In the previous article posted concerning OSHA 300A Form Posting, there was discussion on calculating average number of workers. This value is to be entered under the establishment information on the OSHA 300A Form. This calculation can give employers some confusion and incorrect numbers can cause problems for your DART rate.
The DART rate for your company comes into play when you transfer your 300A data over to the OSHA electronic database. DART stands for days away, restricted or transferred, and the number of workers and total hours worked affect this rate. If your DART rate is high, it could trigger OSHA to take a closer look at your facility. We have had several gins receive letters from OSHA concerning their higher-than-average DART rate but have not seen any additional actions from OSHA at this point. It is very important that OSHA receives correct data representing your facility.
Average number of employees is essentially the total number of workers paid during the year divided by the number of pay periods. Be sure to count every paycheck, including all salaried, full time, part time, seasonal, and temporary employee. This would even include the employee that only worked a few days and never returned but did receive a paycheck.
Let’s look at an example for calculating the average number of employees for the purpose of OSHA 300A and electronic reporting. It can be viewed as the number of employees or the number of paychecks written. If you paid 15 employees for 8 pay periods, 30 employees for 16 pay periods, and 8 employees for 28 pay periods, then your total number of employees would be (15×8) + (30×16) + (8×28) = 824 total employees. That number would then be divided by the total number of pay periods (52 for weekly, 26 for biweekly, etc.). If we assume weekly pay periods, the average number of employees for this example would be (824/52) = 15.8 rounded up to 16 average employees over the year. If this calculation is not correct it will have an effect on how OSHA calculates your dart rate.
The other part of this calculation to consider is the total number of hours worked and is just as important as the average number of employees. For hourly employees the total hours worked can just be pulled from your payroll system, but salaried employees there will have to be some estimations made if the data is not available. For salaried employees, take the time to make as accurate estimations as possible as this total number of hours worked plays a crucial role in OSHA correctly calculating DART rates for your facility. Additional examples and explanations can be found here OSHA Forms and Instructions
It may take a little more time and work to get accurate numbers for the average number of employees and the total hours worked, but it is important to get these numbers correct. If you do not, there is a risk of being labeled as a high risk workplace based on faulty numbers.
If there are any question concerning this topic or other OSHA related issues. Please give Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association a call.