Safety Leadership Spotlight | How to Use Leading Indicators to Benchmark Your Safety Program

On March 31, 2017, I sat down with EHSQ Community member Faustino Martinez, a V.P of EHS, to hear his thoughts on how using leading indicators in EHSQ is transforming workplace safety in business.

In several of our recent community open discussions we have been learning from our members the Leading Indicators they are using to benchmark their safety data, such as near misses, and unsafe conditions.

During our interview conversation, Faustino shared his view that part of the key to success is identifying the right leading indicators that will strengthen your own organization’s management system. He stated to look at it like an “iceberg”. Often we only see 10% of what is happening when we look at lagging indicators. It is really the last minute view which means you have no opportunity to gain actionable proactive insights.

In his experiences, the secret to preventing incidents and accidents is to … Read more...

Enterprise Mobile Apps – Don’t Just Shrink the Screen

ehs & quality mobile app

Do you have a smart phone? I do, and chances are you do as well. In fact, research from Mary Meeker shows that today there are over $2.5 billion smartphone users around the world. Much like the internet before it smart phones and the rising use of mobile devices is a technology trend that is influencing many facets of our lives today, both personal and professional.

Over the last few years mobile has driven significant changes in how, where and when we use the internet. The internet’s initial value proposition of – all the world’s information available to anyone – has now become – all the world’s information available anywhere. This constant connectivity has impacted all areas of our lives, from how we navigate around town, to how we do our work, even to how we shop. In fact, earlier this year mobile use reached a very significant milestone. During … Read more...

Health and Safety Program Performance, Engagement and Autonomy

Health & Safety

The national retail federation in the U.S. estimates that retail supports 1 out of every 4 jobs in the United States. Retail is incredibly important to the global economy.  In fact, many if not all of us have probably been employed by the retail industry at some point in our lives. As such, most of us understand how critical motivation and culture are in that industry. This is especially true as it relates to employee workplace health and safety.

The interesting thing about “work” and modern research into workplace culture, motivation, and engagement, is that many of the core philosophies of business are being challenged. Even in industries such as retail that come with so much history. Research today is showing a direct link between employee happiness and engagement, with company performance, and ultimately company safety and quality performance.

What does it means to really be engaged at work Read more...

Transforming Health & Safety

Saving safetyWhat got us to where we are today will not get us to where we want to be tomorrow.

Decades of awareness building, training, and record keeping on Occupational Health and Safety – spearheaded by private and public enterprises and prodded along by governments – have got us to where we are today. These efforts have moved us incrementally along a path over the past four decades from literally dozens of deaths per day in the US alone, to a quarter of this number today.

However, the new standard many companies are striving for of zero fatalities and zero serious injuries requires a breakthrough. Traditional health and safety investments relying on moral suasion and larger budgets suffer from diminished returns after a certain point. To drastically change safety outcomes, we need to look beyond traditional Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) approaches. New social and mobile technology offer hope of getting … Read more...

NSC Reflections – Safety Stakeholders

nsc-blogLast week, I was fortunate to attend the National Safety Council Conference as a member of the Intelex contingent. This year, the NSC was hosted in Anaheim California, right around the corner from Disneyland.  Truth be told, it was a nice break from the onset of the Canadian fall weather. The event was well run and was host to over 10,000 attendees looking for ways to move their organizations’ safety programs forward.

The expo was home to over 1,000 exhibitors that represented an incredibly diverse range of health and safety solution providers. Every corner of the expo floor showcased innovations from advancements in fire proof materials to new types of shock absorption, and other forms of personal protective equipment (PPE). One theme expressly present across these innovations was a focus on the primary stakeholder in any safety program – the worker at risk. Vendors showcased new ways to shield workers … Read more...

How to Evolve Safety from Protection to Prevention to Prediction


I’m in the market to buy a new car. My shopping experience thus far has led me to be absolutely amazed by how much has changed in the automobile landscape in just a few years. The vehicle I’m replacing is only 6 years old, but in terms of technology and capability it already feels like an antique. One observation that stands out is the amazing pace of change in car safety. Automobile safety has gone from protection, to prevention, to prediction in what feels like a matter of years.

The emergence of automobile safety initiatives in the 1960s and 1970s was driven (no pun intended) by the research of people like Ralph Nader. This research and advocacy led to car manufacturers to make features such as seat belts standard in cars, which soon evolved into air bag technology and structural engineering to account for crumple zones. These innovations transformed vehicles … Read more...

How to Increase EHSQ Program Adoption with Technology


Worker engagement and adoption is by far the most common topic of discussion whenever we meet with our clients to discuss their EHSQ program success. It makes sense too. The value you get out of any health and safety management or quality management program is only as good as the people (and the number of people) who use it – the more people across your organization understanding and participating in the program, the more successful it will be.

Likewise, from a technology standpoint, the data and potential insights you can get out of your EHSQ management system can only be good as the source data that you put in.

It stands to reason then that the most successfully implemented programs are ones where widespread adoption occurs, while programs that stall often end up stuck within individual departments or business units.

One observation to be made is that user adoption also … Read more...

How Transit Agencies Can Implement the FTA’s Safety Management System

Train Station 2

In a recent blog post, we highlighted key aspects relating to the Public Transportation Safety Program.

In this post, we will take a closer look at the Safety Management System (SMS) approach outlined in the FTA’s proposed rule.

The SMS approach is intended to help define internal processes and ensure that each public transportation agency, regardless of size or service environment, has the adequate organizational structures, accountabilities, policies, and procedures in place to effectively manage and mitigate safety events. In proposing a SMS approach, the FTA hopes to provide a set of decision-making tools that will help transit agencies prioritize and integrate safety into all aspects of the transit system’s activities, from planning to design, to construction, to operations, and to maintenance.

The proposed FTA rule would require any public transportation system receiving federal funding to implement SMS. –Tweet This!

This approach consists of four main pillars:…

Using Leading Indicators to Predict Safety Performance


Dr. Vince Marchesani is a guest contributor and a member of the Intelex Community. 

Leading indicators have been used for years to predict the future. Meteorologists use barometric pressure to predict the weather, politicians use polls to inform their campaign strategies and doctors use elevated body temperature as an indicator of patient health. Therefore, the use of leading indicators to predict future safety performance is a logical next step in successfully improving safety measurement, management and most importantly performance.  The impact of using leading safety indicators to predict injuries is similar in magnitude to the impact experienced in safety with the introduction of behavioral safety.

Leading indicators are accidents or events that almost happened. They are the measurement of actions, activities or incidents that do not result in injuries. While the use of safety leading indicators continues to gain momentum, for the most part people are not certain what … Read more...

Safety, Profitability, and the Data-Driven Business

What is the value of safety? When discussing safety there is the intangible value that impacts everything from employee engagement to brand equity. But are there any tangible financial opportunities as well? What can an organization gain by becoming safer?

There are the obvious answers. Workers going home safe and having the confidence that they are part of an organization that cares that they do so has immeasurable value. Likewise, regulatory bodies like OSHA are quite transparent when it comes to the fines and penalties that companies can incur in cases where they fail to be safe. So the worst case scenarios of what happens when things go wrong are quite well documented.

Ongoing Positive Business Impact

How can a safety program and cultivating safe behavior be connected back to the other business operations that make an organization tick?

In my own journey to try to quantify the opportunity value … Read more...