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How can we assess safety performance?

Both lag and leading indicators are used to assess safety performance. To begin, recorded figures (lag indicators) are gathered, which include the number of:

  • Reported incidents.

  • Audit findings.

  • Medically treated and first-aid injuries.

  • Repeated incidents.

  • Reported hazards.

Following that, leading indicators such as the time required to correct a hazard or close out an incident should be compiled.

Completion of staff training, including safety inductions, hazard perception training, and other safety training, should also be documented. It’s also a good idea to keep track of the number of senior executives who make safety visits, attend safety and toolbox meetings, and observe safety.

Other leading indicators that can be measured include the financial investment dedicated to safety, tools such as wearables (read our article on smartwatches), technologies such as sensors and geolocation, training delivery methods such as immersion and gamification, the number of team members committed to workplace safety, and the time allotted to their activities to improve safety performance.

Employee training and participation in safety initiatives should be documented to demonstrate training competency. It’s also a good idea to keep track of the number of observations, ideas, and volunteers for safety and related programs and committees. The following items could be recorded:

  • In comparison to worked hours.

  • Pass rate of training competency evaluations.

  • The results of training feedback surveys.

  • The number of observations.

  • A number of suggestions.

  • Hours spent on safety committees.

  • Percentage of employee suggestions adopted by management.

Creating a safety scorecard

The decision-making and reporting procedures should be guided by practical goals that are supported by a root cause analysis. When conducting a root cause analysis, numerous crucial questions must be asked, including:

  • What are the most common causes of events in our organization?

  • What can we do to effect change?

  • How does changing the weighting of particular variables affect the performance of the organization?

Begin by recording a baseline and defining a target for each metric, then use this information to develop a safety culture or performance score for each measure. Introduce one adjustment at a time, with the purpose of increasing culture and safety performance by a certain amount.

Calculate the score and compare it to the baseline and the target. Then, assess and tweak to better understand priorities and future adjustments.