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Safety Metrics and Leading Indicators

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on April 18, 2016 at 4:25 PM

Nowadays, you can find environmental, health and safety metrics publicly available through news releases and sustainability reports. Although valuable, these metrics alone don't drive improved performance since most of the data indicate what has already happened. You want tools, like EHS software, that help you shape the future of your program.

Do Lagging Indicators Help?

Lagging indicators such as lost time, incident and severity rate are inadequate measures of safety. These data points give information on the number of people who were injured in an incident and the severity of their injuries, but do not prevent accidents and incidents. 

Lagging indicators are necessary as part of a comprehensive safety metrics plan. However, it is important to focus on safety leading indicators in order to strengthen your EHS program.

These metrics should consider preventative and proactive safety measures to help manage and prevent safety-related incidents. In order to ensure a return on safety investment, it is of best practice to track the following leading indicators: 

  • CAPA action items overdue
  • Audits and inspections completed on time
  • Number of audits with compliance issues
  • BBS Participation Rate
  • JSA occurrence count

Improving Your Workplace Culture with Safety Metrics

When you are preparing training KPIs via your training tracking software, it should not be just about signing everyone up for safety classes, but also setting goals and performance targets. Training should be followed up with surveys to see the level of employee engagement.

They gives EHS leaders feedback regarding employees and the type of safety culture in the workplace. Employees would answer specific questions about strengths and weaknesses of the safety metrics and employers get a detailed list of the improvements that need to be done. 

Safety metrics help ensure your organization is in line with regulatory standards while operating safely. Every workplace is different and these metrics should be set up to meet specific program needs. 

Safety metrics help identify hidden risks such as protrusions or wet areas that could cause slips, falls and hazards. These metrics are particularly important for identifying specific safety issues before accidents happen.

To optimize your safety reporting, it is important to track when and how historical incidents were resolved. 

Continuous Improvement

Communication is an important aspect in the workplace, especially when it comes to environmental, health and safety.

All mediums including internal memos, reports, statements and toolbox talks are important leading indicators. The allocation of resources towards ensuring workplace safety is another important leading indicator.

Resources are not only monetary, but also include time and personnel allocated to making a workplace safe, even on a limited budget. This helps provide insight in regards to the amount of resources needed to build a safe workplace. 

Topics: Performance Improvement, Workplace Health and Safety, Safety Software, Safety Management, Safety Metrics

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