Historically companies have mostly focused on lagging indicators to judge safety and quality performance. Quantifying incidents and injuries is easy to do but only measures performance to date. If the goal is to perform better in the future and add preventative control, they’re not quite as useful.
Advances in mobile technology are allowing organizations to pursue more leading indicators than ever before. By focusing on worker engagement and proactive activities, these indicators can be captured effectively from the line and the field for management analysis.
Lagging indicators have not completely outlived their usefulness, but are best employed in combination with leading data sources.
We’ve put together a list of some of the leading indicators your safety software should be tracking for you, preferably in realtime.
How frequent are your proactive auditing processes occurring? Tracking audit performance can ensure that audits are being done on time, by the right people, and at the frequency you need. It’s important for your organization to be proactive about safety and even more important to know when it isn’t.
If your organization is proactively auditing sites, equipment, and processes, the data your collecting is invaluable so long as it actually gets looked at. Identify where your non-conformances are and spot any patterns or trends that come to light so you can implement the right corrective actions in the right priority.
Many organizations today are encouraging their supervisors and workers to audit their own sites, teams, work areas, and processes. Engaging your workforce in this way not only builds a confident safety culture, but also provides you with leading indicators such as where, when, and how often self-inspections are occurring. Consider analytics that help you find unknown hazards and the likelihood they occur by taking a look at self-inspection data.
Are you surveying your workforce? Employee surveys are a quick and easy way to get immediate feedback about the safety climate across various locations, departments, and teams. Take a look at the responses to understand and plan for what’s next.
Near Miss and Hazard Reporting
Your safety management system should be able to show you the frequency at which near miss reports are submitted and hazards are identified. It’s important and helpful to understand where they are coming from and who is submitting them. This is one way to help spot specific locations across your organization that may need more of your attention.
This one is pretty obvious but still a very effective metric to be tracking. Are your workers behind on due items? Is one location or team experiencing difficulty with engaging in particular? Tracking who is participating in your safety program can be key to providing managerial direction.
Are you able to see the big picture for training across your workforce? Consider tracking what courses are most frequently past due and which employees, teams, departments, locations, or sites have not met the training requirements you’ve defined.
Whether it’s the safety program handbook or the standard operating procedure for a specific job function, your documents should be controlled. Revisions to documents should be approved, and workers should be able to quickly and easily find, access, and view anything you’ve assigned to them. A vital leading indicator to track is how frequently your documents are accessed and viewed.