Approximately 13,000 employers have been notified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that injury and illness rates at their worksites are higher than average and that assistance is available to help them fix safety and health hazards.
Workplaces with the nation's highest lost workday injury and illness rates were identified by OSHA through employer-reported data from a 2001 survey of 80,000 worksites (the survey consisted of data from calendar year 2000). The workplaces identified had eight or more injuries or illnesses resulting in lost work days or restricted activity for every 100 full-time workers; the national average is three instances for the same number of workers.
"This identification process is a proactive tool to raise awareness that injuries and illnesses are high at these facilities," OSHA Administrator John L. Henshaw said. "Injuries and illnesses are costly to employers in both personal and financial terms. Our goal is to identify workplaces where injury and illness rates are high, and to offer assistance to businesses so that they address the hazards and reduce occupational injuries and illnesses."
Henshaw sent letters to all employers identified in the survey, and provided copies of their injury and illness data, along with a list of the most frequently violated OSHA standard for their specific industry.
The letter encourages employers to consider hiring an outside safety and health consultant, talk with their insurance carrier or contact the workers' compensation agency in their state for advice. Henshaw also suggested that employers with 250 or fewer workers ask for assistance from OSHA's on-site consultation program. The consultation program is administered by state agencies and operated separately from OSHA's inspection program. The service is free, and there are no fines even if problems are found.
The 13,000 sites are listed alphabetically, by state, on OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov/as/opa/foia/hot_8.html.
The list does not designate those earmarked for any future inspections. An announcement of targeted inspections will be made later this year.
edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])