It’s that time of year again: March Madness bracket disasters, turkey hunting in the southeast, spring weather and letters from fed-OSHA for those with high DART rates. Days Away, Restricted and Transferred reflects the more severe (and expensive) injuries and illnesses that resulted in lost-time, job restrictions (aka “light duty”) or transfers to new positions (unable to return to the original job).
In years past, any surveyed workplace reporting a DART rate greater than the national average received a letter. That rate often hovered around 2.0 and generated 13,000 – 15,000 letters. For 2013, fed-OSHA changed their formula, sending a letter to each establishment reporting a 2011 DART rate greater than the average for their respective sector. That resulted in a big drop in the number of letters sent earlier this month – only about 9,400 – but gives a much better apples-to-apples benchmark for recipients, acknowledging the inherent differences between sectors.
For example, the industry DART rate for steel foundries typically runs 7-8 per 100 employees, while less than 1.0 for radio broadcasting. Is it really useful each year to document that steel foundries exceeded the national average and radio broadcasters did not? Of course they did (and did not). Their industries are so different that no meaningful comparison can be made based on injury rates.
Reflecting the new criterion, the letter gets right to the point: “This means workers in your establishment are being injured at a higher rate than in most other businesses in your industry.” Now that means something, and it’s targeted and actionable. When compared to your own industry, the implications of low, average and high are clear. So it seems to me that benchmarking within sectors makes good sense for these annual notifications.
Read the rest of the story at: OSHA Knowledge of Work by UL Website: http://bit.ly/16mmJIE