CHAPTER 571*

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT

*”Federal and state OSHA violations do not give rise to a private right of action.” 196 C. 91.

Cited. 3 CA 40. Sec. 31-367 et seq., occupational safety and health act (OSHA), cited. 16 CA 660.

Complaint under Occupational Safety and Health Act is barred by Workers’ Compensation Act. 39 CS 250.

Table of Contents

Sec. 31-367. Definitions.

Sec. 31-368. Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Coordination of activities with the Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Sec. 31-369. Application of chapter.

Sec. 31-370. Duties of employer and employee.

Sec. 31-371. Regulations.

Sec. 31-372. Adoption of federal and state standards. Variances.

Sec. 31-373. Committee on Occupational Safety and Health.

Sec. 31-374. Inspections and investigations. Records.

Sec. 31-375. Citation for violation.

Sec. 31-376. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Sec. 31-377. Notice to employer of contest period and proposed assessment. Action by review commission.

Sec. 31-378. Appeal from review commission.

Sec. 31-379. Discriminatory practices prohibited. Complaint: Filing; hearing; relief. Appeal to Superior Court.

Sec. 31-380. Enjoining of conditions or practices at places of employment. Mandamus against commissioner for failure to act.

Sec. 31-381. Confidentiality of information obtained.

Sec. 31-382. Penalties.

Sec. 31-383. Research and demonstration projects.

Sec. 31-384. Education programs.

Sec. 31-385. Reports to U.S. Secretary of Labor.


Sec. 31-367. Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(a) “Commissioner” means the Labor Commissioner or his designated agent;

(b) “Commission” means the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission established under this chapter;

(c) “Person” means one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, corporations, limited liability companies, business trusts, legal representatives or any organized group of persons;

(d) “Employer” means the state and any political subdivision thereof;

(e) “Employee” means any person engaged in service to an employer in a business of his employer;

(f) “Occupational safety and health standard” means a standard which requires conditions, or the adoption or use of one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or processes, reasonably necessary or appropriate to provide safe or healthful employment in places of employment;

(g) “Trade secret” means any confidential formula, pattern, device or compilation of information, known only to the employer and those employees in whom it is necessary to confide it, which is used in the employer’s business and gives him an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know or use it.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 1, 21; P.A. 74-137, S. 1, 21; P.A. 77-610, S. 1, 3; P.A. 80-46, S. 1; P.A. 81-472, S. 99, 159; P.A. 95-79, S. 118, 189.)

History: P.A. 74-137 added Subdiv. (i) defining “owner”; P.A. 77-610 redefined “employer” to exclude persons engaged in business who have employees where such persons were previously specifically included and redefined “owner” to add “rented or leased to the state or any political subdivision thereof”; P.A. 80-46 deleted definition of “owner”; P.A. 81-472 removed the definition of “advisory committee”; P.A. 95-79 redefined “person” to include limited liability companies, effective May 31, 1995.

Subdiv. (d):

Cited. 184 C. 173. “Political subdivision” does not include a volunteer fire company, and functional equivalent test of Freedom of Information Act is inapplicable to this definition. 301 C. 739.

Sec. 31-368. Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Coordination of activities with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. (a) There is created in the Labor Department a Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which shall be comprised of a subdivision for safety, a subdivision for health and such other subdivisions as the commissioner deems necessary. This division shall administer all matters pertaining to occupational safety and occupational health.

(b) The Labor Department may require the assistance of other state agencies and may enter into agreements with other state agencies and political subdivisions of the state for the administration of this chapter.

(c) The Labor Commissioner shall provide for coordination between the Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the Workers’ Compensation Commission which shall include but not be limited to establishment of standardized procedures and reportings.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 2, 21; P.A. 77-614, S. 483, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 36, 136; P.A. 79-376, S. 52; P.A. 91-339, S. 39, 55.)

History: P.A. 77-614 added Subsec. (c) re coordination between division of occupational health and safety and compensation commissioners; P.A. 78-303 reversed “health” and “safety” in division name; P.A. 79-376 replaced “workmen’s compensation” with “workers’ compensation”; P.A. 91-339 amended Subsec. (c) by changing “workers’ compensation commissioners” to “workers’ compensation commission”.

Sec. 31-369. Application of chapter. (a) This chapter applies to all employers, employees and places of employment in the state except the following: (1) Employees of the United States government; and (2) working conditions of employees over which federal agencies other than the United States Department of Labor exercise statutory authority to prescribe or enforce standards or regulations affecting occupational safety and health.

(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to supersede or in any manner affect any workers’ compensation law or to enlarge, diminish or affect in any manner common law or statutory rights, duties or liabilities of employers or employees, under any law with respect to injuries, diseases or death of employees arising out of and in the course of employment.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 3, 21; P.A. 74-137, S. 2, 21; P.A. 79-376, S. 53; P.A. 80-46, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 74-137 specified applicability of chapter to all owners and substituted “working conditions of employees” for “employers, employees and places of employment” in Subdiv. (2); P.A. 79-376 substituted “workers’ compensation” for “workmen’s compensation”; P.A. 80-46 removed “owners” from applicability provision in Subsec. (a) and deleted Subsec. (c) re required compliance with health and safety standards by building owners, lessees, agents or managers.

