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How to Calculate TRIR and What You Can Do With It

TRIR considers both minor incidents that require medical treatment and more severe incidents resulting in lost workdays or restricted duties. The hidden risks can impact an organization’s overall safety performance.

According to a shocking statistic, in 2022, private industry employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal work-related accidents and illnesses, a 7.5% increase from 2021. This rise is caused by 4.5 percent more injuries and a 26.1% increase in illnesses. The most common reason for injury or illness is lifting, pushing, pulling, or bending, representing 24% of cases. 

Therefore, as a safety manager (either HR or operations manager), you are responsible for creating safe environments for employees using TRIR. 

By tracking TRIR, organizations can identify areas for improvement, allocate resources effectively, and implement targeted safety programs. It serves as a benchmark for evaluating safety initiatives and provides a quantitative measure of progress over time. 

Let’s delve deeper into TRIR, understand its calculation, and explore how it can drive proactive safety management.

What is TRIR?

TRIR stands for Total Recordable Incident Rate. It is an important metric used to measure safety performance and track workplace injuries and illnesses.

As per its definition:

“TRIR represents the number of recordable injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers during a one-year period. A recordable incident is a work-related injury or illness that requires medical treatment beyond first aid or involves days away from work, restricted work activity, or loss of consciousness.”

 It's a vital tool for tracking and improving safety performance.

Why is TRIR important?

TRIR provides companies with a standardized metric for tracking and benchmarking safety performance over time. Trends in TRIR can reveal progress in reducing workplace incidents or signal areas where additional safety interventions may be needed.

Tracking TRIR helps organizations:

  • Identify high-risk areas to prioritize for safety improvements.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of safety programs and initiatives.
  • Set safety goals and targets.
  • Compare safety performance against industry peers.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to workplace safety and health.

REMEMBER: Lower TRIR rates are associated with reduced harm to workers and increased productivity. For these reasons, monitoring TRIR is considered a best practice in occupational health and safety management.

TRIR Calculation – How to Calculate it?

The TRIR formula is pretty straightforward. 

To calculate your TRIR, you take the number of recordable injuries and illnesses that occurred during the year and divide it by the total number of hours worked that year. Then multiply that number by 200,000 to get your TRIR.

Here is the formula:

TRIR = (Number of Recordable Cases x 200,000) / Number of Employee Hours Worked

For example, let's say a company had 7 recordable injuries last year. The total number of hours worked by all employees was 350,000. Here is how to calculate their TRIR:

(7 x 200,000) / 350,000 = 4

So this company's TRIR would be 4.

Accurate recordkeeping is an essential part of precise TRIR calculation. Companies should pay attention to all recordable incidents, including injuries/illnesses resulting in medical treatment beyond first aid. The total number of hours worked must also be recorded accurately.

ALSO, READ ABOUT DART RATE AND ITS IMPORTANCE IN WORKPLACE SAFETY MANAGEMENT

Interpreting Your TRIR

Your company's TRIR value indicates its safety performance. You just need context and knowledge to comprehend your TRIR.

Comparing your TRIR against industry averages provides a great context. Most industries share average TRIR rates for benchmarking and public use. For instance, in 2020, manufacturing had 2.8 TRIR events per 100 full-time workers, construction was 2.9, and oil and gas extraction was 1.1.

These industry averages help you determine whether your company's TRIR is high or low. 

A TRIR below the industry average shows safety outperformance, while an above-average TRIR indicates room for improvement. [LOWER TRIR IS ALWAYS BETTER!]

Many companies track TRIR performance and establish internal goals in addition to industry averages. This defines a "good" TRIR for your company. For example, your company may aim to reduce TRIR by 10% year over year or target a maximum TRIR of 2.0 by the end of 2023.

Interpret your TRIR using industry averages and internal goals. This will show you how you compare to your peers and whether you meet your safety goals. 

Your company's TRIR value can measure and improve worker safety with proper context and knowledge.

For better risk assessment to maintain lower TRIR, you must know how to make OSHA Injury Report Flowchart.

Factors that Influence TRIR

Many things can affect a company's or a site's TRIR, both positively and negatively. Some of the main factors include:

Safety Culture

An organization's culture, attitudes, and behaviors considerably affect its TRIR index. Sites with a strong, reactive safety culture, which prioritizes risk identification and control over all others, experience a reduction in TRIR. Low safety cultures that are reactive and lack management commitment to safety usually have higher TRIRs. 

Hazard Exposure

The hazardous working conditions are a contributor to higher TRIR. Sites that have lots of tasks involving working with heights, heavy machines, or chemicals will also have higher TRIRs than less hazardous places. The more exposure to hazards, the higher the probability of recordable incidents. 

Quality of Safety Programs

The success and effectiveness of a safety program and procedures directly determine TRIR. Effective educational programs, sophisticated procedures and standards, timely inspections, and impressive accident investigation procedures reduce TRIR. Half-baked programs result in more on-record incidents. 

Experience of Workforce

The workforce experience level has a significant impact on TRIR. Usually, working sites with many new and inexperienced workforce will have higher TRIRs. New workers don't have the skills and knowledge to identify and avoid hazards. More veteran operators are better at working safely. Besides, a high turnover means more recordable incidents. 

Leadership Focus

The main factor contributing to the reduction in TRIR is the visible leadership commitment to safety. When site leaders prioritize safety, communicate its importance, and allocate resources for improving it, TRIR decreases. On the other hand, a lack of safety leadership focus will definitely result in higher TRIR. 

Lowering Your TRIR – 9 Quick Tips

There are several strategies companies can implement to lower their TRIR and improve overall workplace safety. 

