A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

State Labor Cabinet launching monthly workplace safety report highlighting employer savings

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet is beginning a “Monthly Workplace Safety Report” to highlight the total amount of on-site surveys that the Cabinet conducted for employers across the Commonwealth in the previous month.

The Labor Cabinet’s Division of Occupational Safety & Health Education & Training leads the Cabinet’s proactive efforts to create safe and healthful workplace conditions. This includes providing free on-site visits, or “consultative surveys” to employers in an effort to increase workplace safety by improving injury and illness rates.

Derrick Ramsey

“For years, employers across Kentucky viewed the issuance of penalties and citations as the cornerstone of the Cabinet’s workplace safety efforts,” Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey said. “My goal is to change this perception by increasing the ease of access that employers and employees have to the expert workplace safety education and training that we provide and hopefully prevent a serious injury or illness from occurring.

“Staying safe and healthy on the job each day begins with a strategic initiative to ‘Plan, Prevent, and Protect’ Kentucky’s two million workers – and my hope is that this monthly report reminds everyone that the Labor Cabinet is ready to partner with our employers to accomplish this task.”

Last month alone, the Labor Cabinet conducted 15 consultative surveys, identifying 68 serious hazards, and saving participating companies potential enforcement penalties up to $476,000. In 2016, 334 consultative surveys were conducted, identifying and ensuring the abatement of 3,154 serious hazards affecting up to 108,307 employees, which resulted in savings of $26,691,000 from potential penalties or fines.

Employers and employees all across Kentucky and the nation also have access to cost-free safety and health eLearning programs on the Labor Cabinet’s eTrain website.

Last year, 28,593 participants took advantage of this online training tool. In addition, over 4,400 attendees accessed the Division’s Population Center OSHA training courses across Kentucky during 2016. Proactive approaches to workplace safety, like the ones developed by the Cabinet’s education and training team, are proven methods that reduce workplace injuries and can help employers from paying increased workers’ compensation premiums.

In addition to consultative surveys and OSHA training, cost-free assistance from the Division consists of publications, required workplace posters, and information on injury/illness recordkeeping requirements. The Division is also responsible for overseeing the Partnership Programs as well as conducting the Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, and the OSHA Data Collection.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Kentucky employers recorded the lowest incident rate for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the state’s history last year.

Along with the Kentucky Safety and Health Network, the Division of Education and Training also co-hosts the Governor’s Safety and Health Conference and Exposition each year. The 33rd annual conference will take place at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington from May 8-12, 2017.

For more info and to register for the conference, please visit kshn.net.

Additional information is available at http://labor.kentucky.gov.

From Kentucky Labor Cabinet Communications

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