Kentucky’s rate of workplace injuries and illnesses in 2014 was the lowest in history, but still above the national average

Safety is part of health, broadly defined, and Kentucky’s 2014 workplace injury and illness rate is the lowest it has ever been since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began recording the data in 1996, according to a Kentucky Labor Cabinet news release. However, it remains well above the national average.

Kentucky had 3.8 injuries or illnesses per 100 equivalent full-time workers, down from 4.2 percent in 2012. The national average is 3.2 percent In 2014, Kentucky reported 15,650 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses involving days away from work, job transfer or restricted duty. This was down from 16,660 in 2013 and 16,620 in 2012.

The two areas with the highest injury and illness rates in 2013 were the machine shop industry (12.5 percent) and the wood container and manufacturing industry (11.5). The Labor Cabinet said it worked directly with these industries to eliminate hazards and improve health and their rates have since fallen to 8.5 and 8.8 percent, respectively.

“Simply put, workers are safer now in Kentucky than ever before,” Kentucky Labor Secretary Larry L. Roberts said in the release.“This is a work in progress, however, because safety doesn’t just happen by accident. Programs such as the Labor Cabinet’s free consultation surveys, partnerships with employers and targeted enforcement of certain higher-risk industries are crucial to the continued decline in workplace incidents.”

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