Nov 18, 2016

NAGE Urges House Leadership to Pass Public Sector OSHA Bill

Please see the press release sent out earlier today regarding Senate Bill 2190.

Contact: Adair Gregory 617 – 376 - 0220

 
For immediate Release:
 
In the Aftermath of the Boston Trench Tragedy, NAGE Urges House Leadership to Finalize Passage of Public Sector OSHA Bill
 
Quincy – In the wake of the tragic trench accident in Boston that claimed the lives of workers, Kelvin Mattocks and Robert Higgins, a growing group of labor, community and occupational health and safety experts have joined with NAGE National President David Holway in urging House Speaker Robert DeLeo to lend his support to a bill that would enhance workplace safety by establishing OSHA as the minimum safety standard for all public sector employees in the Commonwealth.  Currently, OSHA protections are afforded to private sector workers and some public workers. 
 
The legislation, (Senate Bill 2190) which would level the playing field for all workers, was passed unanimously by the Senate back in March, and has since stalled in the House.  With the calendar rapidly approaching the New Year and new legislative session, there is only a limited window to complete work on this critical initiative.  NAGE is hopeful, that with the Speakers support and leadership, the OSHA bill can become law before the end of the current session.
 
In a letter delivered to Speaker DeLeo on Thursday, 36 community leaders, including Holway wrote that “The bill updates our state’s antiquated public sector safety laws, which have not clearly defined what measures public agencies should employ to keep workers safe.  A majority of states (26) provide at least OSHA level protections for all public employees - but not Massachusetts.”
 
Holway praised the Legislature’s past leadership on safety initiatives and said that he remains “encouraged that through continued collaboration with the House of Representatives, we will be able to finish the job.”  Holway said “The Speaker, and his leadership team have always taken public safety very seriously and have taken great care to ensure the safety of our citizens and workers.”  Holway pointed to Senate Bill 2190 as an “important step in continuing that tradition and work.” 
 
Senate Bill 2190 was passed by the Senate earlier this year and is currently before the House Committee on Ways and Means.
 
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Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected. - Samuel Gompers
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