Effect of COVID-19 Demonstrated Through MHA OSHA Data

The MHA collects Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Recordable Incident Rate (RIR), Lost Time Case (LTC) rate and Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate data from member organizations as part of the MHA Workplace Safety Collaborative.

The image below is a snapshot of this data from January 2017 to March 2021. The chart demonstrates spikes in the LTC and DART rates in spring 2020 and spikes in the LTC, DART and overall RIR in winter 2020, coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic surges.

Both DART rate spikes suggest an increase in severe incidents, since they represent the subset of the RIR that resulted in employees missing days from work, being placed on restricted duty or transferred elsewhere within the organization due to the incident. The MHA confirmed with submitting organizations that the significant increase in RIR in November 2020 is due to increased reporting of COVID-19 exposure incidents. Nearly 100% of exposure incidents resulted in DARTs due to mandatory quarantining protocols.

The MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) published initial findings in its March member safety alert. The PSO continues to contact submitting organizations to better understand why new patterns are occurring and how to support activities to mitigate future staff harm. 

Members are encouraged to submit their organizations’ OSHA data to KeyMetrics, the MHA Keystone Center’s data reporting platform. Those with questions may contact the MHA Keystone Center.