Article 16.

Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina.

95-126. Short title and legislative purpose.

(a) This Article shall be known as the "Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina" and also may be referred to by abbreviations as "OSHANC."

(b) Legislative findings and purpose:

(1) The General Assembly finds that the burden of employers and employees of this State resulting from personal injuries and illnesses arising out of work situations is substantial; that the prevention of these injuries and illnesses is an important objective of the government of this State; that the greatest hope of attaining this objective lies in programs of research, education and enforcement, and in the earnest cooperation of the federal and State governments, employers and employees.

(2) The General Assembly of North Carolina declares it to be its purpose and policy through the exercise of its powers to ensure so far as possible every working man and woman in the State of North Carolina safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources:

a. By encouraging employers and employees in their effort to reduce the number of occupational safety and health hazards at the place of employment, and to stimulate employers and employees to institute new and to perfect existing programs for providing safe and healthful working conditions;

b. By providing that employers and employees have separate but dependent responsibilities and rights with respect to achieving safe and healthful working conditions;

c. By authorizing the Commissioner to develop occupational safety and health standards applicable to business giving consideration to the needs of employers and employees and to adopt standards promulgated from time to time by the Secretary of Labor under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and by creating a safety and health review commission for carrying out adjudicatory functions under this Article;

d. By building upon advances already made through employer and employee initiative for providing safe and healthful working conditions;

e. By providing occupational health criteria which will assure insofar as practicable that no employee will suffer diminished health, functional capacity, or life expectancy as a result of his work experience;

f. By providing for training programs to increase the number and competence of personnel engaged in the field of occupational safety and health;

g. By providing an effective enforcement program which shall include a prohibition against giving advance notice of an inspection and sanctions for any individual violating this prohibition;

h. By providing for appropriate reporting procedures with respect to occupational safety and health which procedures will help achieve the objectives of this Article and accurately describe the nature of the occupational safety and health problem;

i. By encouraging joint employer-employee efforts to reduce injuries and diseases arising out of employment;

j. By providing for research in the field of occupational safety and health, by developing innovative methods, techniques, and approaches for dealing with occupational safety and health problems;

k. By exploring ways to discover latent diseases, establishing causal connections between diseases and work in environmental conditions, and conducting other research relating to health problems, in recognition of the fact that occupational health standards present problems often different from those involved in occupational safety;

l. By authorizing the Commissioner to enter into contracts with the Department of Health and Human Services, or any other State or local units, to the end the Commissioner and the Department of Health and Human Services and other State or local units may fully cooperate and carry out the ends and purposes of this Article.

m. The General Assembly of North Carolina appoints and elects the North Carolina Department of Labor as the designated agency to administer the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina. (1973, c. 295, s. 1; c. 476, s. 128; 1989, c. 727, s. 219(13); 1997-443, s. 11A.33; 2005-133, s. 2.)