Enacts CJ's Law--oil and gas drilling workplace safety act; requires the enactment of rules and regulations for enhanced workplace safety and employee training for all oil and gas drilling operations in the state; provides that new permit holders should utilize union laborers or laborers with specific training; provides that employers shall report workplace accidents and the commissioner of the department of labor must publish a quarterly report on workplace accidents.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A2099
SPONSOR: Colton (MS)
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the labor law, in relation to enacting CJ's Law--oil and
gas drilling workplace safety act
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To provide standards for worksite safety for the oil and gas industry in
New York State.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill amends the labor law by adding a new article 32
creating "CJ's Law - oil and gas drilling workplace safety act".
§ 951 sets forth the rules and regulations that require the following:
§ 951.1 requires the department of labor in conjunction with the depart-
ment of environmental conservation to issue miss and regulations to
provide for enhanced workplace safety requirements and employee training
requirements far all oil and gas drilling operations in the state,
including requirements relating to exposure to chemicals, work hours for
drilling site employees and employees involved in on and off-site trans-
portation, safety of machinery, proper care and treatment of clothing
worn on drilling sites, use of proper respiratory masks, proper light-
ing, safe living conditions, site safety, and necessary duration of
§ 951.2 requires that the rules and regulations be conspicuously posted
in visible and prominent locations at each drilling site
§ 952 addresses applicability of the workers' compensation law and
states that all employees engaged in oil and gas drilling operations in
the state shall be considered to be engaged in hazardous employment for
which compensation shall be payable for injuries or death incurred by
such employees in the course of then employment. The section also
subjects employers to applicable penalties for failure to comply with
the workers' compensation law. 953 sets forth special requirements that
require all applicants for new oil and gas drilling permits (including
any subcontractors or other independent contractors) to utilize union
laborers and/or laborers who have been trained or are undergoing train-
ing, appropriate for the type of and scope of work to be performed,
where such training is through a valid department of labor apprentice-
ship program or an educational institution or school chartered, licensed
or registered by the department of education, or a provider approved by
the department of education.
§ 954 addresses reports of injuries and requires the drilling permit
holder to report any workplace accident occurring at the drilling
location by the close .of business of the commissioner's next business
day. If the permit holder fails to report the commissioner may assess a
civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for first violation, not more than
$2,000 for a second violation and not more than $3,000 for a third
violation or subsequent violation. The commissioner is also required to
publish a quarterly report on all workplace accidents occurring at oil
or gas drilling locations that will be available for public review in
writing and on the department's website.
Section 2 provides for this act to take effect on the one hundred and
twentieth day after it shall have become law; provided that effective
immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regu-
lation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective
date is authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before
such effective date; and provided further that no new permits or renewal
permits for oil and gas drilling shall be issued until the rules and
regulations referred to in section one of this act take effect.
This legislation is named in honor of CJ Begins. CJ was a 23 year old
young man from West Virginia who senselessly and tragically lost his
life as a result of unsafe work site conditions and poor training of
drill site workers at a vertical hydrofracking gas well site in Smyrna,
New York on May 1, 2011. He suffered severe crush injuries as he and
other workers were setting up a new drill site location. CI remained
conscious after the accident and EMS attempted to arrange flight rescue
to the nearest trauma center. A flight was not obtained and after an
hour long ride to a Syracuse hospital, CI died as a result of his inju-
ries during surgery.
Drilling for oil and natural gas is an inherently dangerous practice.
Drill workers arc placed in situations where accidents can easily result
in severe injury and death. Despite constant exposure to severely toxic
chemicals, dangerous heavy machinery, and excessive work hours for
on-site drill workers and transportation employees, there are little to
no regulations that protect these workers. In April 2008, the Centers
for Disease Control (CDC) issued a report entitled "Fatalities Among Oil
and Gas Extraction Workers - United States, 2003-2006" which revealed
that "increases in oil and gas extraction activity were correlated with
an increase in the rate of fatal occupational injuries with an annual
fatality rate of 30.5 per 100,000 workers during 2003-2006, approximate-
ly seven times the rate for all workers (4.0 per 100,000 workers)".
Furthermore, the CDC report state that "nearly half of all fatal inju-
ries among these workers were attributed to highway motor-vehicle cras-
hes and workers being struck by machinery or equipment".
In addition to the 2008 CDC report, recent news articles attest the
extreme risks associated with this industry including not only drilling
sire accidents but transportation related accidents involving trucks
transporting water and or hydrofracking waste water to and from drill
sites. The New York Times reported in May 2012 (Ian Urbina, May 1,4,
2012) that following their review of 50,000 inspection reports it was
revealed that 'as the number of drilling rigs rose by more than 22
percent in 2011 from the prior year, die number of inspections at such
work sites fell by 12 percent." The article also highlighted the 2008
CDC report in stating that "with the growth of the industry ... the
fatality rate was increasing, meaning the relative risk was increasing"
and "shifts grew longer, more inexperienced workers were hired and older
rigs were being pressed into service."
Presently there are no specific work place safety rules that govern the
many oil and gas drilling operations in New York State. This is simply
unacceptable and this bill is necessary to protect those workers being
put at risk.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
Yet to be determined.
