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TRIR: How to Calculate Total Recordable Incident Rate

TRIR: How to Calculate Total Recordable Incident Rate

I. Introduction

Have you ever stopped to consider the number of workplace injuries or illnesses reported each year? The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that in 2022 alone, over 3 million such incidents occurred in the private sector of the United States. These numbers highlight the crucial role workplace safety plays in protecting employees and ensuring a healthy work environment.

But how do we measure an organization's safety performance? This is where Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) comes in. TRIR is a vital metric that helps us understand the frequency of work-related accidents and illnesses within a company. By calculating and analyzing TRIR, organizations can gain valuable insights and take proactive steps to create a safer work environment for everyone.

safety inspectors looking at total recordable incident rate

II. What is TRIR?

So, we've established that TRIR is a safety champion in the workplace, but what exactly does it measure? TRIR stands for Total Recordable Incident Rate, and it essentially tells us the number of recordable work-related injuries and illnesses experienced by employees per 100 full-time workers over a year.

Here's the breakdown:

  • Recordable Incidents: These aren't just any bumps and bruises. They encompass specific work-related accidents and illnesses that meet criteria set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This could include anything from a lost workday due to a slip and fall to a work-induced respiratory illness.

Now, why is TRIR important? Here are a few reasons:

  • Safety Performance Benchmark: TRIR provides a quantifiable measure of an organization's safety efforts. By calculating and tracking TRIR over time, companies can assess their progress and identify areas for improvement.
  • Reduced Costs: Workplace accidents and illnesses translate to hefty costs for organizations, including medical bills, lost productivity, and potential lawsuits. A lower TRIR can indicate fewer incidents and, consequently, reduced financial burden.
  • Improved Safety Culture: When organizations prioritize calculating and understanding TRIR, it fosters a culture of safety awareness among employees. This can lead to a more proactive approach to preventing accidents and illnesses.

We will explore TRIR calculation and explore how organizations can utilize this valuable metric to build a safer and healthier work environment for all.

Total recordable incident rate accident occurs

III. Why is TRIR Important?

TRIR might seem like a complex safety metric reserved for safety professionals, but it holds significance for everyone in the workplace. Here's why understanding TRIR matters to you:

  • Your Safety: A lower TRIR translates to a safer work environment for you. By having a clear picture of the incident rate, organizations can implement targeted safety programs and procedures, minimizing the risk of accidents and illnesses that could impact you directly.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your workplace prioritizes safety and actively measures its performance can bring peace of mind. When TRIR is monitored and addressed, it signifies a commitment to creating a work environment where your well-being is valued.
  • Shared Responsibility: Safety isn't just a top-down initiative. By being aware of TRIR and understanding its importance, you can contribute to a culture of safety. Reporting any near misses or potential hazards can play a crucial role in preventing future incidents and keeping the TRIR low.

Ultimately, TRIR isn't just a number on a report; it reflects the well-being of the workforce. By understanding and supporting initiatives that aim to lower TRIR, everyone in the organization can contribute to a safer and healthier workplace.

IV. How to Calculate TRIR

Now that we understand the significance of TRIR, let's unlock the mystery behind its calculation. Here's the magic formula:

TRIR = (Number of Recordable Incidents x 200,000) / Total Hours Worked

Let's break it down:

  • Number of Recordable Incidents: This refers to the total number of work-related accidents and illnesses that meet OSHA's record-keeping criteria during a specific period (usually a year).
  • 200,000: This might seem like a random number, but it serves a purpose. It represents the total number of hours worked by 100 full-time employees working 40 hours per week for 50 weeks (a standard work year). This allows for easy comparison of TRIR across organizations regardless of their actual workforce size.
  • Total Hours Worked: This represents the total number of hours worked by all employees within the organization during the same period you considered for recordable incidents.

TRIR Calculation: Here's how to calculate your TRIR


Imagine a company with 200 employees who collectively worked a total of 1,600,000 hours in a year. If they had 5 recordable incidents during that time, their TRIR would be:

TRIR = (5 x 200,000) / 1,600,000 = 6.25

A lower TRIR indicates a safer work environment.

Important Note: Remember, accurate record-keeping is crucial for a reliable TRIR calculation. Organizations need to ensure they are properly documenting and reporting all recordable incidents.

While the formula might seem straightforward, calculating TRIR can involve gathering data from various sources. Don't worry, the next section will explore some helpful tips to navigate the process effectively!

V. Using TRIR Effectively

So, you're ready to calculate your organization's TRIR but might be wondering where to begin. Here are some practical tips to ensure a smooth and accurate calculation process:

  • Gather the Data: This is where good record-keeping comes into play. You'll need access to documented work-related injuries and illnesses that meet OSHA's record-keeping criteria. This information might be maintained by your safety department or HR department.
  • Employee Work Hours:  Total employee work hours for the designated period (usually a year) are essential. Payroll data or timekeeping systems can be helpful resources for this information. Do include temporary or agency staff hours. Don't include annual leave, maternity/paternity or bereavement.
  • Utilize Technology: Some safety software programs can automate TRIR calculations by integrating with incident reporting and employee work hour data. This can save time and minimize errors.
    spacebands automatically calculate TRIR as safety observations and reports of incidents can be created using the mobile app. Details of incidents can be calculated against how many hours the wearables have been active in any given period.

spacebands TRIR dashboard

Beyond Calculation:

Remember, TRIR is a valuable tool, but it's just one piece of the safety puzzle. Here's how to get the most out of it:

  • Analyze the Data:  Don't just calculate TRIR; analyze it! Look for trends or patterns in the types of recordable incidents. This can help identify areas where safety interventions are most needed.
  • Targeted Programs:  Use TRIR insights to develop targeted safety programs and procedures. For example, if a high number of incidents involve slips and falls, focus on improving floor safety and providing slip-resistant footwear.
  • Continuous Improvement:  TRIR is a dynamic metric. Regularly calculate and monitor it to track progress and identify areas for ongoing improvement in your safety culture.

