INCIDENT RATE USES
Incident rates, of various types, are used throughout industry. Rates are indications only of past performance (lagging indicators) and are not indications of what will happen in the future performance of the company (leading indicators). Incident rates have been standardized, so that OSHA and other regulatory agencies can compare statistically significant data, and determine where industries may need additional program assistance. OSHA uses the recordable incident rates to determine where different classifications of companies (manufacturing, food processing, textiles, machine shops, etc.) compare to each other with regard to past safety performance. Although OSHA could potentially use this data for enforcement action, unless incident rates are consistently high for a small company over a number of years, they will not normally target particular industries or companies for enforcement action.