More hospitals subject to wall-to-wall’ inspections

OSHA plans to target high-hazard injuries

As many as 170 hospitals could be subject to wall-to-wall inspections this year under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s targeted inspection program.

The program became somewhat broader this year as OSHA considered both lost time from work, which includes days of restricted activity, and days away from work.

Based on a 2002 survey of 95,000 employers in high-hazard industries, OSHA has identified 28 hospitals that will receive the comprehensive inspections. Those targeted employers had at least 14 lost-time injuries for every 100 full-time employees (FTEs) in 2001, or nine injuries with days away from work per 100 FTEs in 2001.

Another 142 hospitals are on a secondary list, which means they may be subject to the targeted inspections after inspectors from OSHA area offices visit the sites with the highest injury rates. Those on the secondary list have a lost worktime rate of eight injuries per 100 FTEs or a rate of four days away from work per 100 FTEs. The national average for all industry is 2.8 days of lost work time per 100 FTEs and 1.7 days away from work per 100 FTEs.

Hospitals with low injury rates are not entirely off the hook. OSHA also announced that it will randomly visit 200 workplaces among high-hazard industries "for the purpose of reviewing the actual degree of compliance with OSHA requirements."

OSHA’s targeted inspections apply only to states under federal OSHA jurisdiction. However, state plan states are required to have a similar targeted inspection program for high-hazard industries. Nursing homes are not included in this program because they already are subject to inspections under the National Emphasis Program.

To calculate your lost work time rate, add columns H and I on the OSHA 300 log to determine your injuries involving days away from work, restricted work activity, or job transfer. Multiply that number by 200,000, which is the base number of hours worked by 100 full-time employees. Divide the result by the total number of hours worked by all your employees.

In future years, OSHA will use days away from work, which is column H.