§ 28-20-14. Procedures to counteract imminent dangers.
(a) The superior court shall have jurisdiction, upon petition of the attorney general, to restrain 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 the danger can be eliminated through the enforcement procedures otherwise provided by this chapter. Any order issued under this section may require any steps to be taken that may be necessary to avoid, correct, or remove the imminent danger and prohibit the employment or presence of any individual in locations or under conditions where the imminent danger exists, except individuals whose presence is necessary to avoid, correct, or remove the 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 the cessation to be accomplished in a safe and orderly manner.
(b) Upon the filing of the petition the superior court shall have jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief or temporary restraining order pending the outcome of an enforcement proceeding pursuant to this chapter. The proceeding shall be as provided by Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 65, except that no temporary restraining order issued without notice shall be effective for a period longer than five (5) days and no security as provided in paragraph (c) of Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 65 shall be required of the state or its political subdivisions. No action brought under this section shall be construed as affecting a labor dispute as defined in § 28-10-3, nor shall the action be subject to the provisions of § 28-10-2 or paragraph (e) of Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 65.
(c) Whenever and as soon as a compliance inspector concludes that conditions or practices described in subsection (a) of this section exist in any place of employment, he or she shall inform the affected employees and employers of the danger and that he or she is recommending to the director that relief be sought.
(d) If the director arbitrarily or capriciously fails to seek relief under this section, any employee who may be injured by reason of that failure or the representatives of the employees may bring an action against the director in the superior court for the county in which the imminent danger is alleged to exist for a writ of mandamus to compel the director to seek the order and for any further relief that may be appropriate.
(P.L. 1973, ch. 260, § 2; P.L. 1976, ch. 55, § 3.)