It's useful to evaluate your company's injury-and-illness experience over time to compare the company's experience with that of the industry as a whole. To do that you need to compute your incident rate.
Incident rates are lagging indicators measure the occurrence and frequency of events in the past. They help you identify what happened, but they are not useful in telling you why it happened. Relying solely on incident rates is like driving down the road and looking in the rear-view mirror to stay in your lane. In addition to incident rates, examples of trailing indicators include: workers compensation rates, equipment failure rates, unsafe behavior rates.
To improve safety, you must know why incidents are occurring in your workplace. It's more important to analyze leading indicators because they uncover why events happen and they can help predict the occurrence of future events. Leading indicators measure behaviors and activities such as the number of employees trained, the number of hazard reports submitted, employee participation in safety committees, and the number of safety inspections completed. Measuring these activities help to reveal the underlying surface and root causes for injuries and illnesses.
Bottom line: As long as you measure both leading and lagging indicators, you're on the right track.
Since the DART Rate is the most common incident rate used in the safety profession, it's important to know how to calculate it. The DART is based on the number of recordable DART cases among 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers over one year. It is a required calculation for companies applying for VPP status. You can compute the incident rate for recordable cases involving days away from work, days of restricted work activity, or job transfer using the following formula:
The formula above is quite simple and easy to use. Just follow these steps:
The Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) is based on the number of recordable injury and illness cases occurring among 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers over one year. It is also a required calculation for companies applying for VPP status.
As you can see, the calculation for the TCIR is similar to the DART. You can calculate the TCIR using the following steps:
DART Rate. If you have 50 employees who work a total of 100,000 hours during the year and have experienced 5 DART cases (Columns H and I), the DART rate would be (5 x 200,000) ÷ 100,000 = 10. So, in this example, the DART rate indicates there are 10 DART cases per 100 FTE employees per year.
TCIR. You can use the same formula to calculate the TCIR. If you have 50 employees who work a total of 100,000 hours during the year and have experienced 10 recordable TCIR cases (Columns, G, H, I, and J), the TCIR would be (10 x 200,000) ÷ 100,000 = 20. So, in this example, the DART rate indicates there are 20 recordable injuries and illness incidents per 100 FTE employees per year.