PRESS RELEASE: AFSCME Council 13 applauds House passage of public sector OSHA bill

Harrisburg, PA (May 2, 2023) – House Bill 299 passed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by a vote of 116-85 on Tuesday, May 2, bringing Pennsylvania’s public employees one step closer to being covered by the same protections that private sector workers enjoy under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA).

“AFSCME Council 13 members have fought alongside their fellow workers on this issue for decades now, and we are thankful to finally see some meaningful progress,” AFSCME Council 13 Executive Director Henderson said following the passage of HB 299.

“This is a major victory, but as always, there is more work to do.”

The bill now goes to the State Senate, and AFSCME members intend to keep the pressure on lawmakers to get this overdue policy on the governor’s desk.

There is no price on human life, and the cost of not passing this bill is far greater than any dollar amount.

Just last week, a member of AFSCME Local 2835 working for the Schuylkill Municipal Authority was killed on the job – that member’s family deserves a proper investigation, and all workers deserve maximum efforts to ensure such a tragedy can never happen again. If that worker had been doing the same kind of work for a private contractor, they would have been covered by OSHA.

Council 13 urges Pennsylvanians to make their voices heard and let state senators know that we can no longer treat public sector workers like second class citizens, and we must ensure they have the same basic protections as others.