OSHA is alerting 14,200 employers across the country that their injury and illness rates are higher than average and is encouraging them to take steps to reduce hazards and protect their workers. For the first time, the construction industry is part of the annual alert.

OSHA identified establishments with the nation's highest lost-workday injury and illness rates based on data reported by 93,000 employers surveyed by the agency last year (that survey collected injury and illness data from calendar year 2001). This was the first year the data collection initiative included the construction industry (13,000 construction employers were surveyed).

Workplaces receiving the alert letters had six or more injuries or illnesses resulting in lost workdays or restricted activity for every 100 full-time workers. Nationwide, the average U.S. workplace had just under three lost-time instances for every 100 workers.

OSHA sent letters to all employers with high injury and illness rates, and provided copies of their injury and illness data, along with a list of the most frequently violated OSHA standard for their specific industry.

"Armed with this information, we'll not only be able to place our inspection resources where they're most needed, but we can also use the information to plan outreach and compliance assistance programs where they will benefit the most," says OSHA chief John Henshaw.

The 14,200 sites are listed alphabetically, by state, on OSHA's Web site at: http://www.osha.gov/as/opa/foia/hot_9.html. The list does not designate those earmarked for programmed inspections. Also, the sites listed are those in states covered by federal OSHA; the list does not include employers in the 21 states and two territories that operate OSHA-approved state plans covering the private sector.