Injuries and Illness

A Simple Approach to Computing Incident Rates and Severity

Computing accident incidence rates and severity can help analyze and correct conditions that cause accidents.

A simple formula for calculating accident incidence (frequency) is to:

  1. Take the total number of recordable incidents for the year from your OSHA 300.
  2. Multiply that number by 200,000, which represents the number of hours worked by 100 full-time employees, 40 hours per week for 50 weeks per year. (OSHA requires accident rates to be calculated as incidents per 100 full-time employees.)
  3. Calculate the total hours worked by all employees for the year and divide that number into the total for the first two steps.

In other words:

Number of recordable injuries or illnesses x 200,000____    =    Incident Rate&
Hours worked by all employees during the calendar year

Some employers like to calculate monthly or quarterly incident rates as well, and this can easily be done by using incident and hours-worked figures for only the particular month or quarter.

A severity rate can be calculated by substituting the number of lost workdays for the number of recordable injuries or illnesses.

OSHA also uses a “Days Away Restricted & Transferred” rate based on injuries or illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activity, or job transfer for every 100 full-time workers (referred to as the DART rate), and a “Days Away from Work Injury and Illness” (DAFWII), among other things, to select firms for on-site inspections.

Recordable injures are those which result in death, loss of consciousness, limitation on the work or motions the worker can perform, transfer to other work, or medical treatment beyond first aid. The most detailed information about recordable injuries is found in an OSHA publication, The OSHA Recordkeeping Handbook, available for download.

If you would like to compare your rates to those of others in your industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) annually publishes the key safety statistics for each major segment of manufacturing, construction, and service industries and makes these available to the public.

Also, detailed statistics on occupational accidents and illnesses, updated annually, can be found on the OSHA website at (click on Statistics under Data & Statistics).

In some cases, you may need the NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System) for your industry; you should be able to get this from your Accounting department or from the U.S. Census Bureau’s website at (click on NAICS under Business & Industry at the bottom of the page).

Cut Incident Rates with Effective Training

To prevent incidents and injuries, you need to train employees in a broad range of safety and health topics. Well-trained employees are safe employees.

Savvy safety professionals have for years relied on the BLR® 7-Minute Safety Trainer. This essential training resource allows you to provide concise, memorable training easily and effectively in just a few minutes. Materials are ready-to-use, and each session supplies a detailed trainer’s outline as well as a handout, quiz, and quiz answers to get your points across quickly—and cost-effectively.

All told, this “trainer’s bible” contains 50 prewritten meetings covering almost every aspect of safety you’d want or need to train on, in a format designed to be taught in as little as 7 minutes. Major topics include:

—Confined spaces
—Electrical safety
—Fire safety and emergency response
—Machine guarding and lockout/tagout
—Material handling
—PPE use and care
—Housekeeping/slips, trips, and falls
—and dozens more

Just make as many copies as you need of the included handouts and quizzes, and you’re ready to train.

Equally important is that the program ships new meetings every quarter to respond to new and changed regulations. This service is included in the program price, which averages just over $1 a working day. In fact, this is one of BLR’s most popular safety programs.

If you’d like to personally evaluate 7-Minute Safety Trainer and see how it can build safety awareness, we’ll be happy to send it to you for 30 days on a no-cost, no-obligation trial basis. Just let us know, and we’ll arrange it.

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