The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration has notified over 14,000 workplaces that injury and illness rates at their worksites are higher than average. In the letter, OSHA explained that the notification was a proactive step to encourage companies to take action now to reduce the rates. OSHA also offered assistance to fix the safety and health environments.
The notified sites were identified from a 2005 survey of 80,000 worksites, consisting of data from the calendar year of 2004. Workplaces identified with 6.0 or more injuries or illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activity, or job transfer (DART) for every 100 full-time workers. The 2004 national average was 2.5 DART for every 100 workers.
Employers at the 14,000 workplaces also received copies of their injury and illness data, along with a list of the most frequently violated OSHA standards for their specific industry.
"The identification process is meant to raise our awareness that injuries and illnesses are high at these facilities," said OSHA administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. "Injuries and illnesses are costly to employers in both personnel and financial terms. Our goal is to identify workplaces where injury and illness rates are high, and to offer assistance to employers so they can address the hazards and reduce occupational injuries and illnesses."
OSHA has provided suggestions to employers in the notification letters, including the use of free safety and health consultation services provided by OSHA through the states, state workers’ compensation agencies, insurance carriers, or outside safety and health consultants.
The list is available online — organized alphabetically by state. However, the list does not designate those sites or companies earmarked for future inspections. In addition, the sites listed online are those in situated states covered by federal OSHA. However, it does not include employers in the 21 states and Puerto Rico that operate OSHA-approved state plans covering the private sector.
OSHA Offers First-Aid "Best Practices" Guide
OSHA has issued its Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program, to assist employers and employees develop a workplace first aid programs.
This new guide identifies four elements for effective and successful first-aid programs: management leadership and employee involvement; worksite analysis; hazard prevention and control; and safety and health training.
The guide includes best practices for planning and conducting safe, effective first-air training. OSHA advises that training courses include instruction in general and workplace hazard-specific knowledge and skills, incorporating AED (automated external defibulator) and CPR training.
The guide also details the primary tools of a first-aid program for the workplace: identifying and assessing workplace risks; designing a program that is specific to the worksite and compiles with OSHA first-aid requirements; instructing all workers about the program, including what to do if a co-worker is injured or ill; and evaluating and modifying programs to keep them current, including regular assessment of the first-aid training course.
For more information, visit www.osha.gov
AFS, OSHA Renew Alliance Agreement
The American Foundry Society and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration renewed an alliance agreement to promote efforts between the AFS and OSHA for another two years. The alliance provides metalcasters increased access to safety and health information, and training courses on workplace issues, including personal protective equipment, ventilation, and reducing/preventing exposure to silica. The alliance was launched in March 2004.