Remember, a low TRIR is a win for everyone. By implementing these tips and prioritizing safety initiatives, organizations can create a work environment where employees feel valued and protected.

Safety talk with team to reduce total recordable incident rate

VI. Strategies to Reduce Your TRIR

A healthy TRIR reflects a commitment to employee safety. Here are some key strategies organizations can implement to actively lower their TRIR:

  • Invest in Workplace Safety Programs:
    • Develop comprehensive safety programs that address common workplace hazards and risks specific to your industry.
    • Include regular safety training sessions for employees at all levels to ensure awareness of safety protocols and best practices.
  • Promote a Culture of Safety:
    • Foster a culture where safety is a core value. Encourage open communication about safety concerns and empower employees to report near misses and potential hazards.
    • Recognize and reward employees who consistently demonstrate safe work practices.
  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment:
    • Proactively identify potential hazards in the workplace through regular inspections and risk assessments.
    • Implement corrective actions to eliminate or mitigate these hazards before they lead to accidents or illnesses.
  • Incident Investigation and Analysis:
    • Thoroughly investigate all work-related incidents, regardless of severity.
    • Analyze the root causes to identify areas for improvement and prevent similar incidents from happening again.
  • Ergonomic Design and Work Practices:
    • Evaluate workstations and work processes to ensure proper ergonomics.
    • Implement measures to minimize repetitive motions, awkward postures, and overexertion, which can contribute to musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Employee Health and Wellness Initiatives:
    • Promote employee well-being by offering programs that encourage healthy lifestyles and stress management.
    • A healthy workforce is less susceptible to fatigue-related accidents and illnesses.
  • Maintain Accurate Records:
    • Ensure accurate and consistent record-keeping of all work-related injuries and illnesses following OSHA guidelines.
    • Reliable data is essential for calculating a valid TRIR and identifying trends for improvement.

VII. TRIR in Action - A Real-World Example:

While TRIR is a valuable metric, it's important to remember it doesn't capture everything. Here's a real-world example showcasing how an organization used TRIR alongside other safety initiatives to achieve significant improvement:

Company: Manufacturing Plant (ABC Manufacturing)

Initial Scenario: ABC Manufacturing had a consistently high TRIR, indicating a higher-than-average rate of work-related accidents and illnesses. This raised concerns about employee safety and potential financial costs associated with incidents.

Taking Action: Recognizing the need for improvement, ABC Manufacturing implemented a multi-pronged approach:

  • In-depth Analysis: They went beyond just looking at the TRIR number. They analyzed the types of incidents occurring to identify patterns and root causes. For example, they discovered a high number of hand injuries from repetitive tasks on the assembly line.
  • Targeted Interventions: Based on the analysis, they implemented targeted safety programs. In this case, they focused on ergonomic improvements to workstations, provided training on proper lifting techniques, and introduced mandatory use of protective gloves.
  • Employee Engagement: They actively engaged employees in safety initiatives. This included encouraging near-miss reporting, conducting safety awareness campaigns, and offering incentives for adhering to safety protocols.

The Results: After a year of implementing these strategies, ABC Manufacturing saw a significant decrease in their TRIR. This translated to fewer workplace accidents and illnesses, leading to improved employee morale, reduced costs, and a stronger safety culture within the organization.

Key Takeaways:

This example highlights the importance of using TRIR alongside other safety measures. By actively analyzing data, implementing targeted interventions, and fostering employee engagement, organizations can create a safer and healthier work environment for everyone.

VIII. Conclusion

The journey towards a safe workplace starts with understanding and prioritizing safety metrics like TRIR. Throughout this blog, we've explored the significance of TRIR, unpacked the calculation formula, and provided practical tips for implementation.

Here's the key takeaway: TRIR is more than just a number; it's a powerful tool that reflects an organization's commitment to employee safety and well-being. By actively calculating, analyzing, and utilizing TRIR data, organizations can:

  • Identify and address safety concerns.
  • Develop targeted safety programs and procedures.
  • Monitor progress and continuously improve safety culture.
  • Ultimately, create a work environment where everyone feels safe and protected.

Remember, safety is a shared responsibility. Employers have a crucial role to play in prioritizing safety measures and fostering a culture of awareness.  Employees, too, can contribute by reporting near misses and actively participating in safety initiatives.

Looking for more information? Explore the resources below to delve deeper into workplace safety and TRIR:

  • Free online TRIR Calculator: https://www.safetyevolution.com/trircalculator
  • National Safety Council: https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/definitions/trir-total-recordable-incident-rate/

Interested in learning about more Health & Safety KPI's? We've covered all the acronyms - LTIFR, LTIIR, and TRIR in another article.

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