December 12, 2022

KNOW THE ABC's of TRIR and DART

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INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

It’s easy to get lost in the alphabet soup of work safety acronyms. If the idea of running afoul of OSHA because of bad TRIR and DART scores has your head spinning, it might be time for a refresher course.

Here’s a review of the key work safety metrics, why they’re important and how to improve your company’s safety record.

Letters of the Law

Companies with more than 10 full-time employees in higher-risk industries such as construction are required to keep track of work-related injuries and illnesses. They must submit annual reports to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that include two key statistics.

  • Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR): This measures how often a company’s employees suffer work-related injuries that require medical care beyond first aid. To calculate TRIR, take the total number of recordable injuries, multiply it by 200,000 and divide it by the total hours worked by all employees.
  • Days Away, Restricted or Transfers (DART): This measures how often a company’s employees suffer work-related injuries that cause them to miss work. To calculate, take the number of cases, multiply it by 200,000 and divide by the total hours worked by all employees. Keep in mind that DART doesn’t account for the total days lost to work injuries — just the number of cases that caused employees to miss at least one day.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry had a TRIR of 2.5 and a DART of 1.6 in 2021. That means 2.5% of workers in the construction industry suffered a recordable work-related injury that year and 1.6% missed time because of their injury. 

As a company working in the construction space, EquipmentShare works hard to make safety top of mind in the workplace, which has contributed to its low numbers. In 2021, EquipmentShare had a 0.72 TRIR and 0.66 DART in 2021. That was significantly better than the national averages of 2.0 TRIR and 1.1 DART for commercial and industrial machinery and equipment rental companies.

MORE: EquipmentShare launches Seven Seconds of Safety

“When you have a good safety culture, your data starts to show it,” said David Adams, EquipmentShare’s director of human resources and administration. “We want to make sure we improve our safety performance every day so our employees always have that safety-first mindset. When I go to sites and do an impromptu safety inspection, I point out things. But I’m not there to punish, I’m there to educate.” 

Why Do They Matter?

The biggest reason the metrics matter is they reflect a company’s commitment to the safety of its workers. Construction is a demanding job, but it shouldn’t be a dangerous job.

“When you have a good safety program, that shows you have a concern for the welfare and safety of everyone who works with you and others who come on your property,” Adams said.

There are also economic drawbacks to TRIR and DART scores higher than the industry average. As part of the vetting process, clients routinely check safety records and are less likely to hire contractors with poor scores. Bad safety records lead to higher insurance premiums and can trigger OSHA investigations. 

How to Improve

Changing a company’s safety scores requires a commitment to a safety-first culture. That could include weekly safety meetings and frequent internal messages on how to avoid common construction workplace injuries, as well as frequent inspections of jobsites. Make sure your employees know safety is their top priority, not an afterthought.

“The best thing you can do is have weekly meetings and make sure your people are aware of the things they shouldn’t be doing, whether it’s the way they climb a ladder or keeping a bottom drawer open in an office,” Adams said.

To learn how to design a safe equipment yard, read our white paper at equipmentshare.com/blog-posts/safety-first-equipment-yard

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