Wyo Hires To Promote Workforce Safety

Wyoming is hiring a veteran public health official to try to reduce the state's workplace fatality rate.

Gov. Matt Mead announced Wednesday that the state has hired New Mexico state epidemiologist Dr. C. Mack Sewell.

The 63-year-old Sewell has held the post in New Mexico since 1989. He starts in Wyoming in July.

Wyoming's workplace death rate was more than three and a half times the national average in 2010 and has ranked worst in the nation five of the past 10 years.

Former Wyoming epidemiologist Dr. Timothy Ryan issued a report last winter concluding that employers consistently fail to enforce safety rules.

The Wyoming Legislature has resisted increasing fines for safety violations. The state recently beefed up the ranks of inspectors to perform safety evaluations at industry's request.


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