Subsec. (b):

The negligence per se instruction was erroneous when measured against this limiting statute. 184 C. 173. Cited. 196 C. 91.

Cited. 3 CA 40.

Sec. 31-370. Duties of employer and employee. (a) Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.

(b) Each employer shall, upon the written request of any employee, furnish such employee with a written statement listing the substances which such employee uses or with which such employee comes into contact that have been identified as toxic and hazardous by occupational safety and health standards, under Title 29 CFR 1910.1000 “Air Contaminant Code of Federal Regulations”.

(c) Each employer shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this chapter.

(d) Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all regulations and orders issued pursuant to this chapter which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 4, 21; P.A. 77-107.)

History: P.A. 77-107 inserted new Subsec. (b) re employer’s duty to notify employees of toxic and hazardous substances which they use, etc. and relettered former Subsecs. (b) and (c) accordingly.

Cited. 243 C. 66.

Subsec. (a):

Cited. 184 C. 173.

Subsec. (c):

Cited. 184 C. 173.

Sec. 31-371. Regulations. In the adoption of regulations under the authority of this chapter, the commissioner shall:

(a) Provide for the preparation, adoption, amendment or repeal of regulations governing the conditions of employment of general and special application in all work places;

(b) Provide a method of encouraging employers and employees in their efforts to reduce the number of safety and health hazards arising from undesirable, inappropriate or unnecessary working conditions at the work place and of stimulating employers and employees to institute new, and to perfect existing, programs for providing safe and healthful working conditions;

(c) Provide for appropriate reporting procedures by employers with respect to such information relating to conditions of employment as will assist in achieving the objectives of this chapter;

(d) Provide for the frequency, method and manner of making inspections of work places without advance notice, provided, in the event of an emergency or unusual situation, the commissioner may give advance notice;

(e) Provide for the publication and dissemination to employers, employees and labor organizations, and the posting, where appropriate, by employers of informational, education or training materials calculated to aid and assist in achieving the objectives of this chapter;

(f) Provide for the establishment of new, and the perfection and expansion of existing, programs for occupational safety and health education for employers and employees and institute methods and procedures for the establishment of a program for voluntary compliance by employers and employees with the requirements of this chapter and all applicable safety and health standards and regulations promulgated pursuant to the authority of this chapter.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 5, 21; P.A. 74-137, S. 3, 4, 21; P.A. 80-46, S. 3.)

History: P.A. 74-137 added references to owners in Subsecs. (b) and (e); P.A. 80-46 deleted references to owners.

Sec. 31-372. Adoption of federal and state standards. Variances. (a) The commissioner shall provide for the adoption of all occupational health and safety standards, amendments or changes adopted or recognized by the United States Secretary of Labor under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Where no federal standards are applicable, the commissioner shall provide for the development of such state standards as may be necessary in special circumstances.

(b) No standards shall be adopted for products distributed or used in interstate commerce which are different from federal standards for such products unless such standards are required by compelling local conditions and do not unduly burden interstate commerce.

(c) Subject to the time period limitations of subsection (f) of section 4-168, in the event of emergency or unusual situations the commissioner shall provide for an emergency temporary standard to take immediate effect upon publication in the Connecticut Law Journal if he deems (1) that employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards; and (2) that such emergency standard is necessary to protect employees from such danger. Such emergency standard shall be in effect not longer than one hundred twenty days or, if renewed in compliance with subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, not longer than sixty additional days. On or before the expiration date of such emergency standard or renewal thereof, the commissioner shall develop a permanent standard to replace such emergency standard.

(d) Any standard promulgated shall prescribe the use of labels or other appropriate forms of warning as are necessary to insure that employees are apprised of all hazards to which they are exposed, relevant symptoms and appropriate emergency treatment, and proper conditions and precautions of safe use or exposure where appropriate. Such standard shall also prescribe suitable protective equipment and control procedures to be used in connection with such hazards and shall provide for measuring employee exposure in such manner as may be necessary for the protection of employees. In addition, where appropriate, such standard shall prescribe the type and frequency, medical examinations or other tests which shall be made available, by the employer or at his cost, to employees exposed to such hazards in order to determine any adverse effect from such exposure.

