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Report: States Are Not Doing All They Can to Protect Workers

Workers across the state of Iowa give their best to employers each day, but a new report suggests that states need to improve the safety regulations significantly in order to end preventable deaths.

In a new report by the National Safety Council, Iowa received a "D" for overall safety as well as in workplace safety. With 4,836 workplace deaths in 2015, there has been a back-to-back rise in fatalities in the workplace since 2008, and more than 12,000 workers are injured on the job each day. Agriculture, warehousing, and transportation are all industries that are considered the most dangerous to their employees. Temporary workers face twice the risk of getting a severe workplace injury due to unsafe work sites and receiving less training before being assigned a high-risk task. Although all states must comply with federal regulations, many states at the top of the safety rankings took additional measures to protect their workers, including training to handle workplace violence and providing health and safety programs for employees.

Iowa's low ranking came from "off-track" designation for two out of three categories: "Prevention, Preparedness and Enforcement" and "Worker Health and Wellbeing." The Hawkeye State was given an "on-track" rating in the Workers' Compensation category.

As CBS News reports, no state was given an "A" for overall safety. In fact, 11 states received a grade of "F": Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Overall safety ratings measured roadway safety and home and community safety measures in addition to those in the workplace. The states ranked highest for workplace safety were Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Washington, and Washington, D.C.

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