Harkins Introduces Safety Legislation for Public Employees

Category:  News & Politics
Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 at 11:30 AM
Harkins Introduces Safety Legislation for Public Employees by Jim Wertz
State Rep. Patrick Harkins

State Rep. Pat Harkins (D-Erie) announced Tuesday the introduction of legislation that, if passed, will establish safety standards for public employees.

The bill, H.B. 1082, is inspired by the death of EMTA mechanic Jake Schwab, a 30-year employee of the region’s public transit system, who died in November 2014 when he was struck in the head by debris during an explosion in his work area. The details of the accident were hard to track, according to a press release from Rep. Harkins’s office, because governmental authorities like EMTA are exempt from OSHA investigations of the incident.

The bill will provide on-the-job safety protection to public employees by establishing Occupational Safety and Health Administration-equivalent safety rules for public employers, including the commonwealth, all legal political subdivisions, public schools, transit systems and any nonprofit organizations currently exempt from the OSHA standards.      

H.B. 1082 is backed by the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represented EMTA drivers, mechanics, dispatchers, and some office workers, as well as AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. 

Jim Wertz can be reached at jWertz@ErieReader.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @jim_wertz.

Erie Reader: Vol. 7, No. 24
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

Be part of something meaningful 

Pennsylvania, Prohibition, and the renegade pastor who took on his town

Is Murder on the Orient Express interesting enough to hold its own against the full massive blockbusters?

Celebrate Yuletide in the style of the Emerald Isle with Danu.

The Erie Philharmonic kicks off the most wonderful time of the year with “Come Home for the Holidays”

IN THIS ISSUE

Be part of something meaningful 

Pennsylvania, Prohibition, and the renegade pastor who took on his town

Is Murder on the Orient Express interesting enough to hold its own against the full massive blockbusters?

Celebrate Yuletide in the style of the Emerald Isle with Danu.

The Erie Philharmonic kicks off the most wonderful time of the year with “Come Home for the Holidays”

What better way to greet December than with a full slab of bone-crushing metal?

Vulfpeck is an emergent band brimming with youthful energy.

Post-election reactions after Erie Democrats gain a narrow victory

Guys Focus

Thor: Ragnarok is a good attempt at something new, but it could’ve gone even weirder!

2017 Best of Erie Voting Now Open! Vote Now!
Closing in
Click here to close now