Work Safe Kentucky: The KEMI Safety Blog

KEMI Announces Destiny Award Winners for 2017

Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI) is honoring fourteen Kentucky organizations as KEMI Destiny Award winners for their commitment and success in maintaining a safe workplace.

The Destiny Awards are presented annually by KEMI to policyholders that best exemplify KEMI’s motto, “Control your own destiny.” The awards symbolize what can be accomplished when organizations work together to improve workplace safety.  Policyholders who earn the KEMI Destiny Award effectively demonstrate to KEMI their ability to manage a formal safety program, provide on-site training and regular safety meetings for employees, and display an ongoing commitment to safety from all levels throughout their organizations.

The following policyholders were selected after meeting a stringent set of criteria set forth by KEMI:

  • Ale 8 One Bottling Company
  • Big Rivers Electric Corporation
  • Brandenburg Telephone Company
  • Brighton Center
  • Campbellsville University
  • City of Madisonville
  • Edmonson County Board of Education
  • Executive Transportation
  • Frankfort Plant Board
  • Glenwood Electric
  • Hibbs Electromechanical
  • Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company
  • Northern Kentucky Water District
  • Utility Management Group

“The 2017 Destiny Award winners embrace a commitment to safety that demonstrates how much they care for the health and well-being of their employees,” said Jon Stewart, President & CEO of KEMI. “Safe workplaces don’t happen by accident. The organizations who earned this honor understand the value of investing in safety and partnering with KEMI to control their workers’ compensation costs, but at the end of the day what matters most is sending each employee home safely to their loved ones.”

Eclipse 101: How to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse Safely

Eclipse 101: How to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse Safely


Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality (

Eclipse glass
The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” (example shown at left) or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight. Refer to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers page for a list of manufacturers and authorized dealers of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for such products.
  • Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
  • Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
  • Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.
  • USA map with eclipse pathIf you are within the path of totality (, remove your solar filter only when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.
  • Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly.
  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

Note: If your eclipse glasses or viewers are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard, you may look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through them for as long as you wish. Furthermore, if the filters aren’t scratched, punctured, or torn, you may reuse them indefinitely. Some glasses/viewers are printed with warnings stating that you shouldn’t look through them for more than 3 minutes at a time and that you should discard them if they are more than 3 years old. Such warnings are outdated and do not apply to eclipse viewers compliant with the ISO 12312-2 standard adopted in 2015. To make sure you get (or got) your eclipse glasses/viewers from a supplier of ISO-compliant products, see the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers page.

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other, creating a waffle pattern. With your back to the sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse. Or just look at the shadow of a leafy tree during the partial eclipse; you’ll see the ground dappled with crescent Suns projected by the tiny spaces between the leaves.

A solar eclipse is one of nature’s grandest spectacles. By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy the view and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.

Other Helpful Resources: 
Planning to Drive the Eclipse



Staying Safe While Working Alone

A key component of workplace safety comes from employees being able to watch out for one another. However, working alone presents a fundamental challenge to watchfulness. How can someone watch a colleague’s back if that colleague is out of sight?

Working alone can increase the likelihood of some workplace hazards or risks and, when incidents do occur, the consequences can be more severe. Here are some quick tips to help make sure that you stay safe while working alone.

Stop and consider the work involved

Start by identifying all potential risks on the job site. Think through the entire situation, and identify what possible hazards are present, or can arise, for each step of the task. Be sure you consider the location, nature of the work, what forms of emergency communication are available, and length of time you will be working alone. Also, it is extremely important to be aware of all possible high risk activities, such as working from heights, with electricity, or hazardous equipment/materials, as these present a greater risk to a lone worker.

Analyze and manage the situation

After identifying all potential hazards, it is best to assess the situation. Determine whether you are fully equipped with the knowledge, training, and tools to safely complete the task. If you are fully equipped to handle the situation, then you may safely remove the hazards and use the proper tools to complete the task. However, if you find that you are underprepared for dealing with the hazards, immediately contact a supervisor or safety specialist to report what you have found. Most importantly, be cautious. If something does not feel safe, then do not proceed.


Communication is key when working alone. Whether by radio or phone, it is always a good idea to check to make sure that someone knows where you are. Be sure to report any potential hazards to a supervisor or safety specialist as you encounter them. This will help ensure that at least one other worker knows that you were at a potential risk, and he or she can then communicate the potential hazard to any other worker who may be impacted. It is best to stay aware of what others on the job site are doing, and by regularly checking in, you are helping to promote a safe work environment for all. Remember that everyone’s job begins with making sure safety comes first.

Stand-Down for Safety May 8-12, 2017

Stand-Down for Safety May 8-12, 2017

KEMI is encouraging employers to participate in the OSHA National Safety Stand-Down, a voluntary event where employers will talk directly to employees about safety. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime during May 8-12, 2017.

How does it work?
This year, the focus of the Stand-Down is on “Fall Hazards” and reinforcing the importance of “Fall Prevention.”  Your organization may participate simply by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards.

Register today and receive a link to KEMI’s Stand-Down for Safety page which contains helpful resources you can share! Additionally, employers will be able to provide feedback to OSHA about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation signed by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez following the Stand-Down.

Organizations are also encouraged to highlight their participation by sharing photos with KEMI via email ( or on social media (tag @KEMIworkerscomp and use the hashtag #standdown4safety).

Register Now


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