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Wed August 11, 2010
Democratic candidates for the governor's seat talk worker safety
By Tristan Ahtone
Laramie, Wyo. – Wyoming's high workplace fatality rate was one issue that Democratic candidates for governor debated during a Wyoming PBS debate last night.
State pilot and former UW football player Pete Gosar indicated that he supported recent efforts to increase penalties for workplace safety violations in Wyoming. "Many contractors proposed a larger fine and I think that goes to speak to those contractors who do the job correctly," he said. "My dad was in the oil industry for 45 years, I'm familiar with the work. It can be done safely, it can be done efficiently."
Former Democratic Party Chair, Leslie Petersen applauded Governor Freudenthal's efforts to address the issue. Fellow candidate Rex Wilde, a cabinet maker from Cheyenne, says he thinks rig workers should have to take drug tests and should not be allowed to drink within 24 hours of going to work. "It's a hard job, you know to say safety first' that is a rough job," he said. "I've never done it, but I've heard people tell me about it - the long hours, what you have to be aware of, everything. You have to be right on your toes or you can lose a leg, you can lose an arm."
Wyoming's workplace fatality rate is the highest in the country.