Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
High Risk Occupational Disease Notification and Prevention Act - Establishes a Risk Assessment Board (the Board), within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to:
(1) review pertinent medical and scientific reports on the incidence of disease associated with exposure to occupational health hazards;
(2) identify and designate populations at risk that should receive notification;
(3) develop a form and method of notification that will be used by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary); and
(4) determine the appropriate type of medical monitoring or beneficial health counseling.
Sets forth factors for Board consideration and priorities in designating populations at risk of disease for notification.
Directs the Secretary to make every reasonable effort to ensure that each individual within a population at risk of disease is notified of the risk.
Requires the Secretary, through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), to conduct the required notification, with specified exceptions.
Allows an employer to apply to NIOSH for an exemption from such employee notification because that employer's employees are not at risk of disease because of significant mitigating factors.
Provides for telephone "hot lines" and other dissemination of information.
Authorizes the Secretary to certify a private employer or a State or local government to conduct notification.
Provides for judicial review of Board determinations.
Requires the Secretary to establish and certify ten occupational and environmental health centers to:
(1) provide education, training, and technical assistance to personal physicians and health and social service professionals who serve employees notified that they are at risk under this Act; and
(2) provide diagnosis, treatment, and medical monitoring and family services for such employees.
Directs the Secretary to make grants to conduct research, training, and education aimed at improving the means of identifying employees exposed to occupational health hazards and improving medical assistance to such employees.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants and contracts for training and curriculum development in occupational medicine or health to schools of medicine and of nursing.
Provides that such assistance shall be for projects:
(1) at schools with occupational medicine or health programs, for faculty continuing education, curricula and training materials for undergraduate medical or nursing training, and clinical training for residents in graduate medical programs; and
(2) at schools without such programs, for faculty training.
Directs the Secretary, during FY 1991 through 1993, to make such grants and contracts to at least ten schools of medicine or nursing.
Requires that the medical monitoring recommended by the Board be provided by the current employer:
(1) at no additional cost to the employee (above any existing employee health care contribution), if any part of the exposure occurred in the course of employment by that employer; or
(2) at a charge to the employee not exceeding the additional cost to the employer (above any existing employer health care contribution), or at no charge, if no part of such exposure occurred in the course of employment by that employer.
Sets forth special rules for medical monitoring by small businesses and of seasonal agricultural workers.
Prohibits discharging or discriminating against employees, or applicants for employment, on the basis that they are or have been members of a population at risk.
Makes an exception to such prohibition if the position which the applicant seeks requires exposure to the occupational health hazard which is the subject to the notice.
Allows an employer with 50 or fewer employees to transfer an employee who is or has been a member of a population at risk to another job if earnings, seniority, and other employment rights and benefits are as comparable as possible to the old job and if the terms of an applicable collective bargaining agreement are not violated.
Grants the option of being transferred to a less hazardous or nonexposed job to any employee member of a population at risk who is determined by a physician to show evidence of developing the disease described in the notice or other symptoms or conditions increasing the likelihood or incidence of such disease.
Requires that the employee maintain earnings, seniority, and other employment rights and benefits of the former job.
Sets forth procedures for independent reconsideration of the initial medical determination.
Sets forth special rules for medical removal.
Makes such protection inapplicable to seasonal agricultural workers with less than six months continuous employment with an employer.
Exempts from the requirement of medical removal protection any employer who has 50 or fewer employees and who has made or is making a reasonable good faith effort to eliminate the occupational health hazard that is the basis for the medical removal decision.
Provides for confidentiality of employee records unless disclosure is authorized by and is necessary to carry out a provision of this Act, or is authorized by the employee.
Permits employees aggrieved by violations of provisions involving medical monitoring, medical removal, discrimination, and confidentiality to apply, within six months after the violation occurs, to the Secretary of Labor for a review of the alleged violation.
Sets forth provisions for investigations, actions, defenses, determinations, and appeals in such cases.
Provides for reinstatement and other relief for employees injured by such violations.
Sets forth civil penalties for such violations.
Authorizes the Secretary (of HHS) to bring an action in U.S. district court to enjoin an employer from violating this Act. Directs the Secretary of Labor to report annually to the Congress on the implementation and enforcement of the hazard communication standard.
Directs the Secretary of HHS to report annually to the Congress on the implementation and enforcement of notification under this Act. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1989 through 1993.