Costello said the Department of Labor wants to fully inform agriculture-related businesses. The federal OSHA program tends to meet with businesses that are not meeting standards. There were 91 work-related fatalities in Oklahoma last year. Safety Pays wants to decrease unsafe working environments, and reassure employees when they work for certified safe businesses in our state.
In Headrick, Costello paid a visit to Mark Sethre, the manager at Gavilon Grain. Those businesses that wish to be involved in the Safety Pays program need to invite them to their sites. Since Gavilon is new, this was a courtesy call to let them know about all the advantages Safety Pays has to offer their Headrick site.
Costello said that lack of good Worker's Compensation coverage is a deterrent to manufacturing in Oklahoma. "The same Worker's Comp coverage that Oklahoma businesses pay $2.32 for, costs only $1.00 in Arkansas," Costello said. "Coverage is lower in Texas too. Something is broken in our system." He said it's based on an adversarial relationship. "Sixty percent of Worker's Comp payments go to lawyers, judges and administrators," Costello explained. "Only 40 percent goes to the injured worker." Families don't stay where the jobs aren't available. He said that future legislation will help to solve this Worker's Comp problem.
We export thousands of college graduates every year. And, he noted, "In the reddest of red states, in ten years, Oklahoma has increased its public sector jobs by 40 percent. That's the nature of government," Costello said, "not to reform itself. That's unsustainable. This must be reversed."
Explaining that the welfare state is coming to a "thundering end", Costello said Greece, Indiana, California and Ohio are all making reforms to decrease the citizens' dependence on the government". "What government must understand is that the taxpayer is the boss," Costello remarked.
For more information on Safety Pays, see the web site at www.labor.ok.gov, or call Diana Jones, the state OSHA director, at 888-269-5353, or email her at email@example.com.
Mark Costello said he's most likely coming to the Beans and Baskets fundraiser event for the Southwest Oklahoma Republican Women on Saturday, Nov. 12. If you'd like to contact him, his work number is 405-521-6101. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.