Reactive to Proactive - Understanding Leading and Lagging Indicators for EHS Excellence

Whitepaper | April, 2023

Continuous monitoring of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is essential for the effectiveness of building an enterprise-wide safety culture and setting up necessary processes.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of safety performance across the enterprise and drive continuous improvement efforts, EHS teams must track both leading and lagging indicators. This approach is powered by the right set of data and analytics. It also paves the way to drive continuous improvement efforts, powered by the right set of data and analytics.

Lagging indicators offer a retrospective view and furnish information regarding incidents or accidents that have already taken place. Metrics such as injury rates, lost workdays, and workers' compensation claims serve as examples of lagging indicators.

In contrast, leading indicators are prospective and provide a glimpse into the possibility of future safety mishaps or environmental hazards. Examples of leading indicators encompass the frequency of safety training, the number of safety inspections, and the volume of reported near-misses.

EHS teams can enhance their comprehension of the effectiveness of their safety programs and pinpoint possible areas for improvement by monitoring both leading and lagging indicators. This data can be leveraged to create focused interventions, culminating in a safety strategy that is not solely responsive but also preventive, proactive, and predictive.

In this whitepaper, we talk about: 

  • The role of lagging indicators
  • The role of leading indicators
  • Tracking both leading & lagging indicators
  • A master list of leading and lagging indicators one must track to improve organization’s EHS performance
  • And more

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