OSHA seeks employers’ input on SST inspections

Employers have a chance to give the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) an earful about its Site-Specific Targeting (SST) Inspection Program.

The agency has asked for comment on its method of selecting high-injury work sites for comprehensive inspections. Currently, OSHA uses an annual data initiative survey to collect overall injury and illness information from employers.

In 2004, if an employer’s lost workday injury and illness (LWDII) rate was above 16 per 100 full-time employees, the workplace would be on OSHA’s primary list for comprehensive health and safety inspections. A lost workday rate between 10 and 16 would land an employer on the secondary list for possible inspection.

This year, OSHA also added an additional factor: the days away from work injury and illness (DAFWII) case rate of nine or greater per 100 full-time employees. That focuses on injuries that lead to at least one day away from work — not just restricted work activity.

Twenty hospitals out of 4,000 high-hazard workplaces landed on the targeted inspection list this year.

In a Federal Register notice [69:25,445-25,446 (May 6, 2004)], OSHA said it seeks to make the targeted enforcement more effective. OSHA wants answers to these questions:

  • Are the LWDII/DART (days away, restricted, or transferred) rate and the DAFWII case rate appropriate measurement tools for the SST?
  • Should OSHA consider other measures for injury and illnesses at individual establishments? If yes, what measures should be considered?
  • Should OSHA be looking at injury and illness data over multiple years rather than in a single year?
  • Should an establishment’s priority for inspection take into account whether the establishment is in an industry with a high rate or a low rate of citations?
  • Should the SST include additional focuses such as on specific industries, or past citation history?
  • Are there particular areas/hazards OSHA should be focusing its enforcement efforts on?

The agency is accepting written comments through July 6. Electronic comments can be sent to ecomments@osha.gov. Two copies of other written comments should be sent to the Docket Office, Docket No. C-08, Room N-2625, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-2350.

Comments of 10 pages or fewer may be faxed to the Docket Office to (202) 693-1648. The original and one copy must then be mailed immediately to the Docket Office.