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How to Use Safety Data to Reduce Workplace Incidents

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on February 10, 2017 at 11:13 AM

Wouldn’t it be great if all you had to do to reduce workplace incidents was follow a set of safety measures? You’d simply implement a bullet-point list and voila—better safety records would soon be on the horizon.

Unfortunately, safety professionals know it’s not that simple. What makes sense on paper might not always translate well to the real world. Every workplace is different and each is staffed with employees of different backgrounds, so you can never be too sure you’ve covered all your safety bases. Everyone reacts to hazards in a different way!

So, what’s a safety manager to do?

Make Use of Safety Data by Performing Reviews

One way to bridge the gap between generalized, all-purpose rules on paper and your workplace environment is to always review your accident data.

You may have done everything you thought necessary to prevent an incident only to find out too late you weren’t even close. That usually happens when safety managers aren’t reviewing their data. Remember: collecting data is only the first step towards improving safety. 

Learning how accidents took place will help you understand the unique scenario that led to each incident in your business. In our most recent eBook, we discuss eight investigation methodologies to uncover root causes. Download it today and learn more about how you can build a better incident investigation process.

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Find Out Where the Problem Is 

Maybe you need more employee training. Maybe signage isn’t up to par, or perhaps cross-level communication isn’t encouraged so there’s a breakdown in the information-gathering process. Every workplace will face its own unique challenges.

Preventing injuries is more effective when you concentrate your efforts in the right places. Your employees are separated by task, location, and role within various departments and functions. By closely scrutinizing your data, you can find out where incident rates are the highest (for example, is it in the warehouse?). Then, tailor your safety programs for those employees to see more dramatic improvements.

Compare Your Data with the Numbers from Other Companies

Are your safety performance metrics in line with industry standards? Should you raise your expectations? Only carefully-kept data will reveal how you compare across your industry.

Safety leaders have a tough job, but by learning how to leverage data the right way, they may start making better decisions for the best outcome possible: a safer workplace for everyone.

Topics: EHS Management, Workplace Health and Safety, Incident Reporting Software

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