OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5537 (as amended by House “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING CONSTRUCTION SAFETY.

SUMMARY:

Under current law, all employees performing manual labor on state or municipal building construction or repair contracts of $ 100,000 or more must prove they have completed a 10-hour construction safety and health course that meets federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Training Institute standards. This bill makes several changes to this law, which affect contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2009.

First, it expands the construction safety training requirement to any public works project, which includes sewage and water treatment plants, site work, road and bridge work, parking lots, drainage systems, and other public projects.

Second, instead of applying the training requirement to all projects of $ 100,000 or more, the bill applies the existing prevailing wage project thresholds to the training requirement. This means the requirement kicks in for (1) repair and renovation projects of $ 100,000 or more and (2) new construction projects of $ 400,000 or more.

Furthermore, it removes the requirement that the proof of the training be sent to the labor commissioner. Presumably, the proof will be sent to the contracting agency paying for the prevailing wage project.

The proof required by law is an OSHA institute-issued course completion card or other proof the labor commissioner deems appropriate. Current law requires the proof of training to be submitted no later than 30 days after the date the contract is awarded. Instead, the bill requires proof to accompany the first certified payroll for the first week that each employee begins work on the project.

The bill also creates training requirement exceptions for employees of public service companies and commercial vehicle drivers who either pick up at or deliver cargo to public work projects.

It requires the labor commissioner to adopt implementing regulations by January 1, 2009. By law, regulations cannot take effect before the effective date of the act authorizing them.

*House Amendment “A” makes the training requirement apply only to prevailing wage projects, removes the labor commissioner as the party receiving proof of safety training, and changes the effective date to January 1, 2009.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2009

COVERED EMPLOYEES

The bill specifies that any person performing the work of a mechanic, laborer, or worker must complete the safety training course rather than, as under current law, any employee performing manual labor.

MINE SAFETY TRAINING SUBSTITUTE

It allows a person performing such work to complete a new Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration training program, conducted in accordance with federal regulations, instead of the 10-hour OSHA course.

EXCEPTIONS

The safety training requirements do not apply to employees of public service companies, which are defined in statute to include electric, electric distribution, gas, telephone, telegraph, pipeline, sewage, and water companies; cable franchise holders; and railroad companies.

The bill also exempts commercial vehicle drivers delivering or picking up cargo from a public works project site as long as the only labor they perform on-site is loading and unloading the cargo.

BACKGROUND

Training and Retraining of Miners (30 CFR 48)

Federal regulations require all new miners to complete at least 40 hours of training. The regulations set standards and requirements for the training and require all firms that operate mines to have a training program that meets the federal standards.

Prevailing Wage Law

State prevailing wage law requires that contractors pay what is determined to be the prevailing wage for an area to employees and subcontractors employed on state and municipal public works contracts. The state labor department is charged with enforcing this law. (There is a separate federal prevailing wage law that applies to federal projects. )

COMMITTEE ACTION

Labor and Public Employees Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

9

Nay

0

(03/13/2008)

General Law Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

17

Nay

0

(04/15/2008)