OSHA Releases 9,400 D.A.R.T. Letters Affecting MA, CT, RI, and NY

On March 18th, 2013 OSHA sent out 9,400 letters to workplaces whose establishments are covered by Federal OSHA and whose DART rate was above the national average for their industry.  OSHA sends these letters out each year based on a mathematical calculation that describes the number of recordable injuries and illnesses per 100 full time employees that resulted in days away from work, restricted work activity and/or job transfer in any given time frame.  DART stands for:  Days Away/Restricted or Transfer.

Workplaces with more than 10 employees need to report their incident rates, types of incidents, and lost/restricted work days to OSHA via their 300 Logs every year.  Recordable incidents are incidents that resulted from an exposure or event in the workplace that required some type of medical treatment or first aid.  For more information on what is and is not a “recordable” incident, please visit the OSHA website: www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/index.html.

Want to calculate your company’s DART rate?  Here’s some basic instruction on how to calculate a DART rate:

Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) rate includes: cases involving days away from work; restricted work activity; and transfers to another job.  The standard base rate of calculation is based on a rate of 200,000 labor hours.  This number equates to 100 employees who work 40 hours per week and who work 50 weeks per year.  By adding up the number of incidents that had one or more lost days, one or more restricted days, or that resulted in an employee transferring to a different job within the workplace, and multiplying that number by 200,000 then dividing that number by the number of employee labor hours at the company.

                                    Total number of DART incidents x 200,000

           Dart Rate =    ___________________________________

                                    Number of employee labor hours worked

For example:  Employees of ABC Company, including temporary workers and management, worked 500,000 hours total.  There were 20 recordable injury and illness cases involving days away and/or restricted work activity and/or job transfer that were listed on their OSHA 300 Log.  Twenty times 200,000 divided by 500,000 = a DART rate of 8.

In 2011, all industries, including state and local government, had an average DART rate of 1.9 (the same number as 2010).  If you don’t know what your DART rate is we can tell you.  Through our notifications from OSHA we know whose rate is double or triple the national average and who should be expecting an OSHA inspector to arrive at their workplace. 

Do you want to be pro-active or wait for one of the OSHA inspectors?  You have choices.

#1   OSHA does offer a free, confidential service, designed for small employers (250 or fewer workers).  It’s called the On-site Consultation Program.  Through this service OSHA sends one of their inspectors to assist you in addressing safety and health matters.  This service certainly meets every company’s safety budget; however, is it an offer you want? 

#2   A better option would be to control the process and work privately with an independent consulting company that will provide experts in the area of occupational health and safety.  This will afford your company the opportunity to come in full regulatory compliance prior to an OSHA visit and/or an OSHA issued fine related to potential violations indicated by an excessive DART rate.

United Alliance Services can provide you with an independent safety consultant.  We’ll provide a non-partisan safety perspective and be there for you before, during, and after any consultation or training we provide.  Give us a call today at 877-399-1698.