Safetip #146: Evaluate Effectiveness of Safety & Health Program
Start by Identifying the Metrics Used to Monitor Progress
After the implementation of an occupational safety and health program in your organization, you should evaluate, at least annually, whether the program is operating as intended and whether it is on track to help you achieve your goals.
The first step is to identify the metrics that will be used to monitor and track performance and progress. Both lagging and leading indicators should be used. Lagging indicators measure what has already happened (e.g. injuries, illnesses, fatalities, days away from work). Leading indicators are proactive, preventative and predictive measures that provide information about the performance of activities that can help to prevent incidents and improve safety.
Verify Key Elements of Your Program
After the metrics are identified, evaluate your safety and health program at least annually. Key elements to verify include:
- Relevance of program goals and whether they need to change.
- Evolution of lagging and leading indicators, and whether they’re still relevant.
- Whether the following processes are operating as intended:
- Collecting and reporting data on lagging and leading indicators.
- Reporting incidents, hazards, near misses and observations.
- Conducting inspections and incident investigations.
- Ensuring the effectiveness of control measures for identified hazards and risks.
- Program weaknesses and opportunities for improvement.
The evaluation of your safety and health program should include input from workers, managers, supervisors and other stakeholders. Worker participation in the evaluation should be encouraged. Also, the results of the evaluation should be shared with everyone.
Finally, it’s important to take action to correct any identified weaknesses or to drive improvements. For more information on the evaluation of a safety and health program, check out OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs (pages 27-29).
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