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Montana's workplace death and injury rate higher than national average

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Recent numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor identify the deadliest jobs in the country, and some common professions in Montana make the list.

Among the top 10 are logging, roofing and ranching or farming.  Aside from the fact that some of Montana's more popular jobs are especially dangerous, Montana has one of the worst rates of workplace death and injury in the country.

Worksafe Montana board chair Carl Kochman says even though many Montanans have jobs that are already dangerous, employers and employees don't take enough precautions in the workplace.

Kochman says, "It's a product of the culture that we have.  We have not developed good workplace safety habits, it isn't anything that anybody thinks about whether it's the employer or the employee.  It's almost a sense of inevitability that I'm gonna be hurt and it's going to be ok."

Joe Hula has worked in several dangerous industries, including roofing, trucking, and logging, and says, he's seen this attitude firsthand.

Hula says, "I see some people that forgo the safety devices, because they think it slows them down."

This failure to take safety seriously is costing Montana employers a whopping $145,000 a year.  Kochman says employers need to be better educated about how workplace injuries can negatively affect both business, and their employees.

Some of the other jobs on the list include fishing workers, aircraft pilots, trash collectors, and iron and steel workers.


Story by Aniseh Hamour, Beartooth NBC.
Copyright ©2012 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.


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Tagged as:

U.S. Department of Labor, Worksafe Montana, Carl Kochman, Joe Hula

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