The Massachusetts Senate moved a step closer yesterday to joining 26 other states in extending OSHA safety standards to public sector workers. Bill S.2167, which has yet to be voted on by the Massachusetts House, would ensure that all state and local government workers are protected by OSHA standards, which apply only to private sector workers unless states decide otherwise.
According to the state’s Department of Industrial Accidents, an average of 28 municipal workers each week suffer injuries serious enough to cause them to miss at least five days of work.
According to news reports, the bill would also require the governor to appoint a new Municipal Occupational Health and Safety Subcommittee to the existing Occupational Health and Safety Hazard Advisory Board.
The subcommittee would evaluate injury and illness data; recommend training and implementation of safety and health measures; monitor the effectiveness of safety and health programs; and determine whether additional measures are necessary to protect the safety and health of employees.