(e) Any employer may apply to the commissioner for a temporary order granting a variance from a standard or any provision thereof promulgated under this section. Such temporary order shall be granted only if the employer files an application which meets the requirements of subsection (f) of this section and establishes that the employer (1) is unable to comply with a standard by its effective date because of unavailability of professional or technical personnel or of materials and equipment needed to come into compliance with the standard or because necessary construction or alteration of facilities cannot be completed by the effective date, (2) is taking all available steps to safeguard employees against the hazards covered by the standard, and (3) has an effective program for coming into compliance with the standard as quickly as practicable. Any temporary order issued under this subsection shall prescribe the practices, means, methods, operations, and processes which the employer must adopt and use while the order is in effect and state in detail the employer’s program for coming into compliance with the standard. Such a temporary order may be granted only after notice to employees and an opportunity for a hearing, provided the commissioner may issue one interim order to be effective until a decision is made on the basis of the hearing. No temporary order may be in effect for longer than the period needed by the employer to achieve compliance with the standard or one year, whichever is shorter, except that such an order may be renewed not more than twice as long as the requirements of this subsection are met and if an application for renewal is filed at least ninety days prior to the expiration date of the order. No interim renewal of an order may remain in effect longer than one hundred eighty days.

(f) An application for a temporary variance order shall contain: (1) A specification of the standard or portion thereof from which the employer seeks a variance; (2) a representation by the employer, supported by representations from qualified persons who have firsthand knowledge of the facts represented, that he is unable to comply with the standard or portion thereof and a detailed statement of the reasons therefor; (3) a statement of the steps he has taken and will take, with specific dates, to protect employees against the hazard covered by the standard; (4) a statement of when he expects to be able to comply with the standard and what steps he has taken and what steps he will take, with dates specified, to come into compliance with the standard; and (5) a certification that he has informed his employees of the application by giving a copy thereof to their authorized representative, posting a statement giving a summary of the application and specifying where a copy may be examined at the place or places where notices to employees are normally posted, and by other appropriate means. A description of how employees have been informed shall be contained in the certification. The information to employees shall also inform them of their right to petition the commissioner for a hearing. The commissioner is also authorized to grant a variance from any standard or portion thereof whenever he determines that such variance is necessary to permit an employer to participate in an experiment approved by him designed to demonstrate or validate new and improved techniques to safeguard the health or safety of workers.

(g) Any affected employer may apply to the commissioner for a rule or order for a variance from a standard promulgated under this section. Affected employees shall be given notice of each such application and an opportunity to participate in a hearing. The commissioner shall issue such rule or order if he determines on the record, after opportunity for an inspection where appropriate and a hearing, that the proponent of the variance has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the conditions, practices, means, methods, operations, or processes used or proposed to be used by an employer will provide employment and places of employment which are as safe and healthful as those which would prevail if he complied with the standard. The rule or order so issued shall prescribe the conditions the employer must maintain, and the practices, means, methods, operations, and processes which he must adopt and utilize to the extent they differ from the standard in question. Such a rule or order may be modified or revoked upon application by an employer or employees, or by the commissioner on his own motion, in the manner prescribed for its issuance under this subsection at any time after six months from its issuance.

(h) Any person who may be adversely affected by a standard or regulation issued under this section may challenge the validity or applicability of such standard or regulation by bringing an action for a declaratory judgment in accordance with section 4-175.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 6, 21; P.A. 74-137, S. 5–7, 21; P.A. 80-46, S. 4; P.A. 88-317, S. 92, 107; P.A. 06-196, S. 264.)

History: P.A. 74-137 added references to owners in Subsecs. (e) to (g) and specified that Subsec. (f))(5) applies “in the case of an employer”; P.A. 80-46 deleted references to owners and words “in the case of an employer” in said Subdiv. (5); P.A. 88-317 amended Subsec. (c) by substituting “subsection (f) of section 4-168” for “subsection (b) of section 4-168”, effective July 1, 1989, and applicable to all agency proceedings commencing on or after that date; P.A. 06-196 made technical changes in Subsec. (e), effective June 7, 2006.

Subsec. (a):

Cited. 184 C. 173.

Sec. 31-373. Committee on Occupational Safety and Health. Section 31-373 is repealed.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 7, 21; P.A. 77-614, S. 609, 610.)

Sec. 31-374. Inspections and investigations. Records. (a) In order to carry out the purposes of this chapter the commissioner, upon presenting appropriate credentials to the employer, is authorized (1) to enter without advance notice, except as provided in regulations adopted in accordance with chapter 54 and this chapter, and at reasonable times any factory, plant, establishment, construction site, or other area, work place or environment where work is performed by an employee of an employer, and (2) to inspect and investigate, during regular working hours and at other reasonable times and within reasonable limits and in a reasonable manner, any such place of employment and all pertinent conditions, structures, machines, apparatus, devices, equipment and the materials therein and to question, privately, any such employer or employee. Whenever the commissioner, proceeding pursuant to this section, is denied admission to any such place of employment, he shall obtain a warrant to make an inspection or investigation of such place of employment from any judge of the Superior Court. Any judge of the Superior Court within the state is authorized to issue a warrant pursuant to this section and shall issue such warrant whenever he is satisfied that the following conditions are met: That the individual seeking the warrant is a duly authorized agent of the department; and that such individual has established under oath or affirmation that the place of employment to be investigated in accordance with this section is to be inspected to determine compliance or noncompliance with a standard, regulation or order, or that there is probable cause to believe that there is a condition in or about such place of employment constituting a hazard to safety or health.

