How OSHA Evaluates the Safety of Your Business

How OSHA Evaluates the Safety of Your Business

Barrett Pryce

Barrett Pryce

Marketing Manager

Barrett Pryce is the Marketing Manager with Vivid Learning Systems, an online safety training provider making life a little easier for safety professionals.

The OSHA Data Initiative (ODI) is a data collection effort to learn more about private-sector occupational injury & illness rates, for evaluation of trends, and statistics. OSHA uses this information to make decisions about enforcement. Each year, the ODI collects injury and illness data from approximately 80,000 employers within specific industry and employment size specifications.

From the information collected by the ODI, OSHA is able to further refine its inspection targeting by evaluating the safety of your business with two objective equations. These formulas are useful for predicting the likelihood of inspection and for understanding the path an inspection may take once initiated. For example, this information would tell you if the inspection you’re expecting would be a partial, records-only, or walk-through inspection.

Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) Rate

The DART rate includes cases involving days away from work, restricted work activity, and transfers to another job. It is calculated based on (N÷ EH) x (200,000) where N is the number of cases involving days away and/or restricted work activity, and/or job transfers; EH is the total number of hours worked by all employees during the calendar year; and 200,000 is the base number of hours worked for 100 full-time equivalent employees.

Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) Rate

For example... Employees of an establishment, including management, temporary, and leased employees, worked 645,089 hours at the workplace. There were 22 injury and illness cases involving 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 would be (22÷ 645,089) x (200,000) = 6.8.

The DART rate would be (22÷ 645,089) x (200,000) = 6.8

Days Away from Work Injury and Illness (DAFWII) Case Rate

The DAFWII case rate is the number of cases that involve days away from work per 100 full-time equivalent employees. Cases that involve only temporary transfers to another job or restricted work are not included. It is calculated based on (N÷ EH) x (200,000) where N is the number of cases N = number of cases involving days away/restricted work activity/job transfers EH = total number of hours worked by all employees during the calendar year 200,000 = base number of hours worked for 100 full-time equivalent employees x 200,000 = ( ) N EH DART Rate x 200,000 = ( ) 22 645,089 6.8 24 involving days away from work; EH is the total number of hours worked by all employees during the calendar year; and 200,000 is the base number of hours worked for 100 full-time equivalent employees.

NOTE: The DART and DAFWII rates are differentiated by the makeup of N in the calculation formula. For the DAFWII rate, N is equal to the total of Column H from the OSHA-300 Log.

Days Away from Work Injury and Illness (DAFWII) Case Rate

For example, from the OSHA-300 Log...

Employees of an establishment, including management, temporary, and leased employees, worked 452,680 hours at the workplace. There were 25 injury and illness cases involving days away from work from the OSHA-300 Log (total of column H). The DAFWII case rate would be (25 ÷ 452,680) x (200,000) = 11.0.

DAFWII case rate would be (25 ÷ 452,680) x (200,000) = 11.0

OSHA also looks at...

  • Incidence Rate - An incidence rate of injuries and illnesses is computed from the following formula: (Number of injuries and illnesses X 200,000) / Employee hours worked = Incidence rate.
  • Total Cases Recorded (TCR) - The TCR includes all cases recorded on the OSHA Form 300 (Column G + Column H + Column I + Column J).

Calculating DART Rate & DAFWII Case Rate

When OSHA’s Compliance Safety & Health Officers (CSHOs) arrive to perform an inspection, these employees have a step-by-step guide for determining the course of the inspection, and this involves calculation of DART and DAFWII rates.

N = number of cases involving days away from work EH = total number of hours worked by all employees during the calendar year 200,000 = base number of hours worked for 100 full-time equivalent employees x 200,000 = ( ) N EH DAFWII Rate x 200,000 = ( ) 25 452,680 11.0 25

This is the protocol CSHOs follow for SST programmed inspections...

  1. Review the OSHA-300 Logs for 2011, 2012, and 2013. Calculate and record the DART rate and DAFWII case rate for each of the three years.
  2. OSHA-300 Logs for 2014 may also be reviewed for possible injuries and illnesses occurring during the year. Note: Calculations are not to be performed if, for any reason, the relevant records are not available. CSHOs will check OSHA-301 Forms as they deem appropriate to confirm the OSHA-300 Logs. For Reference: Twice the private sector 2011 national incidence rates: DART rate 1.8 x 2.0 = 3.6 DAFWII case rate 2 x 1.1 = 2.2.
  3. If records are not available, proceed with the inspection.
  4. If any two of the calculated DART rates are at or above 3.6, proceed with the inspection.
  5. If any two of the above DART rates are below 3.6, but any two of the DAFWII case rates are at or above 2.2, proceed with the inspection.
  6. If for any two of the above three years the DART rates are below 3.6, and the DAFWII case rates for the same two years are below 2.2, then do a records review for the most current year that falls below twice the private sector rates, and then recalculate the DART and DAFWII rates for that most current year.
  7. If the DART rate is below 3.6, and the DAFWII rate is below 2.2, classify the inspection as a “records only.”
  8. But, if either the DART rate is at or above 3.6, or the DAFWII rate is at or above 2.2, proceed with the inspection. Note: All non-responder establishments (those business that did not respond to the ODI survey) will receive a comprehensive safety inspection regardless of their calculated DART and DAFWII rates.
  9. For “records only” inspections: A partial walkthrough must be conducted to interview employees in order to verify the injury and illness experience. Any recordkeeping violations, in addition to any serious violations that are observed in plain view in the vicinity or brought to the attention of the CSHO, must be investigated and may be cited.

Safety professionals can review workplace OSHA-300 logs and do the math themselves by working through each equation, to find out what the rates are for the businesses they’re supporting, or use a rate calculator found on the web. This information may prove useful in advance of an inspection, but may also be used for safety goal setting.