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The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 18: Health

Chapter 028: OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH

  • Subchapter 001: GENERAL PROVISIONS
  • § 1415. Division of Occupational Health

    To implement the policy of the State expressed in 21 V.S.A. § 201, and to continue the functions of the Division of Industrial Hygiene, there is created within the Department of Health the Division of Occupational Health, which shall be administered by the Director of Occupational Health under direction and control of the Commissioner of Health and the State Board of Health. The Division is the successor to and a continuation of the Division of Industrial Hygiene. (Added 1971, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 1416. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Director" means the Director of Occupational Health.

    (2) "Division" means the Division of Occupational Health.

    (3) "Employee" means any person engaged in service to an employer for wages, salary, or other compensation, excluding an independent contractor.

    (4) "Employer" means a person, as hereinafter defined, who employs one or more persons.

    (5) "Health hazard" means any material, including biological material or energy, or both, in any form from any source that can adversely affect the health of any employee, or can adversely affect the health of any person exposed in a place of employment or any person adversely exposed from a source in a place of employment.

    (6) "Occupational disease" means a disease caused by exposure to an occupational health hazard.

    (7) "VOSHA Code" means this chapter and 21 V.S.A. chapter 3, subchapters 4 and 5.

    (8) "Person" means a natural person, corporation, partnership, trust, society, club, association, or other organization, including municipalities and the State.

    (9) "Place of employment" means any work place or place where an employee is engaged in performance of his or her work or duties, or which is used in connection with an employee's employment. It includes structures, buildings, machinery, equipment, tools, appliances, and materials used in connection with the employment. It also includes land and premises where an employer is carrying on any activity or business involving the use of one or more employees. (Added 1971, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 62.)

  • § 1417. Functions and duties of division

    The Division of Occupational Health shall:

    (1) maintain necessary laboratory facilities and equipment required to effectively perform its functions;

    (2) study occupational health hazards and occupational diseases and procedures necessary for their control or prevention, and recommend necessary rules for such control or prevention to the Board of Health and the Secretary of Human Services;

    (3) investigate places of employment to determine the presence of health hazards which may be the cause or which may be suspected of being the cause of illness or occupational disease;

    (4) investigate health hazards in places of employment that cause ill health or occupational disease, or may be suspected of doing so, and recommend rules to the Board of Health and the Secretary of Human Services for the control or elimination of the health hazards;

    (5) advise employers of the existence of conditions at work places which cause ill health or occupational disease;

    (6) make inspections and investigations to discover violation of health standards and rules promulgated by the Secretary of Human Services under the VOSHA Code, and report any violation other than de minimis violations to the Commissioner of Labor, and cooperate with that Commissioner in taking action against violators of the VOSHA Code;

    (7) test the effectiveness of control appliances and equipment used by employers and report any deficiency in performance to the employer and the Commissioner of Labor;

    (8) consult, advise, and assist employers in the development and maintenance of medical services and programs for employees. (Added 1971, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2005, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 5, 2006; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 63.)

  • § 1418. Control equipment

    The Commissioner of Health may by order require an employer to provide protective equipment, install and maintain control appliances and equipment, or take any other action necessary to remove or control a health hazard or to prevent a health hazard from becoming injurious. Failure to do so within the time limited by the Director shall be a violation of the VOSHA Code and shall be reported to the Commissioner of Labor. (Added 1971, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2005, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 5, 2006.)


  • Subchapter 002: SMOKING IN THE WORKPLACE
  • § 1421. Smoking in the workplace; prohibition

    (a) The possession of lighted tobacco products or use of tobacco substitutes as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 1001 is prohibited in any workplace.

    (b)(1) As used in this subchapter, "workplace" means an enclosed structure where employees perform services for an employer, including restaurants, bars, and other establishments in which food or drinks, or both, are served. In the case of an employer who assigns employees to departments, divisions, or similar organizational units, "workplace" means the enclosed portion of a structure to which the employee is assigned.

    (2) Except for schools, workplace does not include areas commonly open to the public or any portion of a structure that also serves as the employee's or employer's personal residence.

    (3) For schools, workplace includes any enclosed location where instruction or other school-sponsored functions are occurring.

    (4) For lodging establishments used for transient traveling or public vacationing, such as resorts, hotels, and motels, workplace includes the sleeping quarters and adjoining rooms rented to guests.

    (5) The prohibition on using tobacco substitutes in a workplace shall not apply to a business that does not sell food or beverages but is established for the sole purpose of providing a setting for patrons to purchase and use tobacco substitutes and related paraphernalia.

    (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict the ability of residents of the Vermont Veterans' Home to possess lighted tobacco products or use tobacco substitutes in the indoor area of the facility in which smoking is permitted. (Added 1987, No. 69, § 2, eff. July 1, 1988; amended 1987, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2009, No. 32, § 1; 2013, No. 135 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2015, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • §§ 1422-1425. Repealed. 2009, No. 32, § 4.

  • § 1426. Enforcement

    (a) An employee aggrieved by an employer's failure to comply with the provisions of this subchapter may file a complaint with the Department of Health.

    (b) In addition to any other authority provided by law, the Commissioner of Health or a hearing officer designated by the Commissioner may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, impose an administrative penalty of $100.00 against an employer who violates this chapter. The hearing before the Commissioner shall be a contested case subject to the provisions of 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 (Administrative Procedure Act). (Added 1987, No. 69, § 2, eff. July 1, 1988; amended 2009, No. 32, § 2.)

  • § 1427. Employee rights

    (a) An employer shall not discharge or discipline or otherwise discriminate against an employee because that employee assisted in the supervision or enforcement of this chapter.

    (b) Any employee who believes that he or she has been discharged or otherwise discriminated against in violation of this section may, within 30 days after such violation occurs, file a complaint with the Commissioner of Health alleging such discrimination. Upon receipt of such complaint, the Commissioner shall cause such investigation to be made as the Commissioner deems appropriate. If upon investigation, the Commissioner determines that the provisions of this section have been violated, he or she shall bring an action in Superior Court against such person. In any such action, the court shall have jurisdiction for cause shown to restrain violations of subsection (a) of this section and order all appropriate relief including rehiring or reinstatement of the employee to his or her former position with back pay.

    (c) Within 90 days of the receipt of a complaint filed under this section, the Commissioner shall notify the complainant of the determination under subsection (b) of this section. (Added 1987, No. 69, § 2, eff. July 1, 1988.)

  • § 1428. Municipal ordinances

    Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to supersede or in any manner affect a municipal smoking ordinance provided that the provisions of such ordinance are at least as protective of the rights of nonsmokers as the provisions of this subchapter. (Added 1987, No. 69, § 2, eff. July 1, 1988.)