CHAPTER 88 OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
88.1 PUBLIC POLICY.
88.2 ADMINISTRATION -- PERSONNEL -- CONTRACTS -- GRANTS.
88.3 DEFINITIONS.
88.4 DUTIES.
88.5 OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH STANDARDS.
88.6 INSPECTIONS, INVESTIGATIONS, AND RECORDKEEPING.
88.7 CITATIONS.
88.8 PROCEDURE FOR ENFORCEMENT.
88.9 JUDICIAL REVIEW.
88.11 PROCEDURES TO COUNTERACT IMMINENT DANGERS.
88.12 CONFIDENTIALITY OF TRADE SECRETS.
88.13 VARIATIONS, TOLERANCES, AND EXEMPTIONS.
88.14 PENALTIES.
88.15 APPEAL PROCEDURES FOR EMPLOYEES.
88.16 TRAINING AND EMPLOYEE AND EMPLOYER EDUCATION.
88.17 REPRESENTATION IN CIVIL LITIGATION.
88.18 STATISTICS.
88.19 ANNUAL REPORT.
88.20 EFFECT OF CHAPTER.
88.21 CONFLICTS RESOLVED.



        

88.1 PUBLIC POLICY. It is the policy of this state to assure so far as possible every working person in the state safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve human resources by: 1. Encouraging employers and employees in their efforts to reduce the number of occupational safety and health hazards at their places of employment, and to stimulate employers and employees to institute new and perfect existing programs for providing safe and healthful working conditions. 2. Providing that employers and employees have separate but dependent responsibilities and rights with respect to achieving safe and healthful working conditions. 3. Authorizing the labor commissioner to set mandatory occupational safety and health standards applicable to businesses, and by creating an employment appeal board within the department of inspections and appeals for carrying out adjudicatory functions under the chapter. 4. Building upon advances already made through employer and employee initiative for providing safe and healthful working conditions. 5. Providing for research in the field of occupational safety and health, including the psychological factors involved, and by developing innovative methods, techniques, and approaches for dealing with occupational safety and health problems. 6. 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. 7. Providing medical criteria which will assure insofar as practicable that no employee will suffer diminished health, functional capacity or life expectancy as a result of the employee's work experience. 8. Providing for training programs to increase the number and competence of personnel engaged in the field of occupational safety and health. 9. Providing for the development and promulgation of occupational safety and health standards. 10. Providing an effective enforcement program which shall include a prohibition against giving advance notice of any inspection and sanctions for an individual violating this prohibition. 11. Providing for appropriate reporting procedures with respect to occupational safety and health which procedures will help achieve the objectives of this chapter and accurately describe the nature of the occupational safety and health problem. 12. Encouraging joint labor-management efforts to reduce injuries and disease arising out of employment. 13. Devoting adequate funds to the administration and enforcement of occupational safety and health standards and rules promulgated by the labor commissioner.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C66, 71, § 88A.1; C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.1] 

         Section History: Recent Form

         86 Acts, ch 1245, § 519
        

88.2 ADMINISTRATION -- PERSONNEL -- CONTRACTS -- GRANTS. 1. The labor commissioner, appointed pursuant to section 91.2, and the division of labor services of the department of workforce development created in section 84A.1 shall administer this chapter. 2. The necessary legal authority and qualified personnel shall be provided for the administration and enforcement of this chapter and such standards adopted pursuant to this chapter. 3. Personnel administering the chapter shall be employed pursuant to chapter 8A, subchapter IV. 4. Subject to the approval of the director of the department of workforce development, the labor commissioner may enter into contracts with any state agency, with or without reimbursement, for the purpose of obtaining the services, facilities, and personnel of the agency, and with the consent of any state agency or any political subdivision of the state, accept and use the services, facilities, and personnel of the agency or political subdivision, and employ experts and consultants or organizations, in order to expeditiously, efficiently, and economically effectuate the purposes of this chapter. The agreements under this subsection are subject to approval of the executive council if approval is required by law. 5. The commissioner, the governor, and the director of management may obtain and accept federal grants to the state to be used in connection with the funds appropriated for the administration of this chapter and federal funds available to the division.

         Section History: Early Form

         [SS15, § 4999-a5; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, § 1482; C46, 50, 54,
      58, 62, 66, 71, § 88.1; C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.2] 