(b) In making his inspections and investigations under this chapter, the commissioner may require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence under oath. Witnesses shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of this state. In case of contumacy or failure or refusal of any person to obey such an order, the superior court for the judicial district wherein such person resides, is found or transacts business shall have jurisdiction to issue to such person an order requiring such person to appear to produce evidence if asked, and when so ordered, and to give testimony relating to the matter under investigation or in question. Any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof.

(c) (1) Each employer shall make, keep and preserve and make available to the commissioner and the United States Secretary of Labor such records regarding his activities relating to this chapter as the commissioner may prescribe in regulations adopted in accordance with chapter 54 and this chapter as necessary or appropriate for the enforcement of this chapter or for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational accidents and illnesses. In order to carry out the provisions of this subdivision such regulations may include provisions requiring employers to conduct periodic inspections. The commissioner shall also adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 and this chapter requiring that employers through posting of notices or other appropriate means keep their employees informed of their protections and obligations under this chapter, including the provisions of applicable standards.

(2) The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 and this chapter requiring employers to maintain accurate records of and to make periodic reports on work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses other than minor injuries requiring only first aid treatment and which do not involve medical treatment, loss of consciousness, restriction of work or motion, or transfer to another job.

(3) The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 and this chapter requiring employers to maintain accurate records of employee exposures to potentially toxic materials or harmful physical agents which are required to be monitored or measured under any occupational safety and health standard adopted under this chapter. Such regulations shall provide employees or their representatives an opportunity to observe such monitoring or measuring and to have access to the records thereof. Such regulations shall also make appropriate provision for each employee or former employee to have access to such records as will indicate his own exposure to toxic materials or harmful physical agents. Each employer shall promptly notify any employee who has been or is being exposed to toxic materials or harmful physical agents in concentrations or at levels which exceed those prescribed by an applicable occupational safety and health standard promulgated in regulations adopted in accordance with chapter 54 and this chapter and shall inform any employee who is being thus exposed of the corrective action being taken.

(d) Any information obtained by the commissioner under this chapter shall be obtained with a minimum burden upon employers. Unnecessary duplication of efforts in obtaining information shall be reduced to the maximum extent feasible.

(e) Subject to regulations adopted by the commissioner in accordance with chapter 54 and this chapter, a representative of the employer and a representative authorized by the employees of the employer shall be given an opportunity to accompany the commissioner or his authorized representative during the physical inspection of any work place for the purpose of aiding such inspection. Where there is no authorized employee representative, the commissioner or his authorized representative shall consult with a reasonable number of employees concerning matters of health and safety in the work place.

(f) (1) Any employee or representative of employees who believes that there is a violation of an occupational safety or health standard or that there is an imminent danger of physical harm may request an inspection by giving notice to the commissioner or his authorized representative of such violation or danger. Any such notice shall be reduced to writing and shall set forth with reasonable particularity the grounds for the notice, and shall be signed by the employees or the representative of employees. A copy of such notice shall be provided the employer or the employer’s agent no later than the time of the inspection, provided, upon the request of the person giving such notice, his or her name and the names of individual employees referred to therein shall not appear in such copy or on any record published, released or made available pursuant to subsection (g) of this section. Upon the request of an individual employee whose name is not included in such notice, but who at any time provides information to the commissioner concerning the violation or danger alleged in such notice, the name of such individual employee shall not appear on any record published, released or made available pursuant to subsection (g) of this section. If upon receipt of such notification the commissioner determines there are reasonable grounds to believe that such violation or danger exists, he shall make an inspection in accordance with the provisions of this section as soon as practicable to determine if such violation or danger exists. Such inspection may be limited to the alleged violation or danger. If the commissioner determines there are no reasonable grounds to believe that such violation or danger exists, he shall notify the employer, employee or representative of employees in writing of such determination. Such notification shall not preclude future enforcement action if conditions change.

(2) Prior to or during any inspection of a work place, any employees or representative of employees employed in such work place may notify the commissioner or any representative of the commissioner responsible for conducting the inspection in writing of any violation of this chapter which they have reason to believe exists in such work place. The commissioner shall by regulation establish procedures for informal review of any refusal by a representative of the commissioner to issue a citation with respect to any such alleged violation and shall furnish the employer and the employees or representative of employees requesting such review a written statement of the reasons for the commissioner’s final disposition of the case. Such notification shall not preclude future enforcement action if conditions change.

(g) (1) The commissioner may compile, analyze and publish in either summary or detail form all reports or information obtained under this section.

(2) The commissioner shall adopt such regulations in accordance with chapter 54 and this chapter as he may deem necessary to carry out his responsibilities under this chapter, including regulations dealing with the inspection of an employer’s or owner’s establishment.

(h) (1) In accordance with the provisions of section 4-38d, the duty of the Department of Public Health to license and to establish standards for health facilities operated by a commercial or industrial establishment for the care of its employees shall be transferred to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the Labor Department. No commercial or industrial establishment within the state shall establish, conduct, operate or maintain a health facility for its employees without a license as required by this subsection.

