The AFL-CIO, a coalition group of labor unions, has released a report blasting industry for failing to make workplaces safer, especially in oil and gas. Wyoming has ranked as one of the five most deadly states to work in for the last ten years. In 2012, only North Dakota had more workplace fatalities. Kim Floyd, Executive Secretary for the Wyoming chapter of the AFL-CIO says it has a lot to do with the focus of both states’ economies.
Denver-based Western Sugar Beet Cooperative has been fined $71,000 for violations that led to the death of an employee in January at its facility in Lovell. OSHA and the Wyoming Department of Workforce services allege that because no guard rails had been installed, 28-year-old Anfesa Galaktionoff fell through an opening in the floor into a production pit.
The company was issued 12 violations for serious and repeat workplace hazards. Wyoming Workforce Services Director Joan Evans said in a statement that the young woman’s death was completely unnecessary.
It’s Labor Day weekend, which means there will be a lot of discussion surrounding workers in the state. Kim Floyd is the Executive Secretary of the Labor Organization the AFL-CIO. He tells Bob Beck it’s an interesting time for many workers
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.
The legislature has approved an incentive based-worker safety bill.
Wyoming is among the leaders in workplace deaths and the bill provides up to seven new officers who will help companies develop and comply with safety requirements on a voluntary basis. It also provides grant money for small businesses to improve workplace safety.
Kim Floyd of the AFL-CIO says he had wanted tougher penalties for companies and people who violate safe working standards, but he says this bill is a good step.