Safety is earning its rightful place on the dashboards of decision-makers. In its 2017 National Safety Survey, EHS Today found that more than 80 percent of respondent safety managers monitor these three leading indicators, all crucial to workplace safety:
- Employee audits/observations
- Near misses
- Participation in safety training
When tracking these leading indicators and others, what best practices should safety managers and staff follow?
Accentuate the positive over the negative
As serious as safety is, leading indicators should, as often as possible, measure successes instead of failures. A safety manager would be better off tracking, for example, safety training module completion and not the number of people who have yet to complete safety training.
Both provide the same information, but the second frames the leading indicator as a tool for possible retaliation rather than improvement. Which one do you think will win over workers?
Offer resolutions based on findings
Leading indicators communicate operational data to managers, who then form resolutions and instruct workers on how to enhance performance. However, safety professionals should not deprive workers of the exact insights leading indicators express.
When managers offer guidance to their employees, they should include the analysis that led them to such conclusions. Doing so creates a culture of transparency and drives home the importance of safety metrics, as well as the processes around them.
Aggregate and visualize data with safety management software
Returning to the aforementioned EHS survey, nearly half (46 percent) of respondents admitted to not using or planning to use software designed to "track, manage and report data" about safety performance at their workplaces.
In the age of big data, having the right safety management software matters. EHS professionals must not only gather information, wherever it may be, but also present it meaningfully and effortlessly, so as not to prioritize number-crunching and pie-chart drafting above the task of ensuring safety.
Request a free demo of IndustrySafe safety management software today or check out our introductory blog post on leading versus lagging indicators for more information.