(2) Application for such license shall be made to the Labor Department upon forms provided by it and shall contain such information as the department requires, which may include affirmative evidence of ability to comply with reasonable standards and regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of this subsection. Upon receipt of an application for a license, the Labor Department shall issue such license if, upon inspection and investigation by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, it finds that the applicant and facilities meet the requirements established by regulation. Such license shall be valid for one year or fraction thereof and shall terminate on March thirty-first, June thirtieth, September thirtieth or December thirty-first of each year. A license, unless sooner suspended or revoked, shall be renewable annually, without charge, upon the filing by the licensee, and approval by the Labor Department, of an annual report upon such date and containing such information in such form as the department prescribes and satisfactory evidence of continuing compliance with requirements. Each license shall be issued only for the premises and persons named in the application and shall not be transferable or assignable. Licenses shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the licensed premises.

(3) The Labor Department shall adopt, in accordance with chapter 54 and this chapter, and enforce regulations for health facilities licensed under the provisions of this subsection in order to provide for reasonable standards of health, safety and comfort for the employees utilizing such facilities. The regulations adopted by the Labor Department shall conform to the standards established by this chapter.

(4) The Labor Department, after reasonable notice and a hearing, may suspend, revoke or refuse to renew a license in any case in which it finds there has been a substantial failure to comply with the requirements established under this subsection. The requirements of reasonable notice and hearing, as provided for in this subsection, and appeals from the decisions of said department, shall comply with the requirements of chapter 54.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 8, 21; P.A. 74-137, S. 8–11, 13, 21; P.A. 75-567, S. 28, 80; P.A. 76-436, S. 623, 681; P.A. 77-614, S. 323, 610; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; P.A. 80-46, S. 5, 6; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 09-106, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 74-137 added references to owners in Subsecs. (d) to (g) and added Subsec. (h) transferring powers of department of health to division of occupational health and safety; P.A. 75-567 substituted “geographical area” for “circuit” in Subsec. (a); P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas and “court of record” with superior court and deleted reference to judges of any court of record, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-614 replaced department of health with department of health services, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties; P.A. 80-46 substituted “employer” for “owner, operator or agent in charge” as recipient of credentials in Subsec. (a) and deleted references to owners throughout section; P.A. 93-381 replaced department of health services with department of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995 (Revisor’s note: A reference in Subsec. (h) to “Division of Occupational Health and Safety” was replaced editorially by the Revisors with “Division of Occupational Safety and Health” in conformance with Sec. 31-368); P.A. 09-106 amended Subsecs. (a), (c), (e), (g)(2) and (h)(3) by replacing former citations to regulations with citations re regulations adopted in accordance with Chs. 54 and 571, amended Subsec. (f)(1) to add provision allowing employee who provides information to commissioner concerning the violation or danger alleged to request that employee’s name be excluded from the published record, and made technical changes in Subsecs. (b), (f)(1), (g) and (h)(2).

Sec. 31-375. Citation for violation. (a) If, upon inspection or investigation, the commissioner or his authorized representative believes that an employer has violated any provision of sections 31-369 and 31-370, any standard promulgated pursuant to section 31-372 or any regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter, he shall, with reasonable promptness, issue a citation to the employer. Each citation shall be in writing and shall describe with particularity the nature of the violation, including a reference to the provision of this chapter or the standard, regulation or order alleged to have been violated. The citation shall fix a reasonable time for the abatement of the violation.

(b) Each citation issued under this section or a copy or copies thereof shall be prominently posted as prescribed in regulations issued by the commissioner at or near each place a violation referred to in the citation occurred.

(c) No citation may be issued under this section after the expiration of six months following the occurrence of any violation.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 9, 21; P.A. 74-137, S. 14, 21; P.A. 80-46, S. 7.)

History: P.A. 74-137 made provisions applicable to owners; P.A. 80-46 excluded owners from applicability.

Cited. 196 C. 91.

Sec. 31-376. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. (a) There shall continue to be a Connecticut Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission which shall be within the Labor Department for administrative purposes only. Said commission shall consist of five members appointed by the Governor from among persons who by reason of training, education or experience are qualified to carry out the functions of the commission under this chapter.

(b) Members of the review commission shall serve terms of four years and until their successors are appointed.

(c) A member of the review commission shall hear and rule on appeals from citations, notifications and penalties issued under the provisions of this chapter. The commissioner shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations with respect to the procedural aspect of the review commission hearings.

(d) Any commission member hearing an appeal or appeals under the provisions of this chapter shall be paid one hundred twenty-five dollars per diem. The members shall alternate the hearing of such appeals according to a schedule adopted by the commissioner. If a member is unable to hear an appeal, the next available member, in accordance with such schedule, shall hear the appeal. A member shall be selected to hear an appeal within thirty days after the date it was filed.

(e) Any staff necessary for the purposes of such hearings shall be provided by the Labor Department.

(f) In the conduct of hearings the review commission or hearing officer may subpoena and examine witnesses, require the production of evidence, administer oaths and take testimony and depositions.