         Section History: Recent Form

         86 Acts, ch 1244, § 14; 86 Acts, ch 1245, § 914; 96 Acts, ch 1186,
      §23; 2003 Acts, ch 145, §159
        

88.3 DEFINITIONS. Wherever used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning: 1. "Appeal board" means the employment appeal board created under section 10A.601. 2. "Commissioner" means the labor commissioner appointed pursuant to section 91.2, or the commissioner's designee. 3. "Emergency temporary standards" means any occupational safety and health standard or modification thereof which has been adopted and promulgated by a nationally recognized standards-producing organization under procedures whereby it can be determined by the commissioner that persons interested and affected by the scope or provisions of the standard have reached substantial agreement on its adoption, and was formulated in a manner which afforded an opportunity for diverse views to be considered or is an emergency temporary standard provided by the secretary pursuant to and in conformance with the provisions of the federal law. 4. "Employee" means an employee of an employer who is employed in a business of the employer. "Employee" also means an inmate as defined in section 85.59, when the inmate works in connection with the maintenance of the institution, in an industry maintained in the institution, or while otherwise on detail to perform services for pay. "Employee" also means a volunteer involved in responses to hazardous waste incidences. The employer of a volunteer is that entity which provides or which is required to provide workers' compensation coverage for the volunteer. 5. "Employer" means a person engaged in a business who has one or more employees and also includes the state of Iowa, its various departments and agencies, and any political subdivision of the state. 6. "Federal law" means the Act of Congress approved December 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 1590, officially cited as the "Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651--678)." 7. "Imminent danger" means a condition or practice in any place of employment which is such that a danger exists which will 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 of this chapter, exclusive of the procedures set forth in section 88.11. 8. "Occupational safety and health standard" means a standard which requires conditions or the adoption or use of one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or processes, reasonably necessary or appropriate to provide safe or healthful employment and places of employment. 9. "Person" means one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, corporations, business trusts, legal representatives, or any organized group of persons. 10. "Secretary" means the secretary of labor of the United States.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C66, 71, § 88A.2; C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.3] 

         Section History: Recent Form

         86 Acts, ch 1245, § 520; 90 Acts, ch 1136, § 1; 99 Acts, ch 68,
      §2; 2001 Acts, ch 24, §24
        

88.4 DUTIES. Each employer shall furnish to each of the employer's employees employment and a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to the employer's employees and comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this chapter. Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules and orders issued pursuant to this chapter which are applicable to the employee's own actions and conduct.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C66, 71, § 88A.1; C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.4]
         Referred to in § 88.7, 88.14
        

88.5 OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH STANDARDS. 1. Promulgation of rules. a. As soon as practicable following July 1, 1972, the commissioner shall by rule, adopt and promulgate those occupational safety and health standards, which would result in improved safety or health for employees; provided, that the commissioner shall adopt no such standard unless the same has been adopted and promulgated as a permanent standard by the secretary in accordance with the procedures set forth in the federal law. In the event that any such federal standard is subsequently amended, modified, repealed, or substituted by a new standard, the commissioner shall, within ninety days, review such amendment, modification, repeal or substitution, and take such action with respect to the state standards, including the repeal or substitution of the same, as will conform the state standards to those federal standards then in effect. b. Before adopting, modifying, or revoking any standard by rule pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall hold a public hearing on the subject matter of the proposed adoption, modification, or revocation. An interested person may appear and be heard at the hearing, in person or by agent or counsel. The provisions of this section are in addition to the requirements of chapter 17A. c. Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, upon or following July 1, 1972, the commissioner may adopt as interim standards those standards adopted by the secretary in conformance with section 6(a) of the federal law, provided that any such standard so adopted shall cease to be effective on April 28, 1973, unless the commissioner shall have initiated the procedures for adopting a permanent standard in conformance with and following the procedures set forth in this section, in which case the interim standard shall remain in effect pending the adoption of the permanent standard. In the event that any such federal interim standard is subsequently amended, modified, repealed, or substituted by a new interim standard, the commissioner shall, within thirty days, review such amendment, modification, repeal or substitution, and take such action with respect to the state interim standards, including the repeal or substitution of the same, as will conform the state interim standards to those federal interim standards then in effect. 2. Toxic materials and other harmful physical agents. The commissioner, in promulgating standards dealing with toxic materials or harmful physical agents under this subsection, shall set the standard which most adequately assures, to the extent feasible, on the basis of the best available evidence, that no employee will suffer material impairment of health or functional capacity even if such employee has regular exposure to the hazard dealt with by such standard for the period of the employee's working life. Development of standards under this subsection shall be based upon research, demonstrations, experiments, and such other information as may be appropriate, but in any event shall conform with the provisions of subsection 1 of this section. In addition to the attainment of the highest degree of health and safety protection for the employee, other considerations shall be the latest available scientific data in the field, the feasibility of the standards, and experience gained under this and other health and safety laws. Whenever practicable, a standard promulgated shall be expressed in terms of objective criteria and of the performance desired. 3. Temporary variances. a. Any employer may apply to the commissioner for a temporary order granting a variance from a standard or any provision thereof promulgated under this section. Such temporary order shall be granted only if the employer files an application which meets the requirements of paragraph "b" of this subsection and establishes that the employer is unable to comply with the standard by its effective date because of unavailability of professional or technical personnel or of materials and equipment needed to come into compliance with the standards or because necessary construction or operation of the facilities cannot be completed by the effective date, that the employer is taking all available steps to safeguard the employer's employees against the hazards that are covered by the standard, and that the employer has an effective program for coming into compliance with this standard as quickly as practicable. Any temporary order issued under this paragraph shall prescribe the practices, means, methods, operations, and processes which the employer must adopt and use while the order is in effect and state in detail the employer's program for coming into compliance with the standard. Such a temporary order may be granted only after notice to employees and an opportunity for a hearing, provided that the commissioner may issue one interim order to be effective until a decision is made on the basis of the hearing. No temporary order may be in effect longer than the period needed by the employer to achieve compliance with the standard, or one year, whichever is shorter except that such an order may be renewed not more than twice so long as the requirements of this paragraph are met and an application for renewal is filed at least ninety days prior to the expiration date of the order. No interim renewal of an order may remain in effect for longer than one hundred and eighty days. b. An application for a temporary order under this subsection shall contain: (1) A specification of the standard or portion thereof from which the employer seeks a variance. (2) A representation by the employer, supported by representations from qualified persons having firsthand knowledge of the fact represented, that the employer is unable to comply with the standard or portion thereof and a detailed statement of those reasons therefor. (3) A statement of the steps the employer has taken and will take (with specific dates) to protect employees against the hazard covered by the standard. (4) A statement of when the employer expects to be able to comply with the standard and what steps the employer has taken and what steps the employer will take (with dates specified) to come into compliance with the standard. (5) A certification that the employer has informed the employer's employees of any application by giving a copy thereof to their authorized employee representative, posting a statement giving a summary of the application and specifying where a copy may be examined at the place or places where notices to employees are normally posted, and by other reasonably appropriate means as may be directed by the commissioner. (6) A description of how employees have been informed shall be contained in the certification. The information to employees shall also inform them of their right to petition the commissioner for a hearing. 4. Labels, warnings, protective equipment. Any standard promulgated under this section shall prescribe the use of labels or other appropriate forms of warning as are necessary to insure that employees are apprised of all hazards to which they are exposed, relevant symptoms and appropriate emergency treatment, and proper conditions and precautions of safe use or exposure. Where appropriate, such standard shall also prescribe suitable protective equipment and control or technological procedures to be used in connection with such hazards and shall provide for monitoring or measuring employee exposure at such locations and intervals, and in such manner as may be necessary for the protection of employees. In addition, where appropriate, any such standard shall prescribe the type and frequency of medical examinations or other tests which shall be made available, by the employer or at the employer's cost, to employees exposed to such hazard in order to most effectively determine whether the health of such employee is adversely affected by such exposure. The results of such examinations or tests shall be furnished to the commissioner, and if released by the employee, shall be furnished to the employee's physician and the employer's physician. 5. Emergency temporary standards. The commissioner shall provide for an emergency temporary standard to take immediate effect if the commissioner determines that employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure from substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards and if such emergency temporary standard is necessary to protect the employees from such danger. Such emergency standard shall cease to be effective and shall no longer be applicable after the lapse of six months following the effective date thereof unless the commissioner has initiated the procedures provided for under this chapter, for the purpose of promulgating a permanent standard as provided in subsection 1 of this section in which case the emergency temporary standard will remain in effect until the permanent standard is adopted and becomes effective. Abandonment of the procedure for such promulgation by the commissioner shall terminate the effectiveness and applicability of the emergency temporary standard. 6. Permanent variance. Any affected employer may apply to the commissioner for a rule or order for a permanent variance from a standard promulgated under this section. Affected employees shall be given notice of each such application and an opportunity to participate in a hearing. The commissioner shall issue such rule or order if the commissioner determines on the record, after opportunity for an inspection where appropriate and a hearing, that the proponent of the variance has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the conditions, practices, means, methods, operations, or processes used or proposed to be used by an employer will provide employment and places of employment to the employer's employees which are as safe and healthful as those which would prevail if the employer complied with the standard. The rule or order so issued shall prescribe the conditions the employer must maintain, and the practices, means, methods, operations, and processes which the employer must adopt and utilize to the extent that they differ from the standard in question. Such a rule or order may be modified or revoked upon application by an employer, employees, or by the commissioner on the commissioner's own motion, in the manner prescribed for its issuance under this subsection at any time after six months from its issuance. 7. Special variance. Where there are conflicts with standards, rules, or regulations promulgated by any federal agency other than the United States department of labor, special variances from standards, rules, or regulations promulgated under this chapter may be granted to avoid such regulatory conflicts. Such variances shall take into consideration the safety of the employees involved. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, and with respect to this subsection, any employer seeking relief under this provision must file an application with the commissioner and the commissioner shall forthwith hold a hearing at which employees or other interested persons, including representatives of the federal regulatory agencies involved, may appear and, upon the showing that such a conflict indeed exists, the commissioner may issue a special variance until the conflict is resolved. 8. Priority for setting standards. In determining the priorities for establishing standards under this section, the commissioner shall give due regard to the urgency of the need for mandatory safety and health standards for particular industries, trades, crafts, occupations, businesses, workplaces or work environments. 9. Product safety. Standards promulgated under this chapter shall not be different from federal standards applying to products distributed or used in interstate commerce unless such standards are required by compelling local conditions and do not unduly burden interstate commerce. This provision does not apply to customized products or parts not normally available on the open market, or to optional parts or additions to products which are ordinarily available with such optional parts or additions. 10. Judicial review before enforcement. The provisions of the Iowa administrative procedure Act, chapter 17A, shall apply to judicial review of standards issued under this section. Notwithstanding any provision of the Iowa administrative procedure Act, chapter 17A, to the contrary, a person who is aggrieved or adversely affected by a standard issued under this section must seek judicial review of such standard prior to the sixtieth day after such standard becomes effective. All determinations of the commissioner shall be conclusive if supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. 11. Railway sanitation and shelter. A railway corporation within the state shall provide adequate sanitation and shelter for all railway employees. The commissioner shall adopt rules requiring railway corporations within the state to provide a safe and healthy workplace. The commissioner shall enforce the requirements of this section upon the receipt of a written complaint.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C66, 71, § 88A.11--88A.13; C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.5] 

