Title 28
Labor and Labor Relations

Chapter 21
Hazardous Substances Right-To-Know Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-21-13

§ 28-21-13. Enforcement of chapter.

(a) The responsibility for enforcement of the provisions of this chapter shall be that of the department of labor and training. In addition to its other obligations, the department shall establish and maintain the list of designated substances, and the list shall be reviewed at intervals of six (6) months. The department will also maintain and make available upon request to the public any available MSDS material safety data sheet. The provisions of chapter 35 of title 42, the administrative procedures act, shall be applicable in determining additions or deletions to the list. The department shall assign chemical abstract series (CAS) numbers to the designated substances to facilitate comparisons with employers’ lists and lists from other states. The department shall also keep a central file of annually updated chemical identification lists per employer. The central file must be cross-referenced by designated substance to facilitate the identification of all firms using a particular designated substance. Access to the central file shall be in accordance with chapter 24.4 of title 23. The list of designated substances shall be available for public inspection during business hours at the office of the director of the department of labor and training. The department shall have all rights of entry and inspection as set out in § 28-20-12, and shall annually conduct and without notice to the employer, at least two hundred (200) inspections of employing units covered by this chapter to determine compliance.

(b) Upon the finding of a violation arising from an inspection, the employer shall inform the employees and immediately undertake measures for the safety of the employees. The employer shall have ninety (90) days from the date of the finding of a violation to comply with the remaining provisions of this chapter.

(c) The department shall obtain any and all information required by § 28-21-5 from the person responsible for the administration, and direction of a fire department in a fire district or municipality, including a fire chief or fire administrator or that person’s designee, in the event that an employer ceases to do business in the state. The department will keep the information for thirty (30) years and will make the information available, upon request, to employees as defined in § 28-21-2.

(d) In addition to and not in lieu of the legal remedies available to the employee under § 28-21-8(4), the department may order an employer to reinstate an employee who was dismissed or disciplined for exercising the right to refuse work as defined in § 28-21-8(1). In addition, the department may order an employer to reimburse an employee for any monetary losses, plus interest, resulting from the employee’s dismissal or discipline. Upon notification from the department, an employer shall have five (5) business days to show cause why the employer should not comply with the department’s order.

History of Section.
P.L. 1983, ch. 18, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 441, § 1; P.L. 1985, ch. 269, § 1; P.L. 1985, ch. 483, § 1.