The bell tolled 35 times to open the 3rd Annual Workers Memorial Day at the State Capitol building in Cheyenne Monday. One for each person who died in a workplace fatality in the state in 2013. Kim Floyd, Executive Secretary of the Wyoming AFL-CIO, said while the state has made progress regarding workplace safety, there is a lot of work left to be done.

I can't stress enough how much I appreciate the work the governor and the Department of Workforce Services has done on this issue, you know in a very short period of time we came a long way. But the writing is on the wall, in the name of production in this state we have to stop killing workers. We have to quit meeting and put some teeth in the law and put more (OSHA) inspectors on the ground.

Joan Evans, Director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services said there is no one solution to the problem.

The formation of industry alliances we see as very progressive. It allows our staff to work with those alliances to look at trends not only in fatalities but also injuries. The work the Legislature is doing to put money aside for training for small employers to buy equipment and train their staff and also increasing the amount of OSHA staff we have.

A recent report issued by the Wyoming Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health recommends expanding OSHA'S enforcement capacity in Wyoming, adopting stricter rules to protect workers in the Oil and Gas industry and in construction from exposure to Silica dust, and jailing repeat violators of safety law. The report also calls on industry leaders to speak out for safer operations and to assure middle managers and all workers that safety comes first.


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