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Citywide Contract — Safety & Health

ARTICLE XIV — OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH

Section 1.

The Employer shall establish a Citywide Occupational Safety and Health Committee, the members of which shall be appointed by the Mayor and shall include union representation. The Director of the Citywide Office on Safety and Health shall serve, ex officio, as Chairperson of this Committee.

The Citywide Occupational Safety and Health Committee shall recommend citywide employee safety and health policy to the Mayor and shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the Occupational Safety and Health Planning Task Force created by Mayor's Executive Order No. 58, dated May 6, 1976, and shall also assume the citywide safety responsibilities of the City Director of Personnel contained in Mayor's Executive Order No. 109, dated August 28, 1969. In addition, this Committee shall act as the City's liaison with Federal and State Agencies, in efforts to obtain grants to finance City employee safety and health programs and shall perform any additional tasks assigned by the Mayor.

Section 2.

  1. Adequate, clean, structurally safe and sanitary working facilities shall be provided for all employees.
     
  2. Motor vehicles and power equipment which are in compliance with minimum standards of applicable law shall be provided to employees who are required to use such devices.
     
  3. Where necessary, first aid chests, adequately marked and stocked, shall be provided by the Employer in sufficient quantity for the number of employees likely to need them and such chests shall be reasonably accessible to the employees.
     
  4. A Labor Management Health and Safety Committee shall be established in each agency. Each committee shall be composed of not less than three nor more than five labor representatives designated by the Union and not more than an equivalent number of management representatives designated by the agency. The appropriate number of such representatives shall be determined jointly. If agreement on the number cannot be reached such number shall be determined by the Commissioner of Labor Relations. The Committee shall meet at least quarterly and shall meet at the written request of the labor or the management representatives for the purpose of discussing health and safety problems in the agency and making recommendations for their resolution to the agency head. The written request for such a meeting shall indicate the specific condition for which the meeting is called. In addition to the above described committee, sub-committees may be established on an ad hoc basis upon agreement of the parties.
     
  5. The sole remedy for alleged violations of this section shall be a grievance pursuant to Article XV of this Agreement. Any employee who withholds services as a means of redressing or otherwise protesting alleged violations of this section shall be docked pay for any unauthorized non-performance of work and may be subject to any appropriate disciplinary action.
     
  6. In construing this section, an arbitrator shall initially have the power only to decide whether the subject facilities meet the standards of subsection (a) of this section 2 but may not affirmatively direct how the Employer should comply with this section. If the arbitrator determines that the Employer is in violation of this section, the Employer shall take appropriate steps to remedy the violation. If in the opinion of the Union the Employer does not achieve compliance within a reasonable period of time, the Union may reassert its claim to the arbitrator. Upon such second submission, if the arbitrator finds that the Employer has had a reasonable time to comply with the terms of this section and has failed to do so, then and only then, the arbitrator may order the Employer to follow a particular course of action which will effectuate compliance with the terms of this section. However, such remedy shall not exceed appropriations available in the current budget allocation for the involved agency for such purposes.
     
  7. In any enclosed facility where employees are assigned to work, the Employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide for the personal security of employees while they are working.
     
  8. When the Employer becomes aware of a safety hazard which the Employer considers an imminent physical danger to employees at a worksite, the Employer shall remove the employees from the affected area.
     
  9. The Employer shall provide to the Municipal Labor Committee a copy of the results of environmental testing by the City of a City worksite and statistics resulting from special medical testing of employees.
     

ARTICLE XVIII — VDT OPERATORS

Section 1. Applicability:

Except as otherwise specifically indicated in this Article XVIII, the terms "employee" and "employees shall mean only a full-time worker who regularly and for continuous periods of time operate VDT terminals 20 hours or more per week."

Section 2. Alternative Work Break:

Employees covered by this Article shall not be required to continuously operate a VDT terminal for more than two (2) consecutive hours without an assignment to alternative work of a visually less demanding nature for a period of not less than fifteen (15) minutes. Meal periods and any previously established rest periods shall count towards meeting the requirement for alternative work, but this provision shall not be construed as providing any additional non-work break time. The provisions of this section shall also apply to part time employees subject to the terms of the Citywide Agreement who regularly and for continuous periods of time operate VDT terminals 20 hours or more per week.

Section 3. Alternative Work:

  1. Upon submission of proof satisfactory to the agency head or the agency head's designee that an employee covered by this Article is physically incapable from operating a VDT terminal due to injury, disability, or pregnancy, the Employer shall make every effort to assign such employee to appropriate, alternative duties in the same title for the period of such disability, provided that such temporary assignments shall not be required to exceed one year. If a suitable position is not available, the Employer shall offer the employee any available opportunity to transfer to another title for which the employee may qualify by the change of title procedure followed by the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services pursuant to Rule 6.1.1. of the Personnel Rules and Regulations of the City of New York or by non-competitive examination offered pursuant to Rule 6.1.9. of the Personnel Rules and Regulations of the City of New York or Rule 4.1.8 of the Health and Hospitals Corporation Personnel Rules and Regulations.
     
