What Is an OSHA DART?

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DART is an acronym for "days away, restricted or transferred." Developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, this safety ratio helps employers determine how many work-related injuries and illnesses led to missed workdays, health-related work restrictions or job transfers within each calendar year. Its main benefit lies helping employers identify workplace safety issues.

Purpose and Function

OSHA uses DART rates as part of its Data Initiative Program. However, while all OSHA-covered businesses must keep track of health and safety information, not all are required to provide DART ratios. In general, only businesses in high-hazard industries that also meet size and injury/illness rate criteria must participate. OSHA uses DART rates along with other statistics to target enforcement and compliance assistance activities.

DART Rate vs. Incident Rates

DART rates rely on incident rate records. An incident rate reveals the total number of recordable work-related injuries and illnesses in a calendar year, while the DART rate shows how many of these affected daily operations. The DART rate for a company should always be lower than incident rate.

Calculating a DART Ratio

A DART ratio equation uses 200,000 hours as a benchmark number. This number, which represents the hours 100 employees who work 40 hours per week will work in a 50-week year, allows OSHA and individual employers to make industry-wide comparisons.

The formula is the sum of all missed workdays, health-related work restrictions and job transfers times 200,000, divided by the sum of actual hours worked. For example, if your company had two DART instances over the past year and your employees worked a total of 50,000 hours, your DART rate would be (2*200,000)/50,000, or 8.0 percent.

Internal and Industry-wide Comparisons

The DART rate is useful for internal and industry-wide comparisons, even if OSHA doesn’t require your business to submit the information. Monitor DART rates internally to determine the effectiveness of health and safety programs. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics has an interactive online tool to help you compare your rate with other business in your industry. If your DART rate is higher than the industry average, reviewing your company's safety policies and providing additional training might be necessary.


About the Author

Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.