About 3,000 worksites that reported 14 or more injuries or illnesses resulting in lost work days or restricted activity for every 100 full-time workers for the year 2000 can anticipate OSHA inspectors knocking on their doors sometime over the next year, according to the agency's recently released site-specific targeting inspection plan.

Worksites reporting at least eight, but less than 14, lost-time injuries or illnesses, will be placed on a secondary list for possible inspection.

The average lost-workday injury and illness rate for private industry in the nation is three cases per 100 workers.

Targets will not include the approximate 2,500 nursing or personal care facilities that reported injury and illness rates of eight or higher. Instead, OSHA will inspect about 1,000 of these facilities under a new National Emphasis Program focusing on specific hazards that account for most nursing home staff injuries and illnesses.

The targeting program does not include construction worksites, which annually account for about half of federal OSHA's 35,000 or so inspections. Many of OSHA's unscheduled inspections result from employee complaints.

Finally, OSHA will randomly select 200 workplaces that reported low injury and illness rates (from zero to eight) and add them to the primary inspection list. These sites are all in the 25 highest rate industries that average a lost-workday injury and illness rate of eight or greater.

OSHA chief John Henshaw explains that these sites can provide constructive information on compliance with the agency's rules.

This is the fourth year OSHA has used a site-specific targeting inspection program that consists of employer-reported injury and illness data received through OSHA's annual Data Initiative. This year's program was based on a 2001 survey of approximately 80,000 worksites (data was from calendar year 2000).