As we enter the New Year, we often have a tendency to look ahead and plan for the future. But as a safety professional, it’s important to take time to reflect on the previous year as well.
Understanding your safety data from 2018 will help prepare you for 2019.
So what kind of data should you review? Here are some of the top categories of safety data that you should be analyzing every year:
- Incidents and Injuries
- Audits and Inspections
- Behavior-Based Safety
- Action Item Response Times
Incidents and Injuries
Of course, it’s important to review how many accidents, injuries, and incidents took place. Identifying past and current trends can help you prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
Questions you should ask yourself include:
- How many injuries took place last year? Illnesses? Near-Misses?
- How many lost-time incidents were there?
- How many cases involved days away from work?
You should also look at the demographics for each incident to determine if there are any additional trends. Examples include:
- Nature of Injury
- Time of Day
- Body Part Affected
- Location of Incident
- Cause of Incident
An incident management system can help you to quickly and easily monitor this safety data.
With such information in hand, you can mitigate risks and improve safety performance. You’ll know which hazards to focus on in the New Year. And will be able to reduce the number of workplace incidents.
Audits and Inspections
Another aspect you’ll want to review is any audits or inspections from the previous year.
Did your company have any visits from OSHA? If so, what were some of their findings? Are there any open action items that you still need to follow up on?
You should also analyze the safety data from your internal audits.
Don’t just go through the audit findings (although that’s important too), but also think about when and how you conducted them. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How many internal audits did we do last year?
- Who completed them?
- Did we have a lot of repeat findings?
You’ll want to look for trends and patterns, just like you did for incidents and injuries. Find out which hazards and areas appear the most. Then, work with the supervisors and employees in those locations to make improvements.
Does your company follow a Behavior-Based Safety Program?
A BBS program can help you identify at-risk behaviors and trends. The program is intended to improve a company’s safety culture. Analyzing your BBS data is one of the best ways to utilize this type of program.
You can gain valuable insights from this data, such as risks and trends that you didn’t even realize were there. Early identification is crucial, so you should be analyzing this data throughout the year.
In fact, all of the safety data outlined in this post should be regularly reviewed. But an annual summary helps you communicate more effectively with upper management and key decision makers.
Action Item Response Times
The final category to consider is not related to hazards or incidents, but rather on the timeliness of your response.
How long does it typically take to close an investigation? How long does it take for action items to be completed? These are both great questions that will help you understand how quickly your company responds to safety concerns.
If your findings reveal missed deadlines and numerous open action items, you may want to implement a task management system.
A task management system can schedule action items, check progress, alert team members to ensure that required actions meet their deadlines.
Not only is this important for keeping your workers safe, but it’s also a great way to show that your company really is committed to safety.
Tips for Analyzing Safety Data
Without an EHS software system in place, analyzing your safety data can be a significant undertaking. It will take time, energy, and resources that might be needed elsewhere.
That’s why many companies are starting to take advantage of EHS software. It enables the safety professional to get out of their office and be present with their employees.
If you don’t currently have a software system, and still want to analyze your 2018 data, then you may need to hire an intern or administrative assistant to collect and analyze the data for you. Or, simply plan on spending the first two weeks of the New Year on data analysis.
One way or another, safety data analysis should always be included in your EHS program. For more information on the Enablon software system, reach out to one of its representatives. They can get you started quickly. So at the end of the year, you’ll be better prepared.
View the recording of our webinar with J.M. Huber and Arcadis to learn valuable tips and best practices on the EHS software journey, including software selection, implementation, roll out, user adoption, and change management: