The ability to measure your safety program is important to your workplace’s success. Without measuring safety, you won’t be able to determine if your safety program is effective. Here are four steps to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your safety program.

1. Create a mission and a vision statement for your workplace. These help you set specific safety goals. As your employees work toward the goals, they will help boost their engagement. Your next step will be setting specific goals. It is important to establish what your safety priorities are. Defining your priorities will help you set your goals. Seek input from your management staff when creating both the mission and the vision.

2. Work with your entire team to create specific safety goals. SMART Goals is a methodology that can be used to help create these goals. The acronym stands for what each goal should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time bound

SMART goals are meant to address all your major job responsibilities and creating them will help you achieve your safety priorities.

3. Begin tracking the key safety indicators related to achieving your SMART goals. Below are the most commonly measured safety indicators:

  • Lagging indicators:
    • Review your past injuries to identify trends.
    • Compare your injury trends to those that relate to your industry and if they are not  related, you may have an uncontrolled hazard that is unique to your workplace.
    • Compare your recordable injury rates for the last five years to those found for your industry on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. If you are higher than the nationwide averages, you may have a lot of room to grow safety-wise.
  • Leading indicators:
    • If you aren’t already doing so, start conducting investigations on all near misses to identify additional trends.
    • Review your past inspections to identify hazard trends.
    • Conduct worksite audits to identify potential breakdowns in your safety systems.

4. Use the data you have generated to create action plans to correct breakdowns in your safety and production systems