If you’re sitting in your favorite restaurant and have a clear view into the kitchen, do you take a look?

Of course, you do.

Knowing where your food is coming from and who’s preparing it can tell you a lot about the meal you’re about to consume.

The same is true for modular buildings.

Knowing that your manufacturer values a culture of safety and is unwilling to take risks or cut corners provides valuable insight into the building you hope will someday protect you and your personnel.

As one of the world leaders in the production of hardened and robust modular buildings, safety—yours and ours—is the driving force behind everything we do.

But telling you that and actually showing you are two completely different things.

Lucky for you, there is an easy way to look behind the curtain at our operation and others like ours by simply reviewing an organization’s Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) score.

What is a TRIR score?

Developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the TRIR scoring system is a formula used across industries to quantify an organization’s overall safety. The formula evaluates the number of accidents that have occurred at an organization compared to the total man-hours worked.

To better understand the TRIR and what it says about an organization, let’s take a deeper look at how it works.

Basically, if a company has no on-the-job injuries (what OSHA defines as something that requires medical treatment beyond first aid), its TRIR score would be 0.00.

However, once an accident does occur, the data is entered into the following formula.

Total number of recordable injuries/illnesses X 200,000, divided by the total hours worked during the year.

(The number 200,000 is derived from the industry standard of 100 employees working 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year).

To provide a real-world example of how this works, the 2020 TRIR formula used for our parent company, RedGuard, was:

1 X 200,000, divided by 606,129

In this example, the number one indicates that for every 100 employees, one RedGuard employee had a recordable injury or illness.

So, in doing the math, RedGuard’s TRIR score for 2020 is: .033

(For reference, in 2019, the U.S. industry average was 3.9, and the Canadian average TRIR score was 6.0.)

However, one TRIR score just gives you a snapshot of a company’s safety record over the course of one year. A better way to judge a company’s overall track record is by looking at its TRIR score compounded over a period of several years.

Based on that, the formula used to come up with RedGuard’s TRIR score over the years of 2018-2020 is as follows:

4 X 200,000, divided by 1,611,806 = 0.50

This means RedGuard’s cumulative, three-year TRIR score is 0.50.

Why is a TRIR score important?

Even though a TRIR score is a lagging indicator, or a sign that becomes apparent only after a large shift has taken place, it can be a valuable tool to evaluate and quantify a company’s safety performance, both internally and externally. And TRIR scores that approach or exceed industry averages can trigger comprehensive and time-consuming OSHA inspections.

But, beyond that, what does a high or a low TRIR score really mean?

A high TRIR score indicates:

  • No, or very low, safety culture and ownership
  • No safety commitment from management or employees
  • OSHA visits with thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars in fines
  • Increased injuries, workers' compensation claims, and settlements
  • Paying >10% higher workers' compensation premiums
  • OSHA violations remain on record/ISN, Avetta, etc., for five years
  • Ineligible to apply for SHARP Certification (OSHA Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program)
  • Low morale, low engagement, zero recognition, and job satisfaction

A low TRIR score indicates:

  • High value on safety culture and ownership
  • Safety commitment from the top down and bottom up
  • Only random OSHA visits for special emphasis
  • Only one worker’s compensation claim within a given year
  • Lower premiums
  • No OSHA violations
  • Eligible to apply for SHARP Certification
  • High morale, high engagement, recognition, and job satisfaction

How can you use TRIR scores to your advantage

As a customer, you have the right to hold your vendors to the same standards of safety that you set for yourself. The best way to do this is to establish a minimum TRIR score for everyone you work with.

By not meeting the TRIR score you set, a vendor will be unable to:

  • Bid on any future work
  • Perform any work on the site
  • Enter the site at all

While this may sound extreme, remember that the safety of others can dramatically affect your own.

In conclusion

An organization’s TRIR score is a peek into its overall culture. The score not only shows you whether or not a company values safety, but whether they actually walk the walk. By working with an organization with a low TRIR score, you are ensuring a dedication to safety throughout the supply chain which will protect employees and result in an end product that will provide you with improved peace of mind.

To learn more about CoverSix and our culture of safety, contact us today.