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Workplace Injuries, Illnesses at All-Time Low in Kentucky

capitol
Kentucky state Capitol

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet announced this week that the state has reached its lowest rate ever for workplace injury and illnesses.

In 2014, Kentucky's incidence rate was 3.8 per 100 equivalent full-time workers. That's the lowest rate in Kentucky since 1996, when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began recording the data.

Each year in Kentucky, employers report approximately 16,000 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses involving days away from work, job transfer or restricted duty. There were 15,650 incidents reported in Kentucky in 2014; 16,660 in 2013; and 16,620 in 2012.

Daniel Lowry, spokesman for the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, said Kentuckians should be able to do their jobs and go home safely.

"Every worker should be able to go to work and not be exposed to health risks and hazards needlessly," he said.

Lowry said in 2013, machine shops had the highest rate of injuries in Kentucky, at 12.5 per 100 full-time workers. The rate has fallen to 8.5 per 100 full-time workers. Lowry said the cabinet sent letters to each machine shop in the state and worked with them to reduce hazards and make shops safer.

Since 1972, Kentucky has operated through a state plan approved by the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which allows Kentucky to have its own jurisdiction for enforcement, on-site consultation, standards promulgation, and training services related to workplace safety and health.

Kentucky’s incidence rate is slightly higher than the national average of 3.2 per 100 workers. The national average has dropped from 3.3 in 2013 and 3.4 in 2012.