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Establishing & Reaching Health & Safety Related Goals


Wouldn't it be nice to benchmark your organization's rates to other similar organizations in your industry? You can do just that and we'll discuss that technique here.


Previously we determined that three factors play a role in calculating the success of your injury & illness prevention initiatives:

  • How many employees worked for the company;

  • How many hours were worked by those employees; and

  • What industry was the employer in

We also learned how to determine your "Incidence Rate" and your "DART Rate", which is based on the first two bullet items. If you missed that discussion simply follow this link and you can review that discussion. You'll also be able to download the I&I Calculator if you have not already.


What benchmarks are available?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a group that performs statistical analysis for the government, including OSHA. The BLS will conduct a random sampling of various organizations within all industries to determine the average injury & illness incidence rate along with the DART rate.

These findings are documented and available to us.


Note on industry classifications: 
Beginning with the 2003 reference year, the BLS Survey of  Occupational Injuries and Illnesses began 
using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).  
Prior to 2003, the survey used the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. 
You likely are familiar with your SIC code, but now we must cross-reference the NAICS.
The latest BLS data can be viewed by following this link. 
You'll likely find that your industry is easy to find by simply reviewing the left hand column.
If your NAICS number is not clear by reviewing the list, you can do a quick search using the BLS. 
Simply follow this link.


Once you identify the Incidence rate and DART for your industry it becomes very easy to compare your rates. If you rates are lower than average, well that would be a good sign. If your number are higher than average, you should be concerned. OSHA is looking at these number too! They have determined that organizations with elevated rates will be targeted for random inspections.


One last note

Even if you incidence rates are below average for your industry, you may still have reason for concern. How have you done when benchmarking your organization against itself? Have you noticed a trend upward in injuries and illnesses. Each year as you benchmark yourself against other similar industries, you should also be benchmarking against your past results. What you find may be encouraging (your safety initiatives have been successful) or discouraging (your safety initiatives are not working).


Either way you'll know exactly where you are in relation to your Incidence and DART rates and you'll have a better idea of how to conduct business moving forward.



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