         Section History: Recent Form

         86 Acts, ch 1245, § 521; 88 Acts, ch 1042, §1; 93 Acts, ch 180, §
      54; 94 Acts, ch 1023, §84; 2001 Acts, ch 24, §25; 2002 Acts, ch 1119,
      §10; 2003 Acts, ch 44, §114; 2007 Acts, ch 36, §1
         Referred to in § 88.6, 88.7, 88.14
        

88.6 INSPECTIONS, INVESTIGATIONS, AND RECORDKEEPING. 1. Entrance and inspections. In order to carry out the purposes of this chapter, the commissioner or the commissioner's representative, upon presenting appropriate credentials to the owner, operator, or agent in charge, is authorized: a. To enter without delay and at reasonable times any factory, plant, establishment, construction site, or other area, workplace or environment where work is performed by an employee of an employer. b. To inspect and investigate during regular working hours and at other reasonable times, and within reasonable limits and within a reasonable manner, any such place of employment and all pertinent conditions, structures, machines, apparatus, devices, equipment, and materials therein, and to question privately any such employer, owner, operator, agent or employee. 2. Subpoena of witness and evidence. In making inspections and investigations under this chapter, the commissioner may require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence under oath. Witnesses shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the district courts of this state. In case of contumacy, failure, or refusal of any person to obey such an order, any appropriate district court within the jurisdiction of which such person is found, or resides, or transacts business, upon the application by the commissioner, shall have jurisdiction to issue to such person an order requiring such person to appear, to produce evidence, if, as, and when so ordered and to give testimony relating to the matter under investigation or in question, and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by said court as a contempt thereof. 3. Accident and illness records. a. Each employer shall make, keep and preserve, and make available to the commissioner such records regarding the employer's activities relating to this chapter as the commissioner may prescribe by regulation as necessary or appropriate for the enforcement of this chapter or for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational accidents and illnesses. In order to carry out the provisions of this paragraph such regulations may include provisions requiring employers to conduct periodic inspections. The commissioner shall also issue regulations requiring that employers, through posting of notices or other appropriate means, keep their employees informed of their protection and obligations under this chapter, including the provisions of applicable standards. b. The commissioner shall prescribe regulations requiring an employer to maintain accurate records of, and to make periodic reports on, work related deaths, injuries, and illnesses other than minor injuries requiring only first aid treatment and which do not involve medical treatment, loss of consciousness, restriction of work or motion, or transfer to another job. c. The commissioner shall issue regulations requiring employers to maintain accurate records of employee exposures to potentially toxic materials or harmful physical agents which are required to be monitored or measured under section 88.5, subsection 2. Such regulations shall provide employees or their authorized employee representative with an opportunity to observe such monitoring or measuring, and to have access to the records thereof. Such regulations shall also make appropriate provisions for each employee or former employee to have access to such records that will indicate the employee's own exposure to toxic materials or harmful physical agents. Each employer shall promptly notify any employee who has been or is being exposed to toxic materials or harmful physical agents in concentrations or at levels which exceed those prescribed by an applicable occupational safety and health standard promulgated under section 88.5, subsection 2, and shall inform any employee who is being thus exposed of the corrective action being taken. d. All employers in the state of Iowa are required to make all reports to the secretary required by federal law as if this chapter were not in effect. e. The commissioner will make such reports to the secretary in such form and containing such information, as the secretary shall from time to time require pursuant to federal law. f. The regulations referred to in this subsection shall not prescribe requirements different from those provided by the federal law and regulations. 4. Representatives of employers and employees. Subject to regulations issued by the commissioner, a representative of the employer and an authorized employee representative shall be given an opportunity to accompany the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative during the physical inspection of any workplace under subsection 1 of this section, for the purpose of aiding such inspection. Where there is no authorized employee representative, the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative shall consult with a reasonable number of employees concerning matters of health and safety in the workplace. 5. Special inspections. Any employees or authorized employee representative who believes that a violation of a safety or health standard exists that threatens physical harm, or that an imminent danger exists, may request an inspection by giving notice to the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative of such violation or danger. Any such notice shall be reduced to writing, shall set forth with reasonable particularity the grounds for the notice, and shall be signed by the employees or authorized employee representative, and a copy shall be provided the employer or the employer's agent no later than at the time of inspection, except that upon the request of the person giving such notice the person's identifying information and the identifying information of individual employees referred to in the notice shall not appear in such copy or on any record published, released, or made available. If, upon receipt of such notification, the commissioner determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that such violation or danger exists, the commissioner shall make a special inspection in accordance with the provisions of this section as soon as practicable, to determine if such violation or danger exists. If the commissioner determines that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a violation or danger exists, the commissioner shall notify the employees or authorized employee representative in writing of such determination. For purposes of this subsection, "identifying information" means specific personal information including, but not limited to, the person's name, home address, telephone number, social security number, and handwriting and language idiosyncrasies. In circumstances when the release of any fact may be used to identify the person, that fact shall not be released. 6. Notice of violations. During any inspection of a workplace, any employee or representative of employees employed in such workplace may notify the commissioner or any representative of the commissioner responsible for conducting the inspection, in writing, of any violation of this chapter which they have reason to believe exists in such workplace. The commissioner shall, by regulation, establish procedures for an informal review of any refusal by a representative of the commissioner to issue a citation with respect to any such alleged violation and shall furnish the employees or authorized employee representative requesting such review a written statement of the reason for the commissioner's final disposition of the case. 7. General. Any information obtained by the commissioner under this chapter shall be obtained with a minimum burden upon employers. Except for the purpose of administration of this chapter, no information received by the commissioner or the commissioner's representative from an employer, in compliance with and pursuant to this chapter, shall be admissible in any action brought by or for the benefit of any person. Unnecessary duplication of efforts in obtaining information shall be reduced to the maximum extent feasible. 8. Confidentiality. Notwithstanding chapter 22, records prepared or obtained by the commissioner relating to an enforcement action conducted pursuant to this chapter shall be kept confidential until the enforcement action is complete. a. For purposes of this subsection, an enforcement action is complete when any of the following occurs: (1) An inspection file is closed without the issuance of a citation. (2) A citation or noncompliance notice resulting from an inspection becomes a final order of the employment appeal board and all applicable courts pursuant to sections 88.8 and 88.9, and abatement is verified. (3) A determination and any subsequent action is final in an occupational safety and health discrimination case. b. A citation or noncompliance notice shall remain a confidential record until received by the appropriate employer. c. This subsection shall not affect the discovery rights of any party to a contested case. 9. Reports -- fire fighters. Reports of inspections and investigations involving the occupational safety and health for fire fighters shall be presented to the state fire service and emergency response council.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C66, 71, § 88.11, 88.12, 88A.10, 88A.14; C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, §
      88.6] 

         Section History: Recent Form

         98 Acts, ch 1105, §1, 2; 2000 Acts, ch 1117, §6; 2000 Acts, ch
      1232, §47; 2008 Acts, ch 1032, §173
        

88.7 CITATIONS. 1. Issuance by commissioner. a. If, upon inspection or investigation, the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative believes that an employer has violated the requirements of section 88.4, of any standard, rule or rules promulgated pursuant to section 88.5, or of any regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter, the commissioner shall with reasonable promptness issue a citation to the employer. Each citation shall be in writing and shall describe with particularity the nature of the violation, including a reference to the provision of the chapter, standard, rules or order alleged to have been violated. In addition, the citation shall fix a reasonable time for the abatement of the violation. The commissioner shall prescribe procedures for the issuance of a notice in lieu of a citation with respect to de minimis violations which have no direct or immediate relationship to safety and health. b. If, upon inspection or investigation, the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative believes that an employee, under the employee's own volition, has violated the requirements of section 88.4 of any standard, rule or rules promulgated pursuant to section 88.5, or of any regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter, the commissioner shall with reasonable promptness issue a citation to the employee. Each citation shall be in writing and shall describe with particularity the nature of the violation, including a reference to the provision of the chapter, standard, rules, regulations or order alleged to have been violated. The commissioner shall prescribe procedures for the issuance of a notice in lieu of a citation with respect to de minimis violations which have no direct or immediate relationship to safety and health. 2. Posting of citation. Each citation issued under this section, or a copy or copies thereof, shall be prominently posted, as prescribed in regulations issued by the commissioner, at or near each place a violation referred to in the citation occurred. 3. Statute of limitations. No citation may be issued under this section after the expiration of six months following the occurrence of any violation.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C66, 71, § 88A.15; C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.7]
         Referred to in § 88.8, 88.14, 88.15
        

