A few gins have called us recently regarding a letter or email from OSHA regarding their DART Rate. So what is a DART Rate and do you know what yours is? A DART Rate is a measure of injuries and illnesses and is designed to be able to compare industry to industry and individual companies to an industry average. It is SUPPOSED to eliminate the size factor so that you can compare apples to apples. DART stands for Days Away Restricted or Transferred.
Ideally, the DART rate is the number of injuries that would be lost time or restricted an employer with 100 employees would have in a year’s time. It is based on the 200,000 hour base for 100 employees at 2000 hours each. Employers record injuries with days away, restricted or transferred on their OSHA 300 form. For the past few years, nearly all employers have been required to send their OSHA 300A summary information (this includes the DART information) to OSHA. This has evolved in to some gins getting letters.
I have reached out to a couple of attorneys that work on OSHA cases. OSHA has sent these letters out for a long time. OSHA and previously the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collected injury information on a random survey (not voluntary) basis. Occasionally employers would get a letter that informed them that their data showed them much higher than the national average. Now, it seems, there will be a lot more of such letters going out.
The BLS continues to keep up with the DART Rate data and the most recent data shows cotton gins (NAICS Code 115111) with a DART Rate of 2.9 nationally. A small to medium size gin may have 50,000 hours of payroll (all employees) in a year, a single accident will give you a DART Rate of 4. One injury per 50,000 hour worked = Four injuries per 200,000 hours worked. I hope this math makes sense. A gin with fewer hours, each injury will be more than four and for a gin with a lot of hours, each injury will be less than four.
Since every employer should have FIVE years of OSHA 300 forms in their files, you should be able to calculate your average and each year’s individual DART Rates.
SHOULD YOU WORRY ABOUT THESE LETTERS?
For now, I wouldn’t worry about them too much. I would, though, if you get one of these letters make sure you know what your past history is. Did one year get you on the naughty list? If so, you have somewhat less to worry about than an employer that has many years of issues and seeing an upward trend.
If you need help figuring out your DART rate, don’t hesitate to call the Association Staff. We can help you and go over your information.