SEIU PA State Council Statement on House Passage of Public Sector OSHA
Harrisburg -- In response to the PA House's bipartisan passage of House Bill 299, establishing OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards for Pennsylvania’s public sector workers, the SEIU Pennsylvania State Council issued the following statement:
“Pennsylvania has a two-tiered system of workplace safety standards. When private sector employees go to work, they are entitled to basic OSHA protections. Public sector workers receive no such protections. That means that nurses at state hospitals, cafeteria workers in public elementary schools, and corrections officers at county prisons are left at risk every time they step onto the job.
“Those risks are real. In 2016, SEIU 32BJ member Christopher Trakimas, a 61-year-old mechanic, died as a result of a boiler explosion at Franklin S Edmonds School in Philadelphia. A school that elementary school students attend every day.
“It is unacceptable for two tiers of workplace safety regulations to exist; we must stop treating public employees like second-class workers. The Senate should take up the issue immediately."