WPR News
10:27 am
Thu April 30, 2009

Wyoming seeks federal input on its high rate of worker deaths

Laramie, WY – Wyoming may ask a federal agency to investigate what's causing this state's extremely high rates of worker deaths.

The Governor's task force on workplace safety met Wednesday in Cheyenne. At the meeting was a representative from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. That agency helped reduce the number of worker deaths in Alaska by half - it investigated what was causing these deaths, so the state knew what to fix. The task force may request that an investigator do the same in Wyoming.

Paul Ulrich with EnCana Oil and Gas says that could help bring everyone to the table. "Occupational fatalities are a tough issue in Wyoming," he said, "and if we can all work together and collaborate, state federal industry, employees contractors you name it, we can make a difference. I do believe that, and this system may be a great step forward.

The most recent federal data shows that Wyoming has the highest rate of worker deaths in the nation.