Leading and Lagging Indicators: How to Measure Workplace Safety to Reduce Workplace Incidents

Leading and Lagging Indicators: How to Measure Workplace Safety to Reduce Workplace Incidents

workplace safety, leading and lagging indicators

Measuring Workplace Safety

How do you measure safety in your workplace to enhance performance and reduce employee downtime? There are several tested methods that Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) leaders use to reduce employee incidents and illnesses. Among the leading methods are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)–or leading and lagging indicators. The goal of measuring both sets of indicators is to assess safety performance, and determine what needs to be done to improve the safety culture of an organization.

Leading Indicators

Leading indicators are pre-incident measurements, and are a preventative or proactive in nature. A key component of leading indicators is that they measure safety events or behaviors that precede incidents and have a predictive quality. They consist of safety initiatives or reported activities, with an ultimate goal of preventing unwanted events before they occur. For example, an inspection that notes the poor quality of the surrounding area and prevents a future slip and fall from taking place is a leading indicator.

Some leading indicators include:

  • Safety training
  • Employee surveys
  • Safety audits
  • Turnover rate
  • Behavioral observations
  • Near misses

Lagging Indicators

Lagging indicators are measurements collected after an incident occurs, and are reactive in nature. They measure the effectiveness of a safety program after they happen. For instance, a slip and fall incident from stray construction materials is a lagging indicator because the incident has already occurred. Some typical lagging indicators include:

  • Number of incidents or injuries
  • Workmen’s compensation costs
  • Days away from work (DAFW)
  • Safety-related production downtime


Benefits of Measuring Workplace Safety

By measuring leading indicators including conditions, events and sequences that precede and lead up to accidents, these KPIs have value in predicting the arrival of an event and can provide the opportunity to introduce control measures to stop the event from happening. Recently, many articles have stressed the importance of looking beyond lagging indicators. But then how can your organization learn from past incidents and track results to increase workplace safety? By combining incident measurement and training management software, your company or organization can adopt a holistic approach to reducing workplace incidents and meeting Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.

Both leading and lagging indicators can be relevant to workplace safety and worth measuring. They present important aspects of an overall safety management system. We have to use all the tools available to us to create an environment that drives us to a zero-incident job site.

If you want to learn more about how leading and lagging indicators can help improve your safety performance, download a free white paper from Gensuite – Leading and Lagging Indicators: How to Measure Workplace Safety to Reduce Workplace Incidents.

Unlock the following contents:

  • Selecting and Using the Right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Your Organization
  • Why Leading and Lagging Indicators Are Important: Rising OSHA Regulations & Safety Trends
  • Models and Methods for Using Leading and Lagging Indicators: A Contextual and Visual Guide
  • A Gensuite Solution: Implementing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Into Your Workplace
  • Conclusion and Takeaways

Visit the Gensuite site today and request your free copy here. Don’t delay another day, enhance your company’s workplace safety and performance today.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2020 Gensuite, All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Cookies | Sitemap
Request a Demo Free Trial
Gensuite has rebranded to Benchmark ESG | Gensuite. Read the press release LEARN MORE

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?