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Pete Mackey
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Wyoming Looks To Improve Worker Safety

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Wyoming lawmakers are taking steps to improve on the state’s abysmal work safety record. Wyoming had more work place fatalities per 100,000 workers than any other state in 2007. To Governor Freudenthal’s credit, he has formed a task force to address the issue and come up with proposals for improvement. In doing so, that task force will look to Alaska:


Members of the Wyoming task force say they will look to Alaska’s safety reforms as a possible model. Alaska, also a sparsely populated state with numerous dangerous occupations, reduced workplace fatalities by about 50 percent over the last 10 years.

Alaska achieved better workplace safety through an analysis industry-specific problems and cooperation from industry and special-interest groups, said Dr. George Conway, director of Alaska’s office of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

This is welcome news. Worker safety is often compromised by industry demands and a state’s unwillingness or inability to fund the proper regulatory agencies. Let’s hope more states follow Wyoming’s lead.