Every year Wyoming’s Department of Workforce Services releases a grim report tallying up the workplace fatalities for the previous 12 months. The document lists the cause of worker deaths, the age of the deceased, and a few details about the incidents.
“In order to prevent occupational fatality in the state,” the report states, “it is imperative that employers, workers, policy makers and the public have a clear understanding of the nature and causes of these fatal events.”
In 2014, 34 people died on the job in Wyoming, from the following causes:
- 16 – transportation/pedestrian accidents
- 5 – falls/trips
- 4 – accidents with equipment
- 3 – accidents with livestock/wildlife
- 3 – suicides at work
- 2 – fires/explosions
- 1 – drowning
Wyoming has one of the highest per-capita rates of workplace fatalities in the nation, typically second behind North Dakota, and roughly three times the national rate.
From 2008-2013 the state experienced one workplace death every twelve days, on average.
Some excerpts from the report:
“As half of occupational fatalities are consistently due to motor vehicle accidents … fostering motor vehicle accident prevention in all industry sectors should be a main priority in Wyoming.”
“Wyoming’s industry alliance groups are an essential forum for communicating timely hazard alerts, prevention resources, and other information to participants.”
“A good safety culture is difficult to measure, but themes … include management support for safety as a company value, open and honest communication in all directions, continued training and learning, and pro-active efforts at all levels to identify and mitigate hazards.”
“Wyoming is unique with a high proportion of dangerous jobs, long distances traveled for work, and the potential for non-resident workforces traveling across or working in our state. However, Wyoming is not the only state in the nation to be faced with these challenges and there remains the opportunity to become a national leader in efforts to prevent worker injury, illness and fatality.”
Download the full report here, or see below.
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Tom Kelly.