Special Topics in Safety Management

Beyond the Form 300: More Metrics for Your Safety Program

Yesterday, we looked beyond using recordable injuries, illnesses, and workers’ compensation claims as ways to evaluate the effectiveness of your safety program, finding numerical ways to evaluate safety communication in the workplace. Today, we’ll look at three more metrics you can measure that go beyond the Form 300 in giving you information about how your safety program is doing.

If you want to find out how you’re doing at proactively addressing safety in your workplace, look closely at what your safety committee is up to, what your training records show, and how you’re dealing with near-miss investigations.

Safety Committee Activities

What does your safety committee actually do? Track their activity by adding up:

  • How often they meet.
  • How many hours members spend on safety committee projects outside committee meetings.
  • How many areas they have identified as actionable.
  • How many actionable items they have made progress on.
  • How many projects they have started—and how many they have completed— in the past year.
  • What their budget is, how much of it they have spent, and whether it was sufficient to do their work. A budget that won’t go as far as they would like might not be as troubling an indicator as a budget with money left unspent.

If the numbers you get are distressingly low, ask why your safety committee is not doing more and what you could do to support it. Do workers need more time for committee activities? More management support? More authority to act? Your safety committee’s activities can tell you how your overall safety culture is faring.

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Training records

Training records can be a vital safety metric—but don’t just count how many workers received what training. Find out:

  • How many different formats were used to deliver training for each subject? Multiple formats enhance comprehension.
  • How many times workers received training on a given subject in a year? Repetition enhances retention.
  • Attendance rates for training. Is training reaching all workers? If not, is scheduling the problem, or are workers choosing not to attend?
  • Whether workers’ comprehension was evaluated and what the results were.
  • Whether workers’ compliance with training has been evaluated and what the results were.

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Near-Miss Investigations

The first question you need to ask yourself here may well be: do I hear about near misses at all? It may be that you need to begin by educating workers on what a near miss is and the importance of reporting one. When you do get a near-miss report, time is of the essence—a near miss that is not quickly addressed may become a lost-time accident—or worse—before you can say “Watch out!”

Measure your near-miss investigations by asking:

  • How quickly after the incident did I receive the report? This can indicate how quick employees were to recognize it, and how important they felt it was.
  • How quickly after the incident did the investigation begin? This can give you an idea of how proactive your safety program is.
  • How long did it take to complete the investigation? This can help you quantify the support for near-miss investigations in the workplace.
  • How long did it take for management to respond to the investigation? This can help you gauge how serious management is about being proactive.
  • How long did it take to complete action items identified by the investigation?

Being proactive about safety can help you to prevent all kinds of workplace injuries, including those caused by workplace violence. Sign up for our workplace violence webinar to find out more.