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How to Measure Safety Performance

June 23, 2017

3 Minutes

Across the board, safety leaders are looking to get executives more involved in safety. But to successfully hold their attention and secure their buy-in for new EHS initiatives, we have to improve how we report on our safety metrics. In this post we’ll outline how your safety department can start measuring safety performance.

Key Metrics to Consider


One great thing about the industries we work in is that there’s no shortage of data to be collected and analyzed. The secret to success is leveraging this data after it’s been collected to continuously improve program performance and drive safer outcomes.

If you’re looking to beef up your existing reporting process or build one from the ground up, below you’ll find a shortlist of KPIs that will help make measuring safety performance across your organization more efficient.

Measuring Safety Performance: Metrics to Consider


Training sessions completed
– Hazards reported
– Near misses and incidents
– Safety meetings attended by each employee
– Time workers spend talking in safety meetings
– Corrective actions completed
– Audits and inspections completed
– Time spent in your EHS management system

RELATED: 5 More Safety Metrics Worth Tracking

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Make Data Collection Easy at the Frontlines


Now that you have an idea of what to track to start successfully measuring safety performance, it’s time to make sure the right types of data are entering your EHS management system accurately and regularly. To do this, you need to foster a culture of participation at the frontlines, as these workers will be the ones capturing all of the critical data you’ll want to get your hands on. To get the data you desire, you need to make these workers understand the importance of the work they’re doing so they’ll want to contribute and participate more in the safety process.

Pro tip: anything you can do to make it easier for your team to collect and submit this information, the better. If your current hazard reporting process requires employees to stop what they’re doing and go grab a pen and paper to fill out a form – they’re less likely to do it because they’re busy and this paper-driven process interrupts their work. To get the data you want, make it super simple for workers to collect it and add it to the system.

Analyze The Data, Measure Safety Performance & Share Your Results



According to the above stat, 67% of EHS professionals regularly share safety performance results with executives, which is pretty good – but to really keep preventable workplace incidents from occurring, that number needs to be closer to 100%.

A lot of times EHS professionals think they’re making improvements in their safety programs, but they can’t quantify results because they haven’t been adequately measuring performance. It’s critical that after our frontline workforce submits data, we routinely analyze it to glean trends and make adjustments to our programs and procedures as necessary. Ultimately, data should be driving the future of your EHS program, not gut instinct.

Let’s say for example that you hold refresher training sessions for workers at your company once a year. But after you dig into your data, you notice an uptick in near misses about 8 months after the refresher course was completed. These findings should be shared with executives and used to determine your next steps. You can then work together to revise the refresher training schedule from annual to biannual to minimize that mid-year spike in near misses and drive continuous improvement.


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