GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 2014-76
HOUSE BILL 644
AN ACT RELATING TO THE HANDLING OF ANTINEOPLASTIC agents TO PREVENT DISEASE AND INJURY CAUSED BY EXPOSURE.
Whereas, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), early concerns about occupational exposure to antineoplastic agents first appeared in the 1970s; and
Whereas, antineoplastic agents may cause skin rashes, infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, and have been linked to a wide variety of cancers; and
Whereas, NIOSH published an alert on preventing occupational exposures to antineoplastic agents in health care settings in 2004 with an update in 2010; and
Whereas, in this alert, the NIOSH presents a standard precautions or universal precautions approach to handling antineoplastic agents safely, meaning that it recommends that antineoplastic agents be handled as outlined in the alert; Now, therefore,
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. The General Assembly finds that health care personnel who work with or near hazardous antineoplastic agents in health care settings may be exposed to these agents in the workplace. It is the intent of the General Assembly to require health care facilities to follow rules requiring compliance with all aspects of alerts from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in order to protect health care personnel in this State from hazardous exposure to such agents.
SECTION 2. G.S. 95‑127 reads as rewritten:
"§ 95‑127. Definitions.
In this Article, unless the
context otherwise requires:As used in this Article, the following
The term "Advisory
Council" shall mean the Advisory Council. – The Advisory
Council or body established under this Article.
(2) Antineoplastic agent. – A chemotherapy drug or cytotoxic drug used to treat cancer patients and some non‑cancer patients.
(2)(3) The term "Commission"
means the Commission. – North Carolina Occupational Safety and
Health Review Commission established under this Article. (3)(4) The term "classified
service" means a Classified service. – A position included in
the State Merit System of Personnel Administration subject to the laws, rules
and regulations of the State Personnel Board as administered by the State
Personnel Director and as set forth in Chapter 126 of the General Statutes. (4)(5) The term "Commissioner"
means the Commissioner. – The Commissioner of Labor of North
Carolina. (5)(6) The term "days"
shall mean a Day. – A calendar day unless otherwise noted. (6)(7) The term "Department"
means the Department. – The North Carolina Department of Labor of
North Carolina. (7)(8) The term "Deputy
Commissioner" means the Deputy Commissioner. – The Deputy
Commissioner of the North Carolina Department of Labor, who is appointed by the
Commissioner to aid and assist the Commissioner in the performance of his
duties. The Deputy Commissioner shall exercise such power and authority as
delegated to him or her by the Commissioner. (8)(9) The term "Director"
means the Director. – The officer or agent appointed by the
Commissioner of Labor for the purpose of assisting in the administration of the
Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina. (9)(10) The term "employee"
means an Employee. – An employee of an employer who is employed in a
business or other capacity of his or her employer, including any and all
business units and agencies owned and/or controlled by the employer. (10)(11) The
term "employer" means a Employer. – A person engaged in a
business who has employees, including any state or political subdivision of a
state, but does not include the employment of domestic workers employed in the
place of residence of his or her employer. (11)(12) The
term "established federal standard" means any Established
federal standard. – Any operative occupational safety and health standard
established by any agency of the United States and presently in effect, or
contained in any act of Congress in force on the date of enactment of this
Article, and adopted by the Secretary of Labor under the Occupational Safety
and Health Act of 1970. (12)(13) The
term "federal act," as referred to in this Article, means the Federal
Act. – The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (Public Law 91‑596,
91st Congress, Act of December 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 1950). (13)(14) The
term "imminent danger" means any Imminent danger. – Any conditions
or practices in any place of employment which are such that a danger exists
which could reasonably be expected to cause death, or serious physical harm
immediately or before the imminence of such danger can be eliminated through
the enforcement procedures otherwise provided by this Article. (14)(15) The
term "issue" means an Issue. – An industrial, occupational
or hazard grouping. (15)(16) The
term "occupational safety and health standards" means aOccupational
safety and health standard. – A standard which requires conditions, or the
adoption or use of one or more practices, means, methods, safety devices,
operations or processes reasonably necessary and appropriate to provide safe
