senate Bill S2600

Relates to providing firefighters with appropriate equipment and procedures; repealer

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 26 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO LABOR
  • 01 / Mar / 2011
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.119
  • 02 / Mar / 2011
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 03 / Mar / 2011
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 24 / Jun / 2011
    • COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO LABOR

Summary

Relates to providing firefighters with appropriate equipment and procedures.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S2600
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Labor
Law Section:
Labor Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §27-a, rpld sub 1 ¶e, Lab L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S6045A

Votes

9
2
9
Aye
2
Nay
4
aye with reservations
0
absent
1
excused
0
abstained
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Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2600 REVISED 03/03/11

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the labor law, in relation to requiring employers to provide
safety ropes and system components to firefighters; and to repeal
paragraph e of subdivision 1 of section 27-a of the labor law relating
to the definition of system components

PURPOSE:
This Bill would require employers who employ
firefighters to
develop a written risk assessment to determine the equipment and
procedures necessary for firefighters when engaged in fire
suppression activities at above grade floors during structure fires.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the Bill repeals the
definition of "system components" found in paragraph e of subdivision
1 of section 27-a of the Labor Law.

Section 2 of the Bill amends subdivision 4 of section 27-a of the
Labor Law to require employers, who employ firefighters to develop a
written risk assessment to determine the equipment and procedures
necessary for firefighters to use when engaged in fire suppression
activities at above grade floors during structure fires.

Section 3 of the bill is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
On January 23, 2005, six (6) New York City Firefighters were caught on
the fourth floor of a burning building in the Bronx. The
firefighters, however, were not equipped with safety ropes and
accompanying equipment.
All six (6) men were forced to jump from the building, resulting in
serious injury to four (4) and the death of two (2). This incident
has become commonly referred to as "Black Sunday" in the firefighting
community. In response to the Black Sunday incident, the Legislature
eventually enacted Chapter 433 of the Laws of 2008 ("Chapter 433"),
which required, among other things, that the commissioner of the
Department of Labor (the "Commissioner") to promulgate regulations to
adopt the codes, standards, and recommended practices promulgated by
the "most recent" edition (i.e., the 2006 edition) of National Fire
Protection Association ("NFPA") 1983 Standard on Fire Service Life
Safety Rope And System Components. NFPA standards, however, are
continually changing in order to maintain pace with advancements in
technology. By restricting the Commissioner to the 2006 edition of
the NFPA 1983 Standard, Chapter 433 has, in effect, hampered the
Commissioner's ability to effectively respond to changes in
technology, which could have the unintended effect
of putting firefighters' lives at risk. In addition, firefighters
carry certain standard equipment, which may be used during a self
rescue I escape, that may not be Covered by the NFPA 1983 Standard.
For example, it is an accepted practice for a firefighter to carry a
Halligan bar (also called a Halligan tool) into a building. To be
sure, in most fire companies, firefighters do not enter a building


without one. One of the many accepted uses for the Halligan Bar is
for a firefighter to use it during a self rescue I escape - i.e., the
exact situation covered by Chapter 433. It is an accepted practice
(and one that is taught during training) for a firefighter who faces
a self rescue/escape situation to jam or wedge his Halligan bar into
a wall or a corner as an anchor point, tie off his rope to it and
proceed to extract himself out a window. The problem, however, is
that a Halligan bar is currently not covered by the NFPA 1983. In
effect what Chapter 433 has inadvertently done is to prevent the
firefighting community to use equipment generally recognized as
acceptable because it is not covered by the NFPA 1983 Standard On
Fire Service Life Safety Rope And System Components. This Bill will
provide the firefighting community with the
latitude to effectively respond to the needs of their locality, to
consider appropriate alternatives and to provide communities with the
flexibility to equip their firefighters with equipment that best
suits their unique needs.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
01/26/11 referred to labor

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the one hundred
twentieth day after it shall become law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  2600

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 26, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GRISANTI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor

AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation  to  requiring  employers  to
  provide  safety  ropes  and  system components to firefighters; and to
  repeal paragraph e of subdivision 1 of section 27-a of the  labor  law
  relating to the definition of system components

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Paragraph e of subdivision 1 of section 27-a of  the  labor
law is REPEALED.
  S  2.  Subdivision  4  of section 27-a of the labor law, as amended by
chapter 433 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows:
  4. Safety and health standards. a.  The  commissioner  shall  by  rule
adopt  all  safety  and  health  standards  promulgated under the United
States Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (Public  Law,  91-596)
which  are  in effect on the effective date of this section, in order to
provide reasonable and adequate protection  to  the  lives,  safety  and
health  of  public  employees and shall promulgate and repeal such rules
and regulations as may be necessary to conform to the  standards  estab-
lished  pursuant to such act or pursuant to paragraph b of this subdivi-
sion.
  b. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph a of this  subdivision,
the commissioner, in consultation with the state occupational safety and
health  hazard  abatement  board, shall promulgate rules and regulations
recommended to him OR HER by such board which establish standards  when-
ever  such  board  finds  (i)  that  no  federal standard exists for the
particular condition being addressed and that such a standard is  neces-
sary  for  the  protection  of  the  public employees at risk, or (ii) a
federal standard exists, but conditions in  public  workplaces  in  this
state  require  a different standard, and such state standard will be at

