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Lawmakers aim to extend OSHA protections to all public sector workers

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Photo: Huntstock/gettyimages

Washington — Bipartisan legislation recently introduced in the House would extend OSHA protections to public sector employees.

The Public Service Worker Protection Act (H.R. 8758) is sponsored by Rep. Christopher Deluzio (D-PA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).

“While the [Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970] protects some public sector workers working under federal authority, federal OSHA law does not necessarily cover workers at state and local government agencies,” Deluzio says in a press release.

“Instead, public sector workers in these states are protected by the OSH Act only if their state has an OSHA-approved program – leaving a gap of public sector workers whose workplaces are subject to fewer safety standards and are given less protections.”

Currently, 23 states exclude state and local government workers from OSHA protections. That’s roughly 8 million workers, according to the release.

“Our dedicated public sector workers throughout our country deserve to be safe at work and the robust level of protection that OSHA coverage provides,” Fitzpatrick said in the release. “Our bipartisan Public Service Worker Protection Act will ensure all public sector workers, regardless of their state, are covered under the same federal safety standards.”

The bill has been referred to the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

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