Seat-belt use blamed for worker deaths

Casper, WY – Low seat-belt use in Wyoming is being blamed for the state having the highest occupational fatality rate in the nation.

That's the conclusion by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which is reporting to the governor on job safety. Gov. Dave Freudenthal's office requested the analysis to look for ways to reduce the rate.

In a preliminary report Thursday, the Institute said that from 2003 to 2007, there was a total of 210 workplace fatalities in Wyoming. Of those, 136 occurred in transportation. More than half of the victims didn't wear seat belts.

Analysts say more study is needed, but that seat belt usage is probably a main area for Wyoming should try to improve.