Lost Time Injury

By Safeopedia Staff
Last updated: January 24, 2024

What Does Lost Time Injury Mean?

A lost time injury (LTI) is an injury sustained on the job that results in the loss of productive work time.

An occupational injury is considered an LTI only when the injured worker:

  • Is unable to perform their regular job duties
  • Requires time off to recover
  • Is assigned modified work duties while recovering

A lost time injury is also known as a lost time incident or lost time case.

Safeopedia Explains Lost Time Injury

Lost time injuries encompass both injuries that keep the employee away from work temporarily and permanent disabilities that prevent the employee from ever returning to the job or performing their regular work tasks.

Employees who return to work after sustaining a work-related injury are still counted among the company’s lost time injuries if they are unable to perform the duties outlined in their job descriptions.

The Importance of LTI Data

Tracking lost time injuries provides safety departments and employers with a key indicator of the effectiveness of the organization’s safety program. Data on lost time injuries can serve as a basic representation of a company’s safety performance, as well as provide insight on how those injuries affect the workforce’s productivity.

LTIs, moreover, form the basis of other important safety and performance metrics, such as lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) and lost time injury incidence rate (LTIIR).

Lost time injuries are lagging indicators of safety, meaning that they measure a company’s past safety performance but are not necessarily predictive of its future safety performance. Nevertheless, keeping tabs on LTIs can help prevent similar incidents from occurring again in the future.

Related Safety Metrics

In addition to LTIs, there are other metrics that track similar factors.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) uses a metric known as DART (Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred). The DART rate represents the number of recordable incidents per 100 full-time employees that result in one or more days away from work, of restricted work, or job transfer.

Another metric used is “recordable incidents.” These include injuries and illnesses that result in loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work, or transfer to another job.

Calculating Your Lost Time Injury Rate

The lost time injury rate (LTIR) is calculated using a simple formula, where the total number of lost time injuries in a given period is divided by the total number of hours worked in that period and then multiplied by 200,000.

LTIR = (Total LTIs / Total number of hours) × 200,000

The 200,000 is not an arbitrary figure. It represents 100 employees working 40 hours a week for a 50-week calendar year.

Preventing Lost Time Injuries

A high rate of LTIs will bring an organization under scrutiny. In fact, it is one of the measures OSHA uses to determine which companies will be subjected to safety inspections.

Preventing accidents and injuries by adhering to OSHA regulations and training employees to use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is the best way to avoid or minimize lost time injuries.

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Lost Time Incident

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