The Massachusetts Senate has approved legislation to provide all state and municipal workers with the same protections provided under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.
OSHA was passed in 1970 with the option to provide employees occupational safety before an incident occurs.
State Senator Adams Hinds, a Pittsfield Democrat, says only 26 states have laws ensuring OSHA-level protections for state and municipal employees.
“Massachusetts has not been one of them,” Hinds says.
The state Department of Industrial Accidents says roughly 28 municipal workers a week suffer injuries serious enough to be out of work for at least five days. A bill sponsored by State Senator Marc Pacheco, of Taunton, could change that, Hinds says.
“We have a whole range of protections that are provided, but this is making the statement that we are going to go along with those OSHA-level protections as well,” Hinds says.
The legislation is under review in the House.