February 24 2019
By: Terry L. Mathis
Ah, the desperate search for the illusive perfect leading indicators for safety. How can we get out of this reactive mode and into a proactive safety program? If we could just find those metrics that help us see accidents before they happen, we would be there. This search indicates a movement from one-dimensional to two-dimensional thinking. But the real world is three-dimensional.
The problem is the activities we do to promote safety don't directly impact those lagging indicators. Just like the RPM of the motor does not directly impact the speed of the car. It goes through a transmission and then through a differential which also determine speed. Activities such as training, meetings, JSAs, observations, etc. do not directly lower TRIR. These activities impact culture and competency which, in turn, impacts performance, which then impacts lagging indicators.
Until we get to a balanced scorecard mentality in safety, we will forever be the Safety Don Quixote seeking the impossible dream.
Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.