OSHA Identifies Workplaces with Highest Injury and Illness Rates

Washington, DC - Approximately 13,000 employers have been notified 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, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced.

Establishments 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."

Mr. 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. While he expressed concern about the high rates, Mr. Henshaw also offered the agency's assistance in helping turn the numbers around. Assistance could come from OSHA's on-site consultation program designed to address safety and health issues, the state's workers' compensation agencies, insurance carriers, safety and health consultants, or other internal or external resources which can focus on hazard identification and control.

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.