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Understanding and Explaining Safety Records for an RFP Response

Putting employee’s health and safety first is a priority we can all stand by! Proving it as a top priority is an essential part of any successful proposal, especially for construction contractors.

It is common for federal agencies to request safety statistics and procedures during the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. It is also becoming increasingly more common for Prime Contractors to request the information from suppliers and subcontractors. Contracting officers and Prime Contractors want to ensure they are working with companies that have high safety standards.

Safety information typically requested includes the Experience Modification Rate (EMR) and Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rates, with an explanation of any safety issues or high rates, as well as company safety measures and processes.


The DART rate is an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calculation that determines how safe your business has been in a calendar year, calculated by how many workplace injuries and illnesses resulted in employees missing work, required restricted work activities or resulted in them being transferred to another job site. Your DART rate is an indicator of how safe your work environment is which ultimately impacts your EMR.


The EMR is a number used by insurance agencies to calculate worker’s compensation premiums, it takes into consideration the DART rate and the number of claims and injuries a company has had in the past and their resulting costs.

Implications of High Rates

High DART and EMR rates can have major financial impacts on your business; it can have a trickle affect from higher insurance premiums to lost work. High rates can also prompt an OSHA inspection of a company’s safety and training programs, as well as record keeping. An OSHA inspection can be very inconvenient and timely, and potentially expose violations, resulting in fines and a damaged reputation.

Explaining High Rates

Honesty is the best policy when describing any high EMR or DART rates. If an RFP specifically asks for descriptions of high rates it is smart to provide honest details about the accident or violation. It is also advantageous to tell the evaluation committee how the incident was initially handled on the project site, what has been done to resolve the problem, as well as what sort of new policies or trainings were implemented. It is important for project owners to understand how hard a company worked to resolve the incident and the necessary steps that were taken to avoid a repeat of the incident.

Strategies for Maintaining Low Rates

To ensure you maintain low safety rates, or reduce high rates, create a consistent safety culture. What does that mean? It means, create a culture in the company that encourages safety as the most important part of every construction project. Be consistent with on-site safety meetings and messaging and job safety analysis, as well as putting OSHA compliance practices at the forefront. Have a plan to manage injuries or accidents with a strong investigation program. These procedures will cultivate a culture at the jobsite that helps employees know they are valued and project owners understand that safety is taken seriously!

If you have more questions about your safety record or how to address it in a proposal, contact Meridian West today!


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