Senate Approves Bill to Protect State Railroad Workers

Posted by admin on July 5, 2010

April 16, 2009 

 

Contact: Rep. Louis Molepske, Jr.  

(608) 267-9649 (888) 534-0071  

Senate Approves Bill to Protect State Railroad Workers 

 

Molepske Bill Providing Important Protections Heads to the Governor’s Desk 

 

Madison- 

 

“Last session, members of the Railroad Teamsters Union brought to my attention the lack of training and legal protections rail workers have in regard to accidental exposure to pesticides used to clear railroad rights-of-way and rail yards of vegetation,” stated Molepske, “AB 314 is common sense legislation aimed to provide these workers, and landowners, information on what to do in case of an accidental exposure or overspray of commonly used chemicals.”  

AB 314 closes a glaring loophole in state and federal law by requiring a railroad to make pesticide safety information available to their employees and local law enforcement before applying a pesticide to a railroad right-of-way. “While rare, occasionally accidental overspraying may occur and plants and crops on neighboring yards and fields may be killed. AB 314 gives affected landowners the ability to get vital contact information, both for the railroad and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, by simply calling their local law enforcement office,” continued Molepske, “We are also asking the railroads to post contact information on their websites.”  

The bill also requires railroads to provide safety training and spraying notification to their employees. Neither the Federal Employee Liability Act nor the Federal Railroad Administration mandates the training of railroad employees in pesticide safety.  

The representative concluded by saying, “Training workers in the basics of pesticide use not only provides a greater degree of safety for the workers, but for the railroads as well. I am very proud of the work that railroad workers, railroad operators and other individuals accomplished to move this bill forward, and I look forward to seeing the governor sign the legislation,”  

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Legislation protecting state railroad workers and landowners from accidental toxic pesticide exposure was overwhelmingly approved by the Wisconsin State Senate last night in a 29-4 vote. Assembly Bill 314, authored by Representative Louis J. Molepske, Jr. (D – Stevens Point) has already passed the Assembly, and, after a swift follow-up motion in the Assembly, will be placed before the Governor for his approval.   

 

 

 

Last modified on July 5, 2010

Categories: State, WSLB 1st Vice
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