Our safety performance in 2016 fell far short of our expectations. We experienced two employee and two contractor fatalities. To compound this, one contractor lost his life in early 2017. This has a profound effect on everyone who works for or on behalf of AEP. In addition, we did not achieve our targets for reducing injury on the job. These results are unacceptable to us, and we are resolved to do better.
In 2016, AEP transitioned from the Injury Severity and Recordable Injury rates to the industry-accepted DART (Days Away/Restricted or Transferred) rate to track and measure work-related injuries for both employees and contractors. The DART rate allows AEP to identify more serious events and place additional emphasis and focus on those that cause more serious harm. In addition, AEP established DART rate improvement goals using a three-year average of historical DART rates.
We track separate DART rates for employees and contractors to monitor performance and focus on areas needing improvement. We also calculate a combined DART rate for employee and contractor performance, which reinforces our commitment to Zero Harm for everyone working under the AEP banner.
In 2016, we set a goal of improving our performance by 10 to 20 percent. While 62 percent of AEP’s facilities experienced no DART events, our overall performance fell short of our goal. In 2016, the combined DART rate was 0.54 compared with 0.50 for 2015. Slips, trips and falls continue to be the leading cause of harm.
In 2016, one in every 195 employees experienced a work-related injury or illness that took them away from their job. The DART rate for AEP employees was 0.50 compared with 0.46 for 2015 and a target of 0.42. As a result, in 2016, AEP experienced 2,650 lost work days and 1,734 days where employee activities were restricted due to work-related injuries or illnesses.