OSHA has sent letters to 14,000 employers nationwide, telling them that their injury and illness rates are considerably higher than the national average and that free assistance programs are available from OSHA.
In the letter, sent this month, Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. explained that the notification was a proactive step to encourage employers to take action now to reduce rates and improve safety and health conditions in their workplaces.
"Our goal is to make them aware of their high injury and illness rates and to get them to focus on eliminating hazards in their workplace,” said Foulke.
OSHA identified businesses with the nation's highest rates of workplace injuries and illnesses through employer-reported data from a 2007 survey of 80,000 worksites (this survey collected injury and illness data from calendar year 2006).
Workplaces receiving notifications had 5.4 or more injuries resulting in days away from work, restricted work activity or job transfer (DART) for every 100 full-time employees. Nationally, the average U.S. workplace had 2.3 DART occurrences for every 100 employees.
Employers receiving the letters were also provided copies of their injury and illness data, along with a list of the most frequently cited OSHA standards for their specific industry.
The letter offered assistance by suggesting, among other things, the use of free OSHA safety and health consultation services provided through the states, state workers' compensation agencies, insurance carriers or outside safety and health consultants.