The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) uses incidence rates to identify poor workplace safety management programs. Incidence rates can be calculated for all recordable cases of injury or illness, or only those that result in lost work days. OSHA uses the incidence rate for days away from work, days of restricted work activity or job transfer (DART) to target high-risk work sites for inspection. A high DART rate could mean that a company needs to improve safety procedures. A low DART rate could mean non-compliance with OSHA reporting regulations.
Calculate Your OSHA DART Rate
Determine the number of cases involving days away from work, restricted work duty or transfer to another job. This is the total number of lost-time incidents recorded as entries in column H and column I of OSHA form 300. You may also obtain this number by adding the total number of cases entered on line H and line I of OSHA form 300A.
Determine the number of hours worked by all employees during the year. This number is the total of all regular and overtime hours worked, which is available in the employment information section of OSHA form 300. You may also obtain this number through payroll records.
Calculate your OSHA DART rate. The total number of cases involving days away from work, restricted work duty or transfer to another job, multiplied by 200,000 (the equivalent of 100 full-time employees working 40 hours a week, 50 weeks per year), then divided by the total number of hours worked during the year. This equals the DART rate. OSHA rates are expressed as a rate per 100 full-time employees. This provides companies with a standard value to compare safety performance without regard to the number of employees.
Your DART rate should be lower than your incidence rate.
Do not include vacation, sick leave or holidays when calculating the total number of hours worked during the year.
DART rate can be calculated at any time during the year.
Compare your DART rate with the average for your standard industrial classification, which is published annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This will determine the effectiveness of your safety management program. Bureau of Labor Statistics data is available online at bls.gov.
General instructions and OSHA sample forms are available online at osha.gov.
OSHA's 2008 site-specific targeting plan identified a high DART rate as a means to target companies for inspection.
Tamra Spurlock joined the freelance writing community in 2010. She specializes in technical writing for the utility industry, employee training and development. She holds Train-the-Trainer certification through the University of Richmond and an eLearning Instructional Design certificate from the American Society of Training and Development.