What it the best way to improve safety in your facility? Leading indicators play a big role in preventing worker fatalities, injuries, and illnesses as well as strengthening operational outcomes in the workplace. Your cohesive safety program should leverage leading indicators as a guide for operational changes in processes, programs, and altering employee behavior to cultivate a safer work environment.
OSHA looks at how an enterprise uses this type of information. It defines leading indicators as “proactive and preventive measures that can shed light about the effectiveness of safety and health activities and reveal potential problems in a safety and health program. Indicators that lag behind will signify a lack of effectiveness in the program.”
In other words, leading indicators are like the “canary in the coal mine” because they are often the first sign that a program or process may not be working properly or fully optimized.
Indicators can improve performance across an organization by:
- Preventing workplace injuries and illnesses.
- Reducing costs associated with incidents.
- Improving productivity and overall organizational performance.
- Optimizing safety and health performance.
- Raising worker participation.
Real-time data driving your leading indicators is crucial.
Being proactive, preventive and predictive is only beneficial if the leading indicator provides timely information that can be effectively turned into action. Conditions that could lead to injuries or fatalities are time-sensitive. So, it’s vital for leading indicators to be driven by real-time monitoring and data. This facilitates detailed information that can be quickly acted upon.
What should your organization be watching for? There is no Holy Grail when developing a list of leading indicators. An enterprise must use its own internal processes and programs as a guide when developing them. For example, if monitoring software provides real-time data on operator behavior, adjustments can be made to target poor behavior or habits that are the root cause of errors and accidents. So, action is taken to fix the issues or behaviors that facilitate problems to arise.
Focus on what supports safety.
By measuring what has a significant impact on safety process in your facility, adjustments within the program can improve efficiencies while reducing risks to employees and the company.
Telematics software puts actionable information for each of your indicators at your fingertips. It identifies what is going wrong on one dashboard, delivering instant insight.
Managers gain quick access to the root cause with one click of the mouse.
- Trouble areas are highlighted; successful areas are checked off.
- More detailed information (the who and the why) is available for each KPI via a pull-down menu.
As the business grows, improvements should look to optimize areas that deliver customer value and address anything that challenges customer satisfaction.
In a nutshell, real-time data should drive your leading indicators allowing managers to take proactive action before issues escalate. This is a lean approach to facility management, and it delivers unprecedented results.