Counties urged to respond to letter from KY OSH on workplace injuries by April 24
For the past few months, The Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet has been reaching out to county government officials with important information regarding workplace injuries.
The cabinet’s Department of Workplace Standards, which oversees the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, has informed KACo that county governments have been identified as having higher than average injury rates.
County governments were recently mailed a letter from the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program about the Division of Education and Training’s KYSAFE 2023 outreach assistance program, S.T.O.P.
“S.T.O.P.” is a great opportunity for counties to take advantage of the department's expert consultative safety and health services without the risk of monetary penalties. You can take advantage of this voluntary program by requesting a cost-free, confidential “comprehensive safety and health survey” which includes a visit from a safety consultant to assess safety hazards and a visit from an industrial hygienist consultant to assess health hazards.
Counties will receive written reports of all identified hazards at the completion of the surveys. While staff is working with a county facility, it will be deferred from the compliance general schedule inspection cycle.
KACo urges you to partner with the cabinet to participate in “S.T.O.P.” by responding to the letter by April 24, 2023. This is third and final notice that will be sent out. The Division of Education & Training (KYSAFE) will turn counties that fail to comply by April 24, 2023 over to the OSH Division of Compliance to be put on their General Schedule Inspection list. If you have any questions or need additional information, please call their office at 502-564-3553 or contact KACo Safety and Loss Control Specialist Steve Morrison.
Based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kentucky’s nonfatal workplace injury and illness incidence rate for total recordable cases (TRC) per 100 full-time equivalent workers is 3.2.
Unfortunately, the TRC rate for public administration in Kentucky is 8.7, approximately 2.5 times more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many public safety employees and essential county workers had job duties requiring them to be in the field working. That likely increased exposure to COVID-19 and potential for workplace injuries, thus possibly elevating case rates for these workers.
In addition, most county governments didn’t tend to keep separate form logs for each site location for record-keeping purposes. Instead, many maintained one OSHA form 300 log. These circumstances likely caused the higher rates by comparison as was discovered by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
Please contact KACo Safety and Loss Control Specialist Steve Morrison if you have any questions, and be on the lookout for the letter from the Education and Labor Cabinet if you haven't received it already.