Seventy-six-year Florida resident, American Society of Safety Engineers’ professional member and chemist Edwin Granberry Jr., urged officials to provide the same level of workplace safety protection for the estimated 8.5 million state and local government workers that other U.S. workers have under the Occupational Safety and Health Act at a public meeting on a Daytona Beach explosion that killed two workers.
The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board public meeting was on the Bethune Point Wastewater Plant Explosion that killed two municipal workers and seriously injured another. The workers were trying to remove a steel roof over a storage tank containing highly flammable methyl alcohol when, as reported, a cutting torch ignited the blast. The plant is operated by the City of Daytona Beach.
A key issue that arose at the hearing was the lack of Occupational Safety and Health Administration coverage for state and municipal employees and whether Florida should adopt federal OSHA coverage to protect public employees from chemical hazards in the workplace.
“This is a long-standing national issue of concern to ASSE and its 30,000 plus occupational safety, health and environmental professional members,” Granberry said. “All workers should be protected.”
Granberry claimed that in the business world, merely meeting OSHA standards is considered a minimal level of protection for workers.
“Most large employers – as the state and many Florida municipalities would be considered – expect even higher safety and health standards to be met,” Granberry said. “That’s because they understand that fewer injuries save money in workers compensation and liability costs, time off and productivity costs, and health insurance costs.”
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