WASHINGTON-Approximately 14,000 employers have been notified that injury and illness rates at their worksites are higher than average, and that assistance is available to help them fix safety and health hazards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced recently.

In a recent letter to those employers, Jonathan L. Snare, acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, explained that the notification was a proactive step to encourage employers to take steps now to reduce those rates and improve the safety and health environment in their workplaces.

"This identification process is meant to raise awareness that injuries and illnesses are high at these facilities," Snare says. "Injuries and illnesses are costly to employers in both personal 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."

The workplaces identified had 6.5 or more injuries or illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activity, or job transfer for every 100 full-time workers. The national average during 2003 was 2.6 instances of days away from work for every 100 workers.

For more information on the OSHA initiative, visit www.complianceregs.com.