Improving Safety Through Hazard Identification

In the world of environmental health & safety (EHS), leading indicators and lagging indicators are often discussed as ways of identifying areas for improvement within a safety culture.

According to OSHA, leading indicators are defined as “proactive, preventive and predictive measures that provide information about the effective performance of your safety and health activities. They measure events leading up to injuries, illnesses and other incidents and reveal potential problems in your safety and health program.”

Utilizing leading indicators to drive a safety program allows an organization to utilize data and information to take a proactive approach to preventing injuries from occurring. In contrast, lagging Indicators can make you aware or alert you to a deficiency in your safety program only after an injury or incident occur. Lagging indicators can be seen as reactive, whereas leading indicators are considered proactive.

Excellerate Manufacturing is continuously looking for ways to identify leading indicators to create a proactive approach to remaining injury free. One of the ways we do this is through our hazard identification process. This process is designed to encourage all employees to easily identify, resolve and communicate hazards. It involves filling out a simple card or scanning a QR code on a mobile device and filling out the hazard identification form virtually. Once completed, it is submitted to a monitored database where identified hazards are tracked, followed up on and communicated as necessary. This has improved our safety engagement among our employees and has promoted and enhanced our overall safety culture, helping us achieve our goal of making sure every employee returns home in the same condition they came in to work.

The results speak for themselves. Our hazard identification program has helped us eliminate recordable Injuries over the past 720+ days and reduced our first-aid injuries by 70%. Employee participation in the program continues to grow; over the past 12 months we have seen an increase of 58% in submissions.

Utilizing leading indicators not only improves safety performance, but demonstrates that an organization cares about the safety of their employees, by dedicating time and resources to proactively prevent injuries from occurring. Are you interested in implementing a hazard identification program at your company? Feel free to reach out to me for more information.