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Wyoming governor addresses safety culture

October 26, 2011

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Casper, WY – Everyone has a role in enhancing workplace safety culture in Wyoming, Gov. Matt Mead (R) said in a recent letter addressing attendees of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Industry Safety Alliance’s Safety Summit and Exposition.

Mead was unable to attend the third annual summit, which took place Oct. 12, but his letter (.pdf file) was read aloud during the event. The governor stressed the need for workers to be aware of their worksite, supervisors to enforce safety rules, and industries to create a safety culture through training and best practices.

Safety culture should focus on prevention and awareness, according to Mead, who shied away from embracing enforcement – including laws and fines – as a tool to create such a culture. “I remain unconvinced that these are the best ways to enhance a culture of leadership and safety. I say this because we don’t yet fully understand the underlying causes,” he said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wyoming had a total recordable injury and illness rate of 4.0 per 100 full-time workers in 2010; the national rate was 3.5. Workplace fatalities (.pdf file) in the state rose to a preliminary count of 34 in 2010 from 19 in 2009.

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