The Importance of Leading Indicators and Lagging Indicators in Safety

Safety Indicators

Normally I meet on average with 3 to 4 safety directors a week from all different types of vertical markets. One question continually pops up at each meeting: how does OSHA view safety incentive programs

There are many factors that OSHA focuses on when reviewing a company safety incentive program. One of those is what indicators are the reward measurement for employees. 

First, let's back up a little bit. There are two different types of indicators.  Leading and Lagging Indicators.

What's a Leading Indicator?

A leading indicator is a measure preceding or indicating a future event used to drive and measure activities carried out to prevent and control injury.

What's a Lagging Indicator?

A lagging indicator measures a company’s incidents in the form of past accident statistics.

OSHA understands all companies log and measure their lagging indicators, however, they primarily want your safety incentives program to focus on leading indicators. So, with that being said, let’s take a look at some good examples of leading and lagging indicators.

Examples of Leading Indicators

  • Safety Suggestions
  • Attend Safety Meetings
  • Pass and Complete Monthly Safety Training
  • Reporting a Near Miss

Examples of Lagging Indicators

  • Zero Recordable Injuries for the Month
  • Zero LTA’s for the Month
  • Committed a Safety Violation
  • Failed to Report a Work Place Injury

Most proactive companies have a holistic system in place to ensure that both leading and lagging indicators are being measured. However, in order to modify employee behavior and to remain OSHA compliant, it is essential to focus attentions on leading indicators that prevent workplace injuries in the first place.

Creating an OSHA Compliate Safety Incentive Program: A Checklist

At C.A. Short Company, we are your partner for increased employee engagement resulting in increased performance outcomes to grow your bottom line. Our process and research-based platform helps you engage your team in order to increase your bottom line, motivate your staff to the benefit of the entire organization, and reward your people for the positive changes they make. To request a Complimentary Consultation, please click here. 

Topics: Safety

Jeff Ross, CPA, CRP, CSM

About the Author
Jeff Ross, CPA, CRP, CSM

Mr. Ross, a certified public accountant, joined the C.A. Short Company as its controller in June 1993 and was named Chief Financial Officer in November 1996. From there, Jeff was promoted to President and Chief Financial Officer, and in 2017, was appointed CEO. Before joining C.A. Short Company, Ross was employed as an accountant by Hausser + Taylor, a large public accounting and consulting firm. Jeff presently serves on the Board of Directors of 2XSalt Ministries, Charlotte, NC and is a member of North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Ross graduated from The Ohio State University with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1989.

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