(g) After hearing an appeal the review commission member may sustain, modify or dismiss a citation or penalty, provided such decision shall be issued within one hundred twenty days after the date the appeal was filed.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 13, 21; P.A. 74-137, S. 16, 21; 74-176, S. 1, 2; P.A. 75-285, S. 3; P.A. 77-614, S. 67, 484, 610; P.A. 81-382, S. 6, 8; P.A. 83-569, S. 7, 17.)

History: P.A. 74-137 replaced provisions whereby commission fixed salaries of secretary of commission (with governor’s approval) and of all other employees with provision whereby state personnel policy board is responsible for fixing all salaries; P.A. 74-176 specified that commission is an autonomous body and within the labor department for fiscal and budgetary purposes only; P.A. 75-285 added provision in Subsec. (j) re review procedure; P.A. 77-614 replaced personnel policy board with commissioner of administrative services and, effective January 1, 1979, deleted reference to commission as autonomous body and substituted “administrative” for “fiscal and budgetary” purposes; P.A. 81-382 reduced number of commission members from three to two, deleted provision whereby governor designated chairman, deleted Subsec. (c) re meetings, special meetings and quorum, relettered former Subsec. (d) as (c) and allowed single member rather than whole commission to hear and rule on appeals and transferred regulation power from commission to labor commissioner, deleted former Subsecs. (e) to (j) re commission employees, salaries of members and employees, expense reimbursements and hearing procedure, inserted new Subsecs. (d) and (e) re payments to members hearing appeals and staff and relettered former Subsecs. (k) and (l) accordingly; P.A. 83-569 set time limits for hearings and decisions on appeals and enlarged commission membership from two to five.

See Sec. 4-38f for definition of “administrative purposes only”.

Sec. 31-377. Notice to employer of contest period and proposed assessment. Action by review commission. (a) If, after inspection or investigation, the commissioner issues a citation pursuant to section 31-375, he shall, within a reasonable time after the termination of such inspection or investigation, notify the employer by certified mail of the penalty, if any, proposed to be assessed pursuant to section 31-382. Such notification shall inform the employer that he has fifteen working days from the receipt of notice within which to notify the commissioner that he wishes to contest the citation or proposed assessment of penalty. If the employer fails to so notify the commissioner within said fifteen days, and if no notice is filed by any employee or representative of employees pursuant to subsection (c) of this section within said fifteen days, the citation and the assessment, as proposed, shall be deemed a final order of the commission and not subject to review by any court or agency.

(b) If the commissioner has reason to believe that an employer has failed to correct a violation for which a citation has been issued within the period permitted for such correction, the commissioner shall notify the employer by certified mail of such failure and of the penalty proposed to be assessed pursuant to section 31-382 by reason of such failure, provided, in the case of a review proceeding initiated by the employer under this section in good faith and not solely for delay or the avoidance of penalties, the period permitted for correction of the violation shall not begin to run until the entry of a final order by the review commission. Such notification by the commissioner shall inform the employer that he has fifteen working days from the receipt of such notice within which to notify the commissioner that he wishes to contest the notification or the proposed assessment of penalty. If, within fifteen days from receipt of notification under this section, the employer fails to notify the commissioner that he intends to contest the notification or proposed assessment of penalty, the notification and assessment as proposed shall be deemed a final order of the commission and not subject to review by any court or agency.

(c) If an employer notifies the commissioner that he intends to contest a citation issued under subsection (a) of section 31-375 or a notification issued under subsection (a) or (b) of this section, or if, within fifteen days after the issuance of a citation issued under subsection (a) of section 31-375, any employee or representative of employees files a notice with the commissioner alleging that the period of time fixed in the citation for abatement of the violation is unreasonable, the commissioner shall immediately advise the commission of such notification, and the commission shall afford an opportunity for a hearing. The commission shall thereafter issue an order, based on findings of fact, affirming, modifying, or vacating the commissioner’s citation or proposed penalty, or directing other appropriate relief. Such order shall become final thirty days after its issuance. Upon a showing by an employer of a good faith effort to comply with the abatement requirements of a citation, and a showing that abatement has not been completed because of factors beyond his reasonable control, the commissioner, after an opportunity for a hearing as provided in this subsection, shall issue an order affirming or modifying the abatement requirements in such citation. The rules of procedure prescribed by the commissioner shall provide affected employees or representatives of affected employees an opportunity to participate as parties to hearings under this subsection.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 10, 21; P.A. 74-137, S. 15, 21; P.A. 79-631, S. 90, 111; P.A. 80-46, S. 8; P.A. 81-382, S. 7, 8.)

History: P.A. 74-137 made provisions applicable to owners; P.A. 79-631 made technical correction in Subsec. (b); P.A. 80-46 deleted references to owners; P.A. 81-382 amended Subsec. (c) to reflect transfer of power to prescribe rules of procedure from review commission to labor commissioner.

Sec. 31-378. Appeal from review commission. Any person, including the commissioner, adversely affected or aggrieved by an order of the review commission, after all administrative remedies provided by this chapter have been exhausted, is entitled to judicial review in accordance with section 4-183.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 11, 21.)

