Labor organization remains concerned about Workplace Safety

Aug 30, 2012

The Executive Secretary of the Wyoming AFL-CIO – a workers union organization- remains optimistic that the state’s efforts to reduce workplace deaths may work.  

On this Labor Day weekend, Kim Floyd is pleased that that the state has increased the number of safety inspectors in Wyoming by seven, and has found money for workplace safety grants for businesses.  But Floyd says it will probably take some time until there is improvement.

“We have a long way to go in the state of Wyoming.  We have a lot of dangerous industries.  Certainly if this doesn’t work, if this doesn’t start curbing the deaths, we are going to have to start looking at tougher penalties. "

But Floyd says if it doesn’t work, Wyoming will need to take a stronger approach like the federal government does with the mining industry in the state.

Floyd notes that while there have been problems in the oil and gas industry; there are almost no fatalities in the equally dangerous mining industry.  In his opinion, that is due to strong federal regulations and the abundance of mine inspectors. 

“For every one inspector under OSHA, I think there are seven inspectors under MHSA. There is a tremendous amount of presence in the mine’s, they have heavy fines, steep fines,  they can even fine the employees for things such as not wearing safety glasses or not wearing hard hats. ”

Wyoming has traditionally ranked among the worst in the nation for workplace deaths and injuries.