Escalating Workplace Violence in Florida the Focus of New OSHA Alliance

OSHA formed a new alliance March 5 with Florida health care providers and professional associations to work together to address the problem of workplace violence in the state.

"With up to five percent of American workplaces experiencing a workplace violence episode annually, this alliance is both timely and beneficial to all employers," said James Borders, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville, Fla. "The need is especially acute in Florida where the number of work-related homicides rose by more than 40 percent from 2006 to 2007."

Key features of the alliance include developing materials that identify and prevent workplace violence, providing expertise in communicating this information, and sharing the information with employers on best practices and effective approaches for making workplaces safer for employees.

In addition to OSHA, alliance participants include the University of South Florida Consultation Services Program, EAP Lifestyle Management LLC, Sacred Heart Medical Group, the American Society of Safety Engineers Pensacola Chapter, the Northwest Florida Association of Occupational Health Nurses Inc., the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, and the Employee Assistance Professional Association Big Bend Chapter.

Companies and groups interested in learning more about OSHA's activities to improve employee safety and health in North Florida may contact the agency's area office in Jacksonville at (904) 232-2895. OSHA currently has more than 470 safety and health alliances throughout the nation as part of the agency's ongoing efforts to improve the safety and health of employees through cooperative partnerships with trade associations, labor organizations, employers, and government agencies.

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