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An “F” is not OK

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2017 | Workers' Compensation |

Upon first receiving their report card, students often find themselves under a great deal of stress over the uncertainty of the results. For many, a grade can make a significant difference in their future and how others view them.

Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Melissa McLawhorn Houston recently received correspondence that contained a report on workplace safety in her state.

While no state received an “A” (Maryland came closest at 69%), a national advocacy group awarded Oklahoma an “F.”

Like a high school academic aspiring to go to college, she wasted little time in disputing the grade and criticizing the organization that issued it. Houston accused the National Safety Council of not accurately or fairly depicting the Sooner State’s safety programs, she

The group believes that Oklahoma deserves a failing grade for not meeting 35 safety recommendations. Specific factors that were lacking in workplaces throughout the state include:

  • Drug-free workplace law
  • Workplace ban on smoking
  • Specific rules for workplace violence
  • Workplace safety committees
  • Enhanced 911 systems to help dispatchers locate calls from a specific building at an address

To add injury-related matters to what Houston already saw as insulting, the report also cited Oklahoma for poorly rated workers’ compensation laws for employees injured on the job.

Claiming that safety incidents were trending downward for nearly two decades, the Labor Secretary requested that the safety council revise the state’s grade. She also noted that Oklahoma was close to fully implementing enhanced 911 across the state and the already existing ban on smoking in indoor workplaces and all government buildings.

While congratulating Houston and the state for the reduction in safety incidences, the National Safety Council clarified that the grade is based on specific actions taken by states to reduce injuries and fatalities, not the actual number of serious and fatal accidents.