The short answer is they are REACTIVE indicators. They are answering the question: Have we done a good job of preventing incidents?
For many companies, lagging indicators are usually the first workplace health and safety statistic they choose to monitor. These indicators are also the ones that most senior managers are comfortable with—and in some cases, they may be the only indicators that an organization uses in its health and safety program.
Lagging indicators can confirm that parts of an OHS program have failed and point toward areas that need improvement. But they’re a reactive, not a preventive data source, and can only be collected and analyzed AFTER a health and safety incident occurs.
Traditionally, lagging indicators are used to identify trends and variance from an OHS program’s goals. Typical lagging indicators include:
Common leading indicators include:
Best practices when monitoring leading indicators include having a clear, snapshot view of indicator status. Hazards, for instance, should be classified according to their status: Mitigated, Present, Eliminated.
The takeaway from the following graph example? Addressing AND reducing the number of Hazards is a top priority.
To make the most of your OHS assessment data, you need to record data adequately and ensure it's swiftly accessible and actionable.
There are countless ways to collect and track OHS assessment data. Paper and spreadsheets? They should be your last resort. Rule of thumb: leading and lagging OHS assessment data is only helpful if you can quickly record, access, and work with it.
Even when data is accurate and rigorously updated—a challenge in itself—if it’s buried in spreadsheets or split across multiple applications, chances are the process of working with it will simply be too cumbersome to be worthwhile. Ideally, tracking workplace health and safety indicators under a single, centralized application will provide you with the consistency needed to collect, organize, correlate, communicate and, ultimately, act on your OHS assessment data.
When using NeXafe, workplace health & safety managers say goodbye to spreadsheets and paperwork, along with the challenge of collating data. Instead, they work with the NeXafe platform’s StellarHSE module to capture, report and follow through on safety risks, hazards and incidents. The information they enter in StellarHSE is automatically converted into indicators, charts and graphs the moment it’s entered.
As a result, they see how their company’s real-time work safety performance measures up to goals, which in return allows them to make better-informed decisions. What’s more: these real-time indicators can be shared with anyone in the company who’s connected to StellarHSE—a significant asset in building a stronger safety culture.
What’s more, whether your team chooses to work with NeXafe or another market offering, we can’t stress enough the importance and gains of using a dedicated, centralized OHS management software to monitor indicators, foster engagement and manage your health and safety program. Should you choose NeXafe, know that you’ll benefit from a team of safety experts to accompany you every step of the way!