Incident rates are a powerful metric to evaluate and monitor worker safety. OSHA, for instance, uses the Total Case Incident Rate, also referred to as the TCIR, to monitor data from high-risk industries that may regularly encounter dangerous safety trends or patterns. Additionally, safety managers will use information from the calculated incident rate to monitor injury frequency or illnesses and discover where safety programs are falling short.
Utilizing the OSHA incident rate calculator method can also establish a benchmark for comparing safety performance to other organizations within the same industry.
To utilize this form, you will need the most recent copy of your OSHA 300 log and 300A summary. Using these documents, simply plug in the number of recordable injuries and illnesses with total hours worked to find your OSHA incident rate.
Additional OSHA Incident Rate facts:
- OSHA incident rates are a measure of how often a recordable injury or illness occurs at a workplace over a specified period, typically over a year. Recordable injuries and illnesses are those that require medical treatment beyond first aid, result in days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, or involve loss of consciousness or significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional. Source: https://www.osha.gov/data/work
- An OSHA incident rate can be calculated using the following formula: (Number of injuries and illnesses X 200,000) / Employee hours worked = Incidence rate. The 200,000 figure in the formula represents the number of hours 100 employees working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year would work, and provides the standard base for calculating incidence rate for an entire year. Source: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2016-08-23
- OSHA incident rates can be used to show the relative level of injuries and illnesses among different industries, firms, or operations within a single firm. Because a common base and a specific period of time are involved, these rates can help determine both problem areas and progress in preventing work-related injuries and illnesses. Source: https://www.osha.gov/data/work
- OSHA provides data on establishments, investigations, frequently cited standards, penalties, and more related to safety and health topics, including incident rates. The data can be accessed through OSHA’s website at https://www.osha.gov/data. Source: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2016-08-23
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also publishes incident rates by size of establishment, industry, occupation, and other characteristics. The BLS data can be accessed through BLS’s website at https://www.bls.gov/iif/. Source: https://www.osha.gov/data/work
- In 2021, the private industry sector had an incidence rate of 2.5 cases per 100 full-time workers, which was unchanged from 2020. The incidence rates for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses with days away from work, restricted work, or job transfer (DART) and for cases with days away from work (DAFW) also remained unchanged at 1.3 and 0.9, respectively. Source: https://www.bls.gov/iif/
- The industries with the highest incidence rates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in 2021 were agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (5.5); health care and social assistance (4.2); and transportation and warehousing (4.1). The industries with the lowest incidence rates were finance and insurance (0.6); management of companies and enterprises (0.7); and professional, scientific, and technical services (0.8). Source: https://www.bls.gov/iif/
- The occupations with the highest incidence rates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses with days away from work in 2021 were nursing assistants (304.8); heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (278.5); and laborers and freight, stock, and material movers (247.9). The occupations with the lowest incidence rates were computer and mathematical occupations (6.4); legal occupations (8.2); and business and financial operations occupations (9.0). Source: https://www.bls.gov/iif/
I found the TCIR, what's next?
The number you get as your incident rate is the number of work-related injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time employees over one full year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the TCIR for private industry employers in 2017 was a rate of 2.8 cases per 100 employees.
Higher-risk industries like construction or mining are bound to have a higher incident rate, but if you have a high rate of injuries in a relatively safe industry, it is probably time to revamp your safety program.
Measuring your OSHA incident rate is a great indicator of the performance of safety in your industry. Different industries will have different average rates and you can find businesses in your specific sector with the North American Industry Classifications (NAICS) Code search. Similarly, smaller companies are more likely to have high or fluctuating incident rates from year to year.
In addition to the OSHA Recordable Incident Rate formula, companies may find it beneficial to calculate Lost Time Case Rate, Lost Workday Rate, Severity Rate, and the Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) Rate. Monitoring this data over time can be one of the most effective tools for improving the safety of your workers.