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Workers Memorial Day – 1 Worker Lost Every 10 Days in WYO

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Workers Memorial Day graphic: "Mourn for the Dead, Fight for the Living"
Workers Memorial Day graphic: "Mourn for the Dead, Fight for the Living"
April 27, 2012

CASPER, Wyo. – One worker lost every ten days. That's been the average in work-related fatalities in Wyoming since 1992 - and all those who have died on the job are being saluted today (Friday) for Workers' Memorial Day.

Kim Floyd, Wyoming State AFL-CIO executive secretary, will be one of the speakers at an event in Casper. He says the state needs to establish a culture of safety to protect its residents.

"For the first time, I can say that we moved in that direction with the Legislature. We did increase the inspectors and we also did get some money for employers to invest in safety programs."

Wyoming's worker fatality rate has been either the worst, or second-worst, in the nation since 2001. Thirty-four Wyomingites died on the job in 2010, the most recent year of statistics.

Workers' Memorial Day is officially Saturday. One of the themes of the commemoration is, "Mourn for the Dead, Fight for the Living." Floyd sees that as a unifying statement.

"And I would say that it's not just employers that need to deal with this, it is employees, too. And I'll be working diligently to try to express to these employees that we need to be safer on the job, that we have to end this."

Those attending the Friday ceremony will also hear from the widow of a Wyoming worker killed on the job. It begins at 8 a.m. at the Ramada Plaza Riverside, 300 West F St., Casper.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY