OSHA 2008 SST Program Targets 3,800 Work Sites

OSHA announced that approximately 3,800 high-hazard worksites from its 2008 Site-Specific targeting (SST) plan's primary list will receive unannounced safety inspections throughout the course of the year.

The number of inspections is a drop from last year's SST plan, which set out to inspect 4,100 high hazard work sites.

“We will make effective use of our inspection resources to focus our targeted inspection program on those workplaces with the highest injury and illness rates,” said OSHA Administrator Edwin G. Foulke Jr. “This program emphasizes to employers the importance of our enforcement efforts in ensuring safe working conditions for employees.”

Over the past ten years, OSHA has used a site-specific targeting inspection program based on injury and illness data. This year’s program (SST-08) was developed using the agency’s Data Initiative for 2007, which surveyed approximately 80,000 employers to obtain their injury and illness numbers for 2006.

This program initially will cover about 3,800 individual worksites on the primary list that reported 11 or more injuries or illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activity or job transfer for every 100 full-time employers (known as the DART rate).

The primary list also will include sites based on a Days Away from Work Injury and Illness (DAFWII) rate of nine or higher (nine or more cases that involve days away from work per 100 full-time employees). Employers not on the primary list, who reported DART rates of between 7.0 and 11.0, or DAFWII rates of between 5.0 and 9.0, will be placed on a secondary list for possible inspection.

The national DART rate in 2006 for private industry was 2.3, while the national DAFWII rate was 1.3.

An OSHA spokesperson told OccupationHazards.com that the agency will continue to inspect nursing homes and personal care facilities, but only the highest 50 percent of rated establishments are included on the primary list.

The agency also will randomly select and inspect about 175 workplaces (with 100 or more employees) across the nation that reported low injury and illness rates for the purpose of reviewing their actual degree of compliance with OSHA requirements. These establishments are selected from those industries with rates higher than the national DART and DAFWII rates.

Finally, the agency will include on the primary list some establishments that did not respond to the 2007 data survey.

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