The Use of Leading Indicators to Predict Environmental, Health and Safety Performance

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Leading indicators have been used for years to predict the future. Weather professionals to predict the weather use barometric pressure. Polls are used to inform politicians if they should change their strategy and elevated body temperature or blood pressure are leading indicators concerning an individual’s health. Therefore, the use of leading indicators such as near misses, unsafe acts and unsafe conditions to protect future safety performance, exposure levels and the threat of an environmental release are logical next steps in successfully improving safety, health and environmental measurements and performance.

 A technique will be presented to predict injuries and health and environmental incidents. By using leading indicators the technique enables the user to save money for their company by reducing or eliminating costs associated with injuries and health and environmental incidents to say nothing of the saving of lives and the preventing of disabling injuries and reducing or eliminating costs associated with such impacts. By incorporating incident severity, probability and type of injury and health and environmental incidents the need to purchase costly safety, health and environmental programs is reduced or eliminated.

Why should you attend? 

This is a webinar you do not want to miss! The ability to predict Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) performance is an opportunity to reduce injuries, illnesses and environmental impact. It is not only revolutionary, but it also works. The possibility of saving lives and cost savings for your company is enormous. Please join us. You will both learn from and enjoy this webinar.

The oil, chemical, paper, petrochemical, food, electronics and other industries would all benefit from attending this webinar. Members of the following Trade associations: The American Chemical Council, The Society of Plastic Industries, The American Petroleum Institute and many others will also benefit from attending this webinar.

Data is one form of information, usually numerical, but not always.  There are many differences among data collection, management, review/evaluation/interpretation, and the drawing of conclusions.  Some believe that data can be manipulated to present any conclusion desirable. To begin the word data is plural.  Data do not say any anything. Too often one hears that comment, “The data says.” Data are for the most part numbers on paper. The numbers do not speak to you. Do not draw the desired conclusion and try and make the review/evaluation/interpretation fit the desired conclusion. This will not only result in failure and criticism of the forced fit attempt, but also the loss of credibility as well.

When data are collected from a series of interviews or measurements it will need to be changed into some form of mathematics to be evaluated. For example: if a questionnaire is completed and collected about for example: the US senses; the comments in the questionnaire will need to be summarized, evaluated and put into some numerical form in order for an analysis/evaluation to be done and conclusions may be drawn. 

Description of topic:

Measurement of any activity is important. If you don’t measure you will not be able to determine if you’re making progress or when you are done. In the area of safety measurements have taken the form of; the number of first aid injury cases, the number of OSHA recordable cases, the number of lost time injury cases the number of disabling cases and the number of fatalities. When measuring health it is usually in the form the number of industrial illnesses in industry. Regarding the environment it is the total number of incidents, or the quantity of pollution released to the air and water or buried in the ground..

Typically the numbers are accumulated to determine EHS program effectiveness. When the numbers are increasing efforts are made to reduce the numbers via program modifications or replacement. There must be a better way and there is a better way. It is to make modifications and program changes using leading indicators. It is by using these leading indicators that program improvement can take place, no one was injured and no health or environmental incident has occurred, however, meaningful leading indicator data was collected to help predict future injuries and health and environmental incidents.

A leading indicator is any “factor, marker or barometer” that changes before the rest of an area being evaluated/measured changes. While some may consider a factor, marker or barometer a lagging indicator since is has already occurred; this same information is often used as a leading indicator in predicting future events. The definitions of leading and lagging indicator has somewhat diverted the idea of using leading indicators to predict future events. Basically it does not matter. If what we call a lagging indicator meets the definition of a leading indicator, e.g. a factor, marker or barometer that changes before the rest of an area being evaluated/measured changes it may be used as a leading indicator to help predict the future.

 Therefore, a lagging indicator may be used as a leading indicator so long as the data/information can be used to predict future events or activities. As an example: many people assume election polling a lagging indicator since it has occurred; this data/information can often help observers and policymakers predict significant changes in an area being evaluated/measured, e.g. an election. Therefore, and in this case, a lagging indicator may also be used as a leading indicator. With this safety, health and environmental information hardware, software changes may be made and training conducted to improve safety, health and environmental performance since the probability of an accident or health or environmental incident occurring has been reduced.

This is a step change and evaluating EHS program performance. You are a step ahead of injuries, illnesses and environmental events because you’re taking corrective actions before the injuries, illnesses and events occur and thereby reducing the costs from injuries, illnesses and events as well as the cost of replacing EHS programs. Please join us for this webinar to learn how this technique can employee at your facilities.


Areas Covered in the Session:

The key areas covered in the webinar:

  • Understanding of leading indicators
  • Understanding lagging indicators
  • Learning the difference between leading and lagging indicators
  • Learning the importance of the safety pyramid
  • EHS culture change
  • Learning and understanding the safety cycle
  • Learn how to protect environmental health and safety performance

Who will benefit:

All EHS titles will benefit from attending this webinar. This includes the VP, the director, the manager and the technician levels

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