2009 Inspection Plans, Year-End Incidence Data

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently updated its Site Specific Targeting (SST) plan, giving more control to area offices regarding


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently updated its Site Specific Targeting (SST) plan, giving more control to area offices regarding the number of inspections performed and revising the process for removal of sites from the target list. The revision will allow easier access to concrete producers, except those in the Voluntary Protection Program and Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) after the initial annual cycle is established.

In late 2008, OSHA outlined changes as follows:

  • Regional administrators may authorize area offices to not complete all inspections on the primary list of SST sites, if those offices have additional inspection commitments.
  • Partnership establishments may not be deleted from the primary list until after the annual cycle is created. SHARP sites may be deleted either prior to or after cycle creation, since they have met evaluation standards of these programs.
  • Businesses that have undergone a comprehensive inspection in the last 36 months will be deleted from the list.
  • SHARP sites will be deleted from the list based on the regional administrator’s approval. Guidance also is offered to compliance officers who discover after arriving at a business that it is an on-site consultation SHARP site.
  • Area directors no longer have to demonstrate current knowledge concerning the industry to authorize expansion of a health inspection.
  • Businesses implicated via an OSHA-emphasis program list Û targeting, for example, silicosis (applicable to concrete producers) Û can be moved to the current inspection cycle.

OSHA’s SST constitutes its chief inspection plan for nonconstruction workplaces employing 40 or more. The SST plan is based on data received from the prior year’s OSHA Data Initiative survey. To help achieve its goal of reducing the number of injuries and illnesses that occur at individual workplaces, OSHA uses the Data Initiative survey and SST program to direct enforcement resources to those workplaces where the highest rate of injuries and illness has been noted.

In addition, OSHA implements both national and local emphasis inspection programs to target high-risk hazards and industries. Currently, the agency has seven National Emphasis Programs (NEPs) focusing on amputations, lead, crystalline silica, trenching/excavation, plus three other nonconcrete-related hazards. Lead is found primarily in old paint on buildings, and trenching/excavation applies to concrete products installations. The entire directive can be reviewed at http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_02_08-07.pdf.


For the sixth consecutive year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate of workplace injuries and illnesses in private industry declined in 2007. Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses fell from 4.4 cases per 100 workers in 2006 to 4.2 cases in 2007.

The number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses reported in 2007 declined to 4 million cases, compared to 4.1 million cases in 2006. The total recordable case injury and illness incidence rate among private industry employers has declined by 0.2 cases per 100 workers each year since 2003. [The first Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) estimates was published in 2003, using the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)].

Concrete and concrete products incidence rates continue to track higher than those for general private industry and manufacturing categories. Overall, incidence rates have declined Û except those for concrete pipe manufacturing, which increased by 23 percent. While the cause of this industry-specific elevation is unknown, sudden sharp increases and reductions in incident rates usually are related to either a sudden increase in production volumes and/or significant changes in management direction.

According to (Bush administration) Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, The 21 percent decline in the workplace injury and illness rate over the past six years and a 4.5 percent decline over the past year show the effectiveness of targeted enforcement, coupled with prevention through compliance assistance, to promote a culture of safety.

The 2007 report yielded several key findings:

  • The total recordable case injury and illness incidence rate in 2007 was the lowest among private industry employers since 2002, when record-keeping requirements were revised. The decline is similar to that seen from 1972 to 2001, prior to the record-keeping revisions.
  • A decline in both the incidence rate (5 percent) and number of injuries (2 percent) was recorded in 2007.
  • Incidence rates and numbers of cases for injuries and illnesses combined declined significantly in 2007 for several case types: (1) total recordable cases; (2) cases with days away from work, job transfer or restriction; (3) cases with days away from work; and, (4) cases with job transfer or restriction.
  • The incidence rate and number of illnesses each declined significantly in 2007 compared to 2006, mainly due to decreases among skin diseases and disorders and all other illness categories, which accounted for 89 percent of the decline in illness cases.
  • Total recordable case injury and illness incidence rates declined among five of the 19 private-industry sectors: agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; mining; construction; manufacturing; and, health care and social assistance. The remaining 14 industry sectors were statistically unchanged.
  • Manufacturing was the only industry sector over the decade spanning 1998 to 2007 in which the rate of job transfer or restriction cases exceeded the rate of cases with days away from work.
  • The total recordable case injury and illness incidence rate was highest among mid-sized establishments (employing between 50 and 249 workers) and lowest among small establishments (employing fewer than 11 workers), compared to establishments of other sizes.

Today’s injury and illness results demonstrate that OSHA’s balanced approach to workplace safety encompassing education, training, information sharing, inspection, regulation and aggressive enforcement is achieving significant reductions in workplace injury and illness throughout the country, asserts OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. This report shows that employees are now safer in the workplace than ever before. This success validates our efforts, and we are redoubling this commitment to make workplaces even safer.

The link for the Bureau of Labor Statistics report Workplace Injuries and Illnesses in 2007 is http://stats.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/os/osnr0030.pdf. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Incidence Rates of Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses by Industry and Case Types, 2007 can be found at http://stats.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/os/ostb1917.pdf.

Industry NAISC Code 2006 Total Recordable Cases 2007 Total Recordable Cases
Private Industry NA 4.4 4.2
Cement and concrete product operations 3273 7.4 6.6
Ready mixed production 32732 6.4 5.7
Concrete block/brick production 327331 8.2 8.2
Concrete pipe production 327332 8.3 10.1
Other concrete products manufacturing 32739 8.8 7.8
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


The collaborative efforts of OSHA, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, and Network of Employers for Traffic Safety have produced extensive materials for companies aiming to establish internal, nonregulated programs to reduce vehicle crash rates. Comprising the program are 10 steps adopted from NETS Traffic Safety Primer: A Guidebook for Employers.

  1. Senior management commitment & employee involvement
  2. Written policies, procedures
  3. Driver agreements
  4. Motor vehicle record (MVR) checks
  5. Crash reporting, investigation
  6. Vehicle selection, maintenance and inspection
  7. Disciplinary action system
  8. Reward/incentive program
  9. Driver training/communication
  10. Regulatory compliance

The complete guide can be obtained at no cost by visiting http://www.osha.gov/Publications/motor_vehicle_guide.pdf.