Many employers track their injury or illness rates using lagging indicators. Lagging indicators are useful because they can alert an employer to a safety and health program failure that may be causing injuries or illnesses. Unfortunately, lagging indicators do not reveal hazards until after an injury or illness occurs. Therefore, employers should also consider using leading indicators. Leading indicators are proactive, preventive, and predictive measures. A good safety and health program uses leading indicators to drive change and lagging indicators to measure effectiveness. OSHA has published a guidance document that provides an overview of leading indicators and illustrates a systematic method for using leading indicators.
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