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Workplace Injuries and Fatalities

No matter the job, there is always the possibility of a workplace accident. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 86 people died on the job in Kentucky in 2011, up from 69 work-related deaths the prior year.

The majority of the 2011 workplace fatalities were caused by transportation accidents, according to the BLS. Contact with objects or equipment and injuries caused by humans or animals were the second- and third-leading causes of workplace deaths, respectively. Most of those killed were between the ages of 45 and 54. More than 95 percent of the deaths occurred in private industry.

Most non-fatal workplace injuries occurred in service-providing occupations, including those involving trade, transportation and utilities. Other jobs that had high rates of workplace injury or illness involved manufacturing, and health care and social assistance.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 34 states – not including Kentucky – have injury and illness prevention programs that include mandatory regulation, mandatory safety committees and insurance premium reductions.

Employees injured while working are entitled to workers’ compensation in Kentucky. Under Kentucky Workers’ Compensation laws, employers must have workers’ compensation insurance or be self-insured. However, employers involved in agricultural work have exemptions.

Here are a few highlights of Kentucky’s Workers’ Compensation Act concerning injured employees:

  • Workers obtain medical treatment for injury or occupational disease without needing to make a co-pay.
  • Workers obtain monetary benefits for a temporary time during their recovery.
  • Workers can choose another physician once without questions asked.
  • Workers can file for permanent disability within two years of the injury or at the end of temporary income benefits.