88.8 PROCEDURE FOR ENFORCEMENT. 1. Postinspection penalty notice. If, after an inspection or an investigation, the commissioner issues a citation under section 88.7, the commissioner shall, within a reasonable time after the termination of the inspection or investigation, notify the employer by service in the same manner as an original notice or by certified mail of the penalty, if any, proposed to be assessed under section 88.14 and that the employer has fifteen working days within which to notify the commissioner that the employer wishes to contest the citation or proposed assessment of penalties. If, within fifteen working days from the receipt of the notice issued by the commissioner, the employer fails to notify the commissioner that the employer intends to contest the citation or proposed assessment of penalty, and no notice is filed by any employees or authorized employee representative under subsection 3 of this section within the time specified, the citation and the assessment, as proposed, shall be deemed a final order of the appeal board and not subject to review by any court or agency. 2. Noncompliance notice. If the commissioner has reason to believe that an employer has failed to correct the violation for which a citation has been issued within the period permitted for its correction (which period shall not begin to run until the entry of a final order by the appeal board in the case of any review proceedings under this section initiated by the employer in good faith and not solely for delay or avoidance of penalties), the commissioner shall notify the employer by service in the same manner as an original notice or by certified mail of the failure and of the penalty proposed to be assessed under section 88.14 by reason of the failure, and that the employer has fifteen working days within which to notify the commissioner that the employer wishes to contest the commissioner's notification or the proposed assessment of penalty. If, within fifteen working days from the receipt of notification issued by the commissioner, the employer fails to notify the commissioner that the employer intends to contest the notification or proposed assessment of penalty, the notification and assessment, as proposed, shall be deemed the final order of the appeal board and not subject to review by any court or agency. 3. Contested notice. a. If an employer notifies the commissioner that the employer intends to contest a citation issued under section 88.7, or notification issued under subsection 1 or 2 of this section or if, within fifteen working days of the issuance of a citation under section 88.7, any employee or authorized employee representative files a notice with the commissioner alleging that the period of time fixed in the citation for the abatement of the violation is unreasonable, the commissioner shall immediately advise the appeal board of such notification, and the appeal board shall afford an opportunity for a hearing. b. At the hearing, the appeal board shall act as an adjudicatory body. The appeal board shall thereafter issue an order, based on findings of fact, affirming, modifying, or vacating the commissioner's citation or proposed penalty or directing other appropriate relief, and such order shall become final thirty days after its issuance. c. Upon a showing by an employer of a good faith effort to comply with the abatement requirements of a citation, and that abatement has not been completed because of factors beyond the employer's reasonable control, the commissioner, after an opportunity for a hearing shall issue an order affirming or modifying the abatement requirements in such citation. d. The rules of procedure prescribed by the appeal board shall provide affected employees or representatives of affected employees an opportunity to participate as parties to hearings under this subsection, and shall conform to rules of procedure adopted under the federal law by federal authorities insofar as the federal rules of procedure do not conflict with state law. 4. Withdrawal of citation or settlement. The commissioner has unreviewable discretion to withdraw a citation charging an employer with violating this chapter. If the parties enter into a settlement agreement prior to a hearing, the employment appeal board shall enter an order affirming the agreement.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C66, 71, § 88A.15, 88A.16; C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.8] 

         Section History: Recent Form

         88 Acts, ch 1025, §2; 89 Acts, ch 321, § 25; 93 Acts, ch 180, §
      55; 99 Acts, ch 68, §3; 2008 Acts, ch 1031, §92
         Referred to in § 88.6, 88.9, 88.14
        

88.9 JUDICIAL REVIEW. 1. Aggrieved persons. a. Judicial review of any order of the appeal board issued under section 88.8, subsection 3, may be sought in accordance with the terms of the Iowa administrative procedure Act, chapter 17A. Notwithstanding the terms of the Iowa administrative procedure Act, chapter 17A, petitions for judicial review may be filed in the district court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred or where the employer has its principal office and may be filed within sixty days following the issuance of such order. The appeal board's copy of the testimony shall be available to all parties for examination at all reasonable times, without cost, and for the purpose of judicial review of the appeal board's orders. b. The commissioner may obtain judicial review or enforcement of any final order or decision of the appeal board by filing a petition in the district court of the county in which the alleged violation occurred or in which the employer has its principal office. The judicial review provisions of chapter 17A shall govern such proceedings to the extent applicable. c. Notwithstanding section 10A.601, subsection 7, and chapter 17A, the commissioner has the exclusive right to represent the appeal board in any judicial review of an appeal board decision under this chapter in which the commissioner does not appeal the appeal board decision, except as provided by section 88.17. 2. Uncontested appeal board orders. If no petition for judicial review is filed within sixty days after service of the appeal board's order, the appeal board's findings of fact and order shall be conclusive in connection with any petition for enforcement which is filed by the commissioner after the expiration of such sixty-day period. In any such case, as well as in the case of a noncontested citation or notification by the commissioner which has become a final order of the appeal board under section 88.8, subsection 1 or 2, the clerk of the district court, unless otherwise ordered by the court, shall forthwith enter a decree enforcing the order and shall transmit a copy of such decree to the appeal board and the employer named in the petition. In any contempt proceeding brought to enforce a decree of a district court entered pursuant to this subsection or subsection 1, the district court may assess the penalties provided in section 88.14 in addition to invoking any other available remedies. 3. Discrimination and discharge. a. (1) A person shall not discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee because the employee has filed a complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted a proceeding under or related to this chapter or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding or because of the exercise by the employee on behalf of the employee or others of a right afforded by this chapter. (2) A person shall not discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee because the employee, who with no reasonable alternative, refuses in good faith to expose the employee's self to a dangerous condition of a nature that a reasonable person, under the circumstances then confronting the employee, would conclude that there is a real danger of death or serious injury; provided the employee, where possible, has first sought through resort to regular statutory enforcement channels, unless there has been insufficient time due to the urgency of the situation, or the employee has sought and been unable to obtain from the person, a correction of the dangerous condition. b. (1) An employee who believes that the employee has been discharged or otherwise discriminated against by a person in violation of this subsection may, within thirty days after the violation occurs, file a complaint with the commissioner alleging discrimination. (2) Upon receipt of the complaint, the commissioner shall conduct an investigation as the commissioner deems appropriate. If, upon investigation, the commissioner determines that the provisions of this subsection have been violated, the commissioner shall bring an action in the appropriate district court against the person. In any such action, the district court has jurisdiction to restrain violations of this subsection and order all appropriate relief including rehiring or reinstatement of the employee to the employee's former position with back pay. (3) Within ninety days of the receipt of a complaint filed under this subsection, the commissioner shall notify the complainant of the commissioner's determination under this subsection.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C66, 71, § 88A.16; C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.9] 

