OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5236 (as amended by House “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS AND AMBULANCE COMPANIES AND THE DEFINITION OF EMPLOYER UNDER THE STATE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires a volunteer fire department or volunteer ambulance company to comply with the state's Occupational Safety and Health Act (Conn-OSHA), unless it can demonstrate that it is under federal OSHA jurisdiction. By law, Conn-OSHA governs workplace safety for the state and its political subdivisions while federal OSHA governs workplace safety in the private sector. Under current law, certain volunteer fire departments are not considered political subdivisions and therefore are not under Conn-OSHA jurisdiction. In general, volunteer fire departments and ambulance companies do not come under federal OSHA jurisdiction unless they are privately chartered and have paid employees.

*House Amendment “A“ exempts volunteer fire departments and ambulance companies from Conn-OSHA jurisdiction if they can show that they are covered under federal OSHA jurisdiction.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2012

BACKGROUND

Related Case

In Mayfied v. Goshen Volunteer Fire Company (301 Conn. 739 (2011)), the state Supreme Court ruled that a volunteer fire company that was privately chartered and not under the control of a municipality was not a political subdivision of the state and therefore not subject to Conn-OSHA jurisdiction.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Labor and Public Employees Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

11

Nay

0

(03/15/2012)

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

12

Nay

10

(04/11/2012)