Heart attacks are leading cause of death while on the job in Kentucky; being struck by objects is No. 2, and falling is No. 3

Heart attacks are the number one killer of Kentuckians who die on the job, according to a study conducted by the state Labor Cabinet.

The study found that in the last three years, 87 Kentuckians had fatal heart attacks while on the job. Their average age was 52. Ten of them were truck drivers, seven were machine operators and six were maintenance workers.

The study found that 28 of the victims were struck by an object, 19 fell, 17 had transportation crashes, 13 were being caught in or between objects, seven were electrocuted, and one each suffered hyperthermia or suffocation. Eight deaths in the workplace were from natural causes, such as stroke, brain aneurysm and failure of the pancreas.

Kentucky ranks 48th in the nation in cardiovascular deaths, with more than 12,000 per year, a state press release said. “Employers should do everything they can to raise awareness about cardiovascular health, and everyone needs to keep an eye on their blood pressure and cholesterol levels while paying close attention to diet and exercise,” Labor Secretary Larry Roberts said.

The study includes workplaces under the jurisdiction of the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program, and do not include those monitored under federal agencies, such as the Mine Safety and Health Administration or the Federal Railroad Administration.

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