OSHA sent letters to 14,000 sites notifying them that their injury and illness rates exceed those of most workplaces and encouraging them to take steps to reduce hazards and protect their workers.
Over the next four months, OSHA plans to inspect about 1,000 sites that experienced especially high injury and illness rates in 1999.
"The sites we are identifying are on notice that they need to improve," said Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. "High injury and illness rates have a significant personal cost to employees and a financial cost to employers."
OSHA identified the sites with the highest lost workday injury and illness rates based on data reported by 80,000 employers surveyed by the agency last year.
Those in the inspection pool of 14,000 had eight or more injuries and illnesses resulting in lost workdays for every 100 full-time workers.
Nationwide, the average U.S. workplace had three instances for every 100 workers.
To prevent injuries and illnesses, OSHA is encouraging these employers to consider hiring an outside safety and health consultant, to talk with their insurance carriers or to contact the workers'' compensation agency in their state for advice.
Each workplace receiving the letter also go a copy of its injury and illness data along with a list of the most frequently violated OSHA standards for its specific industry.
The 14,000 sites are listed, by state, alphabetically on OSHA''s Web site at www.osha.gov on the Freedom of Information Act page.
The list does not designate those targeted for inspection.
by Virginia Foran