Author Archives: Lucas Kidwell

Northern Ky. Water District embraces culture of workplace safety

Safety Coordinator Brad Murphy of the Northern Kentucky Water District (NKWD) describes how a strong culture of safety starts at the very top and succeeds with effort from everyone.

What is your primary business operation, and how many employees work for NKWD?
NKWD, located in Erlanger, Kentucky, employs more than 170 team members who help serve water to nearly 300,000 people in Campbell and Kenton counties and portions of Boone, Grant, and Pendleton counties. We cover over 229 square miles of total service area with more than 1,325 miles of water main.

What role does safety play in your company’s culture?
Our board of directors, president/CEO, vice presidents, directors, and all other management focus on the safety and health of NKWD employees. The board demonstrates its ongoing commitment through investing in our established safety program and by supporting new initiatives.

Education and training are proven components in sustaining our culture of safety. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we shifted how we delivered education to our employees, and we continue to educate and train through our Learning Management System.

We have also rolled out several online classes, such as Confined Space, Globally Harmonized System, and Incident Command System, etc. Plus, we have instituted a Corrective Action Training program for vehicle accidents.

Additionally, NKWD’s leadership team encourages all employees to take the National Incident Management System (NIMS) online courses through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Our experienced Safety Committee meets monthly to facilitate a safe workplace environment, address any safety concerns, and assist in the investigation and prevention of workplace accidents and injuries.

How has KEMI helped your company when it comes to workplace safety and reducing claims?
NKWD continues to conduct an annual review of our claims with KEMI to find the underlying cause of each one. Our goal is to prevent incidents from occurring at all and to avoid the same type of incidents from happening again.

Prior to the pandemic, KEMI’s safety team conducted an on-site 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) class. Since restrictions for in-person gatherings have been lifted, we are working with KEMI to bring this educational opportunity back into our workplace.

What notable safety milestones or recognition has your company achieved?
From February 2019 to October 2021, NKWD set our longest record of no lost workdays due to accidents or injuries.

Additionally, as a direct result of the dedication of our leadership and employees for maintaining a safe working environment, NKWD has earned the KEMI Destiny Award for Safety 10 times from 2012 to 2022.

KEMI Announces $15.9 Million Policyholder Dividend

The dividend follows an $8.3 million dividend paid in 2022

Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI), Kentucky’s leading workers’ compensation insurance provider, is issuing a dividend of $15.9 million to eligible policyholders. The dividend results from the proactive management of claims by KEMI and its policyholders.

“We value the relationships with our policyholders and appreciate their commitment to workplace safety,” stated Jon Stewart, KEMI president and chief executive officer. “Payment of this dividend is a direct result of working together to keep Kentucky workers safe.”

With the dividend payment from KEMI, over 13,000 policyholders will receive a 20% return of their total premiums paid in policy year 2020. To qualify, policyholders must:

  • Have a current active policy with KEMI.
  • Have had an active policy for all 12 months of 2020.
  • Have had a loss ratio of less than or equal to 65% for the 2020 policy year.

Dividend checks will be distributed throughout the month of August.

Between 2010 and 2023, KEMI issued dividend payments to policyholders totaling $69 million.

Media Contact:
Ryan Worthen
KEMI Communications

Corbin Independent Schools sees results with focus on safety

In this Q&A, Corbin Independent Schools Director of Safety Thomas E. Greer explains how an intentional approach to workplace safety has improved the safety record for the district while charting a course for other schools to follow.

How many people does Corbin Independent Schools employ?

We have 400 employees serving 3000+ students and their families in our elementary and secondary school system.

What practices have you added to your program that helped improve your safety record?

The creation of our District Safety Team has been a culture changer for our district. In past years, safety was always extremely important, but the conversations and behaviors were not always intentional.

Who serves on the District Safety Team?

I serve alongside other district directors; school principals; supervisors from food service, transportation, maintenance, and safety; a representative from KEMI; and a representative from our insurance agency. This dedicated team meets monthly to discuss at length each building’s current level of safety and next steps.

What has resulted from the formation of the District Safety Team?

Every school in our district is part of a process each semester as we conduct safety checks that include a preconference discussion, a walk-through at several facilities, and a debriefing with the principal of each location that includes a review of claims and discussion about prevention.

Any issues identified during the walk-through that warrant correction are assigned to appropriate personnel, and progress of corrections is monitored by the District Safety Team until all issues have been appropriately addressed.

The team representatives from each school truly have a zero tolerance for exposures and pass it on to their direct reports. Their approach during the walk-through is “you find it, we’ll fix it!”

How has this focused approach helped shape safety programs for other schools?

Many schools and districts have reached out for information regarding the safety initiatives we have underway. The requests have occurred through phone calls, emails, or social media, and we appreciate the opportunity to be a resource and share practices we’ve implemented that have positively impacted our safety record.

In addition to communicating with schools, we recognize the importance of keeping all stakeholders informed about our safety measures, so we utilize our communications platform, student and parent emails, local news media, and social media to provide the community with safety program updates.

