DART is an acronym that stands for days away, restricted or transferred. It is a term that is used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and is a safety metric that is used to show how many workplace injuries and illnesses caused the affected employees to remain away from work, restricted their work activities, or transferred to another job as they were unable to do their usual job within a calendar year.

OSHA requires that an OSHA 300 log be completed each year, and that a DART rate be provided. Average DART rates may vary between industries, so there are different categories of DART rate comparison. The purpose of the DART rate is, primarily, to help the employer and senior management to identify safety matters in the work place. Although it is similar to the incident rate, the DART rate calculates the recordable loss rate. Ideally, the DART rate should be lower than the incident rate.

The DART rate is easily calculated by a mathematical formula that defines the number of recordable incidents per 100 full time employees, which resulted in lost work days, restricted work days, or job transfer due to workplace injuries or illnesses. The formula used to calculate DART rate is as follows:

DART rate = Total number of recordable injuries and illnesses / (Total number of hours worked by all employees X 200, 000)

What to Include in DART Rate Calculation

The total number of recordable injuries seems like a straightforward statistic, right? It is; provided you remember that the total number of recordable injuries and illnesses are only the workplace illnesses and injuries that were serious enough to warrant days away from work, days spent restricted from normal work activities or transferred to a different job.

The total number of hours worked by all employees is the actual total number of hours that were worked by all employees in the calendar year.

The number 200,000 is used as a benchmark. 200,000 represents the number of hours that would be worked by 100 employees, averaging 40 hours per week over a 50 week span (two week holiday included). It does not matter whether your employees actually worked more than 200,000 hours or less than 200,000 hours. The number is used to establish a trending benchmark.

Recordable Injuries

The trouble with DART rate calculation usually lies in determining what constitutes a recordable injury. Here are some tips to help you clearly identify what workplace injuries and illnesses are included in DART rate calculation.

  • All injuries that happen at work are included in the DART rate provided that they:

    1. Resulted in days away from work, days restricted from typical job activities, or resulted in the employee being transferred to another job

    2. Were not pre-existing conditions, or merely occurred while the employee was at work. Injuries that simply present their symptoms while at work are not to be included in the DART rate. For example: An employee is walking from their desk to the water fountain. Nothing observable occurs while she walks down the hallway. All the sudden the employee feels pain in the knee joint. She tries to put pressure on the leg, but is unable to bear the weight. She receives first aid and visits a doctor. The doctor recommends that the employee take a few days off and work from home if possible. This is an example of an injury that is not included in the DART rate. Although the employee misses working days, the injury was not work related, it merely presented itself while at work. If, however, the employee had tripped while walking down the hallway, and sprained her ankle, and had to take days off, then this would be an incident that is included in the DART rate.

  • An incomplete return to work can be confusing when determining what recordable injuries to include in DART rate calculation. If an employee has an incident at work and is required to take days off, then that incident is recorded and used in DART rate calculation. If that same employee returns to work a week later, but cannot return to his normal job and is, therefore, transferred to a different department, or performs modified work duties for a specified period of recovery time, then that is not counted as a separate incident. There was only one incident that led to both the time off and modified work duties. The DART rate calculates the frequency of incidents that required days away, job transfer, etc.. Thus, one accident = one recordable injury for DART rate calculation.

    Although the paperwork it involves is less than exciting, incident rates and DART rates provide valuable information for a company's health and safety team. Not only is it important to record all workplace injuries for the company's personal records, it is also helpful to differenciate between what implact those injuries had on the company. These rate calculations aid health and safety professionals in ensuring there are proper preventitive measures put into place, as well as improving the health and safety standards in your company.