         Section History: Recent Form

         88 Acts, ch 1107, §1; 93 Acts, ch 180, § 56, 57; 2003 Acts, ch 44,
      §114; 2008 Acts, ch 1032, §174
         Referred to in § 88.6, 602.8102(23)
        

88.10 Repealed by 86 Acts, ch 1245, § 550.

88.11 PROCEDURES TO COUNTERACT IMMINENT DANGERS. 1. Imminent danger orders. The district court of the county in which the imminent danger is alleged to exist shall have jurisdiction, upon petition of the commissioner, to restrain any conditions or practices in any place of employment which are such that a danger exists which will 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 chapter. In the event the appropriate trial judge is not available, any judge of the judicial district in which such county is located shall have authority to issue orders under this section. Any order issued under this section may require such steps to be taken as may be necessary to avoid, correct, or remove such imminent danger and prohibit the employment or presence of any individual in locations or under conditions where such imminent danger exists, except individuals whose presence is necessary to avoid, correct or remove such imminent danger or to maintain the capacity of a continuous process operation to resume normal operations without a complete cessation of operations, or where a cessation of operations is necessary, to permit such to be accomplished in a safe and orderly manner. 2. Imminent danger proceedings. Upon the filing of any such petition the said district court shall have jurisdiction to grant such injunctive relief or temporary restraining order pending the outcome of an enforcement proceeding pursuant to this chapter. The proceedings shall be as provided by the Iowa rules of civil procedure. No temporary restraining order issued without notice shall be effective for a period longer than five days. 3. Notification. Whenever and as soon as an inspector concludes that the conditions or practices described in subsection 1 of this section exist in any place of employment, the inspector shall inform the affected employees and employers of the danger and that the inspector is recommending to the commissioner that relief be sought. The commissioner shall adopt rules prescribing the procedures in enforcing imminent danger orders which procedures shall reasonably conform to those promulgated under the federal law insofar as the same do not conflict with state law. 4. Employee's rights. If the commissioner arbitrarily or capriciously fails to seek relief under this section, any employee who may be injured by reason of such failure, or the authorized employee representative, may bring an action against the said commissioner in the district court of the county in which the imminent danger is alleged to exist or in which the employer's principal office is located, for a writ of mandamus to compel the commissioner to seek such an order and for such further relief as may be appropriate.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C66, 71, § 88A.17; C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.11]
         Referred to in § 88.3
        

88.12 CONFIDENTIALITY OF TRADE SECRETS. Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter, all information reported to or otherwise obtained by the commissioner or the commissioner's representative in connection with any inspection or proceeding under this chapter which contains or might reveal a trade secret shall be considered confidential, except that such information may be disclosed to other officers or employees concerned with carrying out this chapter or when relevant to any proceeding under this chapter. In any such proceeding the commissioner, the appeal board, or the court shall issue such orders as may be appropriate to protect the confidentiality of trade secrets.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.12]
         Referred to in § 88.14
        

88.13 VARIATIONS, TOLERANCES, AND EXEMPTIONS. When the secretary grants variations, tolerances, and exemptions to avoid serious impairment of the national defense as provided under authority of section 16 of the federal law, the commissioner shall grant the same variations, tolerances, and exemptions in the Iowa law, rules and standards to be effective immediately.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.13]
        

88.14 PENALTIES. 1. Willful violations. Any employer who willfully or repeatedly violates the requirements of section 88.4, any standard, rule, or order adopted or issued pursuant to section 88.5, or rules adopted pursuant to this chapter, may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than seventy thousand dollars for each violation, but not less than five thousand dollars for each willful violation. 2. Serious violations. Any employer who has received a citation for a serious violation of the requirements of section 88.4, of any standard, rule, or order adopted or issued pursuant to section 88.5, or of any regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter, shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to seven thousand dollars for each such violation. 3. Nonserious violations. Any employer who has received a citation for a violation of the requirements of section 88.4, of any standard, rule, or order adopted or issued pursuant to section 88.5, or of rules prescribed pursuant to this chapter and the violation is specifically determined not to be of a serious nature, may be assessed a civil penalty of up to seven thousand dollars for each violation. 4. Failure to correct. Any employer who fails to correct a violation for which a citation has been issued under section 88.7, subsection 1, within the period permitted for its correction, may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than seven thousand dollars for each day during which the failure or violation continues. The period for correction shall not begin until the date of the final order of the appeal board of any review proceeding under section 88.8 initiated by the employer in good faith and not solely for delay or avoidance of penalties. 5. Willful violations causing death. Any employer who willfully violates any standard, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to section 88.5, or of any regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter, and that violation caused death to any employee, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a serious misdemeanor; except that if the conviction is for a violation committed after a first conviction of such person, the person shall be guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor. 6. Advance notice of inspections. Any person who gives advance notice of any inspection to be conducted under this chapter, without authority from the commissioner or the commissioner's designees, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a serious misdemeanor. 7. Filing false documents. Whoever knowingly makes any false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, report, plan, or other document filed or required to be maintained pursuant to this chapter shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a serious misdemeanor. 8. Disclosure of confidential information. Whoever violates the provisions of section 88.12 shall be guilty of a serious misdemeanor; and shall be removed from office or employment. 9. Violation of posting requirements. Any employer who violates any of the posting, reporting, or recordkeeping requirements under this chapter, shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to seven thousand dollars for each violation. 10. Assessment of penalties. The appeal board shall have the authority to assess all civil penalties provided in this section, giving due consideration to the appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the size of the business of the employer being charged, the gravity of the violation, the good faith of the employer, and the history of previous violations. 11. Definition of serious violation. For purposes of this section, a serious violation 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, in such place of employment unless the employer did not, and could not with the exercise of reasonable diligence, know of the presence of the violation. 12. Collection of penalties. Civil penalties owed under this chapter shall be paid to the commissioner for deposit with the treasurer of state and shall accrue to the state and may be recovered in a civil action in the name of the state brought in the district court of the county where the violation is alleged to have occurred or where the employer has its principal office.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C73, § 4064; C97, § 4999, 5025, 5026; S13, § 2477-1a, 4999-a1,
      -a2; SS15, § 4999-a5; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, § 1494; C46, 50, 54,
      58, 62, § 88.13; C66, 71, § 88.13, 88A.15, 88A.17; C73, 75, 77, 79,
      81, § 88.14] 

