Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3776
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Full Text of HB3776  102nd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 2/22/2021, by Rep. Aaron M. Ortiz


New Act

    Creates the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Response Act. Provides that each public and private employer with at least 30 employees shall establish a safety committee at each of the employer's primary places of employment. Sets forth requirements for the composition of the committees, meetings, records, and training. Establishes the duties of committees relating to hazard assessment and control, safety and health planning, especially as related to the global COVID-19 pandemic, development of procedures for contact tracing, accident investigations, and other specified matters. Provides for the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Labor to adopt necessary rules.

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HB3776LRB102 15118 JLS 20473 b

1    AN ACT concerning employment.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5COVID-19 Workplace Safety Response Act.
6    Section 5. Legislative Findings. The General Assembly
7finds that thousands of Illinois workers have contracted the
8COVID-19 virus in the workplace, in addition to the hundreds
9that are disabled each year from work-related injuries and
10diseases. Data prepared by the Department of Public Health
11shows that as of September 30, 2020 there were at least 2,600
12COVID-19 infections directly connected to outbreaks at
13workplaces in Illinois. These metrics may not include
14secondary exposures, that is individuals who were at least
15infected by someone who directly contracted the virus at their
16workplace. The General Assembly finds that many COVID-19
17infections, deaths, and workplace injury and illness losses
18are needless, costly, and could have been prevented. Columbia
19University has indicated that workplace outbreaks are one of
20the most significant factors driving the increases in
21Illinois, adding that many additional outbreaks have never
22been made public. The General Assembly concludes that the
23establishment of joint management and worker safety committees



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1will help prevent such losses.
2    Section 10. Purpose. It is the purpose of this Act to bring
3workers and management together in a non-adversarial,
4cooperative effort to promote safety and health in the
5workplace and prevent outbreaks, including those of COVID-19,
6and other health hazards. The workplace safety committees
7established by this Act shall consist of management and
8employee representatives who have an interest in the general
9promotion of safety and health in the workplace.
10    Section 15. Establishment of workplace safety committees.
11    (a) Every public and private employer of 30 or more
12employees shall establish and administer a safety committee.
13    (b) To determine employment levels for purposes of
14subsection (a), the employer shall count all permanent,
15contract, temporary, and seasonal workers under the employer's
16direction and control and shall base the number on peak
17employment in the last 12 months.
18    (c) Temporary services employers and labor contractors
19shall establish safety committees based upon the total number
20of workers over which the employer or contractor exercises
21direction and control.
22    (d) Employers who hire only seasonal workers shall hold
23crew safety meetings prior to the commencement of work at each
24job site. The meetings shall promote discussions of safety and



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1health issues. All workers shall be informed of their right to
2inspect and report workplace hazards and shall be encouraged
3to make those inspections and reports during the meetings
4according to provisions established in the federal
5Occupational Safety and Health Act.
6    Section 20. Location of safety committees.
7    (a) Safety committees shall be established at each of an
8employer's primary places of employment. As used in this Act,
9"primary place of employment" means a major economic unit at a
10single geographic location, comprised of a building or group
11of buildings, and all surrounding facilities, having the
12following characteristics: it has both management and workers
13present; it has control over a portion of a budget; and it has
14the ability to take action on the majority of the
15recommendations made by a safety committee.
16    (b) An employer's auxiliary, mobile, or satellite
17locations, such as those found in construction operations,
18trucking, branch or field offices, sales operations, or highly
19mobile activities, may be combined into a single, centralized
20committee. This centralized committee shall represent the
21safety and health concerns of all the locations.
22    Section 25. Recognition and approval of certain safety
23committees. Upon application, the Illinois Department of Labor
24and the Illinois Department of Public Health may recognize and



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1approve safety committees that are innovative or differ in
2form or function if those committees meet the intent of this
4    Section 30. Safety committee formation and membership.
5    (a) The safety committees required under this Act shall be
6composed of an equal number of employer and employee
7representatives. Employee representatives shall be selected by
8their exclusive representative for collective bargaining
9purposes or, if there is no exclusive representative, employee
10representatives shall be volunteers or shall be selected by
11their peers. When agreed upon by workers and management, the
12number of employee representatives on the committee may be
13greater than the number of employer representatives. Seasonal
14workers shall not be counted for the purpose of determining
15the number of members who will serve on the committee.
16(b) The safety committees shall consist of:
17        (1) no fewer than 2 members for each employer with 30
18    or fewer current employees, or
19        (2) no fewer than 4 members for each employer with
20    more than 30 current employees; and
21        (3) have a chairperson elected by the committee
22    members.
23    (c) Employee representatives attending safety committee
24meetings required by this Act or participating in safety
25committee instruction or training required by this Act shall



