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Safety program help employees and employers

A contractor who fell off the roof of a two-story house, a solid waste collector who was hit by a truck, a tree trimmer who was struck by a boom — these are a few of the 39 workers who have died so far this year from on-the-job injuries in Kentucky.

It is just a fraction of those who've been injured. In 2008, 59,800 Kentucky workers suffered non-fatal injuries at work.

A Kentucky occupational injury prevention consortium was established in 2006 to improve worker safety and health.

The consortium discovered that a large number of small companies in Kentucky don't have worker-safety programs, which not only protect employees but help employers. To address this need, the consortium developed a worker-safety program presentation, including stories and statistics, geared to 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 consortium, along with several other worker safety groups, is offering a series of panel presentations encouraging the establishment of worker-safety programs. The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, Kentucky Department of Workers' Claims and the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program are all involved.

The presentations are free. The next set will be from 8:30 a.m. until noon, Aug. 18 at Pikeville College Booth Auditorium, 147 Sycamore St. For more information: