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DART Rate: Calculating DART the Easy Way (And Why It Matters)

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on May 30, 2018 at 2:06 PM

When measuring the success of your EHS program, many companies look at the number of days an employee stays home due to a work-related injury. But looking at the days of missed work alone leaves out two other important aspects of calculating how a work-related incident affects your company: restricted work and transferred work.

What Is DART?

DART is the acronym developed by OSHA to give a better idea of the impact of an employee-involved incident. DART, or Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred, takes into account three different metrics.

  1. The number of days an employee is absent because of a work-related illness or injury
  2. The number of days an employee is placed under work restrictions (e.g. no heavy lifting, must sit while working, etc.)
  3. The number of days an employee is transferred to another job because they could not fulfill their normal duties.

Using DART as a Key Metric

You likely already calculate the number of recordable incidents and days away from work, but DART takes it two steps further. Restricted work and job transfers won’t affect your ‘days away from work’ metric, but these should be measured because they impact productivity and profitability.

This metric is largely used by EHS departments and company leadership to locate and resolve safety hazards in the workplace by better understanding the impact of each incident.

For example, if you only record missed days of work, you might not realize that an incident has impacted your organization’s output by restricting a worker’s duties or moving a work to another department.

As a result, your team has a better grasp on how safety-related incidents affect your company and can be better prepared to handle them.

How to Calculate DART the Old-Fashioned Way

OSHA developed the DART calculation to determine the number of days of missed, restricted, or transferred work:

(Total number of incidents or illnesses resulting in either the worker missing work, being on restricted duty, or being transferred to another job within the organization x 200,000)

The total number of hours worked by all employees

OSHA uses 200,000 because it represents the number of hours worked by 100 employees for an entire year (50 weeks). 

The DART Rate is similar to another important calculation, the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), but know that these two calculations are not the same. TRIR calculates the total amount of recordable incidents within a company. Ideally, your TRIR should be higher than your DART Rate. Otherwise, it would appear like every incident in your company resulted in time away from work, restricted work, or a transfer of work.

How to Streamline DART Calculations

Companies use OSHA 300 to collect the necessary information on a recordable incident. This form standardizes the collection process and includes the employee’s name and job title, the date of the injury or the onset of the work-related illness, an in-depth description of the injury or illness, and whether the illness or incident resulted in a death, missed work days, restricted job duties, or a job transfer.

Departments can streamline their metrics and processes by using EHS management software

For starters, the required data can be easily entered using simple software which ensures all the required information is gathered every time. EHS programs that offer mobile access can further streamline the process by completing the form wherever the manager is at the time, rather than relocating to an office computer.

EHS software programs can aggregate all incident-related data to perform your calculations for you. There’s no math required on your part and you’re sure to get an up-to-date calculation that tells you what your DART Rate is at all times.

Knowing an up-to-the-minute figure rather than an occasional update can help managers and other personnel look into issues sooner and develop action plans to target issues, especially if you find that your DART Rate is becoming higher than your Incident Rate.

DART Rate can be a highly insightful metric in your EHS strategy if you know how to leverage it. Using EHS software makes it easier to understand this metric to give you better insight for immediate action that can truly make a difference.

Further reading: TRIR Calculation: How to Calculate Total Recordable Incident Rate

Topics: Workplace Health and Safety, Incident Reporting Software, Safety Tips, Incident Management, Safety Management, Safety Metrics

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