofracking waste water to and from drill sites. The New York Times reported in May 2012 (Ian Urbina, May 14, 2012) that following their review of 50,000 inspection reports it was revealed that "as the number of drilling rigs rose by more than 22 percent in 2011 from the prior year, the number of inspections at such work sites fell by 12 percent." The article also highlighted the 2008 CDC report in stating that "with the growth of the industry ... the
fatality rate was increasing, meaning the relative risk was increasing" and "shifts grew longer, more inexperienced workers were hired and older rigs were being pressed into service."
Presently there are no specific work place safety rules that govern the many oil and gas drilling operations in New York State. This is simply unacceptable and this bill is necessary to protect those workers being put at risk.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY; None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Yet to be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred and twentieth day after it shall have become law; provided that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date; and provided further that no new permits or renewal permits for oil and gas drilling shall be issued until the rules and regulations referred to in section one of this act take effect.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3466 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 4, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to enacting CJ's Law--oil and gas drilling workplace safety act THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The labor law is amended by adding a new article 32 to read as follows: ARTICLE 32 OIL AND GAS DRILLING WORKPLACE SAFETY SECTION 925. SHORT TITLE. 926. RULES AND REGULATIONS. 927. APPLICABILITY OF THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW. 928. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS. 929. REPORTS OF INJURIES. S 925. SHORT TITLE. THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS "CJ'S LAW--OIL AND GAS DRILLING WORKPLACE SAFETY ACT". S 926. RULES AND REGULATIONS. 1. THE DEPARTMENT, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, SHALL ISSUE RULES AND REGULATIONS TO PROVIDE FOR ENHANCED WORKPLACE SAFETY REQUIREMENTS AND EMPLOYEE TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL OIL AND GAS DRILLING OPERATIONS IN THE STATE. SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS SHALL INCLUDE, BUT SHALL NOT BE LIMITED TO, REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO EXPOSURE TO CHEMICALS, WORK HOURS FOR BOTH DRILLING SITE EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IN TRANSPORTA- TION, INCLUDING TRUCK DRIVERS WORKING ON AND OFF THE DRILL RIG SITE, SAFETY OF MACHINERY, PROPER CARE AND TREATMENT OF CLOTHING WORN ON DRILLING SITES, USE OF PROPER MASKS TO PROTECT WORKER RESPIRATORY HEALTH, USE OF PROPER LIGHTING, SAFETY OF LIVING CONDITIONS FOR WORKERS, SAFETY OF SITE LOCATION, INCLUDING STABILITY OF GROUND SURFACES NECES- SARY TO SUPPORT ALL EQUIPMENT USED AT DRILLING SITES, AND REQUIRED DURA- TION OF TRAINING.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08063-01-3 S. 3466 2
2. THE RULES AND REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE PRINTED IN ENGLISH IN AT LEAST FOURTEEN POINT TYPE AND CONSPICUOUSLY POSTED IN A VISIBLE AND PROMINENT LOCATION AT EACH OIL AND GAS DRILLING SITE LOCATION. S 927. APPLICABILITY OF THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW. PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE OF THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW, ALL EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN OIL AND GAS DRILLING OPERATIONS IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK SHALL BE CONSIDERED TO BE ENGAGED IN HAZARDOUS EMPLOYMENT, FOR WHICH COMPENSATION SHALL BE PAYABLE FOR INJURIES OR DEATH INCURRED BY SUCH EMPLOYEES IN THE COURSE OF SUCH HAZARDOUS EMPLOYMENT. IN THE EVENT ANY COVERED EMPLOYER CONDUCTING OIL AND GAS DRILLING OPERATIONS IN THIS STATE FAILS TO MAKE PROVISION OF PAYMENT OF DISABILITY BENEFITS AS REQUIRED BY SECTION TWO HUNDRED ELEVEN OF THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW, SUCH EMPLOYER SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE PENALTIES SET FORTH IN SECTION TWO HUNDRED TWENTY OF THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW. S 928. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS. ALL APPLICANTS FOR A NEW DRILLING PERMIT FOR AN OIL AND GAS DRILLING OPERATION SHALL UTILIZE UNION LABORERS; AND/OR LABORERS WHO HAVE BEEN TRAINED OR ARE UNDERGOING TRAINING, APPRO- PRIATE FOR THE TYPE OF AND SCOPE OF WORK TO BE PERFORMED, WHERE SUCH TRAINING IS THROUGH A VALID DEPARTMENT APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM PURSUANT TO ARTICLE TWENTY-THREE OF THIS CHAPTER, OR AN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION OR SCHOOL CHARTERED, LICENSED OR REGISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCA- TION, OR A PROVIDER APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. FOLLOWING COMPLETION OF TRAINING REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION, A CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION SHALL BE ISSUED BY SUCH DEPARTMENT APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM, EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION, SCHOOL OR PROVIDER, AND SHALL BE CONSPICUOUSLY POSTED AT EACH SITE LOCATION WHERE THE HOLDER OF THE CERTIFICATE IS EMPLOYED AND SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC UPON REQUEST. ANY SUBCONTRACTORS OR OTHER INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS AT SUCH PERMITTED SITES SHALL ALSO AGREE TO THE EMPLOYMENT OF OR CONTRACTUAL RELATION WITH THE SAME TYPE OF LABORERS. NOTWITHSTANDING THE FOREGOING, NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO MANDATE AN EMPLOYER OR CONTRACTOR THAT IS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION TO EXCLUSIVELY REQUIRE THE USE OF UNION LABOR AT A CONSTRUCTION SITE OR TO BE IN VIOLATION OF ANY FEDERAL PROHIBITION REGARDING THE SAME. S 929. REPORTS OF INJURIES. 1. A DRILLING PERMIT HOLDER MUST REPORT TO THE COMMISSIONER ANY WORKPLACE ACCIDENT OCCURRING AT THE OIL OR GAS DRILLING LOCATION BY THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS OF THE COMMISSIONER'S NEXT BUSINESS DAY. IN THE EVENT A DRILLING PERMIT HOLDER FAILS TO REPORT ANY WORKPLACE ACCIDENT PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION, THE COMMISSIONER MAY BY ORDER WHICH PARTICULARLY DESCRIBES THE NATURE OF THE VIOLATION, ASSESS THE PERMIT HOLDER A CIVIL PENALTY OF NOT MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR THE FIRST SUCH VIOLATION, NOT MORE THAN TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A SECOND VIOLATION AND NOT MORE THAN THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A THIRD OR SUBSEQUENT VIOLATION. SUCH PENALTY SHALL BE PAID TO THE COMMISSIONER FOR DEPOSIT IN THE TREASURY OF THE STATE. IN ASSESSING THE AMOUNT OF THE PENALTY, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL GIVE DUE CONSIDERATION TO THE SIZE OF THE EMPLOYER'S BUSINESS, THE GOOD FAITH OF THE EMPLOYER, THE HISTORY OF PREVIOUS VIOLATIONS AND THE FAILURE WITH ANY OTHER RECORD-KEEPING REQUIREMENTS. 2. THE COMMISSIONER MUST PUBLISH A QUARTERLY REPORT ON ALL WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS OCCURRING AT OIL OR GAS DRILLING LOCATIONS. SUCH QUARTERLY REPORTS SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC REVIEW, IN WRITING AND VIA AN ONLINE FORMAT ON THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediate-S. 3466 3
ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date; and provided further that no new permits or renewal permits for oil and gas drilling shall be issued until the rules and regulations referred to in section one of this act take effect.