Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a tool many businesses utilize to analyze and encourage success. The primary objective of creating KPIs is to provide managers, members, and prevention specialists with measurable values to track and determine the progress of specific business objectives. When analyzing KPIs within this context, it is possible to organize the priority of steps for improvements, increasing efficiency in the management process and overall company success. Additionally, when issues related to the methodology emerge, they are more easily recognized for the sake of future improvement. A strong safety culture is at the heart of every successful business. Organizations should constantly use available data to improve their workplace health and safety standards. So, how can KPIs improve the health and safety environment in a workplace and, by extension, the overall success of a business? To answer this question, let’s first take a closer look at what KPIs are.
2 TYPES OF INDICATORS
There are two different types of Key Performance Indicators to come from analyzing groups of data. The first type is “Lagging Indicators” (passive performance) that measure whether your past efforts have been successful or not, even as a result of chance. The second type, and the one we will focus on as it is the most relevant to business success, is “Leading Indicators” (projecting performance) that provide measurable results and information for maintaining adherence to current preventive measures.
5 QUALITIES OF AN EFFECTIVE LEADING INDICATOR
Inserting any kind of data for analysis will not produce results for corporate growth. To effect a desirable change within your organization, a KPI must have some common characteristics. An effective leading indicator is:
- Specific—describing what is being measured.
- Measurable—recorded growth against a standard.
- Achievable—the result should be realistic and reproducible.
- Relevant–providing insight into an actual need or performance.
- Timely—must be limited to a specific timeframe.
If a management system is established to improve overall health and safety within an organization and generate more successful business operations, planning for that system should involve KPIs. Measuring safety performance from time to time is very important to ensure a robust safety culture at your organization.
So, what are some of the metrics involved and how do they track business development? We’ve compiled seven of the most common Key Performance Indicators used in monitoring and implementing health and safety management.
6 EXAMPLES OF KPIs IN EHS:
- Rate of Injuries:
The most obvious indicator and the first point that should be noted while measuring the effectiveness of the safety operations. This metric helps to provide the safety department with a benchmark and should also be communicated to regulatory agencies for additional accountability (and in the case of work-related accidents being significant reportable injuries). While not a leading indicator, this metric is still important.
In previous blogs, we have discussed the right way and wrong way to incorporate this metric. Correctly reporting near-miss incidents goes a long way in accident prevention. As this indicator dictates greater employee involvement, organizations must ensure that proper reporting channels are in place. Participating employees also should receive positive reinforcement for their efforts, as opposed to reprimands from leaders.
- Safety Inspections and Audits:
Regular and routine auditing of work processes will ensure due diligence before operation commencement. Specific details such as the number of completed audits and changes in personnel accountable for enforcing compliance should be part of the recorded data.
- Corrective Actions:
While fixing safety issues as they occur is a priority to any sound EHS management, corrective actions must also be reported. Part of accurately identifying, tracking, and fixing issues is observing patterns of similar incidents in the workplace. When future incidents of the same kind occur resolution and accountability measures are more efficiently employed. In addition, measuring the hierarchy of controls for applied corrective actions will aid in determining how robust and effective the controls are.
- Employee Training:
For effective safety practice, it is critical to train the staff at all levels. This Key Performance Indicator helps ensure that employees have access to the appropriate safety policies and procedures to promote a culture of safety and maintain engagement levels. In addition to chronicling completed training, measuring efficacy of the training (application of knowledge, long-term comprehension, etc.) is encouraged.
- Employee Wellness:
Employee health and well-being should be prioritized as an integral part of the organization’s business strategy. Monitoring employee wellness across all levels of the corporation is key to accountability and intervention efforts. Performance in this area is determined by evaluating absence rate (the number of workdays lost due to any illness) and presenteeism (percentage calculated by measuring the productivity of employees working while ill against standard productivity).
Data-based insights and feedback clearly communicated through displayed health and safety indicators motivates leadership to understand and manage sound safety systems and keeps workers informed and participating in safety culture. The most important asset of these indicators is the ability to collaborate on actionable insights. A robust, cloud-based EHS software will incorporate KPIs to educate businesses and support the successful implementation of safety management systems. Transformational technology and advanced analytics can add value to company decision-making and overall business success.
The SafetyStratus Research Advisory Group (RAG) brings together thought leaders from the global environmental, health and safety community to promote best practices and provide key insights in the profession and the industries they serve. The Research Advisory Group also advocates, where practical, the intersection of and advances with the use of technology, such as the SafetyStratus enterprise EHS software platform. Group membership consists of representatives from across varied disciplines and market sectors as well as select members of the SafetyStratus team.
The primary objectives of the SafetyStratus RAG partnership are to:
- Build a strategic partnership between EHS practitioners and the SafetyStratus team.
- Provide engaging and practical content to the global EHS community.
- Provide discipline and market feedback specific to SafetyStratus products and services.
While the objectives of the RAG are varied, the primary public-facing outcome will be available through engaging and practical content found on the SafetyStratus resource pages. Various articles, papers, and other valuable resources will be produced and shared as part of an ongoing effort to cultivate a robust community. Ultimately, the SafetyStratus RAG will expand to have a broader reach and provide opportunities for more inclusion by all interested EHS professionals in a collaborative community environment.