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§21-3-18. Hazardous chemical substances; notice to employees; reports to commissioner; penalties.

(a) It is declared the policy of this state to require employers to disclose to employees the hazards of exposure in the work place to hazardous or toxic chemical substances and materials. For this purpose, the commissioner of labor shall establish and maintain, by rule or regulation, a list of chemical substances and materials which have been determined or are suspected to be hazardous or toxic to the health of employees who may be exposed to them in the course of employment. In establishing and maintaining such list, the commissioner may give consideration to any list made or hereafter made by the secretary of labor of the United States identifying or proposing to identify chemical substances and materials as hazardous or toxic, or setting standard levels of safe exposure thereto, as the same are published from time to time in the federal register. The commissioner shall publish and update, at least annually, such list of substances and materials and shall include in the publication thereof, for each listed substance or material, any standard levels of safe exposure published by said secretary in the federal register, giving due consideration to any changes made or proposed by said secretary in the secretary's list of hazardous or toxic chemical substances and materials, or in any standard levels of safe exposure established or proposed from time to time by said secretary, as the same are published in the federal register.

(b) The commissioner shall make copies of such list prepared under this section available to any employer requesting the same: Provided, That the commissioner shall limit such list to no more than six hundred such substances and materials to be selected from the lists included in 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.1000, Subpart Z, which the commissioner elects to include because of either frequency of use in the state, frequency of exposure or over exposure thereof to workers in the state, the seriousness of the effects of such exposure or other reason which the commissioner determines to be sufficient.

(c) Any employer of ten or more employees using or producing any such listed hazardous chemical substance or material shall conspicuously post a warning notice in the work area where any such substance or material is used, to read substantially as follows:



(Name of hazardous chemical substance or material) is used at this work site.

Common symptoms of overexposure include the following:

Name of Employer

Any such notice required to be posted with regard to a mobile work site may be posted on the container or containers of the hazardous substance or material or in some other conspicuous place.

The employer shall include in the notice such common symptoms of overexposure as (1) may be published with the standard levels of safe exposure, or (2) certified to the employer by a physician employed for that purpose. Good faith reliance upon either such source of information shall be sufficient notice of such common symptoms.

(d) Any employer having notice of any incident of exposure to a listed hazardous chemical substance or material in excess of its standard level of safe exposure published by the commissioner shall within ten days thereof report to the commissioner the circumstances of such incident and provide a copy of the report to the employee.

(e) Any person or corporation that violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each violation.

(f) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any coal mine, coal mining or coal processing plant, and any agricultural or horticultural activity, and any such mine, plant or activity is hereby exempted from the provisions of this section.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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