• Management Tips

What Is DART Rate and How to Calculate It

Understanding workplace safety metrics is crucial for maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. One such metric that plays a significant role in assessing workplace safety is the Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) rate.

Whether you’re a safety officer, HR professional, or site technician, mastering the calculation of DART rate can help you implement better safety initiatives, use safety management system more effectively, and eventually protect your workforce.

What Is DART?

DART, which stands for Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred, is a safety metric that helps organizations understand the severity and impact of work-related injuries and illnesses.

This metric highlights incidents that result in significant consequences for employees, illustrating the effectiveness of a company’s safety protocols and training programs.

Taking steps to lower your DART safety rate emphasizes your commitment to a hazard-free, incident-free work environment.

Defining DART Safety for the Workplace

DART encompasses three types of work-related incidents as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

  • Days away: Incidents that result in missed employee workdays after the date of the injury
  • Restricted work: Incidents that prevent an employee from performing their usual duties, resulting in a restricted or modified role
  • Transfer to another job: Incidents requiring the injured or ill employee to transfer to another job temporarily or permanently.

By tracking these incidents (alongside tracking such metrics as TRIR and lost time incident rate), you can gain clarity about the impact of injuries and illnesses on their operations and workforce. You also also see how DART OSHA days affect the company’s overall profit and productivity.

Read more: Paper vs. digital: why it’s more secure to manage your safety documentation with software

Calculating DART for Your Workplace

Knowing how to calculate DART rate can accelerate your ability to reduce accidents. The formula for calculating DART involves several steps. First, identify the number of DART incidents within a specific period. For example, you can look at the DART of a month, quarter, year or longer.

Next, calculate the total hours worked by all employers for the period in question. Make sure to subtract holidays, sick days and vacation days from the typical work week. In addition, the calculation should record hours for both exempt and nonexempt workers.

Once you have those two numbers, you can plug them into the standard DART formula:

  • (Number of DART incidents x 200,000) / Total hours worked

The 200,000 figure in the formula represents the equivalent of 100 employees working 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year. The National Safety Council offers an online DART rate calculator you can use to run the numbers for this metric quickly.

Why DART Is Important for Your Business

Keeping track of the DART safety metric has several key benefits for your company.

First, it provides a tangible benchmark to evaluate the safety of your workplace. A high DART rate alerts your team that it’s time to take action to prevent accidents.

Second, decreasing DART shows that safety training and other measures are working effectively. It reflects a safer working environment, which contributes to higher levels of employee satisfaction and retention. Lowering your DART OSHA rate can even qualify you for a lower rate on workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

Depending on your industry, you may need to submit a regular DART report as part of regulatory compliance requirements. Some sectors require companies to stay within a maximum DART to maintain licensure. 

A safety DART rate above a certain OSHA standards could trigger an investigation. Your business may have to pay significant fines if the agency finds you have an unsafe environment for your workers. 

The company’s negative safety record could eventually limit your available pool of employees and harm your reputation in the field.

Tracking DART over time illuminates accident trends, which in turn identifies areas of concern. You can implement targeted safety initiatives, for example safety audits, designed specifically for the issues at hand rather than developing programs that may not address the underlying issues.For example, you may find that one geographic location or department of your business has a much higher DART rate than other sites. As a result, you can apply the necessary resources to that area to fix the problem rather than spreading out resources across branches.

The Ultimate Guide
to Safety Inspections
Essential tools, customizable templates, and expert tactics to help you improve your inspection process

Setting a Target DART Rate

Many managers and business owners wonder what a “good” DART should be. The answer varies by industry since some sectors naturally carry a higher level of risk than others.

Generally, a DART below the average for your industry suggests positive performance in workplace safety. Companies can strive to reduce the DART as low as possible with the ultimate goal of zero accidents and incidents.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes an annual DART rate by industry, which includes all illnesses, injuries and fatalities.

You can use this resource to see where your company stands in comparison to other businesses in the same sector. The overall rate in 2022 for private companies in all industries was 1.7 incidents per 100 workers.

On Improving Your DART Rate

Companies can implement a range of strategies to reduce incidents and increase DART. Regular and comprehensive safety training for employees effectively addresses hazards and supports a collaborative culture of safety.

Developing and enforcing programs tailored to the specific needs and risks of each job site can significantly improve DART safety performance.

As you introduce new safety protocols and programs, encourage employees to participate. Engagement in these initiatives can improve alignment and boost worker satisfaction. At the same time, provide clear channels for them to report unsafe conditions or practices.

Improving your DART and overall safety performance isn’t a one-time project. Regularly review DART and other metrics so you can identify and address hazards. 

For example, consider tracking measures such as lost time injury frequency rate, lost time incident rate, and total recordable incident rate. Continually evaluate and improve procedures so your safety programs remain relevant and effective.

Simplifying Safety Managementwith Fluix

The DART metric gives you the foundation for a hazard-free workplace, offering insights into the severity and impact of work-related injuries and illnesses.

Fluix is workflow automation software that offers the solutions your teams need to report safety incidents and hazardous conditions quickly. With digital checklists, automated submittals and risk reporting you’ll have an accurate DART safety rate at your fingertips to shape ongoing safety improvements.

Discover How Fluix Can Help Improve Your Workplace Safety and Compliance
Our team is here to help