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Pennsylvania looks to extend OSHA protections to public-sector workers

Photo: travelif/iStockphoto

Harrisburg, PA — Pennsylvania will explore the possibility of providing OSHA protections to workers in the public sector, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has announced.

According to an April 11 press release from the governor’s office, the state’s Department of Labor and Industry, its Office of Administration, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania will conduct a feasibility study to analyze the potential costs and benefits of the action. The study is expected to be completed in the fall.

Wolf mandated the study via an Executive Order signed in October as part of “actions that advance worker protections in Pennsylvania.”

He adds: “Pennsylvania’s state- and local-government employees provide critical services to every community in the commonwealth – and perform some of the most dangerous jobs – but are not protected with the same safety standards that apply to private-sector workplaces. Police officers, firefighters, teachers, maintenance workers, wastewater treatment plant operators, corrections officers, health care professionals, child welfare caseworkers and office workers of every kind deserve the same level of protections afforded to their private-sector peers.”


The Pennsylvania General Assembly is considering legislation that would make OSHA regulations applicable to public-sector workers: S.B. 310 and H.B. 1976. Both bills are before their respective legislative bodies’ Labor and Industry Committee.

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