Sec. 31-379. Discriminatory practices prohibited. Complaint: Filing; hearing; relief. Appeal to Superior Court. (a) No person shall discharge, discipline, penalize or in any manner discriminate against any employee (1) because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this chapter, (2) because such employee has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding, or (3) because of the exercise by such employee on behalf of such employee or others of any right afforded by this chapter.

(b) Any employee who believes that such employee has been discharged, disciplined, penalized or otherwise discriminated against by any person in violation of subsection (a) of this section may, not later than one hundred eighty days after such violation occurs, file a complaint with the commissioner alleging such violation. Upon receipt of such complaint the commissioner shall hold a hearing in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(c) The commissioner may award an aggrieved employee all appropriate relief, including rehiring or reinstatement of the employee to the employee’s former position, back pay and reestablishment of any employee benefits to which the employee would otherwise have been eligible if such violation had not occurred. The commissioner shall award a prevailing employee such employee’s costs, together with reasonable attorneys’ fees to be determined by the commissioner.

(d) Any party aggrieved by the commissioner’s decision under subsection (c) of this section may appeal the decision to the Superior Court in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 12, 21; P.A. 76-436, S. 265, 681; P.A. 78-280, S. 5, 127; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4–6; P.A. 99-146.)

History: P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 78-280 replaced “Hartford county” with “judicial district of Hartford-New Britain”; P.A. 88-230 replaced “judicial district of Hartford-New Britain” with “judicial district of Hartford”, effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-146 made technical changes, amended Subsec. (a) to add Subdiv. indicators and prohibit employers from disciplining or penalizing employees who file complaints or institute proceedings under the Connecticut Occupational Safety and Health Act, amended Subsec. (b) to extend the time for filing complaints against employers from 30 to 180 days following a violation and delete provisions requiring the commissioner to investigate complaints and institute Superior Court actions as necessary and instead required the commissioner to hold hearings on complaints in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act, amended Subsec. (c) to delete the commissioner’s notice requirements and specify the relief the commissioner is authorized to grant to aggrieved employees in Subsec. and added a new Subsec. (d) to authorize appeals to the Superior Court.

Cited. 40 CA 577.

Sec. 31-380. Enjoining of conditions or practices at places of employment. Mandamus against commissioner for failure to act. (a) The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction upon petition by the commissioner to restrain or enjoin any conditions or practices in any place of employment which are such that a danger exists which could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm immediately or before the imminence of such danger can be eliminated through the enforcement procedures otherwise provided by this chapter. Any order issued under this section may require such steps to be taken as may be necessary to avoid, correct or remove such imminent danger and prohibit the employment or presence of any individual in locations or under conditions where such imminent danger exists except individuals whose presence is necessary to avoid, correct or remove such imminent danger or to maintain the capacity of a continuous process operation, to resume normal operations without a complete cessation of operations or, where a cessation of operation is necessary, to permit such to be accomplished in a safe and orderly manner. No temporary restraining order issued without notice shall be effective more than five days.

(b) Whenever and as soon as an inspector concludes that conditions or practices described in subsection (a) of this section exist in any place of employment, he shall inform the affected employees and employer or owner of such danger and shall further inform such persons that he is recommending to the commissioner that relief be sought.

(c) If the commissioner arbitrarily or capriciously fails to seek relief under this section, any employee who may be injured by reason of such failure, or the representative of such failure, or the representative of such employee, may bring an action against the commissioner in the superior court for the judicial district in which the imminent danger is alleged to exist or where the employer or owner has its principal office, for a writ of mandamus to compel the commissioner to seek such an order and for such further relief as may be appropriate.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 14, 21; P.A. 74-137, S. 17, 18, 21; P.A. 76-436, S. 266, 681; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127.)

History: P.A. 74-137 added reference to place where “owner” has principal office in Subsec. (c); P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties.

Sec. 31-381. Confidentiality of information obtained. All information reported to or otherwise obtained by the commissioner or his representatives or any member of the commission in connection with any inspection or proceeding under this chapter which contains or which might reveal a trade secret shall be considered confidential, provided such information may be disclosed to other officers or employees concerned with carrying out this chapter or when relevant in any proceeding under this chapter. In any such proceedings the commissioner, the review commission or the court shall issue such orders as may be appropriate to protect the confidentiality of trade secrets.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 15, 21; P.A. 75-285, S. 1; P.A. 82-472, S. 111, 183.)

History: P.A. 75-285 made provisions applicable to information reported to or obtained by “any member of the commission or the advisory committee”; P.A. 82-472 deleted reference to information obtained by advisory committee.

Sec. 31-382. Penalties. (a) Any employer who wilfully or repeatedly violates the requirements of sections 31-369 and 31-370, any standard or order promulgated pursuant to section 31-372, or regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter, may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars for each violation.

