Ehstoday 1809 Campbell

NSC 2014: Campbell Institute Paper Reveals the Predictive Power of Leading Indicators

Sept. 15, 2014
A new white paper provides a standardized set of best practices and benchmarks for leading indicators.

The Campbell Institute – the National Safety Council center of excellence for environmental, health and safety management – released a new white paper titled, “Practical Guide to Leading Indicators: Metrics, Case Studies & Strategies” at the 2014 NSC Congress & Expo.  

In addition to the standardized set of best practices and benchmarks for leading indicators used by Campbell Institute member companies, the white paper contains a matrix of leading indicators that includes their definitions and metrics for how each indicator can be tracked. Short case studies also are included showing how leading indicators are being put into practice with Campbell Institute member companies, who demonstrate world-class EHS performance. 

Leading indicators are designed to give advance warning of potential problems so corrective actions can be taken. They help reveal weaknesses in an organization’s procedures or employee behavior before they can cause real harm. 

Three broad categories of leading indicators revealed in the research include: 

  • Systems-based: Indicators that relate to the management of an EHS system.
  • Operations-based: Indicators that are relevant to the functioning of an organization’s infrastructure.
  • Behavior-based: Indicators that measure the behavior or actions of individuals or groups in the workplace. 

“The listing of key leading indicators found in this paper is a guide for companies looking to continuously improve on their Journey to Safety Excellence,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Using leading indicators can produce positive outcomes in occupational safety as well as business performance.” 

Organizations contributing case studies to the paper include Cummins, Honeywell, NASA Safety Center, USG and Fluor.

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