By Terry Bunn
A roofing contractor who died after falling off the roof of a two-story house, a solid waste collector who was fatally hit by a solid waste collection vehicle, a tree trimmer who was struck by a boom on his truck and died: these are a few of the 39 workers who have died so far this year from injuries on the job in Kentucky.
The total number of injuries is much greater. In 2008, 59,800 workers received non-fatal injuries at work in Kentucky.
A Kentucky occupational injury prevention consortium was established in 2006 to foster collaborations and share resources throughout the state to improve worker safety and health.
The consortium discovered that a large number of small companies in Kentucky lack worker safety programs. To address this need, the consortium developed a worker safety program presentation, including true stories and statistics, geared to new and established small business owners. The presentation contains information on workers’ compensation, the basic elements and implementation of a worker safety plan, and how workers’ compensation premiums are affected by the presence and quality of a worker safety plan.
The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the Department of Workers’ Claims, and the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program, in collaboration with the consortium, are offering a series of panel presentations, geared toward small businesses, on the value of establishing a worker safety program within companies. The panel presentations include the worker safety program presentation developed by KIPRC and the consortium, and presentations by the Department for Workers’ Claims and by Kentucky OSHA.
The worker safety presentations are offered free to the public and the next set of panel presentations will be on Aug. 18 in Pikeville at Pikeville College Booth Auditorium, 147 Sycamore Street, from 8:30 to noon.
A link to the KIPRC and consortium worker safety presentation is available at:
Terry Bunn is director of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Kentucky. Bunn also is an assistant professor, Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, and director and principal investigator of both the Kentucky Occupation Safety and Health Surveillance Program (KOSHS) and the Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program( KY FACE) programs at KIPRC.