NSC Labor Division news Contractors Legislation State programs State laws Oil and gas Mining_Oil_Gas

Minnesota law aimed at improving worker safety at oil refineries

Photo: jferrer/iStockphoto

St. Paul, MN — Contractors doing work at oil refineries in Minnesota will soon be required to use a certain percentage of skilled and trained workers, under a new state law.

“Workers in oil refineries do tough jobs, and we must do everything in our power to keep them safe,” Gov. Tim Walz (D) said in a press release.

Signed into law May 2 and set to go into effect Jan. 1, H.F. 10 dictates that at least 30% of a contractor’s workforce must meet at least one of the following criteria to work on a site:

  • Currently registered as an apprentice in a registered program in the applicable trade
  • Has graduated from a registered apprentice program in the applicable trade
  • Has completed all related instruction and on-the-job learning requirements to graduate from a registered apprenticeship program
  • Has at least five years of experience working in the applicable trade and is participating in journeyworker upgrade training or has completed training to become a qualified journeyworker

The legislation includes a progressive schedule for the percentage of a contractor’s workforce to meet the requirements: 45% by Jan. 1, 2025, and 60% by Jan. 1, 2026. Those requirements will apply to refinery owners and operators who contract or subcontract workers for construction, alteration, demolition, installation, repair, maintenance or hazardous material handling.

The law will apply to contracts entered into, extended or renewed on or after its effective date. Existing contracts entered into before Jan. 1 will be required to be renegotiated to comply by Jan. 1, 2025.

“We will not cut corners when it comes to workplace safety in Minnesota,” Walz wrote in a Twitter post promoting the new law.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)