COVID-19 Workplace plans once again questions the value of LTI measurement.

The measurement and statistical record keeping of Lost Time Incidents have been a standard measurement of efficacy of management efforts to create a safe and healthy workplace.

The calculation of the LTI frequency rate is based on the assumption that a working individual spends 1 000 hours a year at work, exposed to the various dangers the industrial world presents.

If a workplace with 1 000 workers then adds up all their normal working hours, the annual person-hours is rounded to 1 million.

Multiplying the number of Lost Time Incidents with  1 million, and dividing it with the actual number of hours worked, including overtime, will give you the LTIFR.

This number can be manipulated by adding more overtime hours than actualy worked, or by not recording the real LTI figures.

The various incentive schemes developed to punt Star-Grading systems as a performance reward, have all adopted a scale from 0 – 5 to qualify for 5 to 1 starts respectively. (LTIFR of 1 or less earns you a 5-Star grading which is “excellent”. You killed someone, here’s your 5 stars!).

Jest aside, the calculation is flawed firstly, because 1 LTI represents a loss of one shift due to disablement.

A dead person and a person with a deep cut on the finger are 2 LTI’s which qualifies for 4 -Stars.

Four dead workers earns you one Star only, with the descriptive rating that serious improvement is needed.

In reality each shift lost, should count as 1 LTI albeit the same incident. A fatality should then count as 1000 LTI’s.

That was the Safety First synopsys. What the Zero Harm philsophy is, nobody really knows as one often see a lot of workers on “light duty” walking around with braces and crutches, but no shifts are lost.

Since we know that the LTIFR is a rather ineffective measuring tool, one can take it one step further.

With 40 working days under lock-down, how many LTI’s would this be?

The expected answer is 0, because the employer did not cause the lost time.

Which then tacitly admits the employer never had a way to prevent the harm. However, had the employee not come to work and got exposed by an infected person, the employee would still be healthy.

But how many employees go to work feeling like “crap” because the job must be done? And the employer expects it. “It’s just a flu! Are you a paper tiger?” <—-And right there, the employer invokes the responsibility for the subsequent illnesses among the workforce as a “reasonable person” would have foreseen the problem and acted proactively to prevent it. That illness is now for all theoretical reasons, a LTI. (Which never gets recorded or investigated).