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OSHA Lists Workplaces with Highest Injury/Illness Rates
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (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," Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao said. "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 their state workers' compensation agency for advice. They have also provided contact information for the free safety and health consultation service funded by OSHA in each state for small employers. Each workplace receiving the letter also got a copy of its injury and illness data along with a list of the most frequently violated OSHA standards for its specific industry.