Some key approaches include:

  1. Conducting job hazard analyses. 

Analyze tasks and identify potential hazards or risks. Then implement controls, safe work procedures, protective equipment, and training to mitigate those risks.

  1. Improving safety policies and procedures. 

Review existing safety rules and programs and identify any gaps or areas needing improvement. Update policies and procedures and ensure proper documentation.

  1. Increasing safety inspections. 

Perform frequent inspections of equipment, facilities, and work practices to proactively identify unsafe conditions and take corrective actions. Inspections demonstrate commitment to safety.

  1. Providing effective safety training. 

Conduct initial and ongoing training to employees on hazards, safe work practices, protective measures, emergency procedures, and safety policies. Ensure comprehension and skills.

  1. Implementing behavior-based safety. 

Observe employees' safety behaviors and provide coaching and positive reinforcement of safe behaviors. Involve employees in the process.

  1. Upgrading safety equipment/technology. 

Invest in modern safety equipment, protective gear, engineering controls, and technology to reduce exposures and prevent incidents.

  1. Enhancing contractor management.

Establish qualification, selection, orientation, supervision, and evaluation procedures for contractors. Ensure they understand and follow safety rules.

  1. Improving incident investigation. 

Thoroughly investigate all incidents to identify root causes. Take corrective actions to prevent recurrence. Share lessons learned.

  1. Increasing management commitment and involvement. 

Demonstrate leadership commitment to safety. Managers should participate visibly in the safety program and champion initiatives.

Leading vs Lagging Metrics of TRIR

TRIR is considered a lagging indicator of safety performance. This means it looks backwards at safety incidents that have already occurred.

Leading metrics look forward and aim to prevent incidents before they happen. Examples of leading metrics include:

  • Safety observations and conversations
  • Hazard identification and risk assessments
  • Safety training completion rates
  • Safety audit scores
  • Near miss reporting

Leading metrics are proactive and focus on changing behaviors and conditions to improve safety. Lagging metrics like TRIR are reactive and measure the outcome of what's already happened.

Both leading and lagging metrics are important. Leading metrics drive improvement while lagging metrics evaluate progress. Using both together provides a balanced approach to managing safety.

Difference between TRIR and LTIR

TRIR (Total Recordable Incident Rate) and LTIR (Lost Time Incident Rate) are two important safety metrics used to track workplace injuries and illnesses. While they measure similar things, there are some key differences between TRIR and LTIR:

What they measure:

  • TRIR measures the total number of recordable workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers over a set time period. This includes fatalities, lost-time incidents, restricted work, and medical treatment cases.
  • LTIR only measures lost time incidents per 100 full-time workers over a set period. Lost time incidents refer to injuries or illnesses that resulted in the worker being away from work or restricted from their normal duties.
AspectTRIR (Total Recordable Incident Rate)LTIR (Lost Time Incident Rate)
What they measureCounts all workplace injuries and illnesses, including minor ones.Only counts incidents where workers miss time from work.
ScopeCovers everything from small injuries to serious accidents.Only looks at incidents severe enough to cause time off work.
Values Usually higher because it includes more incidents.Typically lower because it focuses on serious cases.
Usage Gives a broad picture of safety performance.Focuses specifically on time lost due to injuries.
Trends Helps spot safety issues early before they escalate.Shows the impact of past incidents on time and productivity.

How SafetyIQ Helps with Lowering TRIR and Improving Workplace Safety

SafetyIQ, a comprehensive safety management solution, offers practical tools to help organizations lower Total Recordable Incident Rates (TRIR) and enhance workplace safety. Through its user-friendly interface, SafetyIQ equips managers with the necessary resources to meet safety standards effectively. Its features include incident tracking and reporting capabilities, allowing managers to identify trends and areas for improvement. 

Moreover, SafetyIQ facilitates proactive safety measures by enabling real-time hazard reporting and corrective action tracking. Managers can swiftly address potential safety hazards before they escalate, fostering a culture of safety and prevention within the organization. Furthermore, SafetyIQ offers compliance management tools, keeping organizations up-to-date with regulatory requirements and standards.

For more information, check out our resources here!

FAQs - Get More Answers Here!

Why did OSHA establish the 200,000 hours benchmark used in the TRIR calculation?

The 200,000 figure in the TRIR formula represents the number of hours 100 employees working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year would work. It provides a standard base for calculating the incidence rate for an entire year. This benchmark allows for consistent comparison across different organizations and industries.

How does a company's TRIR compare to others in their industry?

TRIRs differ across industries, with certain sectors having a higher risk than others. Generally, a lower TRIR score indicates better safety performance. Comparing an organization’s TRIR to industry averages helps identify areas for improvement and set realistic safety goals.

Are there any limitations or criticisms of using just TRIR as a safety metric?

Indeed, there are limitations:

TRIR does not account for the actual or potential severity of incidents.
It is reactive, focusing solely on incidents without considering underlying safety programs.
A four-stitch cut to the finger is counted the same as a fatality, which may not reflect true safety performance.

In addition to TRIR, what other safety measurements should companies track?

Companies should consider a holistic approach:

Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR): Measures incidents resulting in lost workdays.
Severity Rate: Quantifies the severity of incidents.
Leading Indicators: Proactive measures like safety training, audits, and near-miss reporting.
Safety Culture Assessments: Evaluate organizational safety practices and behaviors.

How do TRIR requirements differ for small businesses versus larger companies?

TRIR requirements remain the same, but small businesses may experience more significant fluctuations due to the impact of a single incident. Aggregating data over multiple years can mitigate this effect for smaller establishments.

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