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

Additionally, in a construction setting, where the type of work is inherently more dangerous than an office setting, it will be difficult to hire managers and supervisors for fear that they would be held criminally liable for accidents.

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Construction Employers Association memo to Assembly Public Safety Committe.

Serves to drive independent contractors out of business and inhibit the ability of small business to survive by making the business liable for actions of a contractor. Small business and contractors who become small businesses are taking up the slack from corporate downsizing and contribute greatly to the prosperity of the state.

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Letter from Ronald D. Long, Director of Human Resources, M.C. Gill Corporation.

Under this measure, accidents will have devastating effects on employers. Encouraging lawsuits is good for attorneys, bad for business, and ultimately, bad for employees.

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Construction Employers Association memo to Assembly Public Safety Committee.

… the construction industry is involved in Voluntary Protection Programs with their employees to help encourage safety precautions and identify possible dangers before an injury occurs. AB 1127 does nothing to encourage this type of cooperation between employers and employees to promote worksite safety.

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Associated General Contractors of San Diego letter to Public Safety Committee.