Understanding company safety and health performance on a global scale using the tools and metrics that have been available to date has not been possible with reliable accuracy for several reasons: different recording criteria are used in different countries, treatment of injuries and illnesses varies among cultures, and company programs for training record keepers in how to use the OSHA criteria are not consistent.

ORCHSE Strategies, LLC, together with a team of its members, recognized that companies operating in multiple countries and regions of the world were having great difficulty summarizing their injury and illness data so as to compare international performance with their own US-based business units or with other companies. The team realized that recording criteria that were independent of cultural or regulatory interpretation were needed, and worked to create a measurement system that is precise and accurate, difficult to manipulate, significant and meaningful for safety program evaluation, and appropriate for accountability purposes in a global environment.

The result, ASTM Standard E2920 – 14, defines work-related injuries and illnesses so they easily can be understood and measured across countries. Its primary objective is to identify cases with meaningful connection to work and cases with sufficient gravity to provide value for prevention purposes. The resulting data can be used to evaluate, compare, and continually improve management systems and programs related to worker safety and health, and have the potential to enable global benchmarking consistency if the standard is widely adopted.

The standard establishes definitions and criteria for recording occupational injuries and illnesses in two major areas: type of injury or illness and its severity, and work relationship.

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