6 Metrics to Evaluate Your SIF Prevention Efforts

SIF Metrics
May 21, 2020

In February, the Campbell Institute released its second white paper on serious injury and fatality (SIF) prevention: Designing Strategy for Serious Injury and Fatality Prevention. It’s a follow-up to the Institute’s first white paper on SIF prevention.

We published two blog posts summarizing the research included in the white paper. The first was about three steps to develop a SIF prevention strategy. The second looked at ten practices to enable a SIF prevention program.

In this post, we highlight the metrics that are used by Institute members to evaluate their SIF prevention efforts and performance.

You can use the list of metrics, either fully or partially, for your own organization’s SIF prevention program.

1) Number of SIF Actual Events. The definition of a fatality is straightforward. As for a “serious injury”, it is defined by the Campbell Institute white paper as “a permanent impairment or life-altering state, or an injury that if not immediately addressed will lead to death or permanent or long-term impairment”. Another variation of this metric is to track the percentage of OSHA Recordables that are SIFs. The higher the percentage, the greater the SIF exposures in your organization.

2) Number of SIF Potential Events. This includes injuries that are not considered “serious”, but that had SIF precursors. A SIF precursor is “a high-risk situation in which control measures are absent, ineffective or not complied with, and that would potentially result in a fatality or serious injury if allowed to continue.

3) Number of SIF Potential Near Misses. This leading indicator includes non-injury incidents with SIF precursors. These near misses should be reported and analyzed to proactively identify hazards and risks, and determine controls and mitigation measures.

4) Number of Extensions of Corrective Action Deadlines. This is tracked by some Institute members. They believe that when corrective actions haven’t been assigned by a certain date and the deadline has to be extended, it’s a flag that people are still working with risks present.

5) Number of Completed Field Verifications of Critical Controls. Specifically, the percentage of field verifications completed compared to how many are expected to be done. The higher the percentage, the better.

6) Percentage of SIF Events Reported to Executive Level for Review. The closer the number is to 100%, the more executives are aware of the risks that exist within the organization.

It’s worth noting that it may take months or even years of data collection to evaluate your organization’s SIF prevention efforts. According to the white paper, many Institute members are still in this early phase of their SIF prevention program, but they have already seen a reduction in risks and severity of incidents.

Also, members like the fact that they are seeing an increase in the number of SIF near miss reports (#3 in the list above) because it is an indication that workers are identifying more hazards than before.

In addition, even though Institute members have seen lagging rates move in the right direction, they still acknowledge the importance of strengthening a safety culture and continuing to encourage safe behaviors through engagement. They understand that a focus on safety culture and behaviors leads to improvements in SIF prevention and laggings metrics.

Finally, SIF prevention seems to enhance business outcomes, such as increases in production and quality of work, according to the white paper. This can provide strong arguments to gain the support of executives and stakeholders to pursue a SIF prevention strategy.

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Jean-Grégoire Manoukian

Content Thought Leader