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD07655-01-1

S. 2600                             2

least as effective in providing safe and healthful places of  employment
as the federal standard.
  c.  Except for an employer located in a city with a population of over
one million, any employer who employs a firefighter shall [provide safe-
ty ropes and system components for use by such firefighter] DEVELOP  AND
IMPLEMENT  A  WRITTEN SAFETY PROGRAM THAT INCLUDES BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO
THE FOLLOWING: (1) A WRITTEN RISK ASSESSMENT TO DETERMINE  THE  PRESENCE
OF FACTORS OR SITUATIONS IN FIRE SUPPRESSION THAT MIGHT PLACE FIREFIGHT-
ERS  AT RISK OF INJURY OR DEATH, (2) THE EQUIPMENT AND PROCEDURES NECES-
SARY FOR FIREFIGHTERS TO USE WHEN ENGAGED IN FIRE SUPPRESSION  AT  ABOVE
GRADE  FLOORS  DURING  A  STRUCTURE  FIRE INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION,
EQUIPMENT AND PROCEDURES FOR RAPID SAFE EGRESS.
  D. The commissioner shall [by rule  adopt  the  codes,  standards  and
recommended practices promulgated by the most recent edition of National
Fire  Protection  Association 1983, Standard on Fire Service Life Safety
Rope and System Components, and] PROMULGATE SUCH RULES  AND  REGULATIONS
as  are appropriate [to] FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF WRIT-
TEN SAFETY PROGRAMS, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE, WITHOUT LIMITATION, AN  EVALU-
ATION  OF  the  nature  of  the  risk  to which the firefighter shall be
exposed. Such [safety ropes and system components] EQUIPMENT AND  PROCE-
DURES  shall  be,  IN  THE  DETERMINATION  OF  THE EMPLOYER, adequate to
protect the health and safety of the firefighter.
  E. The employer shall ensure that the firefighter is instructed in the
proper use of the [safety ropes and  system  components]  EQUIPMENT  AND
PROCEDURES  AT  THE TIME OF THEIR INITIAL ASSIGNMENT AND ANNUALLY THERE-
AFTER.  THE EMPLOYER SHALL ALSO ENSURE THAT:  (1) A FIREFIGHTER SHALL BE
INFORMED OF  THE  REQUIREMENTS  OF  THIS  SECTION,  THE  RISKS  OF  FIRE
SUPPRESSION  AND  THE  LOCATION  AND  AVAILABILITY OF THE WRITTEN SAFETY
PROGRAM UPON REQUEST, BY THE  EMPLOYER  OR  THEIR  DESIGNATED  REPRESEN-
TATIVES; AND (2) FIREFIGHTER TRAINING SHALL INCLUDE AT LEAST THE DETAILS
OF THE WRITTEN SAFETY PROGRAM DEVELOPED BY THE EMPLOYER.
  F.  In  order  to  ensure the adequacy of the [safety ropes and system
components]  EQUIPMENT  AND  PROCEDURES,  the  employer  must  routinely
inspect and ensure that:
  (1) Existing [safety ropes and system components] EQUIPMENT AND PROCE-
DURES meet the codes, standards and recommended practices adopted by the
commissioner.
  (2) Existing [safety ropes and system components] EQUIPMENT AND PROCE-
DURES  still perform their function and to identify any of their limita-
tions such as but not limited to:
  (i) Checking the labels or stamps on the equipment; and
  (ii) Checking any documentation or equipment specifications; and
  (iii) Contacting the supplier or the [approval agency] MANUFACTURER;
  (3) Firefighters are informed of the limitations of any [safety  ropes
and system components] EQUIPMENT AND PROCEDURES;
  (4)  Firefighters are not allowed or required to use any [safety ropes
or system components] EQUIPMENT beyond their limitations;
  (5) Existing and new [safety ropes and  system  components]  EQUIPMENT
have no visible defects that limit their safe use;
  (6)  [Safety  ropes  and system components are] ANY EQUIPMENT IS used,
cleaned, maintained and stored according to manufacturer's instructions;
  (7) The firefighter is instructed in identifying to the  employer  any
defects that the firefighter may find in [safety ropes and system compo-
nents] ANY EQUIPMENT; and
  (8)  Any identified defects are corrected or immediate action is taken
by the employer to eliminate the use of this equipment.

S. 2600                             3

  [d.] G. Any person who may be adversely affected by a standard  issued
under  this  section may, within thirty days after the effective date of
such standard, commence a proceeding for  judicial  review  pursuant  to
article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it  shall  have become a law except that the commissioner of labor shall
promulgate regulations required under this act within one hundred twenty
days of its effective date.

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