There have been 45 workplace deaths since October in a four state region – 24 of those have been in Missouri. That’s according to OSHA acting regional administrator Bonita Winingham.
“Missouri has more employers than the other states. So if you look at it based on employees that are exposed to determine what the ratio is in relation to the workers, we have to look at it more that way than just total aggregate number,” says Winingham.
OSHA’s Region 7 covers private business employees in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. Iowa has its own state OSHA program that covers public and private workers. Federal OSHA has jurisdiction in Iowa for federal agencies, government-owned contractor facilities and businesses that load and unload barges.
OSHA covers approximately 182,500 businesses in Missouri, nearly 82,000 in Kansas and more than 67,000 in Nebraska.
Winingham says two or three heat related deaths have also occurred this year in the region – all being in Missouri.
She wants employers to work with OSHA to try to ensure worker safety.
“There’s a myth out there that if you call OSHA for help, you’re going to be inspected. That is not the case. Our goal is really to help these employers improve the safety and health in their workplaces so all those employees go home safe and healthy to their families at the end of the day,” says Winingham.
Employers can get advice by calling OSHA’s Hotline: 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or by going to its website: www.osha.gov