The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced August 9, 2005, that it will target approximately 4,400 high-hazard worksites for unannounced comprehensive inspections in the coming year.

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LIUNA General Secretary-Treasurer and LHSFNA Labor Co-Chairman
Armand E. Sabitoni

“Very few, if any, of our signatory employers are in the ‘high-hazard’ range,” says LIUNA General Secretary Treasurer and LHSFNA Labor Co-Chairman Armand E. Sabitoni. “If you are, we urge you to contact the LHSFNA Occupational Safety and Health Division for immediate help in solving your worksite safety problems.”

OSHA will use two rates to assess which worksites are “high-hazard.” Both derive from data collected in OSHA’s 2004 Data Initiative, a survey of 80,000 employers to obtain their injury and illness numbers for 2003. A Days Away from work, Restricted work activity and job Transfer annual total of 12 or more per every 100 full-time employees (the DART rate) may trigger an inspection. Also, a Days Away from Work Injury and Illness (DAFWII) rate of nine or higher per 100 employees puts a company on the list for possible inspection. Further, any DART rate between seven and 12 or a DAFWII rate between five and nine will put a company on a secondary inspection list.

Nationally, the DART rate is 2.6, and the DAFWII rate is 1.5.

Companies that are below the thresholds for the primary or secondary inspection lists may still be inspected as part of 400 randomly selected worksites designed to review the actual level of compliance with OSHA regulations. In addition, some companies that did not respond to the Data Initiative will be targeted.

“Generally, union employers are the safest in our industry,” says Sabitoni. “However, there’s usually some room for improvement, even if you’re not on the DART or DAFWII lists. On most worksites, our staff can make a difference by finding cost-effective ways to improve safety and reduce loss. Contact us for a second opinion.”

[Steve Clark]