The construction industry as a whole has changed over the last 20 years. General contractors have had to evaluate several different metrics over the years when deciding who to subcontract with on their projects. Safety metrics are one such category that helps general contractors assess the risk or liability they are engaging in by hiring a specific contractor.
There are many acronyms referred to in this process, including the following:
- TCIR (total case incident rate)
- DART (days away from work, restricted work or transferred work assignment)
- TRIR (total recordable incident rate)
- EMR (experience modification rating)
All these safety metrics are essential factors to a company’s safety program, and general contractors and owners often consider them when hiring specialty subcontractors.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires each contractor to report accidents, incidents, fatalities, days with lost time, total man-hours, etc.
TCIR and TRIR are basically the same thing, measuring the number of recordable incidents, as defined by OSHA, a company had over a calendar year. OSHA is also the construction industry standard as a basis for safety performance. The TRIR is calculated by taking the number of recordable incidents a company had, multiplying that number by 200,000 (a standard) then dividing that sum by the number of total man-hours for the year by the firm.
Example #1: Let’s say your company had 2 recordable incidents, then 2*200,000 (standard) equals 400,000. Assume the company has 200,000 man-hours for the year. Then 400,000/200,000 equals 2.0, then your TRIR is 2.0.
Example #2: Let’ say your company logged 600,000 man-hours for the year, and still had 2 recordable incidents, then 400,000/600,000 equals 0.66, then your TRIR is 0.66.
As you can see the more hours you have available, the better your chances of a low TRIR. The industry standard is 1.0. Lower numbers are better, whereas, higher numbers are worse.
A firms’ EMR provides a gauge of the approximate cost for past injuries, and the risk of future injuries is over a 12-month period. Thus, the annual workers’ compensation (W/C) insurance premiums are factored based on the firm’s EMR.
Both EMR and TRIR use a standard of 1.0 as their baseline threshold. If your TRIR or EMR is over 1.0, you are perceived as a higher risk to general contractors and owners. While the TRIR is based on accurate numbers solely, the EMR is based on factual numbers and calculated risk per task assignment. An easy way to explain this is that an ironworker has a higher exposure to risk/injury than an office worker, per se. If your company has both, they are calculated together based on the number of employees in each department. The EMR is calculated and formulated by your insurance carrier once a year. As with the TRIR, an EMR of 1.0 is considered an industry threshold. Any value less than 1.0 is regarded as an excellent rating, and anything over 1.0 is seen as troublesome.
Buesing Corp. is a specialty contractor specializing in several civil-related types of work such as shoring, excavation, earthwork, trucking, crushing, and shotcrete work. We perform a majority of our work in the Phoenix metropolitan, and are licensed in several other Southwestern states. We are a medium sized business employing just under 200 people in an wide range of capacities, from office personnel to mechanics to truck drivers to field employees (heavy equipment operators, laborers, concrete, shotcrete, and crushing). We average 200,000 hours per year.
Buesing Corp. is proud to boast a 0.61 EMR for the past three years, the lowest possible for our industry type, after starting out in 2010 with a modest 1.04. Due to the number of employees and the limited total number of hours worked each year, our best TRIR has been 1.47 in 2017. Back in April 2018, Buesing Corp posted 1,709 calendar days without a loss time incident as indicated by the image of our office digital board above. That is nearly 4.7 years which is a significant milestone for a specialty contractor.