OSHA has mailed letters to approximately 13,000 employers nationwide alerting them that their injury and illness rates are significantly higher than the national average.

The notification is simply a proactive step to encourage these employers to take steps now to reduce the rates and improve safety and health for their employees, explains OSHA chief John Henshaw.

OSHA identified establishments with the nation's highest workplace injury and illness rates based on data reported by 80,000 employers surveyed by the agency last year (that survey collected injury and illness data from calendar year 2002).

Workplaces receiving the letters had seven or more incidents resulting in days away from work for every 100 full-time workers. Nationwide, the average was less than three instances for every 100 workers.

The 13,000 sites are listed alphabetically, by state, on OSHA's Web site at: http://www.osha.gov/as/opa/foia/hot_10.html.