Start With Knowing Your Company's History of Injuries and DART Rate
What if in 2012 your company had ten recordable injuries. Is that a good safety record or a poor safety record? The answer to that depends on what your Dart Rate is. It is based on three factors:
- How many employees worked for the company;
- How many hours were worked by those employees; and
- What industry was the employer in?
For instance, if your company employed five people who worked 40 hours per week, then ten injuries would be a very bad record. However, if your company employed 1,000 people who worked an average of 40 hours per week, ten injuries would not be so bad.
Also, the ten injuries may be considered high in a low-hazard industry such as a call center. While those same ten injuries in a high hazard industry, such as construction, may be considered very low.
Compare your company’s DART rate with your industry’s rates published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (published 10/29/09, the latest numbers are for 2008). Once you figure your rates, you have an easy way to benchmark your efforts from year to year, and you can benchmark your organization's rates to other similar organizations in your industry.
Why is this important?
Your safety record is dependent on these factors, and as each company employs a different number of people, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rarely speaks in terms of how many injuries a company had. Instead, OSHA will typically ask, "What is your Injury and Illness Incidence Rate?" or "What is your DART rate?"
What are Incidence Rates?
The Incidence Rate is a trending number based on your Injury and Illness rates for 200,000 hours worked. Why does OSHA use the 200,000-hour benchmark? Quite simply, 200,000 hours are the hours worked by 100 employees, averaging 40 hours per week over a 50-week span (two weeks taken away for holidays).
If the actual total hours your employees worked is less or more, it doesn't matter. OSHA uses this number to establish a trending benchmark.
What is a DART Rate?
The DART Rate stands for "Days Away, Restrictions and Transfers." This number is also based on trending over 200,000 hours, but it is not based on total injuries. It is based only on those injuries and illnesses severe enough to warrant "Days Away, Restrictions and Transfers."
As a general rule of thumb, you want to have a lower DART Rate than Incidence Rate.
DART Rate Calculation
The DART rate includes cases involving days away from work, restricted work activity, and transfers to another job.
The formula is (N/EH) x (200,000) where:
- N is the number of cases involving days away and/or restricted work activity and job transfers.
- EH is the total number of employee hours worked by all employees during the calendar year.
- 200,000 is the base number of hours worked for 100 full-time equivalent employees.
Employee Hours for XYZ Company, including management, temporary and leased workers = 645,089 hours.
22 cases involved injury or illness causing days away and/or restricted work activity and/or job transfer from the OSHA-300 Log (total of column H plus column I).
The DART Rate is (22÷645,089) x (200,000) = 6.8.
Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration Field Operations Manual, Effective Date January 9, 2009
Looking for business or industry-specific injury and illness data?
Every year since 1996, OSHA has collected work-related injury and illness data from more than 80,000 employers.
For the first time, the agency has made the data from 1996 to 2007 available in a searchable online database, allowing the public to look at establishment or industry-specific injury and illness data. The workplace injury and illness data is available at http://www.osha.gov/pls/odi/establishment_search.html, as well as Data.gov. You can read OSHA's news release about this service, as well.
OSHA uses the data to calculate Injury and Illness Incidence Rates to guide its strategic management plan and to focus its Site Specific Targeting (SST) Program, which the agency uses to target its inspections.
"Making injury and illness information available to the public is part of OSHA's response to the administration's commitment to make government more transparent to the American people," said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "This effort will improve the public's accessibility to workplace safety and health data and ensure the Agency can function more effectively for American workers."
Information available at the Data.gov and the OSHA website includes an establishment's name, address, industry, associated Total case Rate, DART case rate and the Days Away From Work (DAFWII) case rate. The data is specific to the establishments that provided OSHA with valid data through the 2008 data collection (collection of CY 2007 data). This database does not contain rates calculated by OSHA for establishments that submitted suspect or unreliable data.
provides expanded public access to valuable workforce-related data generated by the Executive Branch of the federal government. Although the initial launch of Data.gov provides a limited portion of the rich variety of federal datasets presently available, the public is invited to participate in shaping the future of Data.gov by suggesting additional datasets and site enhancements to provide seamless public access and use of federal data.
More information about the Department of Labor's Open Government website is available at http://www.dol.gov/open/, where links lead to the latest data sets, ways to connect with department staff and information about providing public input that will make the site and its work more useful and engaging.