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Public Workplace Safety

March 16th, 2010 by Mike Vasilinda

Michael Martin was injured in a 2006 explosion while working for a local government in Daytona Beach. The incident, which killed two, has sparked cries from a union and a state employees union who say governments should be required to meet the same worker safety conditions as private businesses.

“If the proper workplace safety measures would have been in place, that accident could have been avoided,” Martin said. “Because there were no workplace safety measures there, the accident occurred. Without workplace safety measures, other accidents can happen and will happen if nothing is done about it.?

Businesses also support the change, saying they are at a competitive disadvantage when governments don’t have to follow the same employee safety standards.

Every time that there is a worker injured on a job site, it costs taxpayers monies in premiums for insurance,” Kenya Cory with Associated Industries of Florida said. “It is also a competitive disadvantage for us at times too, because we’re paying higher levels of money to make sure that our workers are safe, and the state and the local governments are not.?

Lawmakers are not likely to enact standards that cost local governments money in a tight budget year.

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