OSHA Notifies 15,000 Workplaces of High Injury and Illness Rates

March 10, 2010
OSHA recently sent letters notifying approximately 15,000 workplaces that they have the highest numbers of injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activities or job transfers (DART rates) nationwide.

“Receipt of this letter means that workers in that particular establishment are being injured at a higher rate than in most other businesses of its kind in the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels. “Employers whose businesses have injury and illness rates this high need to take immediate steps to protect their workers.”

Employers receiving the letters were provided copies of their injury and illness data, along with a list of the most frequently cited OSHA standards for their specific industry. The letter offered assistance in helping to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses by suggesting, among other things, the use of OSHA’s free safety and health consultation services for small businesses provided through the states.

OSHA identified businesses with the nation’s highest rates of workplace injuries and illnesses through employer-reported data from a 2009 survey of about 100,000 worksites. (This survey collected injury and illness data for calendar year 2008.) Workplaces receiving notifications had DART rates more than twice the national average among all U.S. workplaces.

OSHA’s consultation program is available to assist in addressing safety and health in the workplace for employers with 250 or fewer workers. This program is administered by a state agency and operated separately from OSHA’s enforcement program. The service is free and confidential, and there are no fines even if problems are found. Designed for small employers, the consultation program can help an employer identify hazards while finding effective and economical solutions for repairing them. In addition, the OSHA state consultant can assist in developing and implementing a safety and health management system for the workplace.

A list of the employers receiving the letter is available on OSHA’s Web site at https://www.osha.gov/as/opa/foia/hot_16.html.

To learn more about OSHA’s consultation services, visit https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/consult.html.

About the Author

Laura Walter

Laura Walter was formerly senior editor of EHS Today. She is a subject matter expert in EHS compliance and government issues and has covered a variety of topics relating to occupational safety and health. Her writing has earned awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI) and APEX Awards for Publication Excellence. Her debut novel, Body of Stars (Dutton) was published in 2021.

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