         Section History: Recent Form

         91 Acts, ch 136, § 1; 92 Acts, ch 1098, § 1
         Referred to in § 88.8, 88.9
        

88.15 APPEAL PROCEDURES FOR EMPLOYEES. In the event an employee is issued a citation as provided in section 88.7, the procedures for appeal as provided for employers in this chapter shall apply.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.15]
        

88.16 TRAINING AND EMPLOYEE AND EMPLOYER EDUCATION. 1. The commissioner shall conduct directly or by contract, educational programs to provide an adequate supply of qualified personnel to administer this chapter and informational programs on the importance of and proper use of adequate safety and health equipment. 2. The commissioner is authorized to conduct directly or by grants or contracts, short term training of personnel engaged in work related to the commissioner's responsibilities under this chapter. 3. The commissioner shall provide for the establishment and supervision of programs for the education and training of employers and employees in the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions in employments covered by this chapter, and consult with and advise employers, employees, and organizations representing employers and employees, as to effective means of preventing occupational injuries and illnesses. 4. Notwithstanding chapter 22, consultation records prepared or obtained by the commissioner pursuant to this section and which relate to specific employers or specific workplaces shall be kept confidential. For purposes of this subsection, "consultation record" means a record created when an employer requests and receives from the labor commissioner direct assistance in the recognition and correction of workplace hazards.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.16] 

         Section History: Recent Form

         98 Acts, ch 1105, §3
        

88.17 REPRESENTATION IN CIVIL LITIGATION. The attorney general of the state shall upon request by the commissioner represent the commissioner in any civil litigation brought under this chapter.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.17]
         Referred to in § 88.9
        

88.18 STATISTICS. In order to further the purposes of this chapter, the commissioner shall develop and maintain an effective program of collection, compilation, and analysis of occupational safety and health statistics. Such program may cover all employments whether or not subject to any other provisions of this chapter. The commissioner shall compile accurate statistics on work injuries and illnesses which shall include all disabling, serious, or significant injuries and illnesses, whether or not involving loss of time from work, other than minor injuries requiring only first aid treatment and which do not involve medical treatment, loss of consciousness, restriction of work or motion, or transfer to another job.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.18]
        

88.19 ANNUAL REPORT. Within one hundred twenty days following the convening of each session of each general assembly, the commissioner shall prepare and submit to the governor for transmittal to the general assembly a report upon the subject matter of this chapter, the progress toward achievement of the purpose of this chapter, the needs and requirements in the field of occupational safety and health, and any other relevant information. Such reports may include information regarding occupational safety and health standards, and criteria for such standards, developed during the preceding year; evaluation of standards and criteria previously developed under this chapter, defining areas of emphasis for new criteria and standards; and evaluation of the degree of observance of applicable occupational safety and health standards, and a summary of inspection and enforcement activity undertaken, including remedial actions taken under chapter 89A; analysis and evaluation of research activities for which results have been obtained under governmental and nongovernmental sponsorship; an analysis of major occupational diseases; evaluation of available control and measurement technology for hazards for which standards or criteria have been developed during the preceding year; description of cooperative efforts undertaken between government agencies and other interested parties in the implementation of this chapter during the preceding year; a progress report on the development of an adequate supply of trained personnel in the field of occupational safety and health, including estimates of future needs and the efforts being made by government and others to meet those needs; listing of all toxic substances in industrial usage for which labeling requirements, criteria, or standards have not yet been established; and such recommendations for additional legislation as are deemed necessary to protect the safety and health of the worker and improve the administration of this chapter.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.19] 

         Section History: Recent Form

         2007 Acts, ch 16, §1
        

88.20 EFFECT OF CHAPTER. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to supersede or in any manner affect any workers' compensation law or to enlarge or diminish or affect in any other manner the common law or statutory rights, duties, or liabilities of employers and employees under any law with respect to injuries, diseases, or death of employees arising out of, or in the course of, employment.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.20]
        

88.21 CONFLICTS RESOLVED. The provisions of this chapter will prevail wherever the same conflicts with any other chapter of the Code.

         Section History: Early Form

         [C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 88.21]

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