Using Leading Indicators to improve Safety and Health Outcomes
“Today, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) practitioners continue to rely on injury rates, absenteeism, and other lagging metrics despite the growing acceptance of the fact that these failure-focused measures are ineffective in driving continuous improvement efforts. 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬, on the other hand, appear to offer a more useful gauge of EHS activity by providing early warning signs of potential failure and, thus enabling organizations to identify and correct deficiencies before they mature into accidents and injuries.”
- Campbell Institute, Transforming EHS Performance Measurement Through Leading Indicators
Leading indicators are proactive measures as compared to lagging indicators. They are important as they can tell whether your safe and health activities are effective at preventing incidents. A good safety and health program uses leading indicators to drive change and lagging indicators to measure effectiveness.
They can play a vital role in preventing worker fatalities, injuries, and illnesses, as well as strengthening safety and health outcomes in the workplace. In addition to the social benefits, employers that use leading indicators to find and fix hazards can realize direct savings in their bottom line - production costs, workers' compensation costs and other legal and regulatory costs that are commonly associated with incidents.
Leading indicators are a valuable tool regardless of whether you have a safety or health program, what you have included in your program, or what stage you may be at in your program. Learn more from this insightful read from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
(Photo credits: Image from OSHA document on Using Leading Indicators to improve Safety and Health Outcomes)