• Health & Safety

Safety Goals that are Strategic

Posted by Sienna Luard·

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Have you ever been told that “defining your goals” applies to your personal and professional life?   Safety goals that have a clear focus create alignment and enhance productivity.  For Example, the term SMART Goals is a common acronym for this strategy. 

Common Safety Goals in Safety and Health Programs

  • Reduce the recordable incident rate
  • minimize the lost time rate
  • Lower workers compensation costs

Each of those safety goals is based on commonly accepted lagging indicators that focus on outcomes.  Goals that have this perspective send the unproductive message that management cares more about numbers than people.  That has a negative impact on a company’s culture.  For instance, the motivation to learn and improve is diminished when people are not valued.  Therefore, they see any efforts that they may make to improve safety as a waste of time.

Leading indicators focus on the day-to-day efforts to improve safety.  They measure the presence of safety.  Lagging indicators measure the lack of it, and therefore are reactive.  Certainly safety goals should be proactive.

Common Leading Indicators 

  • Number of Safety Meetings
  • Percentage of Workers Trained
  • Quantity of Near Misses Reported

Leading indicators are a more productive foundation for safety goals.  They identify specific and proactive areas of improvement that  fuel a positive safety culture and produce long term positive results.  In addition, workers see the incremental improvements in safety.  Therefore, they are a part of achieving those safety goals.

In conclusion, safety goals should bring people together to enhance the mindsets, behaviors and habits that make up an organization’s safety culture.  This will have a positive impact on leading indicators like safety meetings completed.  Improvements in lagging indicators, like incidents reported,  are the inevitable result.  Above all,  that is everyone’s goal at the end of the day.

Wombat software provides safety professionals immediate at a glance access to key leading indicators that prompt them to proactively respond in ways that make a real difference.  What data do you need to set strategic safety goals that will move your company’s safety culture forward?