Why Calculate Incident and DART Rates
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Evaluating a company’s safety performance can be difficult without a good basis for comparison. If staffing company A had three injuries last year, is that good? Most would say yes, simply because three is a relatively low number. Now what if you found out that staffing company A only has three employees? Do three injuries still represent a safe workplace? This is exactly why incident and DART rates are so commonly used. Both of these rates can give you a snapshot of safety performance, while using the actual hours worked as a base. Incident and DART rates can be calculated quickly and with only a few pieces of information.
So what do you need to know in order to calculate an incident rate? All that you need to know are how many hours were worked for the year, and the number of recordable injuries experienced. That’s it. This information is located on the OSHA 300A that most companies are required to complete and post each year. Once you have that information, it’s time to calculate the incident rate, which you can do by using our online calculator.
So how does your incident rate differ from the DART rate? Your incident rate is meant to be a measure of frequency. It’s not telling you how many of the injuries were severe, just the number of injuries that occurred. The DART rate is also a frequency measure, but it’s only measuring severe cases. DART is short for “Days Away Restricted or Transferred.” So the injuries that the DART rate represents are those that required days away from work or restricted duty/job transfer.
The calculation for the DART rate is almost exactly the same, and the number of these cases can also easily be found on the OSHA 300A form (total of numbers H and I). You can use our Incident and Dart Rate Calculator to quickly find out yours.
Now that you have these rates, how can you use them? One way incident and DART rates are commonly used is to measure safety performance on a regular basis. Looking at your incident rate from one year to the next can demonstrate the effectiveness of your risk management program, keeping in mind any growth or decline that your business has experienced.
For the staffing industry, these rates can also be used to determine how safe a company is compared to others in their industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) puts together average incident rates per industry each year for reference purposes. These can be used for comparison. For example, a prospective client manufactures footwear. Their OSHA 300A form is reviewed, and it’s determined that their incident rate is a 7. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average shows that the average is 4.7. Knowing that this company has more injuries than others in the same industry says that this company likely does not have a good safety program in place and may require further evaluation or safety assistance before a staffing company should place employees there.
As different as clients can be in the staffing industry, there are some great tools available to help determine whether you’re putting employees in a safe place to work and how effective the prospective risk management program has been.
- Incident and DART Rate Calculator
- Indirect Cost of Losses Calculator
- Safety Culture Performance Metrics Webinar Replay
- OSHA-10 Hour General Training (11/10)
- Wellness and Safety Programs: What’s the Correlation Webinar (10/20)
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