What has been KEMI’s role in helping to enhance workplace safety and reduce claims?

The district requires all faculty and staff to be certified in adult, child, and infant CPR/AED, and we rely on KEMI’s Safety & Loss Control team to provide this training. KEMI also provides first aid training for faculty and staff and, at a minimum, annual safety training for our transportation department.

I’ve seen the benefits of utilizing KEMI as a resource and that’s why I strongly encourage other schools in the surrounding area to do the same.

What notable safety recognition has your company achieved during the past several years?

For the past three years, Corbin Independent Schools earned the KEMI Destiny Award for our commitment to workplace safety. We were proud to share this honor with many community members and stakeholders who were present for the award ceremonies.

KEMI offers target class code enhanced commissions


  • Applies to new business only
  • Governing classification* must be a target class code (see list below)
  • Only applies to policies written in Preferred, Standard with Credit, or Standard 1.0
  • Does not apply to policies written Standard with Debit, Accounts with occupational disease exposure, or Excess Rate accounts

* The governing classification on a policy is the basic classification with the greatest amount of payroll, excluding standard exception classifications (8810, 8871, 8742, 7380 and 8748). Additional rules apply to “if any” policies.

Commission Structure
The enhanced commission will apply for two years. Agent will be paid an 18% commission the first year, and if the account still meets all qualifications, agent will be paid 15% in second year. Year three commissions will revert to the same percentage as current filing.

Eligible Classes
5183 – Plumbing
5190 – Electricians
5213 – Concrete Construction NOC
5221 – Concrete or Cement Work
5348 – Tile, Stone, Marble – Inside
5403 – Carpentry NOC (Commercial)
5537 – HVAC Companies


8832 – Physicians & Clerical
8835 – Public Health Nursing

9082 – Restaurant NOC
9083 – Restaurant: Fast Food
9052 – Hotels
9058 – Hotels: Restaurant Employees

3179 – Electrical Apparatus Mfg.
3400 – Metal Goods Mfg.
4484 – Plastics Mfg: Molded Products
8010 – Hardware Stores
8017 – Retail Stores
8044 – Furniture Stores

3632 – Machine Shops
3724 – Millwright Work
8232 – Lumber Yards – New Materials Only
8292 – Storage Warehouse NOC
8380 – Automobile Service or Repair
8393 – Auto Body Repair
8748 – Automobile Salespersons
8820 – Attorneys
8831 – Veterinary
9012 – Property Management – Managers, Agents
9015 – Property Management – All Others
9014 – Janitorial Services
9033 – Housing Authorities
9063 – Exercise or Health Institute (YMCA)

Hibbs ElectroMechanical achieves 8 ½-year no lost time injury record

Quality and Safety Manager Earl Menser explains how building and maintaining a work safety program is paramount to the success of Hibbs ElectroMechanical Inc.

What type of business is Hibbs ElectroMechanical?

Hibbs ElectroMechanical Inc., based in Madisonville, Kentucky, is a solutions provider for electrical motor repairs for many different industries, which include power plants, gas plants, manufacturing, coal mining, aggregate operations, and more.

How big is your workforce?

We currently employ about 60 people.

How important is safety to the success of your business?

Unlike manufacturing where the end user isn’t necessarily concerned about the factory’s safety record, our customers expect a proven record of a successful safety program.

Our field service team regularly visits our customers’ sites and properties. Not only must we adhere to our own safety policies, but to our clients’ stringent safety policies as well.

We train and test regularly with customer-specific safety requirements for multiple industries. Our safety record and stats are continuously monitored through contractor websites, databases, and direct reporting methods.

What new safety training or practices have you added to your program?

As 3D virtual tour technology grows, we continue to expand the use of 3D virtual reality for orientation, shop tours, recruiting, and sales.

In addition to training through our innovative 3D programs, all new field service teammates receive a 10-hour OSHA card within their first 30 days of employment, along with other safety certifications and cards required by our customers.

How has KEMI helped your company enhance workplace safety and reduce claims?

KEMI helps us maintain a low experience modification rating and is our preferred source for CPR and first aid training. We appreciate that KEMI provides on-site training since we need flexibility with our work shifts, plus the cost per teammate is extremely affordable.

What notable safety milestones or recognition has your company achieved during the past several years?

We achieved 8 ½ years without a single lost time injury in 2019. We experienced one lost time injury later that year but immediately bounced back with a no lost time record the following three years.

We were also recognized by KEMI for our outstanding safety success by earning the 2022 KEMI Destiny Award for Workplace Safety, which Hibbs has earned eight years in a row. Our entire organization was honored to receive this prestigious award affirming the hard work we invest into maintaining our safety culture.

Bilingual services provided for KEMI policyholder at Churchill Downs

KEMI’s bilingual Customer Service team recently traveled to Churchill Downs to provide translation services for a policyholder during a safety audit.

Marisol Rose, senior bilingual customer service representative, and Marie Schardein, bilingual customer service representative, accompanied Eli Roberts, senior safety & loss control representative, to the on-site meeting to support the policyholder while ensuring a smooth flow of communication.

