Wyoming workplace safety legislation dies


Photo: RiverNorthPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock

Cheyenne, WY – Three bills aimed at strengthening workplace safety regulations in Wyoming and increasing fines for violations have failed to advance in the state legislature.

The bills either were not considered for moving forward or missed the cutoff date for future consideration, and it is unlikely any of the bills will be brought up during the remainder of the state’s 2015 general session, which ends in March.

Two of the bills (H.B. 236 and S.B. 72) would have increased penalties. Specifically, the bills would have more than doubled the minimum penalty for willful violations to $12,000, and increased the maximum to $100,000. Cases in which a violation caused a worker death would have resulted in fines ranging from $50,000 to $250,000.

These measures would have given Wyoming OSHA a stronger penalty structure than federal OSHA.

The third bill (H.B. 229) would have allowed Wyoming to promulgate workplace safety rules more stringent than similar federal OSHA rules. Currently, the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Commission is barred from doing so.

Wyoming has one of the highest workplace death rates in the country, with 12.2 deaths per 100,000 employees in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national average rate for that year was 3.4.