Calculating the Total Recordable Incident Frequency, or TRIF, is a critical component of monitoring safety performance for any organization. Although the method itself is very straightforward, its consequences can have a big impact. For instance, an above-average TRIF can lead to increased insurance costs or unannounced safety inspections. It could also have negative effects on a company’s reputation; nobody wants to be known for safety infractions. Calculating Total Recordable Incident Frequency is crucial for creating a safer workplace since identifying safety hazards is one of the first stages in creating a safety culture.

Explore this Article

  1. Total Recordable Incident Frequency Formula
  2. Why Organizations Track the Frequency of Total Recordable Injuries
  3. Benefits and Drawbacks of TRIF Use
  4. BLS’s Average Total Recordable Incident Frequencys

Total Recordable Incident Frequency Formula

TRIFs are typically computed once a year, which not only enables businesses to see the broad picture for better danger assessment but also allows them to compare their score to other businesses using data from the same time period. The TRIF formula is as follows:

(Number of injuries x 200,000) / (number of hours worked)

The number of injuries (the first component of the formula) is derived from all workplace accidents or illnesses that either occurred at work or were a result of work-related activities. It might be anything from a sore back from carrying large objects at a building site to experiencing poisoning symptoms after being exposed to a chemical.

The second figure in the calculation, 200,000, reflects the amount of hours that 100 employees working 40 hours per week would clock over the course of a year. By calculating the annual number of injuries per 100 full-time employees, this standardises TRIF statistics.

Number of hours worked, the third number in the calculation, gives information from the real number of employees, not the imaginary 100. This value is then scaled to account for the size of the business.

Let’s try out the TRIF formula now. Here is how the TRIF formula would seem if a firm with 150 full-time employees reported 3 injuries during the previous year:

(3 x 200,000) / (300,000) = 2

Quarterly TRIF Formula

It is also possible to track injuries on a quarterly basis as opposed to an annual basis using the TRIF formula; all you need to do is swap out 200,000 for 50,000, which represents the amount of hours that 100 full-time employees would put in during a quarter.

Picture of young focused male manager standing in factory and holding tablet. Dressed in white coat with helmet on his head.

Why Organizations Track the Frequency of Total Recordable Injuries

The major goal of the TRIF is to shed light on how well previous safety precautions worked. Additionally, it enables enterprises to assess their own performance by comparing their TRIF to that of other businesses operating in the same sector. A high TRIF would suggest that any safety precautions currently in place needed to be improved; a low TRIF would suggest that their safety precautions had been both sufficient and effective during the previous year. For businesses like construction, agriculture, fishing and hunting, or other areas where accidents are more likely to occur, tracking TRIFs is particularly crucial.

Benefits and Drawbacks of TRIF Use

Tracking Total Recordable Incident Frequency can be quite beneficial – to a point. And naturally, there are some flaws you should consider.


  • a TRIF offers a consistent approach to assess safety performance
  • The TRIF calculation is relatively easy
  • TRIFs are one of the few methods we have of rating safety
  • They allow you to observe your EHS reforms


  • In order to get an accurate value, your TRIF should be compared to previous years. Otherwise they may mislead. For instance, a small company with ten employees and 1 incident that year would have a TRIF of 10, which is scary relative to larger companies. However, the incident may be a rare occurrence. That’s why an average TRIF over multiple years is much more telling than a single TRIF.
  • Companies can also dilute their numbers by factoring in too many work hours. If you have your hours factored properly, then you have nothing to worry about, but being aware of the possible abuse could answer some questions you have when comparing your numbers with others.

BLS’s Average Total Recordable Incident Frequencys

If you’d like to compare your Total Recordable Incident Frequency with average industry numbers, here is a list of common industries and their corresponding average incident frequencies.

  • 5.5: Health care/social assistance
  • 4.6: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
  • 4.0: Transportation and warehousing
  • 3.1: Manufacturing
  • 3.1: Retail trade
  • 2.5: Construction

For a full list, check out the United States Department of Labor list of TRIFs.

You might be wondering why construction, one of the riskier businesses, is listed below retail commerce or agricultural. This is mostly due to the fact that TRIFs do not consider the kind or severity of injuries. A TRIF only shows the number of injuries per 100 employees over a certain time period, regardless of the fact that a worker is statistically more likely to be fatally wounded on a construction site than in a retail trade environment.

And since we’re on the topic, we have an article that lists America’s most dangerous jobs right here.