Universities get $5 million grant aimed at improving worker safety in Kentucky

lblackford@herald-leader.comSeptember 3, 2014 

A Kentucky research center has received a five-year, $5 million grant to improve occupational health and safety in Central Appalachia and Kentucky, officials announced Wednesday.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health provided the money to the Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center, a shared program of the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University.

The center is made up of the colleges of nursing, public health and engineering at UK, and the justice and safety college at EKU. One of 18 such centers in the country, it provides interdisciplinary graduate education for students and health professionals in five programs: agricultural safety and health, occupational epidemiology, mining engineering safety and health, occupational health nursing, and occupational safety.

The grant is aimed at helping the center address high rates of fatal injuries in transportation and highway incidents, and injuries in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining.

"While Central Appalachia has witnessed economic progress over the past several decades, systematic attention to the safety and health concerns of its work force has been limited," said Wayne Sanderson, director of the CARERC and interim dean of the UK College of Public Health.

Linda Blackford: (859) 231-1359. Twitter: @lbblackford.

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