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January 09, 2018
Kentucky cites lowest injury rate on record

Kentucky recorded the lowest rate of nonfatal workplace incidents in its history. The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show Kentucky’s rate of recordable job injuries and illnesses dropped to 3.4 per 100 full-time employees in 2016. That’s down from a rate of 3.7 in 2015. In 1996, when the federal government first began collecting such data, Kentucky’s incident rate was 8.4. Kentucky, like about half the states, operates its own state safety and health program.

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According to BLS, there were 92 work-related fatalities in the state in 2016, down from 99 the previous year. Injuries involving transportation and material moving occupations accounted for the highest number of fatalities both years. Overall, there was a significant increase in fatalities nationally, with 5,190 fatal work injuries in the U.S. in 2016, a 7 percent increase from 2015.

Noting the decline in injuries, State Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey said, “This achievement has only been possible by employers and employees who have embraced a culture of safety in their workplace. They deserve to be congratulated for their commitment, and these reports clearly show that Kentucky is moving in the right direction, but there is still much work to be done.” He said the labor cabinet (state department of labor) is focused on injury prevention through employer and employee education. “We will not rest until Kentucky is the safest place to work and live in the country,” Ramsey added.

Kentucky Safe is the state’s proactive effort to create safe and healthful workplace conditions. The initiative includes no-cost consultation, compliance assistance, educational materials, and class-style and online training for all employers.

Kentucky OSHA says that last month it conducted five on-site consultation visits that led to correction of 62 serious violations. These could have affected more than 1,000 employees. Learn more at https://kysafe.ky.gov/Pages/index.aspx.

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