Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Safety Performance & Leading Indicators

Businesses that use leading indicators (rather than lagging indicators) can better spot problem areas and take action before someone gets hurt, non-compliance occurs, a client is disappointed or the EHS culture/reputation is negatively affected, says Fluor Corp. HSE Vice President Jeff Ruebesam, at this year's International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. Leading indicator metrics include training, safety task assignments (What are the hazards? How to combat them?), hazard recognition and elimination, management participation, weekly inspections, near-miss reporting (be sincere, take away the fear that employees have with reporting and make it easy to report), and trending and tracking.

Ruebesam adds that three important factors contribute to a successful site leading indicator program:
  1. Craft: Build trust, raise awareness and engage everyone. “Employees see everything and they talk,” he says. “You can build a bad counterculture if management is not sincere.”
  2. Programs: Use effective data collection, analysis and corrective measures. “It’s not so much getting feedback from the people but it’s what you do with it after you get it,” he says.
  3. Leadership: Gain buy-in, utilize active program participation and be consistent in actions. 
In addition, Ruebesam says that grading sites and employees on safe behavior, installing a rewards program and distributing employee surveys can add to a company's success.