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Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Incident Rates

How does your company compare?

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Measuring activities is better than measuring incidents.

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 only measure what happened

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.

Activity rates give clues about why it happened

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.

1. To improve safety, it's best to place emphasis on leading indicators because they are better at determining _____.

a. those who have caused incidents
b. what incidents have occurred
c. why incidents have occurred
d. where incident have occurred

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Two Common Statistical Measurements

There are two basic ways to calculate required incident rates for annual OSHA reporting, the OSHA SHARP program, and the OSHA VPP program:

  1. the Days Away, Restricted, or Job Transferred (DART) Rate which is used for OSHA recordkeeping and reporting, and to qualify for the OSHA SHARP; and
  2. the Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) which is required to qualify for the VPP.

Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) Rate

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:

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How to Calculate The DART Rate

DART Rates - Wade Associates.

The formula above is quite simple and easy to use. Just follow these steps:

  1. Determine the DART (N):Count the number of line entries on your OSHA Form 300 that received a check mark in columns (H) and (I), or refer to the entry in columns (H) and (I) on the OSHA Form 300A.
  2. Calculate total work hours: The number of hours all employees actually worked during the year. Use the OSHA Form 300A and optional worksheet to calculate this number. Notice that the number of employees is not considered in the calculation. The total number of DART cases and the total number of hours the employees work during the year are only two important figures entered into the formula. If actual hours worked are not available for employees paid on commission, salary, by the mile, etc., hours worked may be estimated on the basis of scheduled hours or 8 hours per workday.
  3. The 200,000 figure in the formula represents the number of hours 100 full-time-equivalent (FTE) employees working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year would work and provides the standard base for calculating incident rates.

2. Which of the following calculations is most commonly used in the safety profession to evaluate the company's injury and illness experience over time?

a. Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) Rate
b. Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR)
c. Annual Injury and Illness Experience Rate (AIIE) Rate
d. OSHA Serious Accident Experience Rate (OSHA-SAER)

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Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR)

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.

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How to Calculate the TCIR

As you can see, the calculation for the TCIR is similar to the DART. You can calculate the TCIR using the following steps:

  1. Determine the number of TCIR cases (N): Count the number of line entries on your OSHA Form 300 or use the OSHA Form 300A and sum the entries for columns (G), (H), (I), and (J).
  2. Determine total work hours (EH): The number of hours all employees actually worked during the year. Use the OSHA Form 300A and optional worksheet to calculate this number. If actual hours worked are not available for employees paid on commission, salary, by the mile, etc., hours worked may be estimated on the basis of scheduled hours or 8 hours per workday. Again, the number of employees is not considered in the calculation. The total number of TCIR cases and the total number of hours the employees work during the year are only two important figures entered into the formula.
  3. The 200,000 figure in the formula represents the number of hours 100 full-time-equivalent (FTE) employees working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year would work and provides the standard base for calculating incident rates.

3. The Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) is based on the number of recordable injury and illness cases occurring _____.

a. during the actual number of weeks worked over one year
b. among 100 workers over 40 weeks working full time
c. among 100 full-time-equivalent (FTE) workers over one year
d. during 200,000 hours during 52 weeks of full-time work

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Let's look at some examples

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Form for calculating the DART Rate and TCIR. Click to Enlarge

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.

4. What is the Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) Rate if your company had 5 DART cases during the previous year, and 70 employees who worked a total of 100,000 hours? (Hint: (Nx200,000)/EH))

a. 1
b. 5
c. 10
d. 20

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Final Exam