Audit finds flaws in Vermont workplace safety efforts

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MONTPELIER (AP) - A new audit found numerous flaws in how Vermont records, reviews and prevents workplace injuries.

According to published reports, state employees reported 4,825 job-related injuries or illnesses in the last five years. Over that time, the state paid out an average of $8 million a year in workers' compensation claims.

The audit attributes many problems to inadequate staffing. An office devoted to workers' compensation and injury prevention has just two safety coordinators, even though a 2003 study recommended the state have five to eight. State Auditor Doug Hoffer says those positions could pay for themselves by preventing future claims.

The audit found that the Agency of Transportation fully enacted 73 percent of recommended safety changes, compared to 50 percent at the Public Safety Department.


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