City Employee Safety - Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) Rate YTD

Desired Result:  Below Target

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Analysis of Performance

Note: This historical data of this metric changes in subsequent time periods because injury data is tied to the date of injury regardless of when treatment occurs or the case changes from recordable to time away restricted, or transferred. For example, if an employee has an injury in March but he does not seek medical treatment until June, it will be captured on March's OSHA log and it will not show up on the June log. National benchmark data for any year is only available in September of the following year. There is an approximate 18 month lag time in current available national benchmark data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

We have seen an increase in injuries over the last quarter and throughout the year. In addition to the rate of DART injuries increasing, we're also seeing a rise in severity, as evidenced by the number of cases that require missed work and/or surgical correction for the injury. There are several issues that we are investigating as contributing to this increase.

  • Understaffing in departments: A reduction in the workforce without an equivalent reduction in work is a well established driver of injuries in the work place. Some of the more severe injuries that have occurred this year have occurred in departments that have been understaffed.
  • Employee turnover: The turnover across the City means new employees who are learning both what the work is and how to do it. Research has shown that the majority of injuries that occur in businesses occur in employees with less than 6 months on the job. We anticipate that the City is experiencing the same trend.
  • Employee training: Turnover and hiring creates a demand for employees to start working as soon as possible. This can lead to little or no training on equipment and systems. SRM has also had staffing issues, which has strained our ability to provide safety training. Discussions with departments indicate that they are having the same struggle to provide appropriate training and oversight to new employees.
  • Employees not reporting injury at the time of the event. This can delay care, which can cause an injury to worsen, especially if the employee continues to work with the untreated injury.

  • Work closely with departments to ensure adequate training. Special focus will be on departments with low staffing and/or high number of new employees. A critical piece of any safety training is ensuring:
    • Employees know that they can stop work when they feel that the work is not safe.
    • Employees know to report their injuries in a timely manner which allows for review of a possibly unsafe condition and remediation of hazard
    • Employees have access to PPE and know how to use it
    • Managers keep safety at the forefront of discussions
    • Managers have employees report injuries, do their injury report follow up in a thoughtful and detailed manner
  • Review of injuries and near misses with department leadership in a timely manner
  • Greater discussion throughout the City of safety concerns and injury trends
  • Encourage discussions at all levels of the City about workload and the ability to perform that work safely

Metric Definition
The Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate calculation is based upon the number of work related injuries and illnesses severe enough to cause an employee to be temporarily reassigned or miss work completely in relation to the total number of employee hours worked. This is a nationally recognized standard safety metric. Current-year benchmarks are not available as they are published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and have an approximate 18 month lag time.
Why Is This Important?
DART rate is important because it is a nationally benchmarkeable measure widely accepted as representative of injury severity in the workplace.  It is important for the City to provide a safe workplace for all employees and the only way to achieve that is by driving a culture of proactive safety built on continuous improvement.  As safety efforts drive down injuries and injury severity, the costs associated with workers' compensation claims can be driven down as well.  The reduction of days away, restricted or transferred is directly related to reduction in lost productivity as well as lost efficiency because only workgroups that are whole can operate at optimal performance.
City Organization Impact on Performance

High – Reducing the DART rate requires the City to reduce the number of injuries that result in days away, restricted or transferred. Getting employees back to work quickly and efficiently following injuries enables to the City to spend less money on benefits used to keep employees who are off or on modified duty whole. Many studies have led to the well accepted fact that employees who return to work quickly following an injury rehab faster, better, and more completely than those who do not.  Driving down injuries that impact the DART rate requires workgroups to be engaged and to actively interact with injured workers to get them back to work as efficiently as medically possible.  This engagement in conjuction with other ongoing proactive safety efforts has concrete and continuous impact on improving the City's safety culture.

Benchmark Information
This metric contains General Industry and Public Entities benchmark data. The General Industry benchmark gives overall context to the City's performance, while the Public Entities benchmark allows for a closer comparison that accounts for the unique challenges that face local governments.