AFSCME DC 47 VP Ethelind Baylor made remarks in support of Council member Henon’s resolution.

Philadelphia City Council Resolution Introduced By Council member Bobby Henon

Urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to support the Jake Schwab Worker’s Safety Bill, House Bill 1082 and Senate Bill 464. 

WHEREAS, The majority of private sector workers in the United States are covered by health and safety regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA); and 

Whereas, The number of workers killed on the job in the United States has declined from approximately 14,000 in 1970, when OSHA was created, to 4,674 in 2009, despite the fact that overall employment more than doubled during that period; and 

Whereas, Local and state government employees, including those in the City of Philadelphia, are generally not covered by OSHA, even though they perform similar job functions and are exposed to similar risks as private-sector employees; and 

Whereas, The Jake Schwab Worker’s Safety Bill would extend protections similar to those provided for under OSHA to local and state government employees in Pennsylvania, at no or minimal cost to local governments; and 

Whereas, Jake Schwab had worked as a mechanic for the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority for 27 years when he was killed on the job by an exploding air bag; and 

Whereas, At the time of his death, Mr. Schwab was working on an unfamiliar bus from another agency, using tools that were inappropriate for the job because the proper tools were not available, and there had been no safety training is his garage for over 9 years; and 

Whereas, Mr. Schwab’s death did not even warrant an OSHA investigation because he was a public employee; and 

Whereas, If Mr. Schwab had been covered by OSHA, health and safety regulations may have prevented his untimely death; and 

Whereas, Preventable deaths like Mr. Schwab’s are particularly tragic, especially for the loved ones they leave behind; and 

Whereas, The public servants who have dedicated their careers to this community deserve the same health protections as their colleagues in the private sector; now

Therefore be it resolved, The City Council of Philadelphia urges the Pennsylvania General Assembly to support the Jake Schwab Worker’s Safety Bill, House Bill 1082 and Senate Bill 464