DART Rate Calculator – Calculate Lost Time Accidents

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No matter what your industry, occupational safety is vital. Statistics are one tool that helps employers identify trends in workplace injuries and illnesses, and few are as key as the DART calculation. DART, or days away, restricted or transferred, can help you evaluate your workplace’s safety. Read on to learn all about the ins and outs of your company’s DART rate and how to use our DART rate calculator.

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DART Rate Calculator

Understanding Your DART Rate

DART is a statistic used to compare employee injuries and illnesses across and within industries.

Within an industry, DART allows you to compare your workplace to the industry average. If you have significantly more missed days or job transfers due to injuries, it’s a red flag that you need more safety training.

What Is a DART Rate?

DART represents how frequently major incidents occur in your workplace. It’s one way of comparing the safety of your workplace to others in your sector.

Another way of tracking workplace incidents is the TRIR (total recordable incident rate). This includes all events that result in medical treatment beyond first aid, even if it didn’t result in days away or job transfers. Other statistics can track the rate of fatal injuries and illnesses.

How Do You Calculate the DART Rate?

The general formula is (the number of incidents resulting in days away, restricted, or transferred * 200,000) divided by the total number of hours worked.

Why 200,000? It represents 100 employees working a 40-hour week for 50 weeks out of a year.

For many industries, the rate will be in the low single digits. For instance, trucking has a rate of 2.3 and private industry overall has a rate of 1.7.

The DART rate can vary quite a bit, so make sure you’re comparing yours to the most current information from your sector.

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What’s a DART Incident?

DART stands for “Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred.” Let’s break that down further:

  • Away – an incident that results in an employee missing one or more days of work. Only count an incident once, even if it resulted in more than one day off. Don’t count an incident when an employee returned to work after minor first aid for injuries.
  • Restricted – an incident that results in an employee being put on restricted work activities for one or more days. Again, only count the incident once even if the affected employee had multiple days of restricted work activities.
  • Transferred – an incident that necessitates a job transfer.

What about the situation where a DART incident can be in multiple categories? Let’s say an employee is out for several days before returning to restricted work.

You guessed it – only count the incident once.

How Many Hours Worked?

The total number of hours worked does not include vacation hours, holidays, or hours taken off for other reasons (including unrelated illness).

However, the number of hours worked includes salaried and exempt employees, including clerical and support staff. Make sure you include these employees when calculating the total number of hours.

Hours worked also includes any overtime hours. This is especially important, as many workplace safety incidents are more likely to occur during overtime hours.

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How Does the DART Rate Affect Your Workplace?

No matter how safe the industry or how well-run the site is, workplace injuries happen. However, a high rate can have implications beyond the lost hours.

Workplace morale can take a serious hit if employees feel their supervisors aren’t looking out for their safety. That can lead to high turnover and difficulty filling vacant positions.

You may also have difficulty building relationships. Partners may not want to work with a company that has poor safety metrics.

Companies with a higher DART rate will simply pay more in workman’s comp, which can lead to higher insurance premiums down the line. Employers are often on the hook for medical expenses, as well.

In serious cases, a high OSHA DART rate could lead OSHA to conduct an inspection. If workplace safety violations are found on that inspection, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars.

Using a DART Rate Calculator

One way to track your DART rate is with a calculator. These tools can process raw data about work-related injuries and provide an ongoing tally of recordable cases. They can also break down your data, which is important – OSHA considers restricted days less serious than missed days.

Tracking your DART info is the first step towards improving the safety culture and reducing the incident rate at your workplace. It’s also important to analyze the success of corrective actions.

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Lowering Your DART Rate

No matter where your DART rate is, you should always try to get it lower. Your workplace may have specific safety programs that aim to reduce the incidence of certain events.

Whether there are specific programs in place to manage incidents or not, a few strategies are key for EHS managers looking to reduce the DART rate.

Safety Reporting

Regular safety meetings can help get employees on the same page when it comes to work-related injuries. They’re a good time to go over your workplace’s procedure for reporting unsafe conditions or workplace accidents.

Employees should feel empowered to report unsafe conditions. Each report that’s addressed could mean several DART incidents that have been averted.

Promoting a safety culture takes patience and trust, especially if safety performance hasn’t been valued in the past. When it comes to reducing OSHA DART incidents, though, there’s no other way.

Finding Root Causes

Safety reporting should aim to get at the root cause of any DART incident. Don’t be too quick to write something off as an employee error if it’s really caused by environmental conditions.

DART can be a great tool for assessing changes in employee safety. For instance, moving to a new facility or changing how shifts are structured can cause changes in recordable cases.

Fixing Problems

Once you understand the root cause of an incident, you’re better able to determine how to prevent it in the future. Corrective actions for safety incident management can include:

  • Conducting safety training or retraining
  • Changing workplace layout
  • Providing additional safety equipment
  • Changing staffing levels.
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Your DART Rate and OSHA

As long as you’re not in a low-risk, exempt industry, OSHA requires you to report any incident that results in restricted work, permanent transfer, or days away. Some cases are even required to be reported to OSHA directly (like hospitalizations, fatalities, or enucleations (loss of an eye).

These records must be kept at the worksite for five years and a summary of the previous calendar year (including DART rate) needs to be displayed onsite between February and April. High-risk industries may have further requirements.

How Does OSHA Use Your DART Rate?

There are no immediate consequences for a high DART rate. However, if your rate is significantly higher than your industry peers, OSHA may target you for an inspection. Your insurance costs will also likely be greater than your competitors because of your numbers of injury or accidents.

Is a DART rate the Same as a TRIR Calculation?

No, they are different. A TRIR calculator measures your company’s accident incidence rate. You should check out that calculator to see how it works. Both DART and TRIR are important calculations, but they are different.

Improving Your Safety Performance

No matter what your other business goals are, reducing your company’s incident rate should always be front of mind. Improved safety training can both prevent future incidents and make employees safer. By keeping good records and using a DART rate calculator monthly, you can measure your safety performance month over month.

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