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1be compensated by the employer at the regular hourly wage.
2    (d) Employee representatives shall serve a continuous term
3of at least one year. Length of membership shall be alternated
4or staggered so that at least one experienced member is always
5serving on the committee.
6    (e) Reasonable efforts shall be made to ensure that
7committee members are representative of the major work
8activities of the firm.
9    Section 35. Safety committee meetings.
10    (a) The committee shall develop a written agenda for
11conducting safety committee meetings. The agenda shall
12prescribe the order in which committee business will be
13addressed during the meeting.
14    (b) The safety committee shall hold regular meetings at
15least once a month.
16    (c) The safety committee shall hold regular meetings in
17person or via a remote conferencing application when
18recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
19    (d) Quarterly safety committee meetings may be substituted
20for monthly meetings when the committee's sole area of
21responsibility involves low hazard work environments.
22    (e) Minutes shall be made of each meeting. The employer
23shall review the minutes and maintain them for 3 years for
24inspection by the Illinois Department of Labor, the Illinois
25Department of Public Health and any other government entity.



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1Copies of minutes shall be posted or made available for all
2employees and shall be sent to each committee member. All
3reports, evaluations, and recommendations of the safety
4committee shall be made a part of the minutes of the safety
5committee meeting.
6    (f) For each recommendation made at the committee
7meetings, a reasonable time limit shall be established for the
8employer to respond in writing. The response shall include the
9action taken to comply with the recommendation, and, in any
10case, the reasons why implementing the action was not
11accomplished and a time frame to comply.
12    Section 40. Employee involvement. The committee shall
13establish a system to allow the members to obtain
14safety-related suggestions, reports of hazards, or other
15information directly from all persons involved in the
16operations of the workplace. The information obtained shall be
17reviewed at the next safety committee meeting and shall be
18recorded in the minutes for review and necessary action by the
20    Section 45. Tasks. The safety committee shall review the
21employer's injury and illness prevention programs and provide
22feedback to improve the program when applicable. The safety
23committee shall also:
24        (1) Include employer and employee representatives in



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1    inspection teams to raise concerns and provide
2    recommendations on the location and identity of the
3    hazards and shall make recommendations to the employer
4    regarding correction of the hazards.
5        (2) Conduct quarterly inspections of satellite
6    locations by the committee team or by a person designated
7    at the location.
8    Section 50. Safety and health planning. The safety
9committee shall establish procedures for the review of all
10safety and health inspection reports made by the committee.
11Based on the results of the review, the committee shall make
12recommendations for improvement of the employer's injury and
13illness prevention program.
14    Section 55. Accountability. The safety committee shall
15evaluate the employer's accountability system and make
16recommendations to implement supervisor and employee
17accountability for safety and health.
18    Section 60. Incident investigation. The safety committee
19shall provide recommendations and input into the employer's
20investigating all safety-related incidents including injuries,
21illnesses, and deaths. This Section does not require the
22committee to conduct the investigations.



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1    Section 65. Safety and health training and instruction.
2    (a) The following items shall be discussed with all safety
3committee members:
4        (1) safety committee purposes and operation;
5        (2) rules adopted by the Illinois Department of Labor
6    and Illinois Department of Public Health under this Act;
7    and
8        (3) methods of conducting safety committee meetings.
9    (b) Committee members shall have ready access to federal
10Occupational Safety and Health Codes that apply to the
11particular establishments and oral instructions regarding
12their use.
13    (c) An employer must provide all safety committee members
14training based upon the type of business activity. At a
15minimum, members shall receive training regarding:
16        (1) hazard identification in the workplace; and
17        (2) principles regarding effective accident and
18    incident investigations.
19    Section 70. Pandemic provisions. During a pandemic, such
20as COVID-19, and until the Illinois Department of Public
21Health declares an end to the pandemic, the employer shall
22have the following special functions:
23        (1) Collect and post in conspicuous places, such as
24    bulletin boards, lunch rooms and dressing rooms at each
25    location, information issued by the Centers for Disease



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1    Control and Prevention of the United States Department
2    Health and Human Services, the United States Department of
3    Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration,
4    the Illinois Department of Public Health, and others
5    concerning prevention and measures to avoid contagion with
6    COVID-19 and other pandemics.
7        (2) Collect and post in such locations, and distribute
8    to all workers, executive orders regarding COVID-19 and
9    other pandemics issued by the Governor of Illinois.
10        (3) Prepare and implement a mitigation plan to prevent
11    exposures in a workplace. Mitigations shall be adopted
12    based upon recommendations made by the Illinois Department
13    of Public Health.
14        (4) Prepare and implement a response plan to be
15    executed in case an outbreak occurs in the workplace,
16    including contact tracing as specified by the Illinois
17    Department of Public Health. An "outbreak" is defined as
18    the existence of 2 or more workers presenting health
19    symptoms related to the pandemic.