Episode Summary

Welcome back to the Safety of Work podcast! In this episode, we discuss whether total recordable injury rates are statistically invalid. Further, we talk about what that would mean on a practical leve…

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Episode Notes

The paper we use to frame our discussion is one that has been making the rounds on social media recently. We thought it was important to seize on the opportunity to discuss a work safety issue while it’s top of mind for the public.


  • What it means when something isn’t peer-reviewed.
  • Why statistics are ever popular.
  • How many workers hours to decimal places.
  • Using a model that weighs underlying variables and randomness.
  • How this study is another nail in the coffin for this question.
  • Practical takeaways.


“I’ve noticed in Australia, at least, there’s an increasing move to have safety statistics included in annual reports, at least for publicly traded companies.”

“And their conclusion was: Almost all of it was explained by randomness.”

“If recordable injury rates are used to record performance, then we’re actually rewarding random variation.”


Hallowell, M., Quashne, M., Salas, R., Jones, M., MacLean,B. and Quinn, E. (2020) The statistical invalidity of TRIR as a measure of safety performance. Construction Safety Research Alliance.

The Statistical Invalidity of TRIR as a Measure of Safety Performance