Motor vehicle collisions caused one-third of worker deaths in Kentucky, according to the Kentucky FACE Program 2020 annual report. The trade, transportation and utility industries accounted for the most worker deaths.
These numbers were similar to the statistics reported in 2019.
Occupational fatalities in Kentucky
There were 89 worker deaths in Kentucky in 2020. 29 of those deaths resulted from motor vehicle crashes. A little more than half of the workers who died were operating commercial vehicles, while just under a quarter were driving a pickup truck, box truck or van.
Almost 30% of worker deaths occurred in the trade, transportation and utility industries, with 55% of those being commercial truck drivers. The manufacturing industry saw the most dramatic increase in worker deaths with 183% more deaths occurring in 2020 than in 2019. Motor vehicle collisions caused five of the 17 deaths in this industry, with four of those involving commercial vehicles.
Pedestrian fatalities on the rise
The Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program issued a hazard alert for pedestrian fatalities. The average number of work-related pedestrian fatalities increased by 75% from 2015 to 2019. The construction industry recorded the most pedestrian deaths, followed by the transportation and warehousing industry.
These statistics indicate that Kentucky workers who operate motor vehicles or work around people operating motor vehicles are at a higher risk of suffering a work-related fatality than other workers. Workers in these professions should take extra care to review safety protocols with employers and report vehicle-related safety violations to supervisors and authorities.