and healthful employment and places of employment, and shall include all
occupational safety and health standards adopted and promulgated by the
Secretary which also may be and are adopted by the State of North Carolina
under the provisions of this Article. This term includes but is not limited to
interim federal standards, consensus standards, any proprietary standards or
permanent standards, as well as temporary emergency standards which may be
adopted by the Secretary, promulgated as provided by the Occupational Safety
and Health Act of 1970, and which standards or regulations are published in the
Code of Federal Regulations or otherwise properly promulgated under the federal
act or any appropriate federal agencies. (16)(17) The
term "person" means onePerson. – One or more individuals,
partnerships, associations, corporations, business trusts, legal
representatives. (17)(18) The
term "Secretary" means the Secretary. – The United States
Secretary of Labor. (18)(19) A "serious
violation" Serious violation. – A violation that shall be
deemed to exist in a place of employment if there is a substantial probability
that death or serious physical harm could result from a condition which exists,
or from one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or processes which
have been adopted or are in use at such place of employment, unless the
employer did not know, and could not, with the exercise of reasonable
diligence, know of the presence of the violation. (19)(20) The
term "State" means the State. – The State of North
SECTION 3. G.S. 94‑133(a) reads as rewritten:
"(a) There is hereby
created and established in the North Carolina Department of Labor a division to
be known as the Occupational Safety and Health Division. The Commissioner shall
appoint a Director to administer this division who shall be subject to the
direction and supervision of the Commissioner. The Director shall carry out the
responsibilities of the State of North Carolina as prescribed under the
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and any subsequent federal laws or
regulations relating to occupational safety and health, and this Article, as
written, revised or amended by legislative enactment and as delegated or
authorized by the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall make and promulgate such
rules, amendments, or revisions in rules, as
may deem advisable for the administration of the office, he office.
The Commissioner shall also accept and use the services, facilities, and
personnel of any agency of the State or of any subdivision of State government,
either as a free service or by reimbursement. The Director shall devote full
time to his or her duties of office and shall not hold any other office.
The Director, subject to the approval of the Commissioner, shall select a
professional staff of qualified and competent employees to assist in the
statewide administration of the Article. All of the employees referred to
herein shall be under the classified service, as herein defined in G.S. 95‑127,
SECTION 4. Article 16 of Chapter 95 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:
"§ 95‑156. Handling of dangerous antineoplastic agents.
(a) The Commissioner of Labor shall adopt rules to establish requirements for the handling of antineoplastic agents in facilities where there is occupational exposure to antineoplastic agents.
(b) The rules adopted pursuant to this section shall be consistent with, but not exceed, the recommendations issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as contained in the Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposure to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings, as published in 2004 and including subsequent amendments and editions. The Department's adoption of the rules may incorporate updates and changes to NIOSH's guidelines as made by CDC.
(c) Rules adopted pursuant to this section shall not apply to an entity that has obtained a permit pursuant to G.S. 90‑85.21 or G.S. 90‑85.21A.
(d) The Commissioner shall enforce these rules and investigate complaints in accordance with the provisions of this Article."
SECTION 5. The Commissioner of Labor shall adopt the rules to implement this act no later than January 1, 2016. Rules adopted pursuant to this section shall not be subject to G.S. 150B‑19.1(e), 150B‑19.1(f), 150B‑19.1(h), and 150B‑21.4. The Commissioner of Labor shall establish an advisory workgroup, consisting of hospitals, organizations representing health care personnel, and other interested stakeholders, for the development of rules as required by this act. Consideration shall be given to what constitutes a reasonable time frame for facilities to implement new requirements.
SECTION 6. This act is effective when it becomes law.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 16th day of July, 2014.
s/ Philip E. Berger
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
s/ Thom Tillis
Speaker of the House of Representatives
s/ Pat McCrory
Approved 12:05 p.m. this 22nd day of July, 2014