(b) Any employer who has received a citation for a serious violation of the requirements of sections 31-369 and 31-370, of any standard or order promulgated pursuant to section 31-372, or of any regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars for each such violation.

(c) Any employer who has received a citation for a violation of the requirements of sections 31-369 and 31-370, of any standard or order promulgated pursuant to section 31-372, or of regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter, which violation is specifically determined not to be of a serious nature, may be assessed a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars for each such violation.

(d) Any employer who fails to correct a violation for which a citation has been issued under section 31-375 within the period permitted for its correction which period shall not begin to run until the date of the final order of the commission in the case of any review proceeding under section 31-377 initiated by the employer in good faith and not solely for delay or avoidance of penalties, may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each day during which such failure or violation continues.

(e) Any employer who wilfully violates any standard or order promulgated pursuant to section 31-372, or of any regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter, which violation caused death to any employee shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both; provided, if the conviction is for a violation committed after a first conviction of such person, punishment shall be by fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars or by imprisonment of not more than one year or by both.

(f) Any person who gives advance notice of any inspection to be conducted under this chapter, without authority from the commissioner or his designees, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

(g) Any person who knowingly makes any false statement, representation or certification in any application, record, report, plan or other document filed or required to be maintained pursuant to this chapter shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

(h) Any employer who violates any of the posting requirements as prescribed under the provisions of this chapter shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars for each violation.

(i) Any employer or individual who refuses entry to any authorized representative of the commissioner while such representative is attempting to conduct an investigation or inspection pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, or in any way wilfully obstructs him from carrying out his investigation or inspection, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

(j) Any employer or individual who wilfully causes bodily harm to any authorized representative of the commissioner while such representative is attempting to conduct an investigation or inspection pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(k) The commission shall have authority to assess all civil penalties provided in this section, giving due consideration to the appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the size of the business of the employer being charged, the gravity of the violation, the good faith of the employer, and the history of previous violations.

(l) For the purposes of this section a serious violation shall be deemed to exist in a place of employment if there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a condition which exists or from one or more practices, means, methods, operations or processes which have been adopted or are in use in such place of employment unless the employer did not, and could not, with the exercise of reasonable diligence, know of the presence of the violation.

(m) Civil penalties owed under this chapter shall be paid to the commissioner for deposit into the Treasury of the state and may be recovered in a civil action in the name of the state of Connecticut brought in the superior court for the judicial district where the violation is alleged to have occurred or where the employer has its principal office.

(n) Any person who violates the provisions of section 31-381 shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both. In the event that such person is an officer or employee responsible for carrying out the provisions of this chapter, he shall be removed from office or employment upon conviction under this subsection.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 16, 21; P.A. 74-137, S. 19, 21; P.A. 75-285, S. 2; P.A. 76-436, S. 267, 681; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; P.A. 80-46, S. 9.)

History: P.A. 74-137 made provisions applicable to owners and added reference to violation of orders in Subsec. (e); P.A. 75-285 added Subsec. (n) re violations of provisions of Sec. 31-381; P.A. 76-436 substituted superior court for “a court of competent jurisdiction” in Subsec. (m), effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties in Subsec. (m); P.A. 80-46 made provisions inapplicable to owners.

Sec. 31-383. Research and demonstration projects. The commissioner shall conduct research and undertake demonstration projects relating to occupational safety and health issues and problems either within the Labor Department or by grants or contracts. The commissioner may prescribe regulations requiring employers to measure, record and make reports on exposure of employees to toxic substances which he believes may endanger the health or safety of employees. The commissioner shall cooperate with the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States in establishing such programs of medical examinations and tests as may be necessary to determine the incidence of occupational illness and employee susceptibility to such illnesses. Such programs, on the request of the employer, may be paid for by the commissioner, together with such other assistance as may be required. Information obtained under this section shall be made public without revealing the names of individual workers covered by physical examination or special studies and shall be made available to employers, employees and their respective organizations.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 17, 21.)

Sec. 31-384. Education programs. (a) The commissioner shall conduct directly or by grants or contracts education programs to provide an adequate supply of qualified personnel to carry out the purposes of this chapter and informational programs on the importance and proper use of adequate safety and health equipment.

(b) The commissioner is authorized to conduct directly or by grants or contracts short term training of personnel engaged in work related to his responsibilities under this chapter.

(c) The commissioner shall provide for the establishment and supervision of programs for the education and training of employers, owners and employees in the recognition, avoidance and prevention of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions in employment covered by this chapter. The commissioner shall consult with and advise employers, owners, employees and organizations representing employers, owners and employees as to effective means of preventing occupational injuries and illnesses.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 18, 21; P.A. 74-137, S. 20, 21.)

History: P.A. 74-137 included “owners” in Subsec. (c).

Cited. 176 C. 320.

Sec. 31-385. Reports to U.S. Secretary of Labor. In regard to the administration and enforcement of this chapter the commissioner shall make such reports to the Secretary of Labor of the United States in such form and containing such information as the Secretary shall from time to time require.

(P.A. 73-379, S. 19, 21.)