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For Immediate Release
Contacts: Kerry Koonce: (515) 281-9646
Marilee Mitchell: (515) 281-8067

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Promoting a Culture of Safety in Iowa
Submitted by Dave Neil, Iowa Labor Commissioner

On this Labor Day, we honor all Iowans who continue to enhance the wealth of Iowa by exhibiting an inherent work ethic that is celebrated across the country. In order to support and maintain the excellence of Iowa’s labor force, it is necessary for the labor division in Iowa to serve our customers with proactive policies and accessible services. Ones that enhance Iowa’s ever changing economy and incorporate a culture of safety throughout the state.

Under Governor Vilsack, Iowa has developed the fastest growing economy in the nation. Now, our Governor is recommending a strong “focus on community”, in order for employees to enhance their standing in the community and compete in the competitive world economy. The labor division is focusing our efforts on improving services offered to the community. A recent Kaizen event significantly reduced the number of days in an elevator approval process. OSHA inspectors will have access to enhanced training to ensure consistent and fair enforcement of labor laws for the safety of all Iowans. We are working to provide enhanced technical assistance for businesses in order to understand and meet the compliance issues at both the state and federal level and to build a culture of safety not only in peoples’ working lives, but in all of life’s activities.

As we meet the challenge to develop a stronger community of employers and employees, it is necessary to consider the effects of stagnate funding from the federal government. Without the necessary appropriations, it is difficult for Iowa’s labor division to effectively assist Iowa businesses and employees in creating a safe and healthy work environment for everyone. One that enhances the lives of all Iowans in their everyday pursuits and will help Iowa reduce and eliminate workplace injuries and death through education.

I look forward to continually improving the efforts of labor consultation and enforcement in Iowa. In order to complete this, it’s important to honor and celebrate the efforts of Iowa’s labor division employees as they dedicate their work to the enhancement of family, community, the economy and all of Iowa, by making safety a part of the Iowa culture. All employees and employers deserve a safe and healthy environment that benefits everyone.

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