Worker safety bill heads to governor

May 2, 2008

Daytona Beach News-Journal--May 02, 2008

Tallahassee Bureau Chief

It might only create a task force, but Florida lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to a bill designed to prevent accidents like an explosion that killed two people at a Daytona Beach wastewater-treatment plant.

Senators voted 38-0 to approve the measure, sending it to Gov. Charlie Crist. The House passed the bill in a 117-1 vote Wednesday.

The measure, whose sponsors include Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, and Rep. Joyce Cusack, D-DeLand, would create a task force at the University of South Florida that would recommend ways to ensure local and state government agencies comply with federal worker-safety standards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards apply to private-industry employees, but not government workers. The 2006 explosion at the Bethune Point wastewater-treatment plant killed two city workers and severely injured another.