If your workplace isn’t measuring its health and safety performance, you may be missing out as an employer. There are several advantages to measuring performance, not the least of which is that the gathering of information and data will allow you to quantify the effectiveness of the strategies and procedures you have put in place.
But more than that, by developing health and safety data tracking methods and measuring how well you’re doing, you will develop a basis for continual improvement. That also means it’s important that your measurement system be accurate. If it is not working properly and you’re not getting reliable information, your safety management system will be undermined, and your management team really won’t know which systems are working and which ones need to either be tweaked or dropped altogether.
It is not unusual for companies to find the development of health and safety performance measures to be a difficult task. Part of the reason for that is that most businesses are geared to measuring performance based on specific numerical measures such as profit, return on investment or market share, whereas measuring health and safety performance isn’t based solely on the number of illnesses and injuries, but also such issues as lost time and intangibles like worker morale.
A well-developed measurement of health and safety should answer a number of questions for the company, including:
- What are our overall health and safety aims and objectives, and how close are we to realizing them?
- How are we doing this year, compared to past years?
- How efficient is our health and safety management?
- How well are we controlling hazards and risks, and how does that compare with other companies in our sector?
- Are we developing a supportive health and safety culture, and is our health and safety management system affecting every part of our organization?
Each level of management and supervision should have access to information appropriate to their position within the company, but it may also be necessary to be able to demonstrate to various stakeholders, such as shareholders and occupational safety regulators that you have a health and safety system in place, and that it’s effective. That means effectively measuring the performance of your safety management system is vitally important to the health of your company and its bottom line.