OSHA's site-specific targeting (SST) plan for 2004 will focus on approximately 4,000 high-hazard work sites for unannounced comprehensive safety and health inspections over the coming year.

In the past six years, OSHA has used a site-specific targeting inspection program based on injury and illness data. This year’s program (SST-04) stems from the agency’s Data Initiative for 2003. Approximately 80,000 employers were surveyed to attain their injury and illness numbers for 2002.

This year’s program is effective April 19 and will initially cover about 4,000 individual work sites on the primary list that reported 15 or more injuries or illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activity, or job transfer for every 100 full-time workers (known as the DART rate).

The primary hit list will also include sites based on a “Days Away from Work Injury and Illness” (DAFWII) rate of ten or higher (ten or more cases that involve days away from work per 100 full-time employees).

Employers not on the primary list who reported DART rates of between 8.0 and 15.0, or DAFWII rates of between 4.0 and 10.0, will be placed on a secondary list for possible inspection.

(The average national DART rate in 2002 for private industry was 2.8, while the national average DAFWII rate was 1.6.)

OSHA will also inspect nursing homes or personal care facilities under this year's program. For the past two years, those workplaces were covered under a separate National Emphasis Program that addressed specific industry hazards. Those hazards, including ergonomic stressors relating to resident handling, bloodborne pathogens/tuberculosis, and slips, trips and falls, will continue to be the primary focus of inspections in nursing and personal care facilities under SST-04.

OSHA will again randomly select and inspect about 200 workplaces (with 200 or more employees) across the nation that reported low injury and illness rates for the purpose of reviewing the actual degree of compliance with OSHA requirements. These establishments are selected from those industries with above-average DART and DAFWII rates.

Finally, the agency will include on the primary list some establishments that did not respond to collection of both the 2001 and 2002 data.