The Honorable Paul Brodeur, House Chair
The Honorable Patricia D. Jehlen, Senate Chair
Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development
State House, Boston

Dear Chair Brodeur, Chair Jehlen, and Distinguished Members of the Committee,

On behalf of cities and towns across the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association is writing to express our concerns with H. 1614 and S. 1071, An Act Relative to Workplace Safety, before the committee for a public hearing today.

While municipal officials clearly support OSHA requirements that promote a safe and healthy workplace, we believe that this bill places an undue and costly new administrative burden on the procurement officer or awarding authority in a city or town. Some 250 cities and towns in Massachusetts have 19,000 or fewer residents, and 50 percent have fewer than 10,000 residents, and thus have very small local governments, with volunteer boards overseeing various departments. Many of these communities do not even have full-time professional procurement officers.

H. 1614 and S. 1071 would require every awarding authority to remain informed of any OSHA violation even after the contract is executed. This could include any information on settlement agreements and documentation verifying if hazards identified have been corrected. While this information may make sense in determining a responsible bidder, after the contract has been executed, keeping this information updated every 6 months after execution will be a huge administrative burden on those communities without dedicated staff.

We respectfully ask you to issue an unfavorable report to H. 1614 and S. 1071 because these bills would impose an undue and costly new administrative burden on cities and towns across the Commonwealth. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to have your office contact me or MMA Senior Legislative Analyst Brittney Franklin at 617-426-7272 at any time.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Geoffrey C. Beckwith
Executive Director & CEO