For all the bitching from Republicans and their corporate patrons about the allegedly crushing burden of our state's workers compensation system and workplace safety regulations, at least it's not the workers themselves who are being crushed. In fact, a new AFL-CIO report finds that Washington state has the third lowest workplace death toll in the nation: 1.9 fatalities a year per 100,000 workers, compared to a national average of 3.5.

So congratulations to Washington businesses and workers for making our state a relatively safe place to work. But also—and here's something I'm guessing they don't hear too often—three cheers to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries for a regulatory job well done!