This act shall take effect on the one hundred and twentieth day after it
shall have become law; provided, however, that effective immediately,
the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation neces-
sary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are
authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such
effective date; and provided further that no new permits or renewal
permits for oil and gas drilling shall be issued until the rates and
regulations referred to in section one of this act take effect.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2023-2024 Regular Sessions
January 23, 2023
Introduced by M. of A. COLTON, L. ROSENTHAL, COOK -- Multi-Sponsored by
-- M. of A. RIVERA, WALKER -- read once and referred to the Committee
AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to enacting CJ's Law--oil and
gas drilling workplace safety act
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The labor law is amended by adding a new article 35 to read
2 as follows:
3 ARTICLE 35
4 OIL AND GAS DRILLING WORKPLACE SAFETY
5 Section 1020. Short title.
6 1021. Rules and regulations.
7 1022. Applicability of the workers' compensation law.
8 1023. Special requirements.
9 1024. Reports of injuries.
10 § 1020. Short title. This article shall be known and may be cited as
11 "CJ's law--oil and gas drilling workplace safety act".
12 § 1021. Rules and regulations. 1. The department, in conjunction with
13 the department of environmental conservation, shall issue rules and
14 regulations to provide for enhanced workplace safety requirements and
15 employee training requirements for all oil and gas drilling operations
16 in the state. Such rules and regulations shall include, but shall not be
17 limited to, requirements relating to exposure to chemicals, work hours
18 for both drilling site employees and employees involved in transporta-
19 tion, including truck drivers working on and off the drill rig site,
20 safety of machinery, proper care and treatment of clothing worn on
21 drilling sites, use of proper masks to protect worker respiratory
22 health, use of proper lighting, safety of living conditions for workers,
23 safety of site location, including stability of ground surfaces neces-
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 2099 2
1 sary to support all equipment used at drilling sites, and required dura-
2 tion of training.
3 2. The rules and regulations issued pursuant to subdivision one of
4 this section shall be printed in English in at least fourteen point type
5 and conspicuously posted in a visible and prominent location at each oil
6 and gas drilling site location.
7 § 1022. Applicability of the workers' compensation law. Pursuant to
8 section three of the workers' compensation law, all employees engaged in
9 oil and gas drilling operations in the state of New York shall be
10 considered to be engaged in hazardous employment, for which compensation
11 shall be payable for injuries or death incurred by such employees in the
12 course of such hazardous employment. In the event any covered employer
13 conducting oil and gas drilling operations in this state fails to make
14 provision of payment of disability benefits as required by section two
15 hundred eleven of the workers' compensation law, such employer shall be
16 subject to the penalties set forth in section two hundred twenty of the
17 workers' compensation law.
18 § 1023. Special requirements. All applicants for a new drilling permit
19 for an oil and gas drilling operation shall utilize union laborers;
20 and/or laborers who have been trained or are undergoing training, appro-
21 priate for the type of and scope of work to be performed, where such
22 training is through a valid department apprenticeship program pursuant
23 to article twenty-three of this chapter, or an educational institution
24 or school chartered, licensed or registered by the department of educa-
25 tion, or a provider approved by the department of education. Following
26 completion of training required by this section, a certificate of
27 completion shall be issued by such department apprenticeship program,
28 educational institution, school or provider, and shall be conspicuously
29 posted at each site location where the holder of the certificate is
30 employed and shall be made available to the public upon request. Any
31 subcontractors or other independent contractors at such permitted sites
32 shall also agree to the employment of or contractual relation with the
33 same type of laborers. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in this
34 section shall be construed to mandate an employer or contractor that is
35 subject to the provisions of this section to exclusively require the use
36 of union labor at a construction site or to be in violation of any
37 federal prohibition regarding the same.
38 § 1024. Reports of injuries. 1. A drilling permit holder must report
39 to the commissioner any workplace accident occurring at the oil or gas
40 drilling location by the close of business of the commissioner's next
41 business day. In the event a drilling permit holder fails to report any
42 workplace accident pursuant to this subdivision, the commissioner may by
43 order which particularly describes the nature of the violation, assess
44 the permit holder a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars
45 for the first such violation, not more than two thousand dollars for a
46 second violation and not more than three thousand dollars for a third or
47 subsequent violation. Such penalty shall be paid to the commissioner for
48 deposit in the treasury of the state. In assessing the amount of the
49 penalty, the commissioner shall give due consideration to the size of
50 the employer's business, the good faith of the employer, the history of
51 previous violations and the failure with any other record-keeping
53 2. The commissioner must publish a quarterly report on all workplace
54 accidents occurring at oil or gas drilling locations. Such quarterly
55 reports shall be available for public review, in writing and via an
56 online format on the department's website.
A. 2099 3
1 § 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
2 it shall have become a law; provided, however, that no new permits or
3 renewal permits for oil and gas drilling shall be issued until the rules
4 and regulations referred to in section one of this act take effect.
5 Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule
6 or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effec-
7 tive date are authorized to be made and completed on or before such
8 effective date.