Senate Bill No. 556
(By Senators Unger, Jenkins and Dempsey)
[Introduced March 15, 2005; referred to the Committee
on Energy, Industry and Mining.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §21-3A-2 and §21-3A-19 of the Code of
West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to providing
coverage for municipal firefighters under the Occupational
Safety and Health Act.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §21-3A-2 and §21-3A-19 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3A. OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT.
As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates
(a) "Commission" means the Occupational Safety and Health
Review Commission established under this article;
(b) "Commissioner" means the labor commissioner or his or her
(c) "Employee" means any public employee of the state, or any
(d) "Employer" means public employer and shall include the
state or any department, division, bureau, board, council, agency
or authority of the state and a municipality as an employer of
firefighters, but shall not include the
department Division of
Corrections, the department Division of Health and the Legislature;
(e) "Occupational safety and health standard" means a standard
for health or safety which requires the adoption or use of one or
more practices, means, methods, operations or processes reasonably
necessary or appropriate to provide safe and healthful employment
in places of employment;
(f) "Person" means one or more individuals; and
(g) "Workplace" means a place where public employees are
assigned to work but shall not include any place where public
employees are assigned to work that is inspected and regulated in
accordance with federal occupational safety and health standards or
mine safety and health administration standards, or facilities
under the authority of the
department Division of Corrections, the
department Division of Health or the Legislature.
§21-3A-19. Optional coverage by subdivisions.
(a) A municipality that employs firefighters is covered under
this article, but only as it relates to the employment of its
(b) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the
governing body of any county or municipality or any department,
division, bureau, board, council, agency or authority of any county
or municipality or of any school district or special purposes
district created pursuant to law may, by ordinance, resolution or
other procedure, explicitly elect that some or all of its
workplaces or employees shall be covered by the provisions of this
article. The Commissioner shall issue rules
and regulations and
prescribe forms and procedures regarding such optional coverage.
The Commissioner may issue rules and regulations providing for
variances from the procedural and substantive requirements of this
article in the case of the optional coverage described herein.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide OSHA coverage
for municipal firefighters.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would