[105th Congress Public Law 197]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ197.105]

[[Page 112 STAT. 638]]

Public Law 105-197
105th Congress

                                 An Act

  To require the Secretary of Labor to establish a program under which 
 employers may consult with State officials respecting compliance with 
     occupational safety and health <<NOTE:  July 16, 1998 -  [H.R. 
                          2864]>> requirements.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration Compliance Assistance Authorization Act of 
1998.>> assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT <<NOTE: 29 USC 651 note.>> TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration Compliance Assistance Authorization Act of 1998''.


    Section 21 <<NOTE: 29 USC 670.>> of the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act of 1970 is amended by adding at the end the following new 

    ``(d)(1) <<NOTE: Contracts.>> The Secretary shall establish and 
support cooperative agreements with the States under which employers 
subject to this Act may consult with State personnel with respect to--
            ``(A) the application of occupational safety and health 
        requirements under this Act or under State plans approved under 
        section 18; and
            ``(B) voluntary efforts that employers may undertake to 
        establish and maintain safe and healthful employment and places 
        of employment.

Such agreements may provide, as a condition of receiving funds under 
such agreements, for contributions by States towards meeting the costs 
of such agreements.
    ``(2) Pursuant to such agreements the State shall provide on-site 
consultation at the employer's worksite to employers who request such 
assistance. The State may also provide other education and training 
programs for employers and employees in the State. The State shall 
ensure that on-site consultations conducted pursuant to such agreements 
include provision for the participation by employees.
    ``(3) Activities under this subsection shall be conducted 
independently of any enforcement activity. If an employer fails to take 
immediate action to eliminate employee exposure to an imminent danger 
identified in a consultation or fails to correct a serious hazard so 
identified within a reasonable time, a report shall be made to the 
appropriate enforcement authority for such action as is appropriate.
    ``(4) <<NOTE: Regulations.>> The Secretary shall, by regulation 
after notice and opportunity for comment, establish rules under which an 
            ``(A) which requests and undergoes an on-site consultative 
        visit provided under this subsection;

[[Page 112 STAT. 639]]

            ``(B) which corrects the hazards that have been identified 
        during the visit within the time frames established by the State 
        and agrees to request a subsequent consultative visit if major 
        changes in working conditions or work processes occur which 
        introduce new hazards in the workplace; and
            ``(C) which is implementing procedures for regularly 
        identifying and preventing hazards regulated under this Act and 
        maintains appropriate involvement of, and training for, 
        management and non-management employees in achieving safe and 
        healthful working conditions,

may be exempt from an inspection (except an inspection requested under 
section 8(f ) or an inspection to determine the cause of a workplace 
accident which resulted in the death of one or more employees or 
hospitalization for three or more employees) for a period of 1 year from 
the closing of the consultative visit.
    ``(5) A State shall provide worksite consultations under paragraph 
(2) at the request of an employer. Priority in scheduling such 
consultations shall be assigned to requests from small businesses which 
are in higher hazard industries or have the most hazardous conditions at 
issue in the request.''.

    Approved July 16, 1998.


HOUSE REPORTS: No. 105-444 (Comm. on Education and the Workforce).
            Mar. 17, considered and passed House.
            June 24, considered and passed Senate.