How should safety performance be measured?

Article provided by: Brent Knight, CSP; President of Intuitive Safety Solutions

In today’s environment the margin for error is narrower than it ever has been. The competition is fierce and the demand for execution high. Safety, much like quality plays a critical role in the success of a business. Without work completed safely, margins plummet and business sustainability is at risk.

In recent years, we measured safety performance by the number of fatalities, lost time or recordable injuries prior to a big push to measure near misses. This still is not good enough. Near misses are would be accidents that somehow did not happen and are indicators that the safety management system is either broken or needs calibration.

Instead of measuring these “Lagging” indicators, we need to start to measure behaviors through observation and the promotion of proactive reporting by employees. Only by these means can we strive for a zero injury and incident environment. Without this, competition will achieve an advantage and the continuity of your business will be at risk. This is not easy and requires a commitment at all levels in an organization. The result is a safe and productive work environment with high quality finished product.

Leave a comment on your thoughts about this subject and how you think safety performance should be measured?  All creative ideas are welcome!

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