Tuesday AM January 27th, 2009

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is urging OSHA coverage for all public employees. Ed Mayberry reports.
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U.S. Chemical Safety Board Chairman John Bresland is calling for all states to extend OSHA coverage to all its public workers.  Bresland appears in a new video on You Tube.

"Across the country, millions of state and local public employees perform vital work for the American people.  They are teachers, social workers and corrections officers.  And they are also firefighters, police and utility workers who protect public safety and respond to emergencies.  But in 26 states, public employees are not covered by OSHA workplace standards.  Without those protections and responsibilities, public employees face an undue risk of being killed, injured or sickened on the job."

Bresland says an explosion and fire in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 2006 occurred when workers used a welding torch to remove a damaged metal roof above a storage shed containing methanol.

"If the same maintenance project had been done by employees in the private sector, OSHA's hot work standards would have required precautions to control welding hazards.  And OSHA's hazard communications standard would have required the workers to be informed of the dangers of methanol.  Following our investigation, the Chemical Safety Board recommended that Florida require all state agencies, counties and cities to follow OSHA standards."

A state task force in Florida concurs that the state should require OSHA compliance for state employees within three years. 

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

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Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...