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A Guide to Lost Time Incident Rate Calculation

Ensuring workplace safety is paramount for high-risk sectors committed to workplace resilience and the well-being of their employees. 

One of the critical safety metrics of occupational safety is the Lost Time Incident Rate (LTIR). It serves as a key performance indicator, providing insights into the frequency and severity of work-related incidents that result in lost workdays. 

In this article, we’ll see how safety professionals can approach calculating LTIR, and foster a culture that prioritizes the health and safety of their people, including the use of dedicated safety software.

What Is the Lost Time Incident Rate?

The Lost Time Incident Rate is an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) metric that calculates the number of incidents that result in time away from work.

Despite the designation of lost time in the calculation, OSHA does not use such terminology when referring to absenteeism because of injury or illness. 

The governmental body refers to lost time as a lost workday case. For recordkeeping purposes, the body advises that lost workday cases account for days away from work or days of restricted work activity beyond the date of the injury or onset of the illness. OSHA standards also advise that records exclude holidays, vacations, or other days an otherwise healthy employee would not work.

The LTIR does not assess the gravity or severity of injuries nor the time lost because of each injury. The primary purpose of the metric is to calculate the number of lost time incidents per so many employees. 

It is a lagging metric, assessing past events to influence future changes, hopefully. The LTIR may also correlate with a company’s experience modification rate (EMR) that influences worker compensation insurance premiums.

LTIR Formula

The lost time incident rate formula: (lost time injuries / total hours worked) x 200,000 = LTIR per 100 employees.

Knowing how to calculate the lost time incident rate is a clear process. By understanding the number of lost time injuries and the total hours worked during a specific period, you can easily determine this crucial safety metric.

Let’s consider a scenario where a company encountered two lost time injuries, with a corresponding total of 175,000 hours of work during that period. To calculate the lost time incident rate, divide two by 175,000 and then multiply the result by 200,000. The outcome of this LTIR calculation is 2.29 lost time incidents per 100 employees.

Why Is LTIR Important?

While high or low numbers are relative to an industry, the lost time incidence rate is a vital measurement of an organization’s safety performance. 

A higher number shows a disregard for employee safety, which can affect insurance premiums and turnover rates. Also, too many incidents result in significant lost time, poor company performance and publicity.

The LTIR provides insight into past performances and helps leaders focus on problem areas and prevent similar incidents. To make this process more efficient, you can use automation tools that reduce the risk of human error in data entry and calculations.

What’s more, specific tools can centralize the LTIR data, providing a single source of truth, reducing redundancy, and facilitates better collaboration among your safety teams.

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5 Steps to Reduce LTIR

Lowering or reducing your company’s LTIR means taking a systematic approach to replacing or improving your safety program. And the only genuine way to lower the metric is by reducing employee injuries. 

While creating and distributing essential safety documents is core to all safety programs, organizations must ramp up safety policies and education to make a meaningful and measurable dent in LTIR. 

Here are five decisive actions you can take to improve a lost time incident rate within your organization.

1. Prioritize Safety Culture

To prevent workplace injuries, companies must instill a safety culture by making it a core value woven into every aspect, from leadership messages to daily operations. 

You can empower your workforce by:

  • Investing in safety training: Equip your team with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate hazards and respond effectively to emergencies.
  • Encouraging communication on safety concerns: Create an environment that values open safety communication, allowing employees to voice safety concerns or report hazards promptly. 
  • Recognizing and rewarding safe behaviors: Implement a system for recognizing and rewarding employees who consistently exhibit safe practices, motivating others to do the same.

2. Fight the Monotony of Hazard Assessments

Effective risk management iscrucial step in reducing LTIR. Identifying potential hazards in the workplace, assessing their risks, and implementing appropriate control can significantly contribute to preventing accidents and injuries that lead to lost time. 

However, given the inherent monotony of this process (due to its repetitive nature), safety officers often become accustomed to the routine, and may overlook potential hazards. This results in under-reporting and ineffective control measures, at the same time decreasing engagement of your field staff in safety processes. 

There are ways to avoid this:

  • Introduce diverse methods for hazard assessments, using a combination of walkthrough inspections, employee surveys, and tools to keep the process dynamic.
  • Rotate the responsibilities of people involved in hazard assessments. 
  • Provide ongoing training to employees, keeping them informed about new safety protocols, tools, and technologies.
  • Incorporate safety management software, like Fluix, to digitize and streamline the hazard assessment process.

Read more: How Ziton, ZITON, a leading provider of main component exchange services, cuts the time for preventive maintenance by 72% with digital checklists and reports

3. Apply a Black Box Approach to Incident Investigation

Exerienced saty officers know that reducing the lost time incident rate requires more than just creating and filling out an incident report form. When incidents occur, documenting them is an initial step, but the real value lies in understanding why they happened.

Think of the principles of black box thinking embraced in the aviation sector. Just as aviation investigates every mishap to uncover its root cause and prevent similar occurrences, your safety management should adopt a similar approach. And to make this work, you need the corresponding tools. 

For aviation, the “black box” is this kind of a tool. It records critical flight data, helping investigators understand the sequence of events leading to an incident. Similarly, safety software can act as the digital black box for your investigation. 

Tools like Fluix are created to automate the distribution and creation of incident reports, ensuring that relevant team members are promptly informed. More importantly, the facilitates collaboration and knowledge-sharing by providing a centralized platform for incident documentation.

4. Promote Effective Communication

Straightforward as it may seem, discussing safety can actually improve safety. By regularly delivering toolbox talks, meetings or memos you encourage an open dialogue with employees about safety concerns.

Also, you can encourage participation in safety measures by recognizing and involving employee safety champions or empowering safety teams that can motivate and guide peers. Champions, teams and leaders can recognize and reward individuals and teams for achieving safety goals and milestones or who show commitment to safety practices.

5. Use an Advantage of Data Analysis

Finally, you can use data to improve a company’s LTIR. Every organization should review its LTIR routinely to identify trends and areas for improvement. The regular tracking of the metric allows you to set a benchmark, which helps frame future safety discussions, adjustments and practices.

By employing statistical analysis, preventive measures can be implemented to address the identified risks and reduce the likelihood of future incidents. Continuous improvement, based on a data-driven approach to safety, fosters a safety culture, with training and communication targeted at specific areas highlighted by the data.

How Fluix Can Help Your Reduce the Lost Time Incident Rate

By emphasizing the metrics we’ve discussed, your organization can not only prioritize safety but also cultivate a secure work environment, boost operational efficiency, and ultimately enhance your overall financial performance. 

Fluix, an advanced workflow automation tool tailored for safety management, can help you with this. 

We offer features such as digital safety checklists, inspection workflows, and safety talks distribution so that you can standardize and consistently implement safety protocols across your job sites, teams and locations.

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