Using Key Metrics to Measure Workplace Safety Performance in Health Care

Evaluating a home health care provider’s safety performance can be difficult without a good basis for comparison. This is where DART comes in: It’s a measurement of workplace injuries and illnesses that result in time away from work, restricted job roles, or permanent transfers to new positions. DART rate stands for days away, restrictions or transfers. The higher the amount of incidents that require days away from work, job restrictions or job transfers, the higher the DART rate will be. OSHA uses the organization’s DART rate along with its incident rate to statistically compare the company’s workplace safety performance with that of other businesses and provide a snapshot of safety performance.

The incident rate is calculated by recording how many hours were worked for the year, and the number of recordable injuries experienced. This information is located on the OSHA 300A form that most businesses are required to complete and post each year. The incident rate is meant to be a measure of frequency. It doesn’t speak to how many of the injuries were severe, just the number of injuries that occurred. The DART rate is also a frequency measure, but it’s only measuring severe cases. The injuries that the DART rate represents are those that required days away from work or restricted duty/job transfer. To calculate the DART rate:

  • Add the totals from Columns H and I of the OSHA 300A log (total reportable injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work, job transfer, or restricted job duties).
  • Multiply this number by 200,000 (base hours worked for 100 full-time–equivalent employees).
  • Divide the result by the total number of hours worked by all employees (including management, temporary, and leased workers).

Health care organizations can use these rates to measure safety performance on a regular basis, which will help illustrate how effective the organization’s risk management and safety training programs are. Additionally, the rates can also be used to determine how safe a company is compared to others in their industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) puts together average incident rates per industry each year for reference purposes, which can be used for comparison.

In addition, these measurements will also help to shed light on the cost of an insured’s Workers’ Compensation insurance. The more losses incurred, particularly when benchmarked against other businesses in a similar industry, will impact a home health care provider’s premiums. Manchester Specialty Programs specializes in providing the home health care industry with comprehensive insurance solutions, including Workers’ Compensation. We also offer tools and strategies through our carriers to help gain control over ongoing costs and rising premiums, assist employees in returning to work, stem fraud, and other risk management measures. To find out more about our insurance solutions and services, please contact us today toll free at 1-855-972-9399.