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Top 5 Safety Leading Indicators You Should Be Tracking

Worker tracks safety leading indicators on the job site.

Regulatory bodies around the world require companies to report certain metrics consistently. Some examples of these metrics might be the TRIR, LTIR, and the overall costs of workers’ compensation. These are safety lagging indicators and are crucial in measuring the success of safety programs. However, some might argue tracking safety leading indicators is more important and plays a big role in prevention.

Safety leading indicators are predictive and allow organizations to anticipate and address potential safety issues before they escalate. Safety professionals ensure there are programs in place to help prevent incidents while enabling workers to feel they are doing their jobs in an environment where safety is a top priority. There are many safety leading indicators in the workplace but this article will focus on five that you can start tracking immediately.

5 Safety Leading Indicators You Can Begin Implementing Today

1. Near Miss Reporting

Near misses are valuable opportunities for learning and prevention. In fact, some safety professionals might refer to them as “fortunate escapes”. Monitoring near misses is crucial because if you see a spike in them, it could be a precursor for an increase in employee injuries.

Workers should feel empowered to report near misses when they happen, without fear of reprisal. Having a strong safety culture means creating an environment where employees feel psychologically safe to share a near miss. Once it is reported on time, corrective actions can be implemented promptly, and finding the root cause of the incident will be key.

2. Safety Training

An educated workforce is a safer, more productive workforce. Tracking safety training participation is a safety leading indicator that directly correlates with improved skillsets and awareness. But it also has to go deeper than just awareness training. Employers need to ensure workers receive refresher training or skill-specific training when required. Conversely, when employees engage in safety training, they acquire the knowledge, expertise, and confidence necessary to identify and mitigate potential risks on the job site.

3. Measure Your Safety Culture

So, you think you have a strong safety culture? The best way to find out for sure is to survey your employees. One of the top safety leading indicators is employee surveys, which gives you a solid picture of how employees take proactive steps toward safety. It’s an anonymous tool to find out if workers feel safe reporting a near miss, if they think their training is adequate, or if they actively identify hazards.

Once you have the results of your safety culture survey, you can set a baseline and work towards continuous improvement. Whether it’s enhancing communication channels, or addressing concerns about workload, these insights empower you to make necessary changes.

4. Job Safety Analysis (JSA)

As defined by Harvard Environmental Health and Safety, JSA defines and controls the hazards of processes, jobs, and procedures. JSAs are systematic examinations and documentation of every task within jobs to identify hazards and how to control tasks. This is one of the top safety leading indicators because it enhances the safety of individual tasks and also contributes to an overall culture of awareness.

JSA involves breaking down each job into its components, identifying hazards, and then creating preventative measures. JSAs should be updated regularly, especially as job tasks evolve or new equipment or technology is added.

5. Safety Observations and Inspections

Regular safety observations and inspections serve as a proactive measure to identify and manage potential hazards before they lead to accidents. It’s important to encourage workers to actively participate in safety inspections to foster a shared responsibility for safety. Furthermore, when a hazard is identified, implementing corrective actions is extremely important. That may involve repairing faulty equipment, enhancing signage, or addressing environmental factors.

Tracking Safety Leading Indicators Is More Efficient with the Right Technology

Thinking proactively about safety is the best approach to reducing the likelihood of incidents and accidents. There are many safety leading indicators you can track but the above-mentioned are effective and easy to quickly implement at your workplace.

Ensure the well-being of your most valuable asset – your employees. Veriforce has the technology and expertise to help you strengthen your safety culture by incorporating these leading indicators into your safety management strategy.

Contact us today to learn more.

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