EHS management blog


The Safest Companies Use These 6 Leading Indicators

Not sure which leading indicators you should be using?

At Safety Leadership Conference 2017, Steve Wiltshire of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) shared the 6 leading indicators that significantly lowered recordable injuries — regardless of company size or type of work.

Below. we've ranked these leading indicators by their impact on overall safety so you can see which actions will get the most bang for your buck: 

The metrics

ABC measured safety improvements based on two metrics: total recordable incident rate (TRIR) and days away, restricted, or transferred (DART). Under OSHA’s e-reporting rule, organizations must report these metrics on forms 300 & 300A. High TRIR or DART scores can trigger an OSHA inspection or even lead to fines.

1. New hire orientation

Impact: Organizations that gave 215 minutes of new hire orientation had a TRIR rate 1,827% lower and a DART rate 1,662% lower than those that only gave a half-hour or less of orientation. 

Action step: Remember that more isn't always better — sometimes it's just more. In order to develop a meaningful new hire orientation, start by asking yourself, "What do we want to achieve during new hire orientation?" Looking at data from your current safety program can help you determine which goals to target.

2. Daily toolbox talks

Impact: Organizations that hold daily toolbox talks had a TRIR rate 276% lower and a DART rate 292% lower than those that offered monthly toolbox talks, and a TRIR rate 220% lower and a DART rate 233% lower than those that offered weekly toolbox talks.

Action step: Download our free 2018 safety calendar for upcoming events and tips to inspire your next toolbox talk.

3. Weekly inspections with follow-up

Impact: Organizations that conduct and follow-up on weekly inspections have a TRIR rate 239% lower and a DART rate 243% lower than those that conduct monthly inspections with no follow-up.

Action step: Take advantage of technology to make it easier to complete weekly inspections. With audit management software, you can create a standardized inspection form or question library, assign inspections to specific staff, and get alerts to follow-up.

4. Site-specific orientation

Impact: Organizations that gave site-specific orientation had a TRIR rate 180% lower and a DART rate 158% lower than those that didn't train workers on specific work site hazards.

Action step: With tens or hundreds of work sites, it’s hard to keep track of all the different orientations. Training management software can help you keep tabs on who's received which training, as well as monitor the effectiveness of your orientation programs so you know when materials need to be refreshed. 

5. Near miss tracking

Impact: Organizations that track near misses have a TRIR rate 169% lower and a DART rate 163% lower than companies that don't track near misses.

Action step: Can your employees record near misses conveniently and anonymously? If not, consider implementing a mobile near miss reporting solution that allows workers to log issues without a username or password, add photos, suggest corrective actions, and submit from any phone or tablet.

6. Substance abuse programs

Impact: Organizations that have substance abuse programs have a TRIR rate 156% lower and a DART rate 156% lower than those that don't have drug-free workplace programs.

Action step: A needs assessment can help you identify which drug- and alcohol-related problems your organization is facing and decide where to invest your training resources.

Final takeaway

Your employees are your eyes and ears when it comes to identifying unsafe behaviors and conditions. Safety observation reporting tools are one way to get your employees to report these unsafe behaviors and conditions so you can prevent costly incidents before they occur.

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