  2. If such an employee has ten (10) or more years of retirement system membership service and is considered permanently unable to perform all the duties of the employee's title and no suitable in-title position is available, the employee shall be referred to the New York City Employee's Retirement System and recommended for ordinary disability retirement.
     

Section 4. Training:

The Citywide Office of Occupational Safety and Health, and the Union shall jointly develop a module on VDT operational safety for inclusion in agency orientational training programs. In the Health and Hospitals Corporation, such training module shall be developed by Human Resources (in conjunction with the Corporate Office of Occupational and Environmental Health Services) and the Union. Such training module shall also be offered to current employees as part of any regular Right to Know Training given in the normal course of business. The provisions of this section 4 shall apply to all employees subject to the terms of the Citywide Agreement regardless of the number of hours of employment.

Section 5. VDT and Related Equipment:

  1. A standing VDT Sub-Committee of the Citywide Occupational Safety and Health Committee instituted pursuant to Article XIV, section 1 of this Agreement, shall be established with joint Employer and Union membership. Such sub-committee shall study, issue, and periodically review procurement and ergonomic standards for VDT's and ancillary furniture and equipment. The joint sub-committee's initial report and recommendations shall be issued within three months of the execution of this Agreement. A separate labor-management committee shall be established in the Health and Hospitals Corporation for such purposes.
     
  2. Procurement and ergonomic standards shall be implemented by Mayoral directive. In the Health and Hospitals Corporation such standards shall be implemented in accordance with existing procedures. Agencies and facilities of the Health and Hospitals Corporation shall purchase new equipment and ancillary furniture and equipment in compliance with the then current Mayoral directive or Health and Hospital Corporation procedure.
     
  3. Agencies shall advise the Union of the installation and proposed utilization of new VDT equipment, and shall make service logs available on a reasonable basis to qualified, authorized Union personnel.
     
  4. Employees may at any time informally discuss alleged violation(s) of this section with their supervisors. The Union may also seek to resolve any alleged violation(s) of this section through the agency Labor Management Health and Safety Committees.
     
  5. If a complaint alleging violation(s) of this section cannot be resolved pursuant to subsection 5(d), such complaint may be filed by the Union in writing with the Director of the Citywide Office of Occupational Safety and Health or the Director's designee, or, in the Health and Hospitals Corporation, the Director of Occupational Health and Environmental Services or the Director's designee, who will investigate such alleged violation(s) and issue a determination within forty-five (45) days of the receipt of the complaint. Upon determination by the Director or the Director's designee that violation(s) has occurred, the affected agency or agencies shall be notified of the nature of the violation(s) and directed to take steps to correct the violation(s) within sixty (60) days. A complaint pursuant to the sub-section must be brought within sixty (60) days of the initial occurrence of the alleged violation(s).
     
  6. A dispute concerning a determination by the Director of the Office of Citywide Occupational Health and Safety or the Director's designee, or, in the Health and Hospitals Corporation, the Director of Occupational Health and Environmental Services or the Director's designee may be appealed by the Union in writing to the Commissioner of Labor Relations within ten (10) work days of its issuance for resolution pursuant to Article XV, section 11 of this Agreement.
     
  7. A complaint concerning failure by an agency or agencies to comply with a determination issued by the Director of the Office of Citywide Occupational Health and Safety or the Director's designee, or, in the Health and Hospitals Corporation, the Director of Occupational Health and Environmental Services or the Director's designee may be filed with the Commissioner of Labor Relations within ten (10) working days of the expiration of the time limits set forth in sub-section 5(e) for resolution pursuant to Article XV, section 11 of this Agreement.
     
  8. The provisions of this section 5 shall apply to all employees subject to the terms of the Citywide Agreement regardless of the number of hours of employment.
     

Section 6. Eye Examinations and Corrective Lenses:

  1. The parties shall form a joint sub-committee to develop a program related to the provision of eye examinations and corrective lenses for VDT operators. It is understood that said sub-committee shall be charged with developing a program which will operate in the most cost efficient manner possible.
     
  2. The guidelines under which the sub-committee shall study the issues are:
    1. The provision of a base line examination with a follow-up examination every second year.
       
    2. The provision of corrective lenses if necessary due to the operation of a VDT terminal.
       
    3. Establishment of a cap on the costs of providing the examinations and lenses.
       
    4. Allowance by the Employer to covered employees of up to two (2) hours of time to take the baseline examination and follow-up examinations.
       


 
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