EO511: Report Released; Legislation Moving Ahead

Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian explained, “The Patrick Administration’s goal is to reduce associated expenses tied to workplace injuries. Through the work of the Advisory Committee, we found that one of the best ways to accomplish that is by ensuring that nationally recognized worker protection standards such as OSHA become minimum standards of practice for state workers.”

A total of 90 joint labor-management committees were formed to study all departments in the Executive Branch.

Dorant further explained, “More than 100 training sessions reached upwards of 900 committee members. These people, in turn, performed individual health and safety assessments within their agency.”

Each committee conducted comprehensive assessments to look at current health and safety practices that were in place and compared them to nationally accepted safety standards. From these studies, each committee was able to identify areas of improvement, both immediate and long-term in nature.

Tim Schofield, supervisor of health & safety with MassDOT and a 14-year MOSES member, noted, “The MassDOT safety team, for example, worked with volunteer employees – many MOSES members themselves – from all areas of the department. We looked at risks, researched best practices, investigated training options and studied how to best utilize potential financial resources.”

Specific hazards of concern relative to MassDOT included life, fire, trench, electrical and work zone safety, as well as slip, trip and falls, defensive driver and falls from heights.

During his remarks, Schofield summed up the goal of EO511 succinctly, “Safety is a 24/7, 365-day process. We continue to make improvements in training, proper personal protective equipment and overall awareness of the hazards we face each day we report to work. EO511 is that all important starting point to help MassDOT improve safety and awareness for not just our employees, but the motoring public as well.”

Instrumental in helping to move the MOSES legislation forward to make these much-needed recommendations permanent, is Representative Thomas Conroy, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Labor & Workforce Development. He shared, “Protecting the health and safety of our public employees is a top priority for me and I will work hard to ensure this important piece of legislation is signed into law.”

IB ImageDorant concluded, “We thank Rep. Conroy for his leadership and dedication in moving H2460/S877 towards enactment.”