The Lost Time Case Rate, also referred to as LTC Rate, is a standard workplace safety metric like OSHA’s Total Recordable Incident Rate. Where the TRIR considers all injuries and illnesses, the LTC Rate represents solely the number of cases that resulted in lost workdays. OSHA defines a lost time case as a recordable incident where an employee cannot return to work or is given restricted work.
There can be several different reasons why an employee may have to call out of work. Incidents such as trips, slips, or falls may have caused an employee to break a bone or sprain an ankle. Or perhaps they were exposed to a hazardous chemical that resulted in a level of injury that prohibited a fast recovery. Whatever the type of injury, a high injury frequency rate within business operations must be addressed to further improve the facility’s safety program. Without these improvements, insurance premiums may go up, jobs may not be filled because of a bad reputation, and productivity and product quality can plummet.
To determine your LTC Rate, first plug in number of recordable cases with associated lost workdays – this information can be found in your OSHA 300 or 300A log. While it’s common to input the number of employee labor hours worked over a year, you can choose any given time frame for your calculation. For instance, calculating the LTC Rate monthly will make it easier to spot trends from month to month.
I’ve calculated the Lost Time Incident Rate, what's next?
The rate calculated above is the number of workers who lost time due to an injury or illness for every 100 employees – the more hazardous types of industries such as commercial fishing, logging, or mining are likely to have a higher Lost Time Incident Rate.
EHS managers use the Lost Time Case Rate to monitor the impact of lost time on a business, track the impact of safety measures, and identify trends.
Lowering your Lost Time Case Rate begins with reviewing the following:
- Training: Ensure safety training is proactive and up to date; double check certification requirements and safety program procedures.
- Safety Controls: Complete a risk analysis to gather essential data and then implement preventative measures like machine guards, visual cues, and more to reduce the likeliness of an incident.
- Procedures: Perform preventative maintenance. This can greatly reduce the chance of an injury resulting from dangerous machinery or equipment.
- Past Incidents: Look at past injuries and illnesses to determine the root cause of each incident. Solving each issue can not only reduce duplicate incidents but can also prevent similar problems.