Steel Industry Appears to be Getting Safer

Well, this certainly sounds like good news …. OSHA Releases Site-Specific Injury Rates for Steel Industry

By at least one measure, the steel industry appears to be getting safer: According to information recently released by OSHA, the number of steel facilities reporting a lost workday injury and illness rate of zero jumped from just two in 1999 to 23 in 2001.

As a result of a successful lawsuit brought by The New York Times, the public can now file Freedom of Information Act requests and find out lost workday injury and illness (LWDII) recorded rates for specific facilities. Until now, OSHA had declined to release the information, arguing that employers who submitted the rates should receive notice of the Freedom of Information Request before disclosure of the data. A U.S. District Court rejected this argument and required OSHA to release the rates.

Making use of this new access to LWDII rates, OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS requested and OSHA has supplied the information for all the plants in the steel industry (SIC 3312) from 1999 to 2001. OSHA describes establishments in this sector as manufacturers of hot metal, pig iron and silvery pig iron from iron ore and iron and steel scrap. More recent information is not available because OSHA is still using it in order to target its inspections at high-hazard facilities in its Site Specific Targeting (SST) program.

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