Safety Leading Indicators
Safety Leading Indicators – I love tracking things that I believe are predictive indicators of what results might be coming in the future. While I think it is just as much an art as a science; finding the indicators that work best for your program can be a challenge. When I develop leading indicators I try to think about the following:
I like to find pairs of concepts that work together. Matching one leading and one lagging together to track performance and insure it is a valuable measurable. As an example, in many industries there are busy and slow seasons. Both may have an effect on your injury outcomes in both frequency and or severity. If you track hours worked do you notice a significant change? Does your number of claims increase or decrease?
By matching a leading indicator with a lagging indicator you can test your theory and determine if it a valuable measurable to track or not. It may even help you determine a predictive model if you have enough data and statistical analysis ability.
If you want a less precise way of estimating just use percentages. If I have enough data points that tell me that X% of the time when we increase hours X% above the average we have an injury that involves major cost then I can use that information to sound the alarm to management.
By predicting high injury potential times and communicating them to management we can develop other methods to try to counteract it. A few methods could be talking about it, developing a tool box talk, having a time out for safety, review the last incidents that occurred during this high risk time, etc.
Finding the right measurable and quantifying it the best you can helps management understand in their terms that there is a high risk. Using numbers and statistics are common place to business leaders and help them understand quickly and support the necessary next steps to avoid them. Take the time to find out what’s useful in your organization and use it reduce your injuries.
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