New Rules, New Rights

September 10, 2019

When MassCOSH helped pass a law extending Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) protections for over 458,000 public sector workers, we knew that was just half the battle. Education would be key to ensuring these workers and their union leadership were aware of their new rights and how they can organize around them.

This past August, MassCOSH Trainer and Technical Consultant Rick Rabin assisted the Massachusetts Teachers Association in a three-hour training approximately 20 of their members during a health and safety training in Amherst. The focus of the training was to review the many new rights MTA members now have as public sector workers and to review the hazards they face on the job and how to mitigate exposure to them.

In small groups, Rick lead the workers in participatory exercises around violence, ergonomics, indoor air quality and bloodborne pathogens. This was Rabin’s third time assisting MTA in educating its members on their new rights. Over the past year he has helped a variety of school staff types understand how the new law can assist them in creating a safer, better work environment.

If your union is interested in a health and safety training and/or training on the public sector OSHA law, please email