Advocates are optimistic about Mead's commitment to worker safety

Jan 20, 2012

After a meeting with Gov. Matt Mead’s staff on Thursday, workers’ rights advocates say they’re optimistic that Mead will take steps to ensure safer work environments in Wyoming.

Wyoming has one of the highest rates of workplace fatalities in the country, and a recent report by the state epidemiologist documenting injuries and deaths over the past 17 years has put the problem back in the spotlight.

Kim Floyd of the AFL-CIO says the meeting with the governor’s staff was productive.

“I came out of there pretty hopeful that the governor’s office is going to take this seriously and start to make some changes that are really going to improve safety at every workplace here in the state of Wyoming,” Floyd said.

He says it’ll be tough to get new regulations passed this year, though, because the legislative session begins in just a few weeks. Plus, he says, in the past, Wyoming lawmakers have voted down legislation that would have increased penalties for companies that violate safety standards.