Florida State Workers Have No Safety Rules

Sept. 22, 2000
Public-sector workers in Florida have no workplace safety\r\nstandards or enforcement until at least March 2001 because of the elimination of the Division of Safety.

Public-sector workers in Florida have no workplace safety standards or enforcement until at least March 2001 because Gov. Jeb Bush eliminated the Division of Safety in a reorganization bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature.

The sunset provision was contained in S. 230, a bill that was signed into law June 8, 1999.

Despite last minute maneuvering in the 2000 legislative session, which ended May 5, language reauthorizing the safety agency was not approved.

A bill that would have transferred the responsibilities of the Safety Division to the Division of Workers'' Compensation also died in the session.

Florida''s Legislature will not reconvene until March 2001.

The private-sector safety program, which was eliminated, will resume Sept. 30 under the auspices of the University of South Florida in Tampa, using $1.5 million in federal OSHA funds that previously had gone to the Division of Safety.

The program provides free consultation, including work site evaluation and training, to small employers.

The program has hired 13 staff members trained in either industrial hygiene or safety, all of whom are former Division of Safety employees, according to the university.

What about the public-sector employees? Jeanette Wynn, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Florida, said the union is concerned about the lack of standards and any kind of effort for employees.

"There''s no recourse for our employees other than contract language. Our employees are out in the cold," said Wynn.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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