WSI Grant | VideoAlex Hagan | 1/8/2013
Chris Key owns Keys Crane Service and has helped builders put up houses for 10 years. He has never witnessed a serious workplace injury, but in the construction business, he knows it could happen at any time, especially in a booming community. "Brings newer contractors in town which increases the risk."
Workforce Safety and Insurance reported just under 25,000 claims in the 2012 fiscal year, which was a 25 percent increase from the year before. And WSI expects more in the coming years.
"We`re projected for this year, 2013 fiscal year which ends in June, to be up over 26,000 claims," said Director Bryan Klipfel.
The majority of the claims have come from workers who don`t have much experience in that specific field. Nearly half of all injured workers between 2007 and 2011 were on the job for less than a year.
"They might not also be acquainted with the actual facilities, the type of heavy equipment used, anything down to the use of personal protective equipment," said Kari Cutting with the North Dakota Petroleum Council.
There will be $148,000 given for a safety and training program.
"We worked with these associations to try to enforce safety and a lot of times we can provide dollars to them," Klipfel said.
WSI employees say that 29 people were killed on the job in the last fiscal that ended in July, but North Dakota Petroleum Council employees say whether it`s in construction or in the energy sector, this new grant could bring down that number.
"These transfer knowledge transfer trainings could lead to as much as a 10 percent reduction in the type of by those hired," Cutting said.
Key is already taking some steps to ensure worker safety. "I just do a short tailgate, maybe when we arrive, talk about the lifts we`re going to take and where they are going to be made."
This new grant may be a step in the right direction to help bring down workplace injuries.
The goal of the grant is provide a program to train 480 participants on safety awareness.