AB 1127 or the “Tosco Bill”

AB 1127 or the “Tosco Bill”

In California, in 1999, passage of the landmark legislation AB 1127 (Steinberg) culminated 16 years of efforts to give stronger prosecutorial power to district attorneys to address serious and willful violations of Cal/OSHA regulations which result in worker injuries and deaths. AB 1127 is sometimes referred to as the “Tosco Bill” after two fatal Tosco refinery explosions that killed four workers and galvanized public opinion.

The bill expanded and strengthened Cal/OSHA protections; increased civil and criminal penalties for willful, serious, and repeat violations of occupational safety and health standards; and perhaps most significantly, provided that willful violation of such standards leading to death or permanent or prolonged injury of an employee may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Cry Wolf Quotes

It is doubtful that doubling criminal provisions and the imposition of exorbitant fines will proportionally improve worker safety. Provisions to impose larger potential fines on corporations are also unfair and unjustified.

-
Western States Petroleum Association

[According to Chamber of Commerce] the regulations create a new ‘unclassified’ workplace violation, giving the state agency the ability ‘to strong-arm employers for higher penalties.’

-
The California Chamber of Commerce.

Its appropriate name should be the 'Be an Employer, Pay a Massive Penalty' Act.

-
Jeffrey M. Tanenbaum, of Littler Mendelson, P.C.

It is our belief that while AB 1127 will not guarantee the prevention of even one injury, it has the potential to cost our members hundreds of thousands of dollars in new programs based on unsound science and face potential increases in workers’ compensation costs.

-
Western Growers Association, Memo to Assembly Public Safety Committee.