The visit occurred Monday, May 8, two days following the running of the 149th Kentucky Derby.

While there, Rose and Schardein saw Derby contender Cyclone Mischief and the horse Fire on Time.

Translation assistance through the bilingual Customer Service team is included at no cost with KEMI’s comprehensive policyholder services. Call Customer Service at 1-800-640-KEMI (5364) Monday – Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or complete the online contact form anytime to request help with translation.

Frankfort Plant Board: Preparedness is key to safety program

J.C. Lyons, Frankfort Plant Board safety director, shares how building a strong safety program positively impacts employees and enhances business operations.

What is your primary business?
Frankfort Plan Board (FPB) is a municipal utility that provides electric, water, and telecommunications to the citizens of Frankfort, Kentucky, and neighboring communities.

How many workers do you employ?
We have approximately 200 full-time employees.

What role does safety play in your organization’s culture?
Our objective is to build on our strong safety and health program to keep the number of injuries and illnesses to an absolute minimum. FPB’s goal is to surpass the best safety and health experience of operations that are comparable to ours.

The personal safety and health of each employee is paramount, and we believe maintaining a safe workplace is every employee’s responsibility at all levels.

Safety and health in the utility business must be part of how we operate every day – without exception! All employees have the right to stop work, and no employee is required to work at a job he or she knows is not safe. Employee cooperation in detecting hazards and, as a result, controlling them is a condition of employment.

How has KEMI helped your company enhance workplace safety and reduce claims?
The keystone of FBP’s successful safety program is preparation, and we appreciate KEMI’s contributions to our ongoing employee training.

The KEMI Safety & Loss Control unit was on-site in 2022 to guide team members through the rigors of CPR and first aid training, and this year 124 employees have already completed this life-saving course.

KEMI has also conducted a 10-hour OSHA construction training for FPB, and we are currently working with the Safety & Loss Control unit to schedule a forklift training.

KEMI has been a wonderful partner by providing exceptional customer service, free training resources, and high-quality educational events.

What impacts or benefits have you seen resulting from a strong safety program?
To the greatest degree possible, management provides all tools, equipment, and training required to ensure everyone is educated and accountable and to keep our safety standards high.

Results from an intentional approach to our safety culture include improved employee morale, lower workers’ compensation premium costs, and a reduction in risk of accidents.

What notable safety milestones or recognition has your company achieved during the past three years?
FPB is a 10-time recipient of KEMI’s Destiny Award in recognition of our outstanding safety program. We are also pleased to share that a new achievement for FPB during 2022 was qualifying for American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Safety Awards – Honorable Mention in Group E.

KEMI safely returns LexArts Horse Mania artwork to local schools

KEMI raced to the rescue for the safe return of LexArts Horse Mania 2022 statues to Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and KORE Academy in Lexington, Kentucky.

Students at each school painted the horse and foal as part of Horse Play 2022, a special program accompanying Horse Mania 2022 that offered all public and private schools in Fayette County the opportunity to participate in this public art initiative.

The horse “Dreams to Share,” created by Dunbar Students and pictured below, and the foal “Uniquely Created,” developed by KORE Academy students, were on display in downtown Lexington through December 2022.

KEMI President & CEO Jon Stewart and KEMI Safety & Loss Control manager Jeff Floyd delivered the statues to the schools on March 1.

Jeff Floyd (left) and Jon Stewart (right) deliver Dreams to Share to Dunbar High School.

KEMI applauds heroic lifesaving action of Scott County Schools custodian

Heather Collins, head custodian at Garth Elementary within the Scott County Schools system, saved a life on Friday, Jan. 13, by performing the Heimlich maneuver on a child who was choking. See the full WKYT story here. The lifesaving action by Collins highlights the importance of safety training and readiness.

Scott County Schools, a Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI) policyholder since 2012, maintains a steadfast commitment to workplace safety. That commitment is reflected in an excellent safety record for the school system. “They have always trained more people than is required, and this story bringing recognition to Ms. Collins for her quick action is great news,” said Jeff Floyd, Safety & Loss Control manager for KEMI.

KEMI’s safety team recently conducted a training class for school system employees at the Scott County Board of Education office. “We’re committed to promoting safe workplaces,” continued Floyd, “which is why we provide training and resources to all KEMI policyholders at no additional cost.” KEMI Policyholders are encouraged to contact to schedule safety training classes and to access safety resources at

A.M. Best Affirms KEMI’s A- Excellent Rating

A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” of Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance Authority (KEMI) (Lexington, KY).

The Credit Ratings (ratings) reflect KEMI’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile, and appropriate enterprise risk management.

“KEMI is pleased to once again earn an “Excellent” rating for our financial strength and stability,” said Jon Stewart, KEMI president & CEO. “Our team is dedicated to meeting the needs of Kentucky businesses and injured workers, and this rating from A.M. Best demonstrates that commitment.”

Media Contact:
Ryan Worthen
KEMI Communications

Posted November 22, 2022