It is not hard to identify the lagging indicators of a safety program. You simply measure your company’s incidents in the form of past accident statistics. Additional lagging indicators include injury frequency and severity, OSHA recordable injuries, lost workdays and Worker’s Compensation costs. Even near misses are lagging indicators – they are just incidents on which we got lucky. By tracking these safety metrics, your company can track the progress toward compliance and evaluate the overall effectiveness of safety at your facility. These are all “after the fact” metrics.
Unfortunately, by only measuring past accident numbers, you only see a partial picture of your safety program. Because these numbers are purely reactionary, they make a poor gauge of future prevention.
In order to see the full picture, you need to start tracking not only your lagging metrics but also your leading indicators of safety performance.
Leading indicators measure activities carried out that indicate future value or direction of safety performance. Examples of your leading indicators include results of behavioral observations (negative & positive), routine inspections, training/certifications, accident investigation results, preventative actions, and employee surveys. While many companies incorporate these practices, there are roadblocks to receiving accurate data and turning it into useful analytics.
Historically, EH&S professionals spend an enormous amount of time behind a desk entering data into spreadsheets trying to attain a picture of where their safety program is headed. Leading indicators will only be valuable if they are easily reported, tracked in real-time and organized into actionable analytics.
After hundreds of conversations with our customers and EH&S leaders, Sospes set out to create a behavioral-based reporting module to complement our reporting tools, marrying our lagging and leading indicator tracking into one product. The new module provides all workers the ability to report observations involving positive behavior, at-risk behavior, substandard conditions, and safety suggestions. These additional capabilities tied in with our inspection tool gives companies the ability to see their leading indicators of safety. Real-time dashboards offer management the ability to view analytics across their company so they may make decisions on where and how to spend valuable resources.
At Sospes, we are building a roadmap that introduces new and better ways to report and track your metrics. So, whether you are lagging, leading or both, Sospes has the tools to help you actively manage your safety program.