Safety Metrics That Really Count

Natalia Olive, CSP, CSHM

In a now infamous quote, W. Edwards Deming once wrote “It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – a costly myth.” This quote has been misinterpreted often, usually reversing its meaning to indicate that one must use metrics to manage a process. The aim of this session is to explore the fine line between measuring for success and getting bogged down by numbers, keeping an eye firmly on the prize: a thriving safety culture.

For many organizations, EHS metrics can be seen as negative, cumbersome, or unattainable (think: “zero accidents”). This can change by implementing truly proactive metrics that ensure widespread engagement. We will cover the key performance indicators that can more strongly contribute to a proactive safety culture. We will also discuss the proper way to frame reactive metrics within the EHS Management System.

Since upper management buy-in is key to establishing lasting metrics, we’ll review ways to approach the conversation and show a data-based approach to selecting EHS metrics. A dashboard, showing all key indicators in a quick, visual display, can be pivotal at increasing adoption of new metrics into an existing management system. The session will review how to pull one together and key elements of data display to maximize impact.

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