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OSHA seeks stakeholder input on the effectiveness of leading indicators

Safety and health programs, Recordkeeping

Posted June 2, 2023

OSHA has expressed interest in developing a Leading Indicators Resource tool that employers can use to help develop or improve their safety and management system (SHMS). As the agency considers this development, it seeks specified feedback from stakeholders on how, where, and what leading indicators are used at their facilities and if they’ve aided in managing their SHMS.

Leading indicators are proactive and preventive measures used by employers to track safety and health activities. They also help reduce or prevent worker injury and illness. Examples include tracking the number of workers who attend monthly safety meetings or keeping data on the routine maintenance of work vehicles.

As part of its research, OSHA has developed a list of questions to gain a better understanding of stakeholders’ experiences using leading indicators. Some of the questions include:

  • What leading indicators do you use?
  • How do you determine the effectiveness of your leading indicators?
  • Do you link your leading indicators to outcome data, such as OSHA incident rates, to evaluate results?
  • How could employers be encouraged to use leading indicators in addition to lagging indicators to improve safety management systems?
  • What barriers and challenges, if any, have you encountered to using leading indicators?

Stakeholder comments will be accepted at through July 17.

This article was written by Carmen King of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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