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Playing it Safe

Sarasota Manatee Business featured USF OTI's Bob Nesbit and USF SafetyFlorida's Charlene Vespi on the urgent issue of how growth is contributing to workplace injuries

PHere are some excerpts:

In Florida, 422 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2004, up from 347 in 2003. The top two causes were transportation incidents (198 fatalities) and falls (75 fatalities).

“Job growth and the expanding economy do not have to equate to more accidents,” says Robert Nesbit, program manager of the University of South Florida’s OSHA Training Institute Education Center. “We feel that with good training and good employer involvement the area can have both—safe work sites and a growing economy at the same time.”

Another resource is the USF SafetyFlorida consultation program, a free service that helps companies identify and correct potential workplace hazards. “We’re trying to build a trust with the employers to allow us to come in and explain to them what kinds of training and education can be offered to their employees,” says associate director Charlene Vespi. “We like to help employers understand that workers’ comp costs and injuries have an impact on their bottom line.”