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When you TRACK KPI events in safety are you making is SIMPLE to follow and follow up

What Metrics Should You Include?

Keep it simple. If you make things too complicated it will be hard to keep the scorecard updated. While you may want to track the number of injuries at your site, keep in mind that by the time an injury happens it’s too late to prevent it. For leading indicators make great numbers to track on your safety scorecard.

The search for other metrics has led to five other areas which can potentially impact the results:

  1. Safety Activities – organizational functions such as training, on-boarding new employees, leadership, supervision, safety meetings, and others. All these can impact the results, but how do you measure them? The quest for such metrics is ongoing.
  2. Participation – what percent of workers participate in training or meetings, or serve on safety teams or committees. Participation can impact results and can be measured rather easily in terms of committee membership or meeting attendance percentages.
  3. Perceptions – what do people think of safety and how do they perceive the effectiveness of other strategies in helping them avoid accidents. Perceptions impact behaviors and behaviors impact accidents. Perceptions can be scored as a percentage of ideal and trended across time or benchmarked against other organizations or industry averages.
  4. Behaviors – worker performance toward safety goals involving specific precautions. Behavior is, by definition, observable and therefore measurable in workplace observations. Certain behaviors can be targeted based on Pareto analysis of accident data and can be measured and trended as a percentage of safe behavior vs. at-risk behavior.
  5. Conditions – unsafe workplace conditions and potential hazards. Physical audits can be conducted and targeted to Pareto analysis of accident data to determine which conditions contribute to most accidents. These audits can be measured by number and also by how many work orders result and how many are completed. Experimentation has been done in measuring each of these areas. As the measurements have been made and analyzed, newer and better metrics have evolved and the process gets into a continuous-improvement loop. Going from simple results metrics to multiple metrics is challenging for some organizations and truly understanding the new metrics is even more challenging.

Remember Lagging indicators are typically “output” oriented, easy to measure but hard to improve or influence while leading indicators are typically input oriented, hard to measure and easy to influence. Let me illustrate this with a simple example: For many of us a personal goal is weight loss.

key performance indicator (KPI) is a business metric used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of an organization. KPIs differ per organization; businessKPIs may be net revenue or a customer loyalty metric, while government might consider unemployment rates.

The major drawback to only using lagging indicators of safety performance is that they tell you how many people got hurt and how badly, but not how well your company is doing at preventing incidents and accidents.

The reactionary nature of lagging indicators makes them a poor gauge of prevention. For example, when managers see a low injury rate, they may become complacent and put safety on the bottom of their to-do list, when in fact, there are numerous risk factors present in the workplace that will contribute to future injuries.


Here are some examples of numbers you could track:

  1. Number of training hours per employee per week
  2. Number of site inspections per week
  3. Number of Job Safety Analyses completed each week
  4. Number of Near Misses reported each week
  5. Number of safety observations reported each week
  6. Results of safety perception surveys

Take Action Now!

It’s easy to get started by setting up a simple Excel spreadsheet with these metrics.

  1. Set up an excel spreadsheet and create a row for each of your safety leading indicators.
  2. Next to each item, list which member of your team is accountable for meeting each number.
  3. Determine your weekly goal for each number, and include it in each row.
  4. Decide who is accountable for preparing the scorecard each week and how that person will get the numbers from each team member.
  5. Review your scorecard each week with your safety team. If any numbers are off-track, discuss ideas for getting them on track the next week.

These excel dashboards reports templates will help you report all your safety metrics in one place. For example, safety metrics like illness, incidents, environmental metrics, injuries, proactive safety initiatives and projects metrics, lost time, efficiency, productivity, benchmarking and literally all the safety KPIs you need to track and report will be organized in one place. This will avoid the need for using any additional documents or files in order to find and organize the reports you need. At anytime you can just update your excel data and all your reports will be updated simultaneously. In addition to improved reporting and better more effective and efficient management think about all the time that you can save by getting rid of all those various sources of data and reports and have everything in one place in Microsoft Excel. Your spreadsheet should look something like this:

Every business is different, so choose the metrics that make sense for your operations. Need help setting up a system like this for your safety department? Contact us for a consultation.

An EXCEL program can be set up LAGGING metric in your program just as easy and Excel has a program Call Excel Dashboard that is easy to purchase and set up for such operation too.

Terry Penney

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