News | May 3, 2016

DWS Launches New Workplace Safety Division

Reorganization Reinforces Wyoming's Commitment to Safety and Stewardship

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) is deploying a new unit designed to significantly expand safety expertise and resources to employers in the State. Developed internally by DWS Standards and Compliance staff and in consultation with Governor Matt Mead, the DWS Workers' Compensation Safety and Risk Unit (WCSRU) offers safety advisors who provide free, expert safety and health advice to Wyoming businesses and public sector employers at the request of the employer.

"The new Workers' Compensation Safety and Risk Unit presents an innovative opportunity for DWS to better serve Wyoming employers and workers and move the needle on workplace safety," said John Cox, Director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. "This reorganization equates to a higher level of service delivery for employers, greater reach in terms of safety consults and the potential for lower workers' compensation premiums."

DWS recommissioned nine Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Consultation staff members to the new unit. Like OSHA consultants, the unit's staff will conduct health and safety surveys to help employers recognize and remedy safety hazards in their workplace -- without fines or penalties. Unlike OSHA consultants, the WCSRU staff will bypass time-consuming federal requirements, which add an extra layer of reporting and operational constraints, and limit the services DWS is able to provide. The WCSRU's services will expand to assist employers with a detailed analysis of workers' compensation information to determine injury trends and best practices for prevention.

The OSHA division will maintain staff levels and complete work required by the federal government. Enforcement of safety standards will remain with Wyoming OSHA's nine compliance inspectors. On the OSHA Consultation side, four employees will maintain the mandatory consultation requirements of federal OSHA program. These individuals will focus on industry safety alliances and OSHA employer prestige programs.

Source: The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS)