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49.17.060  <<  49.17.070 >>   49.17.075

RCW 49.17.070

Right of entry — Inspections and investigations — Subpoenas — Contempt.

(1) Subject to subsections (2) through (5) of this section, the director, or his or her authorized representative, in carrying out his or her duties under this chapter, upon the presentation of appropriate credentials to the owner, manager, operator, or on-site person in charge of the worksite, is authorized:

     (a) To enter without delay and at all reasonable times the factory, plant, establishment, construction site, or other area, workplace, or environment where work is performed by an employee of an employer; and

     (b) To inspect, survey, and investigate during regular working hours and at other reasonable times, and within reasonable limits and in a reasonable manner, any such workplace and all pertinent conditions, structures, machines, apparatus, devices, equipment, and materials therein, and to question privately any such employer, owner, operator, agent, or employee.

     (2) In making inspections and making investigations under this chapter the director may require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence under oath. Witnesses shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the superior courts. In the case of contumacy, failure, or refusal of any person to obey such an order, any superior court within the jurisdiction of which such person is found, or resides, or transacts business, upon the application of the director, shall have jurisdiction to issue to such person an order requiring such person to appear to produce evidence if, as, and when so ordered, and to give testimony relating to the matter under investigation or in question, and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by said court as a contempt thereof.

     (3) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section or RCW 49.17.075, the director or his or her authorized representative shall obtain consent from the owner, manager, operator, or his or her on-site person in charge of the worksite when entering any worksite located on private property to carry out his or her duties under this chapter. Solely for the purpose of requesting the consent required by this section, the director or his or her authorized representative shall, in a safe manner, enter a worksite at an entry point designated by the employer or, in the event no entry point has been designated, at a reasonably recognizable entry point.

     (4) This section does not prohibit the director or his or her authorized representative from taking action consistent with a recognized exception to the warrant requirements of the federal and state Constitutions.

     (5) This section does not require advance notice of an inspection.

[2006 c 31 § 2; 1973 c 80 § 7.]

Notes:

     Intent -- 2006 c 31: "The legislature intends that inspections performed under the Washington industrial safety and health act ensure safe and healthful working conditions for every person working in the state of Washington. Inspections must follow the mandates of Article II, section 35 of the state Constitution, and equal or exceed the requirements prescribed by the occupational safety and health act of 1970 (Public Law 91-596, 84 Stat. 1590). The legislature also intends that the inspections comply with the fourth and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution and Article I, section 7 of the state Constitution." [2006 c 31 § 1.]