Lagging Indicators and Leading indicators And How They Aid in Measuring Safety Performance and Safety Program

Question

Explain the difference between using “lagging indicators” and “leading indicators” and how each of these aid in measuring a companies safety performance and safety program

Sample Answer

Performance measurement is an important aspect of management. Lagging and leading indicators are quite essential in the measurement of safety performance. Lagging indicators are used in measuring an organization’s incidents with respect to past accident statistics. They include aspects such as worker’s compensation costs and lost workdays. They indicate progress regarding compliance with safety rules. They are the bottom-line figures that assess the overall efficiency of safety in an organization (Jansen, 2010).They aid in measuring a firm’s safety performance and program by indicating the number of individuals who got hurt and how badly.

On the other hand, leading indicators show a future event that is used to compel and measure activities that are performed to prevent and control injury. They include safety training, safety audits and employee perception surveys among others.  These indicators aid in measuring company’s safety performance and safety program by focusing on continuous improvement and future safety performance. The measures are effective since they are proactive. They indicate what workers do on a regular basis to avert injuries. It is worth noting that leading indicators are currently preferred to lagging indicators by organizations that are dedicated to safety excellence.  This is because they drive continuous improvement as opposed to lagging indicators that measure failure. The leading indicators are predictive; they measure the positive, tract impact versus intention, enhance constructive problem solving around safety and make it easy to know what need to be done to get some improvements (Sinelnikov, Inouye, &Kerper, 2015). All these are positive attributes that could enhance an organization’s performance.

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