Proposed N.H. Law Would Mandate Investigation When Public Sector Workers Killed On The Job

Dec 26, 2017

Credit flickr/bcgrote

A new bill aims to give public sector workers more protections when it comes to workplace accidents or deaths.

In New Hampshire, if a private-sector worker gets killed on the job it triggers an investigation by OSHA, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

But if that employee worked in the public sector, say, for a school district or a road crew, OSHA has no jurisdiction.

State Rep. Mark Mackenzie, a Democrat from Manchester, says that leaves public sector employees vulnerable. He’s sponsoring a bill that would charge the state Department of Labor with investigating serious injuries or deaths of public sector employees.

"A family loses their dad, or their grandfather, or their husband and they want answers. So I think you owe it to them. You owe it to employees. You owe it to families.”

Twenty-eight states, including Maine and Connecticut, have agreements with OSHA to cover public employees. Efforts to